Wildlife safari and Trekking tours (Tajikistan)
Type of tour: This tour is designed in a combined way or, in other words, full package tour which includes safri of Marhor and Marco Polo with intensive trekking in Zor Kul area and Zighar. The tour starts in Dushanbe and via Pamris, Wakhan and Eastern Pamirs, continues to Shaimak area, Chinese and Afghan side of Tajikistan, and Kara Kul to Osh city of Kyrgyzstan. What makes this tour special is 5 days of trekking in Eastern Pamirs around Zor Kul area. This will be supported by yurt to yurt trek where our customers will experience nomadism such as yurts, yaks, and wilderness. Rest of the tour will be done by jeep expedition.
Major Destinations: Dushanbe, Zighar, Khorog, Ishkashim, Langar, Alichur, Bashgumbez, Ak zoo, Zor Kul, Jarty Gumbez, Shaimak, Murgab, Kara Kul, Trance Alai Range ana Osh city of Kygryzstan
Estimate Duration: 18 days of trek in total, 1 day in Zighar (Safari and trek), 5 day trek in Zor Kul area (Safari and trek) and rest of the tour in a jeep.
Group size: unrestricted
Notice: The best season is from May to September. Notice that for Marco Polo the December is perfect season to conduct wildlife safari
Day 1 Dushanbe – Zighar camp
Transfer from Dushanbe to Zigar through Kulob city. There are excellent views on the way. We will stop for photos shooting on the way. We will have a short stop at Hulbuk, 10th century silk-road city. Breathtaking landscape along the Panj River (Oxus or Amu river). Across the river lies Afghanistan. We will drive along the river, having picnic in the pristine nature. Today we will stay in Zighar camp, Homestay (BLD).
Day 2 Wildlife Observation Day,
Today, we will organize wildlife observation around Zughar, searching for Marhur. Marhur is a very Markhor (Caprafalconeri jerdoni). It is endangered wild goat with curly horns which makes it very famous. The status of the animal is higher than Marco Polo (Ovis Poli). There will be hiking and lunch in the wild area. It would be combination of hiking, landscaping and safari. We stay in, Traditional Pamir House (BLD).
Day 3 Zighar camp – Khorog
Today we drive to Khorog along the Panj River. After Vanj valley, we will enter into the Pamir region. On the way, you will see many different villages. It is nice to observe how people live on the other side of Oxus River (Afghanistan). Views of the valley are amazing. Lunch in a Chaikana and today we stay in Khorog, hart of Shugnan province, Traditional Pamir House (BLD).
Day 4 Khorog – Ishkashim
Today, we continue from Khorog to Ishkashim. On the way stop for hot springs at Garm-e-Chasma. After, we will reach the mouth of the Wakhan valley. This is where the 19th century Great Game ended, between the Russian and British empires. From here, the road continues up along the north side of the river. There are amazing views of the Pamirs to the left and the Hindu Kush to the right. We will stop along the way for a scenic picnic and we stay in Ishashim, Guesthouse (BLD).
Day 5 Ishkashim – Langar
Drive along the Wakhan Corridor from Ishkashim to Langar. We will admire the Khakha Fortress, dating from the third century B C and rising from a platform of natural rock. Just 300m further on is the interesting Ismaili mazar (tomb) of Shah-i-Mardan Hazrati Ali. After, we move to next Zoroastrian "Fortress of Fire Worshippers". Further up the hillside are the hot springs at Bibi Fatima: minerals and very salty, the water at Bibi Fatima is crystal clear. There are several places of interest to stop. Above the village of Vrang, on a cliff-side pitted with caves, stands a Buddhist complex dating from 4th-7th centuries. At Yamg, visit the reconstructed home of Sufi mystic Muabara Kadam, who died in 1910. Near his house, there is a stone pillar with a hole, which he used to calculate a solar calendar. In the cool of the morning, we climb up above Langar village to see the petroglyphs and we stay in Langar, Guesthouse (BLD).
Day 6 Langar – Bulun Kul Lake
Drive from Langar to Bulun Kul Lake over the Khargush pass (4344m). On the way, we will visit Yashil Kul Lake to Bulunkul Lake. As we leave the Langar (law land) the landscape transforms into high land desert. Here we will enter the area of Eastern Pamir, commonly associated with nomadic herders, pasture users, and nice semi-arid mountains. There is great sense of place and hospitality. In these region, is not crowded and there are few people live in these areas. Today we stay in Bulun Kul village, Guesthouse (BLD).
Day 7 Bulun kul – Bash gumbez village
Drive from Bulunkul to Bash Gumbez, village with little number of people. There are recently settled people. Here people practice yak keeping and pastoral life. On the way, we visit a geyser, then we continue our trip on the Pamir Highway to Alichur, a small town where we will have a fish for lunch. The terrain here is desolate but has a stark beauty to it. On the way to Bashgumbes village, 9km from the main road, you will see very old China's tomb. The valley of Alichor is nice. Accommodation in Homestay (BLD).
Day 8 Trekking, Bashgumbez – Ak Zoo lake
We start hiking from Bashgumbez Village (3900m) to Akzoo lake, on the way will cross the pass Kara - Seky (4500 m), very beautiful view of the mountains. Donkey or Yaks will carry luggage. On the way will see marmots and other wild animals. Ak Zoo Lake is nice small lake with two or three farmers living along the lake. This little lake provides large number of fish. Today we enjoy the nomadic hospitality traditional, Yurt (BLD).
Day 9 Trekking, Ak zoo Keng Shiber
Morning start trekking from Ak Zoo Lake to Keng shiber. The way is relative short. Keng shiber is extremely nice valley with few nomadic herders. Here we can sense the wind and silence of Eastern Pamirs. We will have a lunch on the way, either outdoors or in a yurt. Again today we stay with nomads in a, Yurt stay (BLD).
Day 10 Trekking from Keng Shiber to Zor Kul lake
Early in the morning we start trekking to Bel ayrik (4200m) summer pasture, on the way will see yaks, sheep and goats. View of the valley is wonderful and you will meet local peoples. Even though the landscape is beautiful, it is very important to visit people and herders because there is high domination of nature in the Pamirs. Visiting herders or farmers is important because keeps connected to the outside world. The Eastern Pamirs is so wild and nomadism is the only source of life, Yurt Stay (BLD).
Day 11 Trekking from Keng shiber – Zor Kul lake
Today, we start trekking to Zor kul lake through Belairyk valley (4200m), we will use the Yaks for the luggage, on the way we will cross the pass Bel-Airik, (5015m). We will see Marco Polo sheep and other wild animals. From the pass great view of the lake. It is just fantastic. We will have glimpse of towering mountains. Today we pitch a tent and stay on the other side of Yuch Kol valley, Tent Stay (BLD).
Day 12 Trekking Zor kul Lake – Kara jilga
Morning we will start trekking to Kara-Jilga (4000m) summer pasture, on the way we will see Kok-Jigit Lake. These regions are nice for trekking because it is not too tough. It very easy going trekking, from hills to hill and little ups and downs. We will have lunch and picnics outdoors. There is no special restaurant or anything closer to these regions. These regions are far from centers, accommodation in Yurt Stay (BLD).
Day 13 Trekking from Kara jilga – Aydin kul lake
Today early in the morning we start trekking to Aiding Kol lake (4200m) very amazing views. Aiding Kol lake is nice lake around Chesh Dobo area of Eastern Pamirs. After lunch, we go to Jarty-Gumbez hot springs. Jarti Gumbez is holly place with the ruins of old cemeteries. Many people, locals, consider this region sacred and people come here with worshiping purposes. There is a nice hot spring. Every winter, the hunter from all round the world come here in order to chase their trophy animals. There is extremely nice guesthouse with a pool. Today we will finish with treks for this tour and stay in Jarty Gumbez, full service, pool, hot shower, good meal, Semi-Hotel (BLD).
Day 14 Jarty gumbez – Shaymak
Drive from Jarti Gumbez to Shaimak. It is not too far driving but the journey is going to be nice. The hills, mountains, and landscapes are incredible. On the way, we visit to nomadic herder for cup of tea and enjoy the hospitality of Eastern Pamirs. There are many valleys and herders migrate from season to season to graze their livestock. We stay in Shaimak village, close to China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Homestay (BLD).
Day 15 Shaimak – Murghab
Drive from Shaimak to Murgab, on the way will see Mustak- Ata peak in Chinese site of the border. Shaimak to Murgab is straight dirt road along the river Aksu or Murgab. These rivers are suitable for pack rafters as well. You don’t regret stop and take good photos along the way. Today we arrive in Murgab, historical and administrate town of Eastern Pamirs, Pamir Hotel (BLD).
Day 16 Murghab – Kara kul
Drive north over Akbaital pass (4655). It is the highest point of the journey. From here it is a long descent to Karakul village (3914) the highest salted lake in Central Asia. Little walk around lake. Jeep drive is nice here because the road is good and the landscape is promising. Today we stay in Guesthouse (BLD).
Day 17 Kara kul – Osh
Today is the last day of our tour. We have to get up earl and drive to Osh. We will pass by the Kyzyl-Art Pass (4282m) to the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Look behind you here for a stunning panorama of the Pamir Alai range, which in Kyrgyzstan. Alai valley is extremely nice. The Osh, second largest city in southern Kyrgyzstan, Guesthouse (BLD).
Day 18 Good bye Pamirs, Tajikistan
We hope you had a wonderful time in the Pamirs. Today you will fly back to your country. We are always glad to have you back in the Pamirs again. Have a good flight back to motherland.
Items to bring with you
· Sleeping bag
· Silk sleeping bag
· Mattress Term-a-rest
· Rain gear
· Dawn jacket
· Water bottle
· trekking socks
· Sun hat
· Sun glasses
· Sun cream with high protection - lipstick
· Flashlight or headlamp
· Water purification
· Personal medical kit
· Solar panel
Temperatures: please note that there can be large variations in temperatures. In daytime it can be very hot and a thin layer of clothing will be comfortable but long sleeves protect you from the sun rays. At night it can be cold so a layered approach is best. Predicting temperatures is very hard but they could range between 5°C and + 25°C. Rainfall in the Pamirs at this time of year is not expected but dust storms are. Please take a waterproof layer just in case.
Price & date on request