The Great Trip all Pamirs, Tajikistan
In this tour, you get to see both great massive valleys of Pamirs, Murghab, Wakhan and Bartang. In addition, you will see both Western Pamirs with narrow valleys and the lowlanders and Eastern Pamirs, Tibetan kind of highlands with semi-arid dry environment and pastoral communities.
Major Destinations: Dushanbe - Wakhan - Yashil Kul Lake - BulunKul Lake - Murghab - Karakul Lake - Bartang Valley - ends in Dushanbe capital of Tajikistan.
Estimate Duration: 9 days in Pamirs Mountains, 2 days in Wakhan Valley, 5 days in Eastern Pamris, and 2 days in Bartang Valley
Notice: The road condition of Bartang Valley is very difficult and the journey is arduous. Only 4x4 WD kind of vehicle is well equipped to deal with these conditions. Journey will commence in JUNE, AUGUST, and SEPTEMBER
Day 1 Dushanbe- Kalaikum
Transfer from Dushanbe to Kalaikum through Kulob city in southern Tajikistan. Excellent views on the way.We will stop for quick photos along the road. Visit of Hulbuk, 10th century Silk Road city. It is rehabilitated quite recently. Breathtaking landscape along the Panj River (Amu Darya or the famous Oxus). Across the river lies Afghanistan. We will see many villages. We will drive along the river and we will have a picnic in the pristine nature along the way. Overnight in Kalaikum, Guesthouse (BLD).
Day 2 Kalaikum
Drive to Khorog town along the Panj River. It is a small town founded during the imperial period and has an interesting history being sort of the central administrative town of Pamir mountains. After the Vanj valley, we will enter into the Pamir region, landscape will change from lowland into massive mountains. On the way, you will see many different villages. Views of the valley are amazing. Lunch in a traditional Central Asian Chaikana – teahouse. Overnight in town of Khorog, Hotel(BLD).
Day 3 Khorog - Ishkashim
Continue to Ishkashim, a green village in the southern area of the Pamirs. On the way we will stop for hot springs at Garm-e-Chasma. After, we reach the mouth of the Wakhan valley. This is where the 19th century ‘Great Game’ ended, between the Russian and British empires and China as well. From here, the road continues up along the north side of the river to east. There are amazing views of the Pamirs to the left and the Hindu Kush Mountains Ranges to the right. We will stop along the way for a scenic picnic. Overnight in Ishkashim, Guesthouse (BLD).
Day 4 Ishkashim – Langar
Early in the morning, we drive along the Wakhan Corridor from Ishkashim to Langar exploring the Walkhan valley. We will admire the Khakha Fortress, dating from the third century BC and rising from a platform of natural rock. Just 300m further, there is interesting Ismailimazar (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: dense minerals and very silty (do you mean salty and not silty, because silty is the opposite of crystal clear), 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. Overnight in Langar, Homestay (BLD).
Day 5 Langar - Alichor
Drive from Langar to Alichor village. One way, we will visit Bulunkullake and Yashilkul lakes, over the Khargush pass (4344m). As we leave the lowland, the terrain here is desolate but has a stark beauty to it. Landscapes of both lakes Yashilkul and Bulunkul are magnificent. This is where you could literally see the difference between western and east Pamirs, the terrain and social and environmental landscape changes. From settled to nomadic or from narrow valleys to high lands. Visit of a geyser and an early Islamic mausoleum. We arrive in huge Alichor valley, (Yak and sheep on the way). During the Soviet times these areas were extensively used to grow livestock cultivation. Overnight in summer pasture (Jailoo) Kara kum, Yurt stay(BLD).
Day 6 Alichor- Kenshiber
From Alichor we continue our trip on the Pamir Highway to Keng-Shiber summer pasture. Here we will be admiring or experiencing the life in Eastern Pamirs. The terrain here is desolate but grandiose. So many summer pastures. On the way, we will stop at Akbalik holy lake, sacredness embedded into ecological meaning. A bit further up, we will visit Bashgumbes village, 9km from the main road, you will see a very old Chinese tomb. Some say it is a Caravn Sarai but other says it is a tomb dedicated to a well-known person who lived in this valley. On the way we see a second tomb, both located among graves. Overnight in the summer pasture of Keng –Shiber, Yurt stay (BLD).
Day 7 Kenshiber -ZorKul Lake (trekking day)
Today we slowly start hiking from Keng-Shiber to Belairik valley (5 hours) until pass Belairik (5000m), from the pass we will see Zorkul Lake, and Afghanistan. This is a very famous lake (Victoria) because during the imperial times many people questioned or suspected that the source of the Oxus River begun here. However, today we know that it begins in Afghanistan. This is why people were eager to see Lake Victoria. View of great mountains. Depending on luggage quantity we might hire a yak as a porter. The nature is beautiful. After picnic move to lake and camping, Tent (BLD).
Day 8 ZorKul Lake – Kara Jilga summer pasture(trekking day)
Today we slowly start hiking from Zorkullake to Kara Jilga via KokJigit Lake. We will arrive amongst nomads of Eastern Pamir. Overnight in a yurt (BLD).
Day 9 Kara Jilga summer pasture – GartyGumbez hot spring(trekking day)
Today we slowly start hiking from Kara Jilga to Aydin kol Lake. This territory is now very famous for the largest wild sheep on the planet, Marco Polo Sheep (Ovis Poli). Full day photo safari. We will stay in Kuban’s Services. After taking a nice natural hot tub Jacuzzi, stay in Hot spring (BLD).
Day 10 Gartigumbez – Murgab
In the morning we drive to Murgab. On the way, we visit Shakhty rock paintings (4200). It dates back to the Neolithic period. Three very similar figures are placed underneath the last animal. This representation has been compared to the so-called clavicorn figures of Paleolithic art. The famous Russian archeologists, Ranov, has done much research on it. It dates from 8000-5000 B.C.. Accommodation in Murgab, Homestay (BLD).
Day 11 Murgab – Kara Kul Lake - Jalang Jailoo (pasture)
Drive from Murghab to Karakul lake (3914) north over Akbaital pass (4655), the highest salty - lake in Central Asia. Little walk around the lake. Then after lunch, we drive from Kara kul to Jalang summer pasture. Highest point of the journey, there we will see petroglyphs. Nomadic lifestyle continues in these areas. This region is marginalized and far from the centers and civilized life. The landscape around is not shaped by man and it is sort of untouched. Overnight in the Jalang summer pasture, Yurt stay (BLD).
Day 12 Bartang Valley
Here we will be already entering the Bartang valley of the Pamirs. After 50km, we will be reaching geometric Sake tombs of Shorola, solar calendar, dating back to the second millennium B.C. After reaching the Kook Jar Pass, we will start walking down to the wonderful peaceful Bartang Valley. Interestingly, people here have ecological calendars that they have been using in order to manage their farming, hunting and other livelihood activities. You should not expect high service here because foreigners do not often visit these places. Overnight in Ghudara or Pasor small settlements, Traditional Pamir House (BLD).
Day 13 Gizeiv Village
Today we drive from Pasor to Gizeiv valley. The livelihood here is quite simple. Settled Bargangi people are excellent famers and land users. They produce their own agricultural food such as potatoes, cabbages etc. What is great abut Bartang is its extremely nice scenery, trees, rivers, towering mountains and humble people. The geography is simplydifferent from anywhere in the world. We will hike 2.5 hrs. to the Gizeiv valley. Stay in Traditional Pamir House(BLD).
Day 14 Gizeiv – Kalaikum
Once we come out of the Bartang valley we will join the same trek down to where we started our journey. Today we drive from the Bartang valley to Kalaikum along the Panj River and back to Dushanbe. After the Vanj valley, we may stop for a picnic. We will say Goodbye to the Wakhan and Bartans of Pamir region. On the way, you will see many different villages. Views of the valley are amazing. Lunch in a Chaikana, traditional teahouse. Overnight in Kalaikum, Guesthouse(BLD).
Day 15 Kalaikum - Dushanbe
Today early in the morning we drive to Dushanbe, over the Sagirdasht Pass (3252m), from the pass there is a nice view. Drive through Tajik villages. Today we will relax and take it easy. Overnight in Dushanbe, Guesthouse (BLD).
Day 16 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 your home country.
Items to bring with you
· Sleeping bag
· Silk sleeping bag liner
· Thermarest mattress
· Down jacket & windbreaker
· Water bottle
· Trekking socks
· Sun hat
· Sun glasses
· Sun cream with high protection - lipstick
· Flashlight or headlamp
· Water purification tablet of water filter
· Personal medical kit
· Camera & extra battery for the camera
Temperatures: please note that there can be large variations in temperatures. In day time 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