This page contains:
*Tajik/Uzbek Travel Agents
*Western Tour Operators
*Wakhan (Afghanistan side) Tours
The best place to look for the Pamirs – especially if you want to support the local people is PECTA. PECTA is a charity and an sustainable development organisation promoting local tourism. Their website lists all the local travel agencies and tour guides and they can facilitate bookings or you can go direct. If you want to support the local economy the first place to look is their website. They also have a directory of drivers and homestays at reasonable prices.
An overview of international travel agents that have published Tajikistan tours is in existence on the Pamirs website here although the list needs updating as it is from 2012.
Tajik/Uzbek Local Travel Agents
These are likely to be a lot cheaper but a bit more rough round the edges than a more expensive Western package. Choosing to use local services supports the local economy. I have only listed the ones that have websites, but there are more locally based in Dushanbe without websites.
*Pamir Highway Adventure is a Tajikistan based full service adventure travel
company, founded by the Murghab Ecotourism Association (META), and run by local people. We specialise in individual and group tailor-made journeys
along the Pamir Highway, including cultural, trekking and mountaineering expeditions. Visit our website at www.pamirhighwayadventure.com.
META will now focus upon:
- developing community-based tourism;
- raising levels of understanding of ecotourism among communities, tourists and governmental stakeholders;
- helping to improve biodiversity conservation;
- promoting our traditional cultures.
* Pamir Trek – I got a recent goodish review of this agency. They are the main contact for horse trekking in the Pamirs. Apparently they cover only Murghab area.
* Pamir Guides (guide is Saidali Gaidudaev). They can do pick ups from Dushanbe and provide jeeps. A subcontractor of Pamir Trek.
*META (Murghab Ecotourism Association) – Can arrange various activities in the Pamirs, provide homestays and run Pamir Highway Jeep tours from Dushanbe to Osh (Kyrgyzstan).
Tajikintourservice – Visa support, guides, bookings. Based in Dushanbe and well established.
*Advantour – although these guys don’t seem to include the Pamirs and based outside Taj. They do have a rather good list of destinations that gives a good idea of what is in the area.
*Goulya’s Outdoor Adventures – also runs an outdoor hiking club, based in Marian’s Guesthouse, Dushanbe.
*Pamir Adventure – provides impressive options for expeditions, hikes and tours. A well experienced agency.
SAYOH – State Utility Tourist Enterprise – unfortunately quite a lot of the website is in Russian
*Pamir Travel Company – website looks like it needs a bit of updating!
These range from the reasonable to the most expensive tours going. This website will actually provide guidance on how to do every single one of these tours independently at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately most of the western tour companies haven’t cottoned on yet – or at least haven’t updated their websites to take into account the now much cheaper Air Baltic flights to Dushanbe. Turkish Air flights are less competitive and involve the change in Istanbul . All agencies linked to have English websites.
*MIR Corporation (US Based) – a well established tour operator for tours in Central Asia.
*Audley Travel – They offer a few different tours for Tajikistan.
Wakhan Tours from Tajikistan
Firstly, it is my understanding that all these western tours are actually operating the tours in Afghan by working in partnership with Mountain Unity. If you are interested in sorting out your own, very much cheaper trip to the Wakhan please have a look at the Wakhan page. It is not so difficult. Due to the visa timeframes it is likely that the tours below have similar itineraries.
*Wild Frontiers – UK based. Currently running the first and most publicized trip to the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan, there is some BBC footage knocking about. This company also run tours around Tajikistan.
*Geographic Expeditions – US Based. Advertises that they run trips to the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan via the Tajik Iskashim crossing. I’ve inquired as to whether they have ever run the trip before as not heard of them in the Wakhan but no feedback. This itinerary does not focus much on exploring Tajikistan.
Wakhan Tours from Afghanistan
*Great Game Travel Afghanistan – (based in Kabul) run trips to the Wakhan Corridor completely independent of any other tour operator. They are staffed with drivers, translators, guides, cooks, etc and have all the needed gear for multi-week treks. Great Game procure their own permits for entry into the Wakhan and for other tours and they also have contacts with the local community for lodging when not using tents.