When is the best time to plan your visit to Afghanistan?
The best time to visit Afghanistan is from March to May and from September to November. During autumn and spring, the temperature is most pleasant. Afghanistan has several climate zones, where it is usually hot in the summer months and very cold in the winter months. In general, the cities have a milder climate than in the rest of the country.
Do I need insurance for my trip to Afghanistan?
Everyone must take out travel and health insurance before leaving for Afghanistan. Whether Afghanistan is covered by your policy differs per insurance policy. In most cases this will not be a problem. If not, we recommend that you check with one of the following international insurance companies: Global Underwriters or IATI Travel Insurance. They have different packages and you can put together exactly what works best for you.
Do I need a visa for Afghanistan?
Yes. You must apply for the visa for Afghanistan yourself at the nearest embassy. Make sure you start on time, because it takes at least one working week to obtain. You need an LOI to apply for the visa, we will send it to you.
What is the time zone in Afghanistan?
Afghanistan uses the time zone UCT +4.5.
Afghanistan has no difference between summer and winter time.
How can I pay and how much will I spend in Afghanistan?
In Afghanistan they pay with the Afghani. It is best to pay with cash in Afghanistan. There are atm machines, but they are not very reliable. So make sure you have cash with you for the entire trip.
It is best to exchange money with the guide, he knows where the good exchange offices are and can help you with a good exchange rate. You can exchange Euros, Dollars and Pounds. For the most recent exchange rate, visit www.xchange.com.
Of course it mainly depends on yourself how much you actually spend, but as a guideline we advise approx. € 20 to € 30 per day. You should be able to make it with that amount. If you would like to buy souvenirs, you better bring something extra. Local, traditional hats can cost up to € 45, handmade ceramics are usually between € 20 and € 30. In addition, you may want to buy a burqa (€ 15) or a nice carpet (in every price range). Soda is generally under € 1. A meal usually costs around € 5. Tipping local guides is always encouraged. They don’t earn much in this part of the world and it often makes a big difference to them. Of course this is according to your own preference.
Do I have to arrange my international flight to Afghanistan myself?
We are always available to advise you when booking a flight. However, most customers prefer to book the flight themselves. Often this is cheaper in terms of price and you can pick your own preferences.
What is the voltage and which plug should I use in Afghanistan?
The complete electricity supply in Afghanistan is 220 Volt / 50 Hz with European plugs. Afghanistan therefore uses the same plugs and sockets as in Western Europe. However, you may occasionally need adapter plugs, so we recommend to bring a universal plug. There is also regular power outages, so make sure to charge everything as soon as there is power in your hotel.
Is there internet access and can I make calls in Afghanistan?
Internet is available at most hotels (if it works). However, don’t expect a fast and stable connection. There is generally mobile coverage everywhere in Afghanistan. You can also choose to take a local SIM card. Your guide can help you with this.
What are the local customs in Afghanistan?
Since Afghanistan is a strict Islamic country, we must respect different local rules and customs towards the local people.
A few rules to keep in mind:
– Always wear local clothes when we go outside.
– Always take off your shoes when entering a mosque or house. Never show your shoe sole when you sit down.
– Don’t walk in front of someone who is praying.
– As a man you cannot start a conversation / contact a woman.
– It is forbidden to bring alcohol to Afghanistan.
Is it safe in Afghanistan?
Travel to Afghanistan is of course different from most other trips. We aim to give everyone the best possible tour experience, however the local guide always has the last word regarding changes in the tour schedule.
The areas in Afghanistan that we visit are places where we feel comfortable and where we feel are safe to bring people. If the situation changes, we will also respond immediately. We therefore ask for a certain flexibility from our travellers.
Some of the measures we take on our travels are;
– We wear local clothing so that we don’t stand out among the Afghans. It is also out of respect for the local culture. Women must wear a headscarf.
– We do not discuss the itinerary or the name of the hotel with anyone. Although it will of course only be out of curiosity that someone asks, we do not share this information with others, purely as a precaution.
– If we have a long day ahead, we must start on time. If we have a car breakdown, we don’t want to get stranded after dark.
– Always listen to and watch your local guide. The guide has a lot of experience in Afghanistan and knows when something is not right (or starts to change). He sees and hears much more than we do and everyone should always listen to him.
– We advise everyone to register with your local embassy. If you have problems on the spot, it is much easier to get in touch with the embassy on site.
Can I take pictures in Afghanistan?
In general, you can take photos freely. However, there are a few points to keep in mind.
– Always ask permission before taking a photo of a person. Don’t take pictures of women or praying people.
– You may also not take photos of soldiers, military installations, police officers or government buildings.
Food and drinks in Afghanistan
Afghan cuisine is a rich cuisine. Most dishes are based on garlic and onion. In addition, ginger, tomato sauce, turmeric and dried fruits are often used.
A typical Afghan meal consists of a large amount of rice ( pulao ) with a lot of meat (lamb, chicken or goat) and vegetables (qorma). The rice consists of a mix of nuts, raisins and carrot. Some well-known dishes are mantu (kind of ravioli), tandoori , shorwa (soup) and kebab.
Afghanistan is not an easy country for vegetarians, however there are vegetarian options and the guide will certainly help you. Alcohol is prohibited in Afghanistan.
What should I wear in Afghanistan?
Afghanistan is a strict Islamic country. It is therefore very important to respect local customs and rules. Women should wear loose-fitting long-sleeved clothing and a headscarf. Men should wear long trousers. We also recommend that you bring warm clothes for the evening. It can sometimes be chilly. In most hotels in the big cities you will be able to do laundry if there is time.
Health and hygiene
Afghanistan is a developing country with a very turbulent recent history. Healthcare is therefore very limited. Healthcare is therefore very limited. Also in terms of hygiene, the standard is much lower than in the Western world. Make sure you have enough disinfection gel, sunscreen and insect repellent.
We advise you always to the last (health) risk programs for the region where you’re going to visit. Check with your own government for the latest info about your destination.