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PARTNERS:

Off - Road adventure to Bartang Valley

Day 1: Dushanbe – Khoburubot – Kalai Khum (290 km, 8 hours)

In the morning we will drive to Kalai Khum village via mountain road. You will drive over high Khoburubot Pass (3 252) known as Western Pamir Tract. The road goes through the most picturesque river valley and amazing gorges in the terrain, where one can stop for rest and shoot photos of the mountain and rivers. On the way you will see small villages and meet local people. Tajiks are by nature hard working, hospitable, and kind-hearted. This nation greatly respects its traditions and folklore. This trip is attractive for the lovers of exotics, those curious about the ethnic and cultural diversity and captivated by the beauty of wild nature. Dinner will be in a local restaurant. This night you will spend in a home stay to see the way of local people’s life.

Day 2: Kalai Khum – Khorog (240 km, 7 hours)

In the morning we will drive to Khrorog. It is perhaps one of the tiniest cities on the map of the world. It is surrounded by rocky mountains from all four sides. The town was built on the confluence of the 3 rivers where Shokhdara river and Ghund river flow into Pyanj river. On the way to Khorog you will meet Pamir people. A number of anthropological features set the Pamir people apart from the Tajik people. Among the Pamiris, there is a high percentage of people with blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes. Pamirs Mountains are the highest mountains in the world with human population after the Himalayas in Tibet. Life in the mountains made traditions of local people different from Tajik people. Dinner is in a restaurant. Night is in a guesthouse.

Day 3: Khorog – Yamg (220 km, 6 hours)

Today we will drive along Tajik-Afgan border to Yamg village. Situated in in the heart of Asia, the Pamirs are a corner of sky-scraping, snow-capped, majestic mountains, transparent clear blue waters of lakes and rivers, wide valleys and bone-dry deserts. For hundreds of years, people have called these highest mountains of the world as “the Roof of the World”. Today you will understand why. The land of Pamirs is located at elevations from 3 500 to 4 200 meters above sea level. Pamirs is perhaps one the few areas in Central Asia where ancient ethnic and cultural peculiarities of the Pamir people exist. Over the years, communities were isolated from each other by impassable mountain ranges, and developed into separate enclaves with different dialects and sometimes distinct or different languages. Dinner and night is in a home stay.

Day 4: Yamg – Yashil Kul Lake – Bulunkul Lake (170 km, 6 hours)

The most beautiful lakes of the Pamirs are Yashil Kul and Bulunkul (Blue lakes), stretched on the altitude of 3 700 meters above sea level, are situated in the Murghab district. Today we will spend a night near them. The color of water in Bulunkul is a subtle inter-play of violet and dark-blue in the sunlight. Species of fish like are found in abundance in the lake. There is the opportunity to see yaks, a unique species of domestic animals, sharing features of cow and sheep, traditionally used as a beast of burden apart from giving milk and meat products. On the way to the lake you will drive over Khargush pass (4 344 m). Dinner and night is in a home stay.

Day 5: Bulunkul – Keng Shiber – Qarajulgha (170 km)

In the morning we will drive to Qarajulgha via Keng Shiber. We drive over mountain passes, gravel and rivers. The road lies over mountains and passes on the elevations of more than 4 000 meters above sea level. The almost inaccessible landscape and the rocky mountains of this corner of the world have given safe haven to a unique diversity of wildlife. Amongst the most common species of wild mammals are Turkestan rat, tiger-cat, grizzly bear, badger, stoat, fox, grey and red wolves. Pamirs provides a large and thriving population of Marco Polo sheep, the largest sheep in the world, with all year round and a strong population of the highly endangered snow leopard. Overnight is in Kyrgyz yurt stay.

Day 6: Qarajulgha – Shaymok (200 km)

In the morning we will drive to the lake to see birds. Zorkul is a lake in the Pamir Mountains that runs along the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It extends east to west for about 25 km. The lake's northern half lies in Tajikistan where it is protected as part of the Zorkul Nature Reserve. Out of the lake, towards the west, flows the Pamir River, tracing the Afghan-Tajik border. It is therefore a source of the Amu Darya or Oxus River. After sightseeing we will drive to Shaymoq where we will spend the night. Overnight is in home stay.

Day 7: Shaymok – Murghab (150 km)

They say in the Pamir: “to arrive here and do not see Murgab is like not visiting the Pamirs at all”. After all, by the Roof of the World, we mean Murgab. In the morning we will drive to this town. At the flat landscape of desolate Murgab there are dozens of peaks with absolute altitude over 6 000 meters above sea level. Often the landscape of Murghab is compared to the surface of the Moon by visitors, viewing the scene with outsiders’ eyes. Indeed, this comparison speaks to the unrepeatable experience of being in Murghab and the uniqueness of the place. The desolate and high-altitude climate of Murghab is almost Arctic. Dry air, short and cool summers and almost snowless, severe, freezing winters characterizes the weather. Dinner and night is in a guesthouse.

Day 8: Murgab – Karakul Lake (160 km, 4 hours)

Right on the highway of the Pamir Tract is situated the light-blue lake of Karakul (3, 815 m), the name of which can be translated as “The Black Lake”. On the way to the lake you will drive over the highest Ak Baital pass (4 655 m). Karakul is the highest large mountain lake of the world, excluding those in Tibet and Titicaca. The lake is situated in a meteorite crater and surrounded by swampy and wet meadows and bogs with a rich flora and fauna and several endemic species. Flooding, melting permafrost and buried ice sheets shape the landscape with small hillocks and a large variety of small creeks and water courses between 3 500 and 4 000 m. The rich plant cover is grazed by wild and domestic ungulates. Dinner and night is in a home stay.

Day 9: Karakol – Sawnob (170 km, 6 hours)

Today you will drive to Bartang valley. In 2014 the Bartang valley was included in Global Top 100 Sustainable destinations. It is one of the wildest and most memorable valleys in the western Pamirs. The road goes over Kok Jar pass (4000 m) to Sawnob village. You will drive along Tanimas river to Upper Bartang. The river comes from the Tanimas glacier and flows into the Bartang river. Bartang is therefore the No. 1 destination for those who wish to observe millennium-old manual agricultural techniques or rituals, which have already been forgotten for generations in other parts of the Pamirs. On the other hand they are fascinated in the face of the age-old traditions that are still alive in this particularly remote region. Overnight is in home stay.

Day 10: Sawnob – Sponj (158 km, 6 hours)

Today you will continue drive along Bartang region. In the morning you will drive to Rowshorv village (3300 m) situated on the button of Lab Nazar peak (5990 m).  You will meet the really Bartang people who are still keeping still their traditions for many years. This area  consist of scenic forests, gravel roads, rocks, glaciers etc. You will drive from the Upper Bartang to Down Bartang along the river. The Bartang River flows into the Panj River which devise the border between Tajikstan and Afghanistan.  Already in the 1930ies the Russian explorer Pavel Luknizki had stated: „The one who has not been in Bartang valley has not been in the Pamirs at all”. Even the Pamiri themselves consider the Bartang valley as the maybe most prototypical region of their homeland. Night is in home stay.

Day 11: Sponj – Kalai Khum (230 km, 7 hours)

This area consists of high rocky mountains over 6 000 meters and only 1 road was possible to be built. Passing though the Pamirs, the tourists have the rare opportunity to not only marvel the beauty of virgin environment, but also know more about the ethnography, history and everyday life of mountain dwellers and with this imagine how the history of humanity evolved as in the story of creation. On the way we will stop in small villages to communicate with local people and to see their life. Human settlements are located on both sides of the river in narrow mountain valleys. On the other side of the river you will see Afgan stony villages and gardens. Night is in a home stay.

Day 12: Kalai Khum – Norak – Dushanbe (370 km, 8 hours)

In the morning we will drive to Dushanbe. Today we will finish drive along Afghanistan border. The highest point of the day is Shuraba pass (2 267 m). This part will amaze you by its unique mountains – it is Territory of Pamir Mountains. Over the centuries, the Pamirs have inspired the world’s greatest explorers – Marco Polo, Hsuan Tsang, Mirza Muhammad Haidar. And now you also have a chance to travel here. You will drive along natural border – Pyanj River. Having visited the Pamirs, many travellers called this giant mountain system the ocean of white and blue mountains. You will see Norak water reservoir that is called Tajik Sea. Night is in a hotel.

Day 13: Dushanbe – Airport

In the morning is transfer to airport