8-Days Nomadic Life On The Great Silk Road

8-Days Nomadic Life On The Great Silk Road

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2806
8-Days
Availability : From June - September 2018
Osh Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan Dushanbe
Min Age : 12
Max People : 6

TOUR DOSSIER:

The Pamir Highway is undoubtedly one of the world’s most stunning roads and yet few Westerners have ever travelled its length, lying as it does in a rarely visited and remote part of Central Asia. It begins, as does our land journey, in the ancient city of Osh, at the head of the fertile Fergana Valley and then winds its way slowly southwards towards the mighty Pamir range, which form part of the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Following this road for the most part, we will visit to the shadow of the epic Peak Lenin (7134m) before heading up into the High Pamir, from where we will head due south through Murgab.

Trekking to Zor kul lakes, you can see the majestic northern wall of Afghanistan Hindikush and fantastic Kok jigit Lake en-rout. Along the western half of the Zor kul Lake runs Afghan – Tajik border. The lake’s eastern half lied in Tajiksitan. In 1842, Lieutenant Woods of the British India Navy Explored the Pyanj and Pamir rivers as far as the latter’s source in Zor kul. Zor kul itself is 20 km long – the road runs along its northern shore.

Wildlife observation will be undertaken during the trek. The famous and endangered Marco Polo sheep (ovis ammon poli) world’s largest-horned argali sheep, Snow leopard endangered and fully protected species, ibexes, marmot and Brown bear, fox, hare are not full list of representatives of wild life of the area. From birds one can find the mountain goose (ular) pigeons, eagles, vulture, and etc.

We continue down alongside the Afghan border on the Wakhan Corridor, before swinging north through Khorog to Dushanbe. There will be ample time to explore on foot and meet many of the diverse people who call these harsh lands their home.


Program Itinerary:

Day 1 Meeting at the hotel in Osh. (420km 7/8hours  3670mh)

Today we will start our trip to Murghab via Karakul. Our first step the High Pamir, we depart the high mountains of the Pamir-Alay range, leaving behind us the cross roads of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. En route we will cross the Taldyk Pass (3554m) and enjoy some beautiful views. This drive will see us enjoying some of the most dramatic scenery of the trip, with the lunar-like landscapes and bright blue lakes providing plenty of opportunities to take our breath away. Kara kul means “black lake” but in spring, summer and autumn the water are almost always turquoise blue. Karakul lake spread its waters in Markansu valley – one of the most driest place in Central Asia. Surrounded by high mountains which block humid air masses the valley has less than 30 mm of precipitation a year which is 3 times less than in Karakoram desert. Fluctuation of temperatures is a usual thing for desserts and in Karakul lake they are just incredible. Tonight you will sleep on Asian style bedding on the mattresses and blankets on the floor in a few rooms of a Pamiri House with shared bathroom facilities

We will again cross a high-altitude pass Ak-Baital Pass (4655 meters) which is the highest section of road in the former Soviet Union. This is the Pamir Highway we have anticipated, with the route between Osh to Khorog completed in 1931 across a Tibetan-plateau style high altitude terrain. With a total of 240kms to cover today, we anticipate arriving in Murghab early evening. Arrival Murghab, Murghab (3670 m) itself has few attractions, but it will serve as our base for a couple of nights as we explore the area a little. The 7546 m – high Chinese peak of Mustag Ata is visible to the northeast of town. The Eastern Pamirs have been populated by nomadic ethnic Kyrgyz since the 17th century.

Overnight at Home stay Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)


Day 2 Murghab to via Keng Shiber Kara Jylga (186km 5/6h 3980mh)

This morning we will drive thru Pamir Highway we have anticipated, with the route between Khorog and Osh completed in 1931 across a Tibetan-plateau style high altitude terrain. This region is inhabited by nomadic Kyrgyz herders. Drive to Keng Shiber visit Rock paintings dated 8000 years BC in Shakhty,

Arrival to Keng Shiber. During summer nomads set up temporary yurts around the lake llowing their animals to graze on the lush vegetation. In the autumn they cut the grass for winter forage. The inhabitants have rarely seen Europeans and are friendly and hospitable. 

After lunch an excellent and adventures trip to Kara jylga herders summer pasture.  Secondary road leads to the Little Pamir and the Afghan frontier(actually the no man – mans land border area) at Kara jylga pasture, where herds of cattle and yak graze in short summer months (from June to September). Most of the scenery en rout resembles a moonscape and was once on the bottom of the ocean.  

Overnight at Nomadic Yurt stay Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)


Day 3 Kara jylga trekking to Kok jigit and Zor kul Lake,

Trekking to Zor kul lakes, you can see the majestic northern wall of Afghanistan Hindikush and fantastic Kok jigit Lake en-rout. Along the western half of the Zor kul Lake runs Afghan – Tajik border. The lake’s eastern half lied in Tajiksitan. In 1842, Lieutenant Woods of the British India Navy Explored the Pyanj and Pamir rivers as far as the latter’s source in Zor kul.  Zor kul itself is 20 km long – the road runs along its northern shore.

Wildlife observation will be undertaken during the trek. The famous and endangered Marco Polo sheep (ovis ammon poli) world’s largest-horned argali sheep, Snow leopard endangered and fully protected species, ibexes, marmot and Brown bear, fox, hare are not full list of representatives of wild life of the area. From birds one can find the mountain goose (ular) pigeons, eagles, vulture, and etc. Picnic lunch will be on the way to the pass.  

Good eyes and a sporting scope or more powerful binoculars are essential tools and a field guide for wildlife viewing.

Overnight at Nomadic Yurt stay Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Picnic and Dinner)


Day 4 Kok Jigit – Langar (258km 7/8h 2817mh)

Drive to Langar visit Yashil kul (Green Lake) and Bulung kul en rout. On this journey we drive the lush valleys of the Wakhan Valley and enter a landscape that is rocky, mostly barren but nevertheless dramatic.

Cross over Khargush Pass (4344 m) and continue the road and we enter the Wakhan, there are amazing views of the Pamirs to the right and the Hindu Kush to the left. 

Overnight at Home stay Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Picnic and Dinner)


Day 5 – Langar to Ishkashim (110 km, 6/7 hours altitude 2665 mh)

Driving along  wakhan valley and visit detour to the nearby village of Namadguti to visit the Khahkha Fortress. This impressive structure rises from a naturally formed platform of rock and dates back to the Kushan era of the 3rd Century. number of stops will be made throughout the day. Drive to Vrang a stroll through the village will bring you to a number of caves dug by Buddhists who inhabited the area at one time. In addition there the remains of a number of fire – worshipping platforms and Buddha stuper. At Yamg, visit a quirky museum of Sufi Muborak-Kadam, a local Sufi scholar. After short driving you will be to see the Kakhka kala Fortress which dates from the 3rd C. Yamchun fortress or Zulkumor Fort is located on ridge overlooking the valley and river below. Further up the hillside there are the hot springs at Bibi Fatima. The water at Bibi Fatima is crystal clear. It is possible to take a natural stream bath in a rocky cave.  

Your next stop will be at the Abrashim Fortress.  It was built to guard this branch of the Silk Road from Chinese and Afghan Invaders. Afternoon you will arrive to Ishkashim the center of Wakhan valley, which stands at the mouth of wakhan River valley. This is where the 19th C Great Game ended; When Britan and Russian signed a treaty adding a strip of the Wakhan valley to Afghanistan to create a neutral buffer zone between their two empires. As you enter the Wakhan, there are amazing views of the Pamirs to the right and the Hindu Kush to the left.

Driving along wakhan valley and visit detour to the nearby village of Namadguti to visit the Khahkha Fortress. This impressive structure rises from a naturally formed platform of rock and dates back to the Kushan era of the 3rd Century.

Overnight in Guest House Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)


Day 6 – Ishkashim to Khorog (130 km, 6/7 hours altitude 2780 mh)

After breakfast we will drive via Wakhan valley to Khorog, along the road to our next stop at Garmchasma hot springs for an (optional) dip in the waters.  After exploring or taking a shower we will have a lunch than transfer to Khorog.  Khorog The capital of Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast, Khorog is a small town that at various times has been under the control of the Russia, the Emirate of Bukhara and Afghanistan. The Russians built a fort here in the Soviet era, with Khorog being in a highly strategic location on the border with Afghanistan, but today it languishes and is one of the least developed parts of the country, with the Aga Khan Foundation contributing to the bulk of the local economy. It holds the distinction of being home the second highest botanical garden in the world, at 3900m.

Overnight in Hotel Lal In. Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)

Khorog town

The capital of Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast, Khorog is a small town that at various times has been under the control of the Russia, the Emirate of Bukhara and Afghanistan. The Russians built a fort here in the Soviet era, with Khorog being in a highly strategic location on the border with Afghanistan, but today it languishes and is one of the least developed parts of the country, with the Aga Khan Foundation contributing to the bulk of the local economy. It holds the distinction of being home the second highest botanical garden in the world, at 3900m. 


Day 7 – Khorog to Kalaikhumb ( 260 km, 7/8 hours altitude 1345 mh.)

Today we set off in Kalaikhumb, driving through beautiful scenery and interesting villages en route.This area is a little more conservative, and we see many men with beards, and women wearing traditional dress. The road joins the river Pianj, which in turn forms the border with Afghanistan. The contrast across the river valley is telling, Tajikistan is undoubtedly a poor country, but in general the roads are sealed and buildings are connected with electricity. The situation barely 100m away is even starker, and it is as if the river represents not just a physical divide, but also a step back in time.

Overnight in Guest House. Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner)


Day 8 – Kalaikhumb to Dushanbe, (360 km, 6/7 hours)

After breakfast drive to Dushanbe the capital of Tajikistan. We will cross the Shurabad Pass (2200m high) On the road we will visit to the ancient fortress Hulbuk dated by VIII century recently restored under the decree of the president. The local guide will talk interesting stories about the life in the fortress, shows outlines of the bases of rooms, halls and harems of the local governor’s palace. In front of the fortress there is a big square where concerts are held on the occasion of holidays and visits of distinguished guests. Guide in Khulbuk fortress Across the road from the fortress yiu can see the museum of local lore where, to speak frankly, because of restoration we will be show only one big banner on the wall. It was a map of all historical places and sights of Tajikistan.

Overnight at the hotel “Vatan or similar”. Meals: (1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and Dinner)

Dushanbe city

Dushanbe is a relatively modern town that rose to prominence during the Soviet era, when it was made the capital of the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and named Stalinabad. Its name means ‘Monday in the Tajik language, arising from the fact that this was the day that the market was held when Dushanbe was still a small and fairly insignificant village. The ousted Emir of Bukhara, fleeing from the Bolsheviks, stayed in Dushanbe and cooperated with Enver Pasha’s Basmachis until he had to leave the region. From Dushanbe, he fled to Afghanistan in 1921, the year the town was freed from the Basmachis as well.эEnd of service 

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SEE ROUTE MAP OF TOUR

 

 

 

 

 


Included 
  • All accommodation on twin share basis (Guest houses 2,home stays 3, yurt stays 2)
  • Meals as listed (7 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 7 Dinners)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
  • All transfers according the program by 4WD jeep Land Cruiser Toyota or Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD AC with basic English speaking driver (price includes driver’s per diem, road and parking fees, all necessary permissions fuel and taxes;)
  • 1/2L water per person day

 

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas and GBAO permit
  • Alcohol Drinks
  • _ PS Important – early arrival is not included
  •  Some sightseeing places and excavations might be closed / not possible to visit due to local changes, reconstruction, roads condition, and security reasons. We do not guarantee all advised places will be covered, but we will try to do our best to cover them
  • Pricing is confidential & non commissionable