Tajikistan is a country that could have been made for off-road driving. Though the main transport arteries are reasonable, getting beyond the larger cities requires determination, advanced driving skills, and nerves of steel. The extraordinary vistas and the incredible experiences that await you beyond the roads and tracks more than compensate for any discomfort.
With a Paramount Journey jeep tour you can cover great deal of ground, chauffeured by an experienced and knowledgeable driver. The pressures of navigation, road etiquette, fatigue and vehicle repairs are taken from your shoulders, so you can settle in and enjoy the ride. You will travel by 4WD jeep or multi-van, depending on the size of the group, and as you cruise along the Pamir Highway (also known as the M41), steep ravines and crystalline, glacier-fed rivers to your side, it is exhilarating to know you’re on the Silk Road, one of the oldest and most famous international roadways in the world.
Tajikistan is expansive, and whether you’re looking up at the sky and the mountain peaks, or at the rivers, everything seems to be on a larger scale than you’d usually expect. This land is the gateway to the Himalayas, an intercontinental crossroads of people and trade, and just as the tectonic plates have thrust up the mountains where they meet, so too has the meeting of peoples and cultures created unforgettable sights. Overlanding by jeep you will have the opportunity to stay with local families along the way, including in their traditional Pamiri houses and in the yurts of the nomadic Kyrgyz. They will welcome you into their homes with open arms, feed you amply with delicious Tajik food, and remind you constantly that in Tajikistan, a guest is king.
Perhaps the most popular of all the jeep routes in Tajikistan is the Pamir Highway M41, equally be loved of cyclists (at least on the downhill stretches). Two branches of the road snake south and east from Dushanbe, one considerably more developed than the other, before meeting again at Darvaz, where lively riverside cafes hang out across the water. For much of the journey, the road hugs the Panj – the mighty River Oxus of antiquity – and Afghanistan is just a stone’s throw away, yet always out of reach. Your fellow road users – the Chinese truck drivers bringing in imported goods, and shepherds on foot driving their flocks of sheep and goats – reveal two very different sides of modern Tajikistan that nevertheless exist in parallel.
Highlights of the road, which demands ten days of your time to see it in full, include the cosmopolitan town of Khorog with its suspension bridges, Afghan market, botanical garden and parks; ruby mines and naturally hot spring baths; groves of fruit trees amidst a patchwork of irrigated fields; and the stark and isolated, yet unforgettably beautiful, Murghab Plateau, where only nomads roam. The Pamir Highway grants visitors access to the Tajkistan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the wildlife and ancient archaeological remains of the Wakhan Corridor, and ultimately to neighbouring Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. In a single day you can wind your way through high-altitude deserts, empty plains, and lush green meadows, frequently scattered with wildflowers. Rare birds of prey circle high above the road, and now and then a marmot, mountain fox or deer strays into view.
Reach out to Paramount Journey today to plan your jeep tour in Tajikistan.