Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

All about Afghanistan
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by OWNER »

Dear Hesam,
Thanks for answers! Tell me please:
1. How much did a visa to Afghanistan cost for one person?
2. How much did the entry permit for the car cost?
3. Where did you get an entry permit for your car - at the border or at the consulate?
4. You traveled through Afghanistan twice - there and back. Was this the same route?
5. Is it possible to pay for gasoline with a Visa card throughout the country or only in cities?
6. Where did you stay for the night? Have they always been hotels? Have you stopped overnight in a rural area right on the road? Are these overnight stays safe?
Sorry for the many questions, but I’m interested in all the details - I have an idea to go to Afghanistan from Kazakhstan in my car. By the way, how safe can a trip to Afghanistan be for a Russian Christian?
Thank you!
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h.ahmadybirgani
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by h.ahmadybirgani »

Dear Owner,

Hope you are well.

1- Afghan visa costs $100 in normal process (2-3 days) and $150 (1 day), is issued in Tehran and Mashhad cities.
2- Car permit (Roadpass) costs $100 for single entry, and is JUST issued in Mashahd city (1-2 days).
3- All visas and car permits are issued in the consulate and embassy of Afghanistan, nor at borders.
4- I passed through Afghanistan to Tajikistan via Taybad in NE Iran, Herat, Kandahar, Ghazni, Kabul, Kunduz, Shirkhan Bandar, and then Tajikistan. But for getting back to Iran, because of the closing of the Saland highway, we chose Kunduz, Pole-Khomri, Mazar sharif, Balkh, Sheberghan, Bala Murghab, Qale-Now, Karokh, Herat, and Iran again. The road from Ghurmach to Karokh was super awful and unbelievably difficult to pass for us. Some parts of the roads are into the silty-clay lakebeds and rivers without distinguishable signs and routes, so we missed the road plus getting stuck in the silty-sand beds several times. 
5- In Afghanistan, ATM Cards do not work! indeed there is no bank card in Afghanistan to pay for. everything is paid in cash, even into the large cities of Afghanistan. So, you MUST have Afghan money in your pocket!
6- In Afghanistan, the people and rural and local people are super kind and would like to help you. We spent some nights with locals and some in hotels and hostels. Even the Taliban was so kind and positive to us. They also helped us very much. Do not worry.
7- do not worry at all. I did this trip with my family (my wife, my daughter (10 years old) and my son (5 years old)) with my 2*2 old-small car. As a Shia Muslim, everybody was so worried and my family and parents were crying all the time. They think we will be killed by the Taliban, or we will be hostage to the Taliban troops!! But we did it without any problems with memorable things.

Kind Regards.

Hesam/ 
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by OWNER »

Dear Hesam!
You give such precise and detailed answers that I want to ask you more and more. Please excuse the annoying interlocutor and tell me))
1. Where did you change your currency to Afghan money? In Iran? In Afghanistan? How easy will it be to exchange US dollars for Afghanis? Are there exchange offices at the border or just in the city? For me, the first city will be Kunduz.
2. You received a car permit in Mashhad. Perhaps you know whether the price of such a permit depends on the type of car? You said it cost US$100 for your car. I inquired at the Afghan consulate in Almaty, and for me the price turned out to be 200 US dollars. But I have a MITSUBISHI PAJERO. Maybe because of this it is twice as expensive?
3. At the Consulate they told me that in the first city (Kunduz) I would have to get some kind of permit indicating my route and then show this permit to the police. Have you received such permission?
4. You were traveling to Tajikistan through Afghanistan along the southern route. You were returning back to Iran along the northern route. Why didn't you go from Herat to Kabul through the center of the country (look at the first picture, it's a bright blue line)?
афганистан 2024-1.jpg
афганистан 2024-1.jpg (186.75 KiB) Viewed 1255 times
Were these some personal reasons or is the road in the center of the country really bad? I'm going to drive through the center and north of the country (look at the second picture).
афганистан 2024-2.jpg
афганистан 2024-2.jpg (216.97 KiB) Viewed 1255 times
More details of my route on the Google map https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit? ... sp=sharing
5. How long did it take you to travel along the southern route from Herat to the Tajikistan border via Kandahar and Kabul?
6. How long did it take you to travel along the northern route from the border of Tajikistan to Herat?

Thank you!
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h.ahmadybirgani
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by h.ahmadybirgani »

Dear Owner,

Do not worry if you have any questions. I am happy to share my experience regarding my trip to the Silk Road with everybody.

1- in Afghanistan cities, everywhere you can see the dealers to change your currency. the border between Iran and Afghanistan, on the Afghan side, there are too many dealers sitting in chairs and asking you to change your currency. but in Sherkhan bandar, we could not see them. Shirkhan Bandar is an empty and silent port compared to the Iranian border, which is so busy and crowded. But in Kunduz (61 km from Shirkhan Bandar) there are too many dealers. do not worry at all.

2- Interestingly, the Afghan embassies and consulates are working for the previous state and do not work for the Taliban Government. So, to cover their expenses to manage the consulates, they charge you different and sometimes strange charges, which you need to bargain for. This problem happened to me in Tajikistan and they asked me for $40 for my car, but with bargaining, I reduced it to $25.

3- permission from the police is new and strange for me. it did not happen to us at all. Indeed in Afghanistan there are no traffic police and most of the cars have no car plaque, and there are not any traffic rules at all. Indeed, there is NO connection between consulates, police and Talibans to follow-up. Even in the Shirkhan Bandar, they just registered us by hand on sheets without any PC!!

4- For the center route, as I asked the embassy in Tehran and local people in Herat, the centre road from Herat to Kabul is super awful and even locals do not mention it to pass. Also, some locals told us the road is not as secure as the southern road. So, we preferred the southern route. In Afghanistan there is just one transit route (southern route), which buses and lorries, and cars pass through it. Other routes are bad, full of potholes and are for locals to reach the cities. Also, for Afghanistan, please do not rely on google earth guides, as it shows the shortest and quickest routes, but those are the worst ones. just lorry and bus drivers can tell you what the best is.

5- according to your aim in visiting or not visiting Afghanistan, the number of drivers, your equipment, your travellers, ec, we passed through the southern part in 5 days, and the northern part in 3.5 days.

Cheers.

Hesam/
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by OWNER »

Dear Hesam!

What you wrote about the route through the center of the country sounds very sad. I've outlined three highlights of Afghanistan along this route. The concern is not so much that the road is bad, but that it is not safe there.
I think I understand why you don’t need to get permission indicating your route. This applies only to tourists in Afghanistan, but not to those traveling in transit.
One more question for you. What can you say about the legality of the DVR and radar detector for Afghanistan? My car is equipped with these two devices.

Thank you!
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h.ahmadybirgani
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by h.ahmadybirgani »

Dear Owner,

Indeed I do not know about the legality of DVR in Afghanistan, but according to my experience, most Taliban troops were not familiar with technology and advanced means! Even in most of the places, they stopped us and requested our passports, but they could not read its information and they did not know what to ask and what to do!!

Do not worry!

Hesam/
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by OWNER »

h.ahmadybirgani wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2024 10:21 am
2- Interestingly, the Afghan embassies and consulates are working for the previous state and do not work for the Taliban Government. So, to cover their expenses to manage the consulates, they charge you different and sometimes strange charges, which you need to bargain for. This problem happened to me in Tajikistan and they asked me for $40 for my car, but with bargaining, I reduced it to $25.
I listened to your advice and received the price for a visa + entry permit = 216 dollars, instead of the original 300. ))
I continue to collect information and prepare for the trip.
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yetijetnyak
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by yetijetnyak »

Hi,

I am really happy that I have found this forum. I wish to go to Afghanistan as tourist this year, but it is a bit complicated to find useful information.

I am a Hungarian citizen and I would apply for a tourist VISA at the Afghan embassy in Dubai (UAE). My question is

- does anybody have any information, if this embassy is working and issue valid VISA-s, which will be accepted by the current Afghan government as well? I already contacted them, and they confirmed this, but it is better to gather more information.

- I need to have an invitation letter for the tourist VISA, but I have never been in Afghanistan, so I do not know anybody there, who could help me.

Does anybody have information, how I could get such invitation letter, or who I should turn to? Is there other embassies, where no invitation letter is needed for a tourist VISA?

Really appreciate your thoughts and help, and thank you.
Gergely
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by OWNER »

h.ahmadybirgani wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2024 6:59 pm
Even in most of the places, they stopped us and requested our passports, but they could not read its information and they did not know what to ask and what to do!!
Dear Hesam!
Sorry, but I have questions again. ))
Please tell me what language did you use to communicate in Afghanistan? I know that there are different nationalities and different languages. How did you manage to understand other people? Do you think my literary Russian language will be understood in Afghanistan? Or do I need something simpler, like English? ))))

Thank you!

P.S. I made a topic about my upcoming trip to Afghanistan, I will share information there. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=15479&p=49911#p49911
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liberspirita
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Re: Current travel/safety conditions in Afghanistan

Post by liberspirita »

yetijetnyak wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 8:10 pm
Hi,

I am really happy that I have found this forum. I wish to go to Afghanistan as tourist this year, but it is a bit complicated to find useful information.

I am a Hungarian citizen and I would apply for a tourist VISA at the Afghan embassy in Dubai (UAE). My question is

- does anybody have any information, if this embassy is working and issue valid VISA-s, which will be accepted by the current Afghan government as well? I already contacted them, and they confirmed this, but it is better to gather more information.

- I need to have an invitation letter for the tourist VISA, but I have never been in Afghanistan, so I do not know anybody there, who could help me.

Does anybody have information, how I could get such invitation letter, or who I should turn to? Is there other embassies, where no invitation letter is needed for a tourist VISA?

Really appreciate your thoughts and help, and thank you.
Gergely
I do not think you need invitation letter. I have investigated to cros Afghanistan from both ways Iran to tadjikistan and reverse.
When coming from Iran, apply and get visa in Masshad (Iran)
When coming from Tadjikistan, apply and get visa on border (Sher Khan)
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