On a remote strip of land in Afghanistan lies the Wakhan Corridor. It was created in the 1800’s by the British and Russian empires so their nations would not share a border. Today one of the most remote and least visited nomadic tribes, The Kyrgyz or the Afgan Pamir, call this remote place home.
A company, Untamed Borders, is offering a 22 day journey through the wilderness to visit the Wakhan Corridor.
On the journey you will have to transverse some rough terrain.
Moritz Steinhilber has trekked into this area four times and is the lead guide on this expedition, departing in September 2015. Steinhilber is one of the most experienced guides in the greater Himalaya area where he has trekked to K2 base camp 12 times.
Steinhilber says, ” Frequently people know nothing at all about Afghanistan beyond the Kalashnikov/Burqa stereotype. As you may know, Afghanistan is a melting pot of different religious and ethnic groups.”
The Wakhan region is inhabited by the Wakhi people. The Wakhan corridor is in a very remote part of Afghanistan, so the Sunni extremists ignore this part of the country, making it much safer for western tourists. Even when the Taliban controlled the government, this area was independent
.The Wakhan people live in nomadic farming villages.
The Wakhan people live in small huts called yurts. These yurts are usually round in shape with a dome roof — made from skins or felt. Across the landscape, ancient crude tombs are present.
“The scenery, mountains or plateaus, have a Central Asian look and feel. The region is beyond the reach of the monsoon that waters the southern side of the Himalayan range in Nepal and much of India and Pakistan. As such they are to a large extent devoid of vegetation and dry. High mountains are of course perennially glaciated. At the end towards Chaqmaqtin lake the valley opens up and is named the little Pamir, the word standing here for “grazing place”, so a huge high altitude plateau,” Steinhilber describes.
” The trip is an amazing experience into one the world’s more remote and difficult to reach areas. It is a tough, rough trip. In Afghanistan you will be staying in communal rooms or camping. The food will be basic and will consist of whatever we can take with us from Ishkishim” says Kausar Hussein, co-founder of Untamed Borders.
One of the most isolated places in the world.
Setting up camp
Living at the base of towering mountains with no electricity, running water or wi-fi will give you a sense of how these people have lived for hundreds of years.