Tajikistan (July 29 - August 14, 2017): Southern Valleys of Gorno-Badakhshan


[This banner is a slice across a traditional Tajik woman cloth pattern.]

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For previous trips to Tajikistan, see 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2010.


During this trip I visited valleys of the southern part of the province of Gorno-Badakhshan (often referred to as GBAO) in Tajikistan: Rivak and Badomdara/Restovdara valleys (on foot) and Shakhdara and Panj valleys (by car). I had planned two rather hard treks in this southern part of the Pamir mountains, but I eventually cut both of them short (see links below). Like in my 2009 and 2010 trips I found the Pamir mountains more physically demanding and unforgiving than expected. Perhaps, I am also getting too old for them. Nevertheless, despite some disappointments, this was a superb trip, with a bigger-than-planned cultural component in the Shakhdara and Panj valleys (old fortresses and shrines with pre-Islamic flavor).


[Here Tajikistan and Afghanistan are separated by the Panj river and on the east the Pamir river.]


On this trip I was helped by Jumash, Almaz, Nozimbo, and Muboriz (see photos below). Jumash served as my guide and interpreter during the entire trip. Almaz joined us on both the Rivak and the Badomdara/Restovdara treks. Nozimbo and Muboriz only participated in the Rivak trek. Both Jumash and Almaz are Kyrgyz from Murghab (though Almaz now lives in Osh, Kyrgyzstan), whereas Nozimbo and Muboriz (two brothers) are Pamiris from Khorog. All four were wonderful English-speaking companions, who did their best to make this trip as successful as possible. Note that Nozimbo and Muboriz can arrange day hikes around Khorog (contact: muboriz.muborakshoev@gmail.com).


[From left to right: Almaz, Jumash, Nozimbo, and Muboriz.]


The logistics for this trek (transportation, support team, hotels/homestays...) was arranged by Kudaibergen Mamadiev of Pamir CENTRAL ASIA, with the assistance of Boris Karpov, my friend in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) who had arranged all my previous trips in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Kudaibergen was very flexible in accommodating changes from the original travel plan. A key component of the trip, transportation, was quite expensive but flawless.


To see photos of the various parts of this trip click on the links below. (For 2009 photos along the Panj river north of Khorog click here.)



Trek in Rivak valley

Trek in Badomdara and Rostovdara valleys









Shakhdara valley east of Shavoz village

Panj valley between Khorog and Ishkashim

Wakhan valley (Panj valley east of Ishkashim)









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