Kabul Afghanistan Travel
Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated in recent years, with Daesh leading the growing threat of violence across the country. Although tourism could return to the historic country, almost all areas of Afghanistan remain dangerous, as insurgents continue to threaten fragile democracy. You are unlikely to meet any of your fellow tourists in the country - but even if you do, they are unlikely to cause you much trouble.
Last month, a tour group visiting western Afghanistan's Herat province was attacked by suspected Taliban gunmen, injuring at least six people. Fighting has flared up again in recent weeks, with reports of attacks in Kabul and other cities across the country. This has led tour operators to rethink their security measures, but it will not be easy. The road system is broken, and in some parts of Afghanistan the Taliban control roads, bridges and highways.
A relatively safe way to visit Afghanistan is to cross the so-called Wakhan Corridor, the border between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Travelling from Kabul to Wakhatan Land is not advisable for foreigners, but visitors from Wakhans can return to Tajikistan on their way back to Kabul via the border with Pakistan.
The Afghan population is surprisingly friendly, and apart from the obvious presence of security forces, it is a normal Central Asian country. Travelers are on their own to obtain visas from their respective Afghan embassies, although travelers from Dubai can pick up their Afghan visas from the embassy there. If you can easily travel from Pakistan, you have heard that the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad does not require a LOI and is the easiest place to get an Afghan visa nowadays (see this post on Lost Purpose).
In fact, unlike neighboring Iran, women in Afghanistan are not legally obliged to cover their heads. Many Afghans, mostly men, smoke hashish on a recreational basis and will certainly not judge those who want to experience the real Afghanistan.
During the flight, I made the mistake of wearing a headscarf when landing at Kabul airport, and it was important to me to wear it again after landing at Kabul airport. We made a mistake when we wore the headscarves during the flight and we are making it another part of our trip to Afghanistan.
There are no direct flights between Europe and Afghanistan, but you can fly from Europe to Afghanistan via Kabul Airport with a direct flight from London Heathrow Airport. Afghan airports can be closed at short notice, flights and airlines can only be confirmed once they are confirmed. You can also fly in and out of Afghanistan by private jet, private plane or private plane.
If you really, really want to go unnoticed by foreign women in Afghanistan, you can buy a chadri (burqa) or chador. ATMs are available, but one should be careful how much cash one brings to Afghanistan. Long bushy beards are associated with the Taliban and are not a good idea to import into Afghanistan.
Most of all, I spent my first day pinching myself while I was actually walking around Kabul, Afghanistan. I had a bad experience, but the next day I made a list of what to wear at every opportunity while traveling through Afghanistan, and I carried them all.
This part of the country has never been under the Taliban, but it was popular when I first visited Afghanistan and is still a popular destination for many tourists.
But much of what Afghanistan once saw was destroyed and rebuilt during the First Anglo-Afghan War, without ever returning to its former glory. The highway to Kandahar has been rebuilt, but under the Taliban the journey is very dangerous and trips to Kabul or Mazar are not recommended. However, it is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and was rebuilt after the war. Driving on the highway in Kandahari is not only very difficult, but also very risky under Taliban rule.
Westerners and other tourists can easily be targeted by the Taliban and other terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS). As mentioned, tourists travelling by land to Kabul and Herat were attacked by the Taliban only in 2016, and the security situation in these cities has only recently improved. If you decide to travel to Afghanistan, be very vigilant when traveling, unless you are a trusted Afghan tour guide or fixer or are traveling with a friend or family member. Afghanistan is not safe for travel, so if it is possible to visit bebe, but personal safety is recommended if you decide to travel to Afghanistan, because Afghanistan is not a safe place to be, especially for tourists.
If you are a tourist in Afghanistan, there are limited security permits, and travel to Afghanistan should only be considered an essential trip there. There is also an "expanded security zone" in central Kabul, which includes a police station, a military base, and a number of security checkpoints. This provides a degree of security, but should not be avoided when travelling to and from Afghanistan due to the high risk of terrorist attacks.