Guided tours to Afghanistan
Young Pioneer Tours have resumed offering fully guided and security-conscious Afghanistan tours for 2023 and 2024 at regular intervals.
Since 2016 YPT have been running tours to Afghanistan and as the situation has stabilised since the Taliban again took control. We can now therefore offer tours to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan until until its fall in 2021 to the Taliban.
YPT Group tours to Afghanistan in 2023 and 2024
For safety and security reasons, our Afghanistan tours are led by a local expert guide and we accept no more than 10 group members per tour. This is a rule strictly enforced for your safety.
As well as a our regular Afghanistan tours, we now offer a limited number of all female tours to Afghanistan.
2024 Afghanistan Group Tours
The most in-depth and complete Afghanistan tour we offer which includes all the must-see sights within Kabul, as well as further exploring beyond to Bamyan, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif and the ancient city of Baikh.
Join us on a rare opportunity to learn a different side of this beautiful and complex country meeting people from all walks of life, whilst partaking in the must-see sights of a region regarded as the “crossroads of Asia” or, to its adversaries, the “graveyard of empires”.
Women’s Tour to Afghanistan – TO BE SCHEDULED FOR 2024
After the overwhelming success of the world’s first ever women-only tour to Afghanistan since the Taliban took over, we will be running another. Join us on our carefully curated, immersive experience that deeply examines women’s lives in Afghanistan.
We are currently planning a number of other group tours to Afghanistan which will be added here.
Afghanistan Group Tour Information
We are in constant communication with our local partners in Kabul and deem whether the Afghanistan group tour or private group tour is safe to go ahead or not depending on the local security situation on the ground.
Trips to Afghanistan do create dangers all of their own and whilst we want you to have as much freedom as possible, we must state that both the YPT and local guides have the final word with regards to changes to the itinerary for safety reasons.
Whilst the route YPT have chosen passes through areas that we consider to be stable; the situation can change and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice. If there is an extra expense incurred due to the change of itinerary then you may be asked to bear part of that cost. For example, if we have to fly between cities rather than drive. Joining this tour means you agree to these terms. Further information on terms and conditions for our Afghanistan tours are available on request.
For Pakistan e-visa purposes you can only arrive on the Afghanistan tour commencing date. Your Afghanistan Tour visa is not valid before this date, nor is it valid for independent travel in Afghanistan.
Independent travel to Afghanistan
For all intents our independent Afghanistan tours work much in the same way as our group tours to Afghanistan. Generally speaking, while the itinerary would remain mostly the same for your Afghanistan tour, there is also scope for us to arrange bespoke travel within Afghanistan.
Independent tours to Afghanistan are still led by an expert local guide and driver, but can be done for as little as one solo traveller. For more information on independent Afghanistan tours please get on touch to talk to one of our experts.
Afghanistan Travel Agency
Young Pioneer To9urs began offering travel to Afghanistan under the previous government and during the time of the Taliban insurgency. We have always sued the best local partners and have never scrimped on the best tours and most importantly safety.
This has continued since the Taliban came back into power and we remain the most trusted Afghanistan travel agency when it comes to not just having a good time, but more importantly safety
How to get an Afghanistan Visa?
YPT provides full visa support for both your e-visa for Pakistan and your visa to Afghanistan, which is collected in Peshawar (located within Pakistan). The Pakistan visa fee depends on your nationality and the Afghanistan visa fee is $100 for all nationalities – Note – This is the current price for an Afghanistan visa, but it is subject change. Please get in touch if you have questions about your eligibility for an Afghanistan visa.
Is Afghanistan Tours safe under the Taliban?
While we have covered the safety of Afghanistan tours in other articles, things have obviously changed a little with the current situation. Whilst we always suggest checking the guidance of your own government advisory sites, such as the UKFCO. In our own opinion though traveling to Afghanistan is now safer due to the stability the new Taliban regime has brought to the country.
Things though can and do change and at as such we will keep you constantly updated should the security situation in country change at all.
To read if it is ethical to travel to Afghanistan under the Taliban click here.
Sample Afghanistan Itinerary
The following is our example tour to Afghanistan. This can be done as a bespoke Afghanistan tour in its entirety, or adapted to your exact needs.
Day 1 (Must start on Monday or Wednesday) – Islamabad
- Arrive at your convenience into Islamabad – the capital city of Pakistan which is well connected from many countries within Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
- Airport transfer and check into the Grand Islamabad Hotel
- Overnight in Grand Islamabad Hotel.
Day 2 – Islamabad – Peshawar
- Breakfast at hotel and meet our Pakistani guide
- Depart at 7:00am on our 180km drive northwest to Peshawar – Pakistan’s sixth largest city and located near the border of Afghanistan.
- Arrive directly at the Afghanistan consulate in Peshawar to submit your visa applications
- Stop by an authentic Pakistani restaurant to grab a local lunch and soak in the atmosphere. You’ll notice the heavy Afghani influence on this unique Pakistani city.
- Head to the Old City centre to explore the busy Qissa Khwani Bazaar where local clothing can be purchased for us to better blend in to both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
- Visit Clock Tower Square – this tower belongs to a pair of clock towers that were presented by the U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth. The other tower being in England.
- Explore Mohabbat Khan Mosque – a 17th-century Mughal-era mosque built in 1630. An elegant mosque and fantastic for photos.
- Return to the Afghanistan consulate to collect passports and visas.
- Check into our Peshawar hotel to freshen up
- Head out to Habibi restaurant famous for local dishes
- Overnight in Peshawar
Day 3 – Peshawar – Islamabad – Kabul, Afghanistan
- Breakfast at hotel and morning departure back to Islamabad and head straight to the airport.
- Board our 1-hour direct flight to Kabul departing 4:30pm on Kam Air 928 – the capital of Afghanistan.
- On arrival meet our Afghanistan guide at the airport and be transferred to our guest house.
- At our guest house you’ll have a briefing with our guide.
- It may be required to visit the tourism ministry in Kabul to meet directly with the Taliban to receive our permit to allow the group to travel outside of the capital.
- Head out for dinner and overnight in Kabul.
Day 4 – Kabul – Bamyan
- Breakfast at guesthouse and depart early on our 180km journey to Bamyan heading north across the Shomali Plains passing over the Shibar pass (3285m).
- Stop for lunch along the way
- Pass by the watershed of the Indus and Oxus river systems before finally reaching Bamyan.
- Visit the remains of the Buddhas of Bamyan – on orders from Taliban, the statues were destroyed in March 2001 as they declared that they were idols.
- Drive a short distance to the base of the Shahr-E-Golgola also known as the ‘City of Screams’ – this was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1221. Genghis had destroyed Balkh and sent his teenage grandson with an army to capture Bamyan. The people resisted and Genghis’s grandson was killed. Genghis besieged and destroyed Golgola in revenge.
- Drive out to the Valley of the Dragon ‘Darya Ajdhahar’ – this massive rock formation is alleged to be the remains of a dragon that persecuted the villagers until Hazrat Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed killed it. The story is reminiscent of St George and the Dragon.
- Check into our hotel, head out to the bazaar for dinner and overnight in Bamian.
Day 5 – Bamyan – Band-e-Amir National Park – Bamyan
- Wake up early and head to Hindu Kush and to the remains of the Buddhas of Bamyan for stunning sunrise photos.
- Head back to the hotel for breakfast and a great chance to catch locals doing their morning routines.
- Begin driving 80km west to Band-e-Amir National Park – a stunning group of turquoise lakes located high in the Hindu Kush at an altitude of 2900m. It was also the first registered national park in Afghanistan. Hike around the area for picturesque photos and amazing views
- Picnic lunch outdoors and return to Bamyan
- Dinner in town and overnight
Day 6 – Bamyan – Kabul
- Breakfast at guest house and begin drive back to Kabul
- Stop for photos, and rest breaks along the way.
- Lunch on arrival in Kabul
- Visit Darul Aman Palace – built during the reign of Amanullah Khan in the 1920s it has over 150 rooms and offers stunning views of Kabul.
- Walk around the Garden of Babur – developed in 1528 it’s a historic park which holds the tomb of the first Mughal emperor Babur.
- Dinner and overnight at hotel
Day 7 – Kabul – Mazar-I-Sharif
- Breakfast at guest house and head to the airport to depart on a morning Kam Air flight to Mazar.
- On arrival head 25km out towards the ancient town of Balkh – this town is believed to be the centre of the Bactrian Empire, even before the arrival of Alexander the Great. It was destroyed many times over by the likes of Ghengis Khan and Timur-i-lang.
- Visit the Shrine of Khoja Abu Nasar Parsa and Dargah of Rabia Balkhi
- Visit the old town of Balkh where the US military were briefly stationed as they were withdrawing from the area.
- Return to Mazar and lunch on arrival
- Visit the Blue Mosque or ‘Shrine of Hazrat Ali’ – the most famous building in Afghanistan. The mosque is located in the heart of Mazar-I-Sharif and is one of the reputed burial places of Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in law of Prophet Muhammad.
- Explore Mazar bazaar – this bazar is not only the rug production of Afghanistan but considered the rug hub of Central Asia.
- Dinner, ice-cream dessert and overnight in Mazar-I-Sharif
Day 8 – Mazar-I-Sharif – Kabul
- Breakfast at guest house and head to the airport to board the morning flight back to Kabul
- First stop visit the National Museum of Afghanistan – it holds manuscripts, miniatures, weapons and art objects belonging to the former royal families.
- Visit the War Museum and meet the fine folk that run PMAR – an Afghani NGO dedicated to removing land mines leftover by decades of war dating back to the Soviet occupation.
- Grab an Afghani lunch in town
- Explore Ka Faroshi Bird Market – located in the heart of Kabul’s old city; this narrow laned market is packed with small, mud-walled shops festooned with bird cages and birds.
- Continue exploring old town markets – good spot to buy any afghani goods,
- Visit Abdur Rahman Khan Mausoleum – Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan between 1880 and 1901. He was a strong ruler and gained the name of the ‘Iron Amir’. His tomb sits in the Mausoleum in Zarnegar Park which translates as the park adorned with gold.
- Head up to the TV Towers Mountain where you’ll have a great view of Kabul city below.
- Swing by the curiosity shops of Chicken Street for dinner and overnight in guest house.
- Farewell dinner with our local guides and overnight in Kabul
Day 9 –Kabul
- Breakfast at hotel
- For any sites missed in Kabul at the beginning of the tour it may be arranged today according to availability.
- Tour concludes – YPT is able to arrange airport transfers and advice for flights out.
- Optional $475 to board Kam Air flight 901 departing Kabul 5:25pm and arriving into Dubai 8:00pm. We can further explore Kabul before the flight or see any sights you couldn’t do on our first day.
Note – This is a sample itinerary for our Afghanistan Tours and is therefore subject to change. For bespoke Afghanistan itineraries please contact is vis the link below.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT AFGHANISTAN TOURS
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about our tours to Afghanistan. If you have further questions then get in touch and talk to the experts.
They testify to the Afghani hospitality well documented and are trusted partners and friends.
Option one via Pakistan: As part of our scheduled tours, we obtain our visa at the Afghanistan embassy in Peshawar, Pakistan. This is the easiest and cheapest option, yielding the best results. At present, November 2024, we have a 100% approval rating. Note: We provide all documents to obtain your e-visa to Pakistan.
Option two, flying via Dubai: If you are starting your tour flying via Dubai, we provide you with all supporting documents and proof of tour, which may include a letter of invitation where necessary.
In both cases, you will need a valid passport of at least six months, a photocopy of your passport identity page, an empty full page for a visa sticker, an Afghan visa (obtained at each embassy) and a 2x2cm passport photo.
As with all our tours, safety is our most important consideration, and we work closely with our trusted partners. Our itineraries are subject to change when required, and we hold the right to cancel if the tour is considered high-risk.
For our women’s tours, YPT donates $200 per person to support continuing education.
For other initiatives, please get in touch with YPT.
Ensure your notes are past 2009, clean, crisp, and undamaged, and any imperfections will not be accepted.
If you wish to photograph people, please ensure you seek permission first; do not take photos of people praying, the Taliban, or security checkpoints, and if you are male, it is forbidden to take pictures of women.
If you behave and dress accordingly, you will not encounter any issues with them.
Men must dress appropriately with long trousers, covered shoulders, and suitable shoes. You will also have the opportunity in Peshawar to get custom-made local clothing, an excellent way to show respect for culture and blend in.
Women MUST always wear a headscarf and long-sleeved abayas. Clothing should not show the body's shape. Your YPT guide will assist you in obtaining the appropriate clothing before entering Afghanistan in Pakistan.
Do not bring any military clothing, and make sure you wear comfortable shoes as the itinerary includes short walks.
The accommodation will be based on sharing a twin room. If you wish for a single supplement, it is an additional cost listed on the tour itinerary.