Group & Private Afghanistan Tours
2023 / 2024
We organise both private and group Afghanistan tours. Whether you’re looking for a bespoke 4-day arrangement or a scheduled group tour – we’ve got you covered.
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Afghanistan tours offer the opportunity to visit a place that has been shunned by mass tourism for 40 years. It offers a chance to interact with people and places that very few will ever be able to. But tours to Afghanistan offer much more than just “bragging rights”. This beautiful country offers unique ancient history, fascinating modern culture and a local population that are amongst the world’s most hospitable.
Whether you’re interested in Afghanistan’s ancient history or its current circumstances, this is a country that will live long in the memory.
Check out our scheduled group tours below or get in touch for more info on private tours. All Afghan tours include a hotel single room free of charge.
A percentage of your tour fee on all of our tours goes towards supporting Women for Women International and their ongoing projects supporting the women of Afghanistan. Please see our Sustainable partnerships page for more info.
Kabul – Bamyan – Band e Amir – Herat – Mazar e Sharif – Balkh – Kandahar – Wakhan Corridor.
Unsure of where to go? Check out our Sample Itinerary below. Our Afghanistan tours can be tailored around your interests. The above places are generally considered safe.
You can travel to Afghanistan on any dates but it can get quite hot the summer and very cold in the winter.
The national sport of buzkashi is mainly played on Fridays in the winter months. It’s a great spectacle to plan your tour dates around.
Currently, embassies in Pakistan and Dubai are issuing visas.
We will provide you with an invitation letter to assist in the application process. Exact requirements vary depending on the embassy location.
In November 2022 we conducted a research/reccy tour to Afghanistan for the first time following the fall of Kabul in August 2021. Following this successful trip we decided that it was safe to restart our tours.
We constantly monitor the situation on the ground with our partners in Kabul and around the country. Tour itineraries are subject to last minute changes depending on the security situation.
It’s an Afghan highlights tour in the winter with the added spectacle of Buzkashi in Mazer-E-Sharif!
See all the highlights of Afghanistan from Kabul – Bamyan – Mazar-e-Sharif – Herat. All squeezed into 10 days!
It’s our classic 10 day tour with perfect weather and the option to combo with our Pakistan Karakoram Highway tour!
Day 1 - Kabul
- Arrival in Kabul. Airport transfers to our Hotel.
- Check in before visiting a local tailor to get measured up for our local outfits.
- Visit the old town and its Bird Market – here you’ll find not only thousands of exotic birds, but lots of blacksmiths, carpenters and other trades people.
- See the old turquoise-tiled Sakhi mosque in the west of Kabul. This place is very
sacred to Shia Muslims, who believe it to be the final resting-place of Hazrati Ali, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad.
- Visit Darulaman Palace.
- Babur’s Gardens.
- Dinner and overnight in Kabul.
Day 2 - Kabul - Bamyan
- Depart Kabul early for our road trip to Bamyan.
- We will journey to the famous ancient buddhist complex. The Buddhas of Bamyan were two monumental statues carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the 6th century. These massive World Heritage-listed statues, situated in the peaceful Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, were deliberately dynamited and destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001 at a great cultural loss to all humanity. The area is still an extraordinary historic site to explore.
- After lunch we will visit Shahr-e Gholghola also known as the City of Screams, the ruins of a 12th century (and possibly much older) city near the town of Bamyan.
- Journey out to Shahr-e Zuhak, also known as The Red City.
- Stop by some ex-Soviet tanks which have been painted bright colours.
- Overnight in Bamyan.
Day 3 - Bamyan & Band e Amir
- Visit the six deep blue lakes of Band-e-Amir. The lakes are separated by natural dams made of travertine, a mineral deposit. This area is dominated by ethnic Hazaras, who make up around 23% of Afghanistan’s population. Band-e Amir was to become Afghanistan’s first National Park in the 1960s but this was delayed due to successive political crises and decades of war. In 2004, Band-e Amir was submitted for recognition as a World Heritage site, and in 2009, it was finally declared as such. Since 2013 it has become a popular destination for both Afghan and international visitors. After visiting the national park, journey back to our hotel in Bamyan for the night.
- Dinner & overnight in Bamyan.
Day 4 - Bamyan - Samangan - Mazar-e-Sharif
- We’ll hit the road early for the long drive to Mazar-e-Sharif through the Salang Pass!
- It’s a beautiful drive through the mountains stopping several times for snacks and photo ops.
- On the way visit the 3rd and 4th century temples and Stupas carved out of the ground at Samangan.
- Arrival in Mazar-e-Sharif. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Mazar-e-Sharif - Balkh
- We will start the day to visit the iconic Blue Mosque and the shrine of Hazrat Ali. This is one of the most famous, and most beautiful sacred sites in the Islamic world. The exquisitely-patterned decoration of the shrine, is set in an expansive white marble courtyard. Add the great flocks of white doves, and a dazzling blue sky, and you have one of the best photo locations in all of Central Asia.
- Journey to Charkent to see the 12th century gate from the time of Genghis Khan who was supposed to attack this area but the people of Charkent responded and built a massive gate to stop the Mongols.
This gate didn’t just stop the Mongols but later in 1988 it stopped the Soviets from entering Charkent and later in 1998 it also stopped the Taliban at the time.
- Drive to nearby Balkh. The ancient city is the oldest in Afghanistan. See the old walls and the first mosque in Afghanistan.
- Dinner and overnight in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Day 6 - Mazar-e-Sharif - Kabul
- Catch the early flight back to Kabul where we will have tea and some time to have a look around the famous bazaar on Chicken Street.
- Visit the Western Cemetery which was a British military camp and the site of the 1879 “Siege of the Sherpur Cantonment” in the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The cemetery is home to many memorials and graves for the fallen western soldiers and Kabul residents who have fought in various conflicts throughout the history of Kabul. It is well looked after by an Afghan father and son.
- Pay a house visit to one of the last remaining Afghan box photographers! Haji Mirzaman has been operating his old box camera for over 60 years. Get your own portrait taken by the master. (Extra cost)
- Dinner and overnight in Kabul.
Day 7 - Kabul - Herat
- Flight to Herat.
- Transfer to the hotel and check in.
- Local lunch.
- Visit the Masjidi Jami or Friday Mosque, originally built by the Ghurid ruler, Ghiyas ad-Din Ghori, in 1200AD (597 AH). After his death, the building was completed by his brother and successor Muhammad of Ghor. After falling into ruin and then being destroyed by an earthquake, the current mosque was completed in 1446AD.
- We will continue on to see the adjoining tile factory of Herat.
- After we will look around the Herat Bazaar.
- Dinner and overnight in Herat.
Day 8 - Herat
- Tour the Herat citadel, which dates back to 330 BC. When Alexander the Great and his army arrived in Afghanistan, after the Battle of Gaugamela. This battle was Alexander’s decisive battle in his invasion and conquest of the ancient Persian Achaeminid Empire. Many empires have since used it as their headquarters over the last 2,000 years. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times.
- In the afternoon you will visit the Guzargah Mosque and Puli Malaan, a fine old 22 arched bridge, believed to have been constructed by the Seljuks in the early 12th century. Locals believe it was built by two sisters, named Bibi Hur and Bibi Noor.
- Herat Glass factory (if open)
- Dinner and overnight in Herat.
Day 9 - Herat - Kabul
- In the morning visit the tomb of Goharshad and the Minarets of Herat, part of what was originally a much larger complex: the Mosque and Madrassa of Gawharshad. Unfortunately, much of the complex was dynamited and destroyed by officers of the British Indian Army in 1885 to prevent it’s use as a fortress, as they feared a Russian invasion of India. The tomb and minarets are thankfully still standing, and are amongst the most famous landmarks in Herat.
- We will fly to Kabul in the late afternoon.
- Last minute souvenir shopping on Chicken Street.
- Dinner in Kabul and overnight.
Day 10 - Departure
- More Kabul sights that we may have missed earlier in the tour (flight time depending)
- Transfer to the airport.
- End of Afghanistan tour.
Afghanistan Tours - FAQs
Most frequent questions and answers for our tours in Afghanistan.
Since the fall of Kabul in August 2021, the fighting has stopped and Afghanistan is now the safest and most secure it has been in many years.
Our local guides and fixers have over 10 years experience in Afghan security consultation. We only visit areas and stay in hotels that are approved by them.
You will need to visit your nearest Afghan embassy to apply. We will supply you with a visa invitation letter to allow you to get the visa without any issues.
Travel insurance is a must. We have teamed up with IATI Travel Insurance because they provide cover for all our destinations. You’ll also automatically receive a 5% discount with them as a Rocky Road Travel customer.
For flights into Kabul – Islamabad, Istanbul and Dubai are the main gateways.
USD and Euro are both accepted in currency exchanges. Make sure to bring cash.
On our group tours it is no more than 10.
We use standard hotels with multiple layers of security. Everyone gets their own single room with en-suite bathroom.
For ladies, you need to keep hair covered and dress conservatively (cover shoulders and ankles) – a full length abaya is recommended.
For men it is advised to wear the local Afghan outfit in order to blend in more with your surroundings.
One of our first stops will be to a tailor to try on both styles for men and women.