Style: Trekking / Camping
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Location: GBAO, Pamir
Driving distance: 1400 km / 870mi
Hiking distance: 127 km / 79mi
Tour length: 17 days
1 person – 3681$ per person
2 people – 2417$ per person
3 people – 1990$ per person
4 people – 1990$ per person
5 people – 1808$ per person
6 people – 1635$ per person
Price includes: All meals | Transportation from and to Dushanbe, including transfer from and to the airport | An English speaking guide | Conservancy rangers services | Camping equipment – tents, utensils, stove, etc. | Camera Traps | All accommodation
WHY IS IT BETTER TO BOOK WITH ANCOT?
- All the tours listed here have been developed exclusively by ANCOT
- Tours listed are built upon many years of experience in wildlife conservation and management
- The pricing policy is established on the priority conservation needs and long-term sustainability of tourism
- If you are looking for a wildlife tour in Tajikistan, book it with professionals, from whom you can learn so much, what you will probably never learn and experience by booking with regular commercial tour operators
- You may find similar wildlife tours with cheaper prices. However, you will not benefit wildlife conservation by using a cheaper way
Trekking in remote Pamir mountains, Authentic Pamiri hospitality, High altitude mountain lakes, Wildlife watching – primarily Asiatic Ibex, Bird watching, Grum-Grshimailo glacier, hiking to Jizev village
The Bartang valley is the longest in the Pamirs and has derived its name from Bartang River, the main tributary to the Panj / Amu Daria River, which flows down from the mighty mountains of Tajik National Park – a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site and a very large protected area, with a stark treeless landscape of exceptional natural beauty. Bartang is an area, located amid the mountains of Central Asia Biodiversity Hotspot and hosts a unique assemblage of wildlife, including the Asiatic Ibex, Marco Polo Sheep, and Snow Leopard and an alpine, often endemic, flora uniquely adapted to high altitude. Several High peaks and glaciers have their access from Bartang valley. The lower part of the valley is very narrow, like a canyon with the road following the river which widens after the Savnob village. Around 20 villages are scattered along the valley, most of which are set on alluvial plain landforms as an oasis in a barren mountain landscape. People inhabiting these villages are among the most hospitable in the world, so much so that they will share their last piece of bread with their guests. On this Bartang valley expedition trek, you will have two treks. One in Ravmed valley, where you hike to the foot of the outstanding Patkhor Peak (6083m) of Rushan range with one of the most spectacular alpine scenes, and the second trek takes you to a Grum-Grshimailo glacier in the upper Bartang valley. This unpronounceable name is that of an entomologist who came to the Pamirs at the end of the 19th century and brought back some 12,000 species of insects then unknown to science. The place is empty of all human activities. Only a small branch bridge and a hut constructed with a heap of pebbles are used by the village shepherd who comes here for 3 months in a year with his few animals. The main focus on the trip will be the trekking experience in Ravmed and Khfrazdara valley to Grum-Grshimailo glacier, however, you will surely enjoy and appreciate the culture and the wildlife of the region as well.
Association of Nature Conservation Organizations of Tajikistan (ANCOT) supports the conservation of wildlife in areas managed by people from the local communities. These organizations – being it local NGOs or small family businesses – are rooted in the local communities and aim at providing benefits to the whole populations of the areas where they are active. Through the revenues generated from tourism, we motivate these local communities to protect their natural recourses and wildlife. Thus participating in this tour you are contributing to the conservation of endangered wildlife species and their habitats in Tajikistan.
Day 1: Arrive in Dushanbe
Driving distance: around Dushanbe
Hiking distance: Short walking
The most convenient flights to Dushanbe from the Americas and Europe are via Istanbul and Dubai, both arriving early in the morning. Upon your arrival, we will pick you up from the airport and we will take you directly to your guesthouse/hotel in Dushanbe for rest after your flight. Our guide and the driver will be there to help. Later you will embark on a city sightseeing tour. You will visit the local market, various parks and museums Dushanbe offers. This day will also allow you to exchange money for your expenses if you needed. You will have the opportunity to eat out at the best traditional restaurants in Dushanbe before hitting the road the next day to your big adventure.
Day 2: Dushanbe – Anjirob
Elevation range: 900-2000-900m/2952-6561-2952feet
Driving distance: 240km/149mi
Hiking distance: 4km / 2.5mi
On the second day, after having breakfast we will hit the road towards the southeast part of Tajikistan. We will be traveling roughly 4-5 hours with a toilet and coffee break in between. Around noon we will reach Shurobod and will have lunch in one of our Markhor conservancy families. In the afternoon, we will have a short hike to the top of the hills and as the sun sets behind the mountains we will observe Markhor moving down the slopes in front of us. In the evening we will return to our homestay family to have dinner and relax.
Day 3: Drive to Bartang Valley
Elevation gain: 1150m/3773feet
Driving distance: 334km/207mi
Today after breakfast we will have a long drive to Bartang valley. We will break the whole drive into three sections and will be making stops for bathrooms, coffee, and lunch. We will also stop for you to have a look at the small Afghan villages across the river. The closer we will be getting to Bartang, the more remote and less developed the villages will become. In Bartang we will drive to the cozy village of Khijez situated on the bank of the Bartang River. We shall stay at the local conservancy family house for an overnight.
Day 4 – 7: Khijez to Peak Patkhor and back
Elevation range: 2900-3900-2900m/9514-12795-9514feet
Trekking distance: 45km/28mi
The trek to the Patkhor peak will serve as an excellent acclimatization experience before a more strenuous trek to Grum-Grshimailo glacier. We will start our trek to the foot of Peak Patkhor from the village of Ravmed located 20km further Khijez. Ravmed is a very beautiful village extended on the slope of the mountain at an elevation of 2900masl with extraordinary people who are one of the happiest in the world. We will hike 45 km in four days along the Ravmed gorge. The hike along the gorge offers spectacular mountain scenes and a true feeling of exploration. On the second day, you will a place called Udarif from where high altitude summits including the Peak Patkhor will be visible. These mountains are home for the Asiatic Ibex and their extremely elusive predator the snow leopard. The sighting of the snow leopard is more frequent here than in the rest of the places in Bartang valley, so here you may try your luck. On the third day, we will hike further up to the foot of the Patkhor peak to see a pristine glacial lake and get better views of the area, than we will return to Udarif, but will descend closer to a place called Xobiust, where we shall set our camp. On the fourth day, we will return to Ravmed and spend the evening and night in the local Pamiri house.
Day 8: Ravmed to Ghudara
Elevation gain: 1150m/3773feet
Driving distance: 130km/80mi
Today we drive to upper Bartang and the last village in the valley – Ghudara. Another conservancy that was established at the beginning of 2020 operates here, protecting the area from poachers and monitoring the population of wildlife species. This village is located in extreme remoteness and you will feel isolated from the rest of the world here. The road to the village continues along the Bartang valley on a very narrow gorge which widens after Savnob village, presenting spectacular views.
Day 9 – 13: Grum-Grshimailo Glacier trek
Elevation range: 3000-4680-3000m/9842-15354-9842feet
Trekking distance: 68km/42mi
The trek to the glacier follows the Khafrazdarra valley and is one of the most beautiful treks in the whole Pamirs. In the morning we will drive to Pasor village from where we will start our 5 days expedition to Grum-Grshimailo Glacier. On the first day, we will start a gradual ascent along the valley, which will become more intense after we cross the river. We will set up our camp just above the pasture house on the first day, making 15km. On the second day, we will continue the hike towards Hafraz lake, outstanding scenery will be visible in halfway to the lake in a place where a side valley leads to Khafraz Peak (6124 masl). We will hike up above the Khafraz lake where we will set up our tents at 4000m just before the trail starts ascending again. The third day will be the most challenging but rewarding. We will ascend towards the Cold Wall glacier beyond which is the viewpoint of Grum-Grshimailo Glacier. Making almost 600m ascend we will reach the viewpoint late in the afternoon. After taking pictures and enjoying the scene we will hike back to the camp. In the next two days, we will return to Pasor, where our driver will be awaiting us.
Day 14: Ghudara to Jizev
Elevation loss: 250m/820feet
Driving distance: 138km/86mi
Trekking distance: 7km/4.3mi
Very few foreigners have been in this part of Tajikistan and after you return from the trek to the glacier, who can surely consider yourself as one of the first explorers of this region. Today on our way back to Jizev, we will be exploring some of the historical and religious sites in villages we pass by. By late noon we will reach a suspension bridge which leads to the stunningly beautiful village of Jizev, accessible only on foot. We will reach the village on a very pleasant three-hour hike and spend the night in one of the local houses.
Day 15: Jizev to Dravaz
Elevation loss: 1600m/5250feet
Driving distance: 280km/174mi
We will say goodbye to our host in Jizev and head back to the bridge. After meeting our driver again we drive to Darvoz region to yet another conservancy area. We will be mostly traveling along the Panj River again. It will be a 7-hour drive, and we will take our time. During the drive, we will stop by for lunch and coffee tea along the Pamir highway with beautiful scenery of Afghan villages. Later in the afternoon we will arrive in Darvoz and settle down in one of Markhor conservancies camp.
Day 16: Darvoz to Dushanbe
Driving distance: 282km/175mi
Today we drive back to Dushanbe. Having our last breakfast at the camp we hit the road again back to Kulob and on to Dushanbe. You will arrive in Dushanbe at noon and have lunch before checking in to your hotel. After lunch and some rest at the hotel, you will have a short tour of Dushanbe, where you will explore the Kokhi Navruz Palace, Museum, and Mehrgon bazaar to do some shopping. In the evening you will have a farewell dinner with ANCOT staff where you share your experience and possibly discuss your future trip to Tajikistan again.
Day 17: Departure
Early morning you will be transferred to the airport where our staff will help you with the registration to your flight and leave Tajikistan.
End of tour!
- All meals
- Professional and knowledgeable guides will lead the tour.
- Transportation from and to Dushanbe, including transfers from and to the airport
- Conservancy rangers services
- Camping equipment – tents, utensils, stove, etc.
- Other equipment such as camera traps, watching scopes, etc. if outlined in the itinerary
- All accommodation – Hotels, Guesthouses, and homestays
Meals: What To Expect
During the hikes: Most of our hikes include a variety of meals to nourish our bodies with enough carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. We usually have pasta, rice, sausages, cheese, oatmeal, canned lentils and beans, sugar, and bread. We also carry fresh vegetables and can easily accommodate vegetarians.
Additionally, we have snacks such as dried fruits, fresh fruits, chocolate bars, and each break will include hot coffee and tea. We can accommodate people with special dietary needs.
In guesthouses, home-stays, and restaurants (Tajik cuisine):
Tajik cuisine offers a large variety of fruit, meat, and soup dishes. The most popular among them are dishes such as Oshi palov, Kurutob, Shurbo, Laghmon and snacks like Sambusa and Mantu. The national drink is green tea, respectively. Traditional Tajik meal begins with small dishes of dried fruits, jams, and halva, followed by soup and meat, and finished with plov. Tea accompanies every meal and is often served between meals. Besides traditional dishes, most restaurants serve Russian borsh and popular Shashlyks.
Shurbo: boiled meat on the bone with chickpeas, red and green peppers, potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Laghmon: the same with homemade noodles
Oshi Palov: a rice dish made with shredded yellow turnip or carrot and pieces of meat, all fried together in vegetable oil or mutton fat.
Shashlyks: chunks or minced meat on a skewer cooked over an open fire. Vegetarian versions are often available.
What’s Not Included?
- Clothes, raingear, and footwear
- Any other expenses of a personal nature
- Tips (Always optional)
What Gear To Bring
- Personal soap/shampoo
- Personal medicines (especially against diarrhea, altitude sickness, and car sickness), most of the passes on the road are above 3500m
- High protection Sun-screen
- Sun hat
- Strong hiking shoes
- Plastic bottle for water and water purification tablets, if you intend to hike in remote areas
- Camera (Including spare batteries. You won’t believe how many pictures you will be taking and if you don’t have a proper camera you’d wish you had one)
- Trekking poles, if there is trekking involved
- Gifts (People in most of the villages in Tajikistan are among the poorest in the world, however, they will share their last crust with you to offer hospitality. Therefore it will be nice of you to bring gifts like toys and books for the children, winter clothes or cosmetics and chocolates for women and man)
What Clothes To Bring
We will email you what kind of gear to bring depending on the season. Summers are usually warm in central Tajikistan; however, if you are going up to higher altitudes (above 2500m/8200ft) you will need warmer clothing, including a sweater and windproof jacket
Due to its mountainous nature, geographical remoteness, and deteriorated roads, traveling in most parts of Tajikistan involves a lot of driving, especially to the Pamir region. We use services of experienced drivers, who have been driving at least 5 years on such road conditions. In most cases, we use 4wheel drive SUV like the Nissan Patrol and Toyota Land Cruisers. For bigger groups, we may use 4WD Vans. We’ve found that how you get there significantly influences the tone of your journey, and therefore we always make sure that your ride is comfortable with reliable transportation.
Your safety is our top priority. Only trained guides and experienced rangers will accompany you during your hike. All of our rangers and guides are local from the nearby villages, of the respective conservancy. All guides are trained to offer first aid and always carry the necessary first aid kit.
Click on this link to read answers to frequently asked questions