Tajikistan is the smallest of the Central Asian Countries. Situated in the southeast of the continent, it shares its boundaries with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in the west and the north, Afghanistan in the south and China in the east. The geography in Tajikistan is unique for the prominence of mountains and rivers. Mountains cover 93 percent of Tajikistan's surface area and include the towering ranges of the Pamir Mountains, Alay Mountains and the Tien Shan. The highest peak is in the Pamir mountains at 7495 metres and is currently known as the Peak of Usmaili Samani. Its countless hanging glaciers comprise an impressive scene. The Fann Mountains are part of the western Pamir-Alay mountain system and are located in Tajikistan's Sughd Province between the Zeravshan Range to the north and the Gissar Range to the south. The Fanns boast about a hundred beautiful peaks, with several rising to altitudes of more than 5000 metres and relative elevations of up to 1500 metres. The highest point in the Fann Mountains is Chimtarga peak at 5489 metres.
The time in Tajikistan is GMT +5 hours.
Tajik is the main language of Tajikistan. Around three-quarters of the population speak Tajik and about 15% of the inhabitants are Russian speaking. English is not well understood and this is certainly the case in the Fann Mountains. We do recommend that you take a pocket phrase book and learn some basics such as common greetings.
In Tashkent the temperatures in July and August will be hot, with daytime temperatures of 30 - 35°C / 86 - 95°F. Once we get up into the mountains, it will be much cooler, with average daytime temperatures of 20 - 25°C / 68 - 77°F and night-time temperatures at our highest camps falling to 0°C / 32°F. The weather is generally excellent throughout the summer, with clear skies and little rain or snow. However, weather in mountainous areas is notoriously difficult to predict, and short-lived storms can occur at any time of the year.
A passport with at least 6 months remaining validity is required, together with a double-entry Uzbekistan Visa and a single-entry Tajikistan Visa. For convenience, we recommend using a visa processing agency such as Travcour. Further details of how to apply for these visas will be sent to you with your confirmation of booking.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis ‘A'. A very good online resource is the NHS travel website at fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Additional Sources of Information
Central Asia. Lonely Planet.
The Lost Heart of Asia. Colin Thubron.
Uzbekistan. The Golden Road to Samarkand. Odyssey Guides.
Foreign Devils on the Silk Road. Peter Hopkirk
The Great Game. Peter Hopkirk
Xinjiang, the Silk Road. Islam’s Overland Route to China. Peter Yung
Central Asia: 500K Regional Topographic Maps