secretive daleS AND disappearing cultureS
Dushanbe – Anzob – Margib – Khshirtab
DAY 1 - Dushanbe to Margib
In the morning you will meet our tour guide in the lobby of the designated hotel in Dushanbe (exact hotel address and meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email; private airport pickup and shuttle service available for a small additional fee).
We'll drive north of Dushanbe along the scenic M34.
Our first stop en route will be the hill station of Varzob, where you will see imposing and rather kitschy brand new villas owned by the political, economical and criminal elite of the country.
We'll then pass through the notorious Anzob Tunnel of Death, a 5040 m long tunnel known for its precarious road, ventilation and lighting condition: a once-in-a-lifetime thrill!
Once out of the Inferno, we'll turn east on a narrow and winding dirt track leading to Anzob and Margib, the last Tajik villages before the entrance to the Valley of the Yaghnobis.
We'll spend the rest of the day lazily walking around the Margib, visiting traditional households, chit-chatting with local farmers and tasting simple and yet delicious food.
Dinner and overnight in Margib.
DAY 2/3 - Yaghnob Valley
After an early breakfast we'll get back on the road and finally enter the homeland of the Yaghnobis.
The Yaghnobi people are considered to be descendants of the Sogdian-speaking peoples who once inhabited most of Central Asia beyond the Amu Darya in what was ancient Sogdia; they speak the Yaghnobi language which is a direct descendant of ancient Sogdian.
We'll devote two full days to the exploration of this secretive valley.
Crossing stunning landscapes of narrow gorges, barren slopes and hanging fields, we'll travel by car up to the end of the dirt track past the mountains hamlets of Khshirtab and Farkau.
We'll then start our trekking to the more remote Yaghnobi settlements located further east along ancient mule paths.
Highlights of the trek include the outworldly kishlaks of Bedef and Pskan as well as ancient cemeteries and breathtaking sunset and sunrise views all over the gorge.
During your time in the valley you'll have the unique chance to meet with Yaghnobi farmers and herders, who will share with you their food, their home and the mystic secrets of their endangered culture.
If you are fit enough you can also prolong your stay in the valley and undertake the challenging but extremely rewarding 10-day hike up to the last inhabited Yaghnobi villages and further into the Zarafshan Valley; please contact us to learn more about this option.
Homestay dinner and overnight.
DAY 4 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last lavish Tajik breakfast together, we'll take care of your transfer to either Dushanbe International Airport or Dushanbe Bus/Train Station for your trip back home and/or your connection to yet another exciting destination in the region such as Turkmenistan, Afghanistan or Pakistan.
End of the tour.
4 to 9 participants: 650 € per person
Regular monthly departures
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 18 euros/night), private transport in the region (jeep or minivan), entrance fees for the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights, meals, drinks and tips, visas if required, entrance to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.