Tajikistan Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Tajikistan
Threat level: Medium
The current travel safety advice for Tajikistan is to remain vigilant and cautious especially when near to the borders of the country due to the ongoing security situations in surrounding countries, particularly in Afghanistan.
Take general personal security measures especially if you are of western descent due to the ongoing and targeted risk against western tourist when travelling abroad. Most visits to this country are without incident and trouble free but please note there are regions that have the ability to change quickly within the Middle East.
Recent Security Risk Events
On the 29th of July 2018, a vehicle deliberately hit 7 tourists from western countries who were cycling near Danghara. 4 of the 7 victims died of their injuries. Exercise caution if you are hiking or cycling in the countryside.
The region Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) has been damaged by severe flooding in 2015 and although maintenance and restructuring works have taken place, there are still areas of which are underdeveloped. Please take caution when travelling on the roads especially.
Permits to travel to Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) areas can be suspended at short notice, this is due to the security situation in Afghanistan. Check with the Tajikistan Embassy for the latest status.
There have been serious security incidents such as armed clashes near the border of Afghanistan close to the town of Khorog within Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO). Areas near to Dushanbe International Airport, Tajik/Kyrgyz border, the villages of Kok-Tash and Chorkuh and in the Romit Valley have also experienced armed violence. There is an increased security presence in these areas; take caution during your travels as there is a risk of further localised violence.
The borders of the country can be closed at any time with its surrounding countries and are not all open to foreign travellers. You should check with the Tajikistan Embassy if you are able to travel across borders. Borders which are currently open to British nationals are:
- Tajik and Kyrgyz border at Guliston (Isfara region)
- Avchikalacha (Sughd region)
- Kizil Art (Gorno-Badakhshan region)
- Tajik/Uzbek border at Bratstvo (Tursunzade region)
- Fotehobod and Patar/Rabot (Sughd region)
Please note that violent outbreaks can occur between border forces and drug traffickers in the areas near to the Afghanistan border and as such it is recommended that these areas are avoided.
There are incidence of violent and petty crime against foreign visitors, please take extra security precautions, keep a low affluence wealth profile in public places and secure your belongings as muggings have occurred. Dushanbe (the capital) is relatively safe but it is advisable that you do not travel during the evening alone, especially females. Women have been known to experience harassment during the day, so please be mindful of this.
As this is a Muslim country please observe the local laws and customs and take appropriate measures not to cause offence. Attitudes towards females and homosexuality are conservative. Please note it is illegal to smoke on the streets which is punishable by a fine.
There have been incidents of rape and sexual offences under the influence of “date rape” types of drugs, please as with all international destinations take precautions as you would when visiting entertainment areas. It is wise not to accept drink or foods for others as foreign visitors have been targeted previously.
Tajikistan has strong ties with China, being a main investor for power infrastructure with additional investment taking place with building tunnels and roads within the country. Chinese organisations have invested into the country’s oil, gold and gas exploration.
Russia has helped Tajikistan with its ongoing security and economic situation providing assistance with the illegal smuggling operations between its borders and Afghanistan. There have been feelings towards Tajikistan from the international community with respect to its tolerance of extremist training camps taking place within its country, of which Tajikistan has strongly denied.
Heavy snowfall can occur causing avalanches and landslides, please take caution when driving in mountainous regions. The roads in the majority are poorly maintained and there is little to no street lighting especially in rural areas where great care should be taken. Please note that petrol stations outside the main districts are rare.
Tajikistan is prone to seasonal flooding and is in an active earthquake zone, neighbouring countries have sustained serious earthquakes where multiple fatalities have occurred. Please make sure you know what to do in the instance of any natural disaster when travelling to this region.
Time now in Dushanbe:
Visas are required to enter Tajikistan. Dependant on your country of origin you may be able to obtain a visa on arrival, or use the e-visa system. Further information on requirements for Tajikistan can be found at: Visa Check Tajikistan
It is advised that visitors to the Tajikistan are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. You should ensure that you have been further vaccinated against diseases such as Tetanus, which is usually administered when you are a young baby. You may also want to consider Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
The medical facilities in the country are very poor and often lacking in equipment, medication and staff. Medical treatment outside of the capital city, Dushanbe, may prove difficult as facilities and services are at best limited and at worst non-existent. You should ensure that you have a sufficient supply of routine medication for the duration of your trip.
There is an English speaking medical facility called Prospekt Medical which is located behind the Chinese Embassy in Dushanbe. There have been a small number of cases of Anthrax, HIV and during the warmer months Malaria within the country; take basic precautions that can prevent the spread of such diseases.
Altitude sickness can be an issue when travelling to the Pamir Mountains, so ensure that you are well prepared for the journey and you have adequate travel and health insurance to cover you for and necessary medical treatment.
U.S. Embassy Dushanbe
Ismoili Somoni Avenue (Zarafshon district),
Telephone: +992 (37) 229 20 00
British Embassy Dushanbe
65 Mirzo Tursunzoda Street,
Telephone : +99 237 224 2221
Other useful info
Police emergency: 02
Medical emergency: 03
Fire emergency: 01