Foreign travel advice

Afghanistan

Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all or all but essential travel to different parts of the country according to provincial region:

Kabul

  • the FCO advise against all travel to the Surobi, Paghman, Musayhi, Khak-e Jabbar and Chahar Asyab Districts of Kabul province

  • the FCO advise against all but essential travel to the city of Kabul

If you’re travelling in Kabul, take particular care on Airport road, Jalalabad road and Darulaman road. Avoid travelling on Jalalabad and Darulaman roads during commuter or other busy times (around 6am to 8am, 9am to 11am and 3pm to 4pm local time), when traffic can be heaviest and the risk of an attack against government and western people or interests is most likely. Avoid travel between cities at night time. Avoid travelling along Airport road except for essential movements as attacks are likely throughout the day.

Travel by road throughout the country, but particularly outside of the capital Kabul, is extremely dangerous.The risk of attack or kidnap is very high. Seek professional security advice for all travel and consider using armoured vehicles. See Terrorism and Safety & security

Northern Afghanistan

  • the FCO advise against all travel to Balkh, Kunduz, Badakhshan and the Baghlan-e Jadid District of Baghlan

  • the FCO advise against all but essential travel to Takhar, Faryab, Jawzjan, Samangan, Sari Pul and the remainder of Baghlan

Eastern Afghanistan

  • the FCO advise against all travel to Ghazni, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktika, Wardak and Paktya

  • the FCO advise against all but essential travel to Bamiyan, Parwan and Panjshir

Southern Afghanistan

  • the FCO advise against all travel to Helmand, Kandahar, Nimroz, Uruzgan and Zabul

Western Afghanistan

The security situation throughout Afghanistan remains uncertain, and could change rapidly. You should monitor media reporting and make sure you have robust contingency plans in place. Be vigilant at all times, keep others informed of your travel plans and vary your routines. On 4 August 2016 there was an attack on a convoy of vehicles carrying tourists in Herat.

  • the FCO advise against all travel to Badghis and Farah, and the Shindand and Gozarah Districts of Herat province

  • the FCO advise against all but essential travel to Dai Kundi, Ghor and remaining districts in Herat

There is a high threat from terrorism and specific methods of attack are evolving and increasing in sophistication. There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country. See Terrorism

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Make sure your policy covers you for travel in Afghanistan, noting any requirements for security and armoured vehicles. Insurance may be difficult to obtain.

The level of consular assistance available outside of the capital Kabul will be extremely limited.

There is an ongoing threat from high-profile, large-scale attacks in Kabul. In recent months there have been a number of significant attacks in the capital, including:

24 August 2016 – a vehicle bomb was detonated outside the American University of Afghanistan campus in Kabul, gunmen then entered the campus; several people were killed and many more injured

8 August 2016 - two foreign nationals were kidnapped in Kabul

23 July 2016 – at least 1 suicide bomber detonated among a crowd of Shia protestors in central Kabul, killing an estimated 81 in the largest single incident in the city since 2001

21 July 2016 - a foreign national was kidnapped in Kabul

20 June 2016 – a suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Nepalese guards as they travelled through Kabul to work at the Canadian Embassy, killing 14 people

25 May 2016 – a minibus carrying members of the judiciary in the west of Kabul city was targeted by a suicide bomber, killing 10 people

18 April 2016 – a large truck bomb detonated in a car park belonging to an NDS department in central Kabul, killing over 20 people; 2 gunmen then entered and shot dead dozens more, leaving an eventual death toll of 64

Afghanistan is in a major earthquake zone and remains at risk from powerful earthquakes, aftershocks, landslides and flooding. The British Embassy can provide limited consular assistance in Afghanistan, particularly outside the capital Kabul. See Natural Disasters