On 29 July 2018, 7 tourists from western countries were cycling near Danghara in southern Tajikistan when a collision occurred between a vehicle driven by a local man and the cyclists. This was a deliberate attack. Four of the 7 cyclists were killed by the vehicle’s impact and wounds sustained in a subsequent knife attack carried out by the occupants of the car. This is the first incident of this kind in Tajikistan and the motives are not yet known. In light of this incident, we recommend UK tourists to Tajikistan, particularly those hiking or cycling in the countryside, to exercise extreme caution and vigilance during their visit.
There are regular clashes between the Taliban and Afghan government forces in north-east Afghanistan close to the border with Tajikistan. This border is also used by drug smugglers who often engage in armed clashes with Tajik security forces. Check local advice before travelling to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) in the East, as the area may be closed to visitors at short notice.
Several areas of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) and other parts of the country are damaged by flooding in the spring and winter seasons and roads are often closed. Most of the infrastructure has been repaired. Many roads, including the Pamir Highway, are currently open but not fully repaired.
The government of Tajikistan sometimes suspends issuing permits for travel to the GBAO by foreign nationals who enter Tajikistan on a tourist visa. This can happen at short notice, depending on the security situation in the area. If you’re considering travel to the GBAO you should contact the Embassy of Tajikistan for up to date information on whether permits are being issued.
There are occasional skirmishes along the disputed Tajik/Kyrgyz border. There were clashes between Tajik and Kyrgyz border guards and civilians in June 2018. Previous incidents have involved firearms. There’s a risk of further localised violence and border closures at any time.
Tajikistan’s borders with neighbouring countries are subject to closure without notice. Check in advance which border posts are currently open. You may also wish to check with the British Embassy in Dushanbe for up to date information on border restrictions.
The crossing points on the Tajik/Kyrgyz border at Guliston (Isfara region), Avchikalacha (Sughd region) and Kizil Art (Gorno-Badakhshan region) are open to British nationals. The border at Karamik (Jirgatol region) is currently only open to Tajik and Kyrgyz nationals, although this may change in the future following talks between the two countries.
The crossing points on the Tajik/Uzbek border at Bratstvo (Tursunzade region), and at Fotehobod and Patar/Rabot (Sughd region) and the Panjakent-Samarkand border are open to British nationals holding visas.
Further terrorist attacks in Tajikistan can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
Tourism, health and transport infrastructure is poor and travel requires careful planning. Avoid off-road areas immediately adjoining the Afghan, Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders, which may be mined. See Local travel
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.