Wakhan Guides – Maps and Guidebooks

Wakhan Guides – Maps and Gudiebooks

There aren’t really any great guidebooks to traveling in the Wakhan that I’ve come across, especially for the Afghan side. Here are our thoughts, though, on some of the options that exist and our perspectives on each of them.

wakhan guides - looking over the map

Especially if you’ll be doing any trekking, consider buying a map of the region. There are some available occasionally in Dushanbe, or you can order online and take with you:

The Markus Hauser map is available both online and in Dushanbe (and sometimes Khorog?), and this seems to be the most common info that tourists will rely on. Note that scale on this is 1:500,000 though so if you’re looking to go trekking this is not the best choice. Avid outdoorsmen will be better served by the Trekking in Tajikistan guidebook.

The Aga Khan foundation has their own free publication on the Wakhan (primarily for Afghanistan) which is well worth a read but sometimes light on details and actionable information.

For just Afghanistan, Lonely Planet seems to be pretty much it as far as guidebooks go:

They also publish a Farsi language guide, which could actually come in quite handy on the Afghan side as the Russian that gets you through the rest of Central Asia will be of no help here:

For Tajikistan, a couple of guidebooks options exist:


I’ve not read this one yet, but it just came out in 2013 and has some of the same writers as the Lonely Planet: Central Asia. It might be worth picking up, and I’d love to hear comments on how much info it contains.

Language is also an important factor in any trip. Considering picking up a phrasebook to help you on the way?

Read More:

The Oxus/ Amu Darya has a pretty storied history, and it starts high up in the Afghan Wakhan. This travelogue, originally published in the 1800’s, is a good start for an exciting but informative background.

For lighter reading, preferably on your Kindle during that long ride from Dushanbe to Khorog, this is worth checking out as well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *