Why have we chosen Tajikistan, the "Stan with Altitude"?
Because, to put it simply, it is legendary, a sentiment that has echoed among explorers and Silk Road traders for centuries!
There are many roads (or lack of ) developed over millenia that will lead you to Dushanbe, the leafy, avenued capital of Tajikistan. All of them are spectacular, challenging and have many wondrous secrets to share, making it the perfect finish line for an adventure that you will never forget. Tajikistan is the jewel in the crown of the rally and will have the defining moments- whether it is crossing the Pamir Mountains in the east of the country or crossing the mountain passes between the lush, fertile valleys of Khujand and Dushanbe, the roads and scenery are the ultimate climax to the ultimate adventure!
Culture and tradition run deep among the hospitable Tajiks and is evident throughout the country, from women in traditional dress washing their colourful carpets by the roadside to staying as guests in their homes. But it is the landscape that truly defines the country and its people- the Fann and Pamir Mountains extending across from the Himalayas rise up to almost 7,500 metres. They are home to the longest mountain glacier in the world, Fedchenko at 77km in length! Even the famed Pamir Highway will take teams up towards nearly 5000m! These mountains are home to high altitude lakes, hot springs and rare species such as Ibex, Snow Leopard and Marco Polo Sheep, an environment breathtaking in every way!
After a difficult transition to independence and civil war in the 1990's, Tajikistan has been developing rapidly. On 9th September 2011 was Tajikistan's 20th Anniversary of Independence from Russia.
Resources for Tajikistan
Information on Tajikistan - official brochure that provides a great overview of the country and basic travel information.
Visit Tajikistan - The stunning and informative website of the Tourism Authority of Tajikistan.
Pamirs.org - By Robert Middleton, this site is the definitive source of all things Tajikistan and the Pamirs! Also co-author "Tajikistan and the High Pamirs" guide book (Odysee guidebooks).
If you would like to see more of the country after the rally is complete (highly recommended!), or your folks are heading over to see your arrival, check out these tourism bodies:
The Pamirs Eco-Cultural Tourism Association (PECTA) - a non-commercial tourism agency promoting fantastic, sustainable travel.