Overlanders Tips: How to get your vehicle into the Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan (Ishkashim Border)
Do as I say, not as I do…
Its official, we F^&$ed it up. But in saying that nobody told us otherwise and previously people did not have this problem. So what went wrong? We picked up our Visa’s from the Khorog Consulate in Tajikistan and went on our merry way to the border at Ishkashim. At the border we were asked for our vehicle documents so we presented our V5 (British registration document known as a Tech-Passport elsewhere) to which the response was ‘Not that, the other one’. So what is the other one?
The other one is known locally as a Rupos or Rubos. Its a translated document (into Farsi) containing information on the driver and the vehicle details. As it Transpires this could not be picked up on the border and needed to be obtained from the consulate in Khorog (Where we got our Visas).
Costs: It has since been confirmed that the Document costs $200 and a further $100 at the border. These values have been paid for a standard 4×4 from the UK, but it may be possible to get this reduced especially with a motorbike, speaking some Russian and as usual time and persuasion . It is still unsure if you get the $100 back when leaving the country as this seems to be some sort of customs bond. Whatever the case budget on dropping $300 to get your vehicle in.
I cannot stress enough that this was our experience at the time of writing and official things like this seem to come and go with time. This rule may or may not apply to other borders and even the unhelpful Afghan Consulate don’t seem to really know what is going on. Getting this kind of information is a remote region of the world is also difficult to say the least.
It should also be noted at this point that a permit is required to travel in the Wakhan, this can be picked up in Eshkashim (nearest village on the Afghan side) This should only cost $20 but as with all things here, you have to pay a couple of people so expect to pay an additional $50 per person. If you speak Farsi you can probably sort this yourself, if not then seriously consider a local guide. These can be found easily in country so don’t worry about setting this up before you go. It will invariably work out cheaper this way.
Personally I am really disappointed about not getting our Land Rover into the country as we will likely never return here with our own vehicle again.
I hope people will learn from our misfortunes and be able to achieve their dream…