Documents & Links

PDF Documents

The 2003 Wakhan Mission Report by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) give invaluable detailed information on the Wakhan region, focusing on environmental and socio-economic issues. It is no longer available on UNEP's web site but may be downloaded here.

The Afghanistan-USSR 1983 International Boundary Study gives very useful detailed geographical information on borders between the Wakhan/Pamir and Pakistan, China and ex-USSR. It may be downloaded here.

John Mock and Kimberley O’Neil’s report of their 2004 Expedition to the Source of the Oxus River: a Journey to the Wakhan Pamir & Across Dilisang Pass to Misgar gives useful information on trekking from Sarhad to the Little Pamir, the source of the Oxus, the Waghjir and on to Pakistan (Misgar) via the Dilisang Pass. See also their web site.

Ethnic minorities and marginality in the Pamirian Knot: survival of Wakhi and Kirghiz in a harsh environment and global contexts by Hermann Kreutzmann may be downloaded here.

A Journey to the Afghan Pamir - The Forbidden Corridor of Wakhan, a 2001 trip report by Go Hirai may be downloaded here.

China and Afghan opiates by Jacob Townsend.

The significance of geopolitical issues for development of mountainous areas of Central Asia by Hermann Kreutzmann.

All road maps included in this site may be downloaded here (Excel).


The only printed guide book on trekking in the Wakhan region and Pamir Valleys is Afghanistan – A companion and Guide by Bijan Omrani and Matthew Leeming. The book includes a section on a journey to the Source of the Oxus: Badakhstan, the Wakhan and the Great Pamir featuring Marco Polo, Hsuen-Tsang, the love story of Farhad and Shirin, accounts of the Badakhshi and Wakhani Ismailis by Wood and Olufsen; the poetry of Nasir Khusraw, Ismaili mystic and exile; remains of Zoroastrianism under Islam; mining for lapis lazuli and rubies, and the golden fleece; the Kirghiz nomads; Lake Zorkul and the question of the source of the Oxus. The book also includes a Badakhstan and Wakhan Area Guide that includes basic travel and trek information in the Wakhan Corridor, the Small Pamir and the Great Pamir. However, trekking information is to be handled with care as some of it as outdated, erroneous and incomplete.

Philippe Valéry, a French writing traveler, was one the first foreigners to travel through the Wakhan and the Pamir after the Russian invasion. His walk between France and China throughout Afghanistan is told in his book Par les sentiers de la soie: à pied jusqu'en Chine.

The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan: Adaptation to closed frontiers by M. Nazif Mohib Shahrani describes the cultural and ecological adaptation of the nomadic Kirghiz and the agriculturalist Wakhis to high altitudes and the frigid climate in the Wakhan Corridor. Shahrani has closely followed the flight of the Kirghiz to Pakistan in 1978 and their eventual resettlement among resentful Kurdish villagers in eastern Turkey in 1982. The ethnographic documentation and analysis of the transformation of Kirghiz society, politics, economics, and demography since their exodus from the Pamirs offers valuable lessons to our understanding of the dynamics and true resilience of small pastoral nomadic communities.

Caravanes de Tartarie by Roland and Sabrine Michaud features probably the best pictures about Afghanistan in general and the Wakhan and Pamir in particular.

Die Kirghisen des Afghanischen Pamir by Rémy Dor and Clas M Naumann. Text in German. Includes a very useful map of the Wakhan and Pamir area.

Kyrgyz-English/English-Kyrgyz Concise Dictionary by Karl Krippes.

A complete bibliography of the Wakhan may be downloaded here (by Till Bruckner).


See portfolio of Matthieu Paley.

A Short Walk in the Wakhan Corridor by Mark Kenkins for Outside Magazine (November 2005). In case the link is dead, the document may be downloaded here.

Trip report by Hannah McKeand.

Film L'Empire des Montagnes by Karel Prokop.

See Kabul Caravan, an online travel guide to Afghanistan.

For a summary of the book The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan: Adaptation to Closed Frontiers and War by M. Nazif Shahrani, see here.

Regarding the Tajik Pamir, check here, here and here.

Article about The Kirghiz of Afghanistan by Iraj Bashiri.

Observations Among Kirghiz Refugees From The Pamirs Of Afghanistan Settled In The Turkish Republic by H.B. Paksoy.

Kirghiz - Ethnical Situation and Population.