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  #1  
Old 10 Jun 2013
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Exclamation Afghanistan Vehicle entry permit - WARNING

Last week Griffdog and I tried to enter Afghanistan at the Ishkashim border with the intention of riding/driving as far along the Wakan Valley as possible given that its still early in the season.

Having stamped out of Tajikistan and arrived at the Afghan border the first thing we were asked for was our vehicle entry permit which, it transpires is NOT available at the border. The permit, known as a RUPOS must be purchased at the Afghan consulate in Khorog. No amount of negotiating, waiting for the captain to arrive, the captain calling his boss or phoning the consulate to ask if we could fax documents would get us in.

After years of waiting to be on the right continent to visit the Wakan I can't tell you how dissapointed I was.

Eventually we left my bike and Griffdog's Landrover in the Tajik army barracks and took a taxi from the border to Eskashim (9km/U$20), spent the night in a homestay/guesthouse (U$25pp) then another taxi back to the border (U$20) stopping to register our departure (U$10pp) in the village on the way out.

Before being allowed to leave I had to attend a meeting with what I can only describe as the village Girga and explain why we were leaving after just one night and not visiting the Wakan.

At the border we were shown a RUPOS taken from an A4 folder full of them. Printed on it in English was the price of U$100. The border guard told us that another U$100 (U$160 for US citizens) was also payable at the border. So that's U$100 for a visa + U$200 for your vehicle + U$50 (I believe) for a Wakan tourist permit to be purchased in Eskashim. Prices that come as quite a shock after Uzbekistan and Tajikistan!

I hope this will prevent anyone else from experiencing the same.

This is by far the diluted version of events. I'll post the full story in my next blog update as will Griffdog.
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  #2  
Old 10 Jun 2013
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thank you for this, please update about your Afghan adventure, as we are also on our way to there.... We're still 2 months out, but it's the first thing I've ever heard that you need to pay to enter with your vehicle... we're two on two bikes, so 600usd is not planned in our budget...

On the other side, can you please inform if it is doable (safe...) to go from there to Kunduz or even to Mazar-i-Sharif over the road so we can enter TJ or UZ from there? Can't find any info and the latest I had was from a few months ago from the embassy in Brussels, so far away from there to be reliable...
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Old 11 Jun 2013
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Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oo-SEB-oO View Post
thank you for this, please update about your Afghan adventure, as we are also on our way to there.... We're still 2 months out, but it's the first thing I've ever heard that you need to pay to enter with your vehicle... we're two on two bikes, so 600usd is not planned in our budget...

On the other side, can you please inform if it is doable (safe...) to go from there to Kunduz or even to Mazar-i-Sharif over the road so we can enter TJ or UZ from there? Can't find any info and the latest I had was from a few months ago from the embassy in Brussels, so far away from there to be reliable...
It is my understanding that ONLY the Wakan Valley is safe. The Taliban are now in Badakshan Province (same province as the Wakan) and there has recently been fighting in Faizabad. That's 150km by road from Eskashim or 12 hours on foot via the direct route (so we were told in Eskashim).


The RUPOS we were shown was for a car so its worth asking at the consulate what the price is for a motorcycle. Maybe its cheaper? Just ask before you shell out for a visa!
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Old 11 Jun 2013
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guessed it was in that wee finger bit of Afghanistan that gets in the way going from Taz to Pakistan but had to look it up on google maps. That's pretty far out man!
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Old 11 Jun 2013
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Finally online in Bishkek.

It was indeed a disappointment as we will likely never return here again with our own vehicle. You can get your Visa's without LOI at the embassy in Khorog which is also where you can get your Rupos Document. Make sure you get it here. A Kiwi friend got his a day after I text him and it cost him $200.

Gutted. Onwards and upwards to Siberia!

G
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Old 11 Jun 2013
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Attached pic of the 'Rupos' (Rubos?) along with one of the Hindu Kush for your enjoyment.
Attached Thumbnails
Afghanistan Vehicle entry permit - WARNING-13-06-01_0272lr.jpg  

Afghanistan Vehicle entry permit - WARNING-13-06-01_0267lr.jpg  

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Old 12 Jun 2013
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Thx for the info. In the meantime I got confirmation from my afghan connection that it is indeed necessary if you want to travel on your own vehicle, he also said it was 100usd per vehicle but he doesn't know about motorcycles, so we will indeed ask before applying/paying everything... ;-)
Would be a bummer not to do it, but then it's not exactly cheap for just a few days riding...
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Old 13 Jun 2013
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Short update: not only does the Rupos cost $200 from the consulate but you also need to pay an additional $100 custom duty fee at the border. This has been confirmed.

Below is a copy of Jon's Rupos which may make translation easier for UK based vehicles.

G
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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Djeeee... they don't want anybody coming in or what???
I am seriously reconsidering this... not willing to pay 600€ for just a week with our two bikes in the Wakhan...
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  #10  
Old 22 Jun 2013
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Damn unlucky!!

a few of these Polish guys did this a couple of years ago, looks AMAZING!! Afghanistan ride. How to enter, survive and return in one piece... - Page 18 - ADVrider

By the way, I have been researching a lot to see if I can find a route through Afghanistan from Tajikistan to Pakistan, everywhere I have looked they have said there is no way you can get through to Pakistan, however I have heard some news about a road being built from Dushanbe to Pakistan. Does anyone know any further information???

I intend to go this route in 2017 mid-way through a world trip, hopefully there is a way through by then!!! If you guys have any more information about this pass please let me know
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Old 22 Jun 2013
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The roads are in place, now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanted View Post
I have been researching a lot
Try the southern Asia forum:-
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/southern-asia/
even though Afghanistan lies in central Asia.


to the HUBB by the way.
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Old 26 Jun 2013
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You can bribe them on the border.
I never paid more than 100 USD per bike. If I paid in consulate for Road Pass I refused to pay on the border. It is faster to bribe them than wait for Road Pass.
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Old 26 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sambor View Post
You can bribe them on the border.
I never paid more than 100 USD per bike. If I paid in consulate for Road Pass I refused to pay on the border. It is faster to bribe them than wait for Road Pass.
There was no bribing going on. Absolutely no way. We tried everything (and would have paid a bribe) but they weren't having any of it. We spent the whole afternoon there and believe me, if bribery had been an option it would have come up in conversation; but it didn't. I think our "Isn't there anything we can do" pleading would have led to a bribe being suggested were it an option but it wasn't.
The U$100 payable at the border may well have been a bribe but without the permit from Khorog there was no way we were going to be allowed in.

Maybe times have changed since your last visit.
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  #14  
Old 28 Jun 2013
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This is still really bad news, this means that you pay 300USD just to enter the country with the bike, + 80USD for the Visa + 50USD for the Wakhan permit for just a week driving in the Wakhan... That's way to expensive!

I've never bribed anywhere in the world, but for this I would just to reduce costs, but if you're saying it's impossible... I'm not sure if I can or am willing to pay that mush money just to see the Wakhan on a bike...
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  #15  
Old 10 Sep 2013
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It's a Route Pass!

I was refused one in Islamabad in 2009, so just went ahead without. I made it into the country at three separate borders without one. I guess the guys at Ishkashim are strict because they see quite a few foreign vehicles. At least it seems you can get one. $100 is not much in the scheme of things, when you look back at it.

Daniel
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