AUG 1-17, 2024

with Jeremy Woodhouse
(17 days – 16 nights), maximum group size 6

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Sakhi Shrine, Kabul

Traveling in Afghanistan offers a journey through a land of striking contrasts and rich cultural heritage. From the bustling markets and ancient bazaars of Kabul to the historic wonders of Herat, every corner of Afghanistan beckons with stories of resilience and beauty. While security concerns and logistical challenges exist, those who venture to Afghanistan are rewarded with unforgettable experiences, profound encounters, and a deeper understanding of a nation with a complex history and a resilient spirit.

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Aug 1: Pre-tour Day 1—Arrive Peshawar
You will be met by your tour guide at the airport and taken to your hotel.

O/N in Peshawar

Aug 2: Pre-tour Day 2—Peshawar
Today we will be spending the day in Peshawar organizing our visas for Afghanistan. When time permits we will also be doing some sightseeing. Peshawar, the vibrant capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan, is a captivating journey into a city rich in history, culture, and bustling markets. Peshawar, often referred to as the "City of Flowers", is a blend of ancient traditions and modern life. The historic Qissa Khwani Bazaar, known as the "Storytellers' Bazaar", weaves tales of the Silk Road era with its narrow lanes, ornate mosques, and vibrant market stalls. The impressive Bala Hisar Fort, overlooking the city, stands as a testament to Peshawar's historical significance. The aromatic Namak Mandi, renowned for its delectable Pashtun cuisine, invites travelers to savor traditional dishes like Peshawari Chapli Kebabs. Peshawar's unique blend of hospitality, diverse cultural influences, and the backdrop of the nearby Kh

O/N in Peshawar B,L,D

Aug 3: Pre-Tour Day 3—Peshawar/Kabul
Today, after an early breakfast, we begin our drive to Kabul. Depending on traffic and border crossings, this will take the better part of the whole day. Starting from Peshawar, we embark on a cross-country adventure, passing through the scenic regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As the journey progresses, the road winds through mountainous terrain, offering panoramic views of the majestic peaks and deep valleys. Arriving at the Afghan border, we will go through immigration procedures before joining our transport on the Afghan side.

Driving  to Kabul over the Khyber Pass, a historic mountain pass that has been a vital trade route for centuries, offers a journey through rugged terrain, breathtaking landscapes, and historical significance. The pass is steeped in history, with ancient forts and watchtowers dotting the landscape, serving as reminders of its strategic importance. We are immersed in the cultural tapestry of the region as we navigate through bustling markets and remote villages along the route. The journey culminates in Kabul, the vibrant capital of Afghanistan, where the rich heritage and resilience of the Afghan people await exploration.

O/N in Kabul B,L,D

Aug 4: Day 1—Kabul
Full day in Kabul to photograph. Kabul has a rich and complex history that stretches back over 3,500 years. It has been a significant center for various empires and civilizations, including the Persian Empire, the Maurya Empire, the Islamic Caliphates, the Mongols, and the Mughals. In more recent history, Kabul served as the capital of Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War and the subsequent civil wars. The city has witnessed periods of prosperity, cultural flourishing, and unfortunately, times of conflict and destruction. In the 20th century, Kabul saw rapid urbanization and modernization, but it also endured the devastation of war.

As for photographing in Kabul, it's a city of contrasts. The bustling markets, historic landmarks, and diverse people offer a wealth of subjects for photographers. However, as is the case everywhere in Afghanistan, it’s crucial to be aware of the local customs and sensitivities, especially in a place with a complex political and social landscape. Always respect the privacy and consent of the people you photograph, and be mindful of any restrictions or guidelines in place.

Despite the challenges, Kabul's resilience and the strength of its people can be powerful subjects for photography, telling a story that goes beyond the headlines. Just remember to approach it with sensitivity and a deep appreciation for the city's layered history.

O/N in Kabul B,L,D

Aug 5: Day 2—Kabul
Full day in Kabul to photograph. Kabul is known for its historical and cultural landmarks, including the Babur's Gardens. Also known as Bagh-e Babur, these historic gardens were laid out in the 16th century and offer a serene setting with terraced lawns and pavilions. A fortified palace complex with a long history, the Kabul Citadel has witnessed various rulers and empires. Its architecture and historical significance make it an interesting subject. The Pul-e Khishti Mosque, known for its beautiful blue tiles, is a significant religious site in Kabul. Its vibrant colors and architectural details can make for striking photographs. The Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque is known for its five towering arches and is an iconic landmark in Kabul. Though the Darul Aman Palace has experienced significant damage due to conflict, it remains an imposing structure with a poignant history. The juxtaposition of the old palace against the surrounding landscape can be a powerful visual. We will capture everyday life in Kabul—markets, street vendors, people going about their daily routines. 

O/N in Kabul B,L,D

Aug 6: Day 3—Kabul/Bamyan (181km)
Bamyan, located in central Afghanistan, is known for its rich history and the iconic Buddha statues that once stood in the region. Bamyan has a history dating back over 2,000 years. It was a crucial center along the Silk Road, connecting trade routes between Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East. It became a significant center for Buddhism in the 2nd century, and large Buddhist monastic complexes were built in the area. The most famous elements were the colossal Buddha statues carved into the cliffs, which stood at 53 and 35 meters tall. These statues were constructed between the 3rd and 6th centuries. In the 13th century, the Mongol invasion led by Genghis Khan caused significant destruction in Bamyan. The Buddha statues, however, remained mostly intact, however, in 2001, the Taliban infamously destroyed the Buddha statues in Bamyan, considering them as "idols" against their interpretation of Islamic teachings. This act drew international condemnation.

After the fall of the Taliban regime, efforts were made to reconstruct and restore the cultural heritage of Bamyan. UNESCO and other organizations have been involved in initiatives to preserve and protect the remaining cultural sites. 

Beyond the historical sites, the serene lakes, lush valleys, and rugged terrain provide endless possibilities for capturing the raw beauty of the Afghan landscape. Engaging with the local community offers photographers a chance to document daily life, traditions, and the resilience of the people in this remote region. 

O/N in Bamyan B,L,D

Aug 7: Day 4—Bamyan/Band-e Amir Lakes/Bamyan (160km)
The Band-e Amir Lakes are a stunning natural attraction located in the Bamyan Province of central Afghanistan. They constitute a series of six deep blue lakes formed by natural dams created from mineral deposits and tufa barriers. These dams were formed by the carbonates precipitating out of the water. The lakes are surrounded by picturesque limestone cliffs and lush green valleys, creating a breathtaking landscape. The deep blue color of the lakes against the rugged backdrop is a captivating sight. Band-e Amir holds cultural and historical significance, often mentioned in local folklore and literature. The area has connections to ancient legends and is considered a symbol of natural beauty in Afghan culture. In 2009, Band-e Amir became Afghanistan's first national park, reflecting the importance of preserving this natural wonder for future generations. Despite the challenges faced by Afghanistan, Band-e Amir has attracted some tourists and locals seeking to experience the beauty of the lakes and the surrounding landscape. However, access to the region can be limited due to security concerns.

Efforts have been made to promote conservation and sustainable tourism in the Band-e Amir area. Conservation initiatives aim to protect the unique ecosystem and promote responsible tourism practices.

O/N in Bamyan B,L,D

Aug 8: Day 5—Bamyan/Gazni (320km)
Ghazni, located in eastern Afghanistan, has a rich and multifaceted history that spans over many centuries. The region that is now Ghazni has ancient roots dating back to pre-Islamic times. It was part of various empires and civilizations, including the Persian Empire and the Maurya Empire. Ghazni is known for its historical and cultural landmarks, including the Ghazni Citadel (Arg-e Ghazni), which stands as a testament to its ancient and medieval history. The city has various minarets, mosques, and historical sites that reflect its diverse heritage. The historic Ghazni Citadel, with its ancient walls and structures, is a prominent landmark. Photograph the architecture and the surrounding landscape, capturing the historical significance of the site. Explore the narrow streets of the old city, capturing the daily life, traditional architecture, and the vibrant colors of Ghazni. Street photography can provide a glimpse into the local culture and community. The city is also known for its minarets, such as the Minaret of Mas'ud III. These structures showcase the architectural heritage of the region and can be interesting subjects for photography. We will document the intricate details of the Ghazni Friday Mosque (Jama Masjid), capturing the architectural elements and the atmosphere around this significant religious site.

O/N in Ghazni B,L,D

Aug 9: Day 6—Ghazni/Kabul/Mazar-e-Sharif (150km & 2hr flight)
Leaving Ghazni after breakfast, we head back to Kabul from where we will take our first internal flight to Mazar-e-Sharif.

Mazar-e-Sharif, located in northern Afghanistan, is a city with a long and diverse history. The area around Mazar-e-Sharif has ancient roots, dating back to the time of the Persian Empire. It was strategically located along the Silk Road trade routes. Mazar-e-Sharif gained significance during the Islamic period. The city's name means "Noble Shrine," and it is believed to be the burial place of Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. The Blue Mosque (Hazrat Ali Shrine) in Mazar-e-Sharif is considered one of the holiest sites in Afghanistan and a major pilgrimage destination and it makes for compelling photographs. Document the daily life around the Blue Mosque, especially during times of prayer or religious ceremonies. Capture the devotion and expressions of worshipers, adding a human element to your photos.

O/N in Mazar-e-Sharif B,L,D

Aug 10: Day 7—Mazar-e-Sharif/Balkh/Mazar-e-Sharif (50km)
Balkh, one of the oldest cities in Afghanistan, has a rich history and cultural significance. Balkh is often referred to as "Mother of Cities" and has a history that dates back over 3,000 years. It was a major center of trade, culture, and religion along the Silk Road. In ancient times, Balkh was a center of Zoroastrianism, and it is believed to be the birthplace of Zoroaster, the founder of the religion. The city was a prominent cultural and religious center in the Achaemenid Empire. Balkh is known for its historical and cultural landmarks, including the ancient city walls, the Shrine of Khwaja Abu Nasr Parsa, and the Blue Mosque. These sites reflect the city's diverse history and cultural influences. Balkh has been the focus of archaeological excavations, revealing layers of ancient civilizations. The discoveries contribute to our understanding of the region's history.

O/Nin Mazar-e-Sharif B,L,D

Aug 11: Day 8—Mazar-e-Sharif/Kandahar (2 hr flight)
This morning we fly to Kandahar. One of the oldest cities in Afghanistan, it has a complex history and cultural significance. It has ancient roots dating back over 3,500 years. It was an important center along the ancient Silk Road and has been associated with various empires, including the Persian Empire and the Maurya Empire. Kandahar is home to various historical and cultural landmarks, including the Kandahar Citadel, the Shrine of the Cloak, and the Mausoleum of Mirwais Hotak. These sites reflect the city's diverse history and cultural influences.

O/Nin Kandahar  B,L,D

Aug 12: Day 9—Kandahar 
Full day in Kandahar to photograph local culture and landmarks that include the ancient walls and structures of the Kandahar Citadel (Arg-e Kandahar), showcasing the historical significance and architectural details. Photograph the mausoleum dedicated to Mirwais Hotak, a prominent historical figure in Afghan history. The structure and its surroundings can provide interesting visual elements. Photograph the architectural details of mosques and shrines in Kandahar, such as the Shrine of the Cloak. These religious sites are not only visually appealing but also culturally significant. If accessible and allowed, document the remains of Arg-e Karim Khan, a historic fortress associated with the founder of the Zand Dynasty.

O/N in Kandahar B,L,D

Aug 13: Day 10—Kandahar/Lashkargah (138km)
Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, has a history marked by various influences and, like many Afghan cities, has faced challenges and changes. Lashkargah is situated in a fertile region along the Helmand River, making agriculture a crucial part of the local economy. The city is known for its production of fruits, vegetables, and other crops.

Like many parts of Afghanistan, Lashkargah has faced security concerns due to ongoing conflicts and insurgency. Efforts have been made to address these challenges and improve the security situation.

O/N in Lashkargah B,L,D

Aug 14: Day 11—Lashkargah/Herat (1½ hr flight)
Herat, one of Afghanistan's oldest and culturally rich cities, has a history that spans over two millennia. Herat has ancient roots, dating back to at least 500 BCE. It has been part of various empires, including the Achaemenid Empire and the Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great. In the medieval period, it was a center of trade, culture, and scholarship along the Silk Road.

In the 20th century, Herat experienced modernization efforts and infrastructural development. It played a role in the political dynamics of Afghanistan. Herat was a significant battleground during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s. The city witnessed intense fighting and played a crucial role in the resistance against the Soviet occupation. In the 1990s, Herat came under the control of the Taliban. The city faced restrictions and cultural challenges during this period. After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Herat has seen efforts for reconstruction and development. The city has become a center for trade, education, and cultural activities in western Afghanistan.

Herat is home to numerous historical and cultural landmarks, including the Herat Citadel, the Friday Mosque (Jami Mosque), and the Shrine of Khwaja Abdullah Ansari. These sites reflect the city's rich history and architectural heritage.

O/N in Herat B,L,D

Aug 15: Day 12—Herat
In Herat, there are numerous photo-worthy highlights that capture the city's rich history, cultural heritage, and vibrant atmosphere. Capture the imposing presence of the Herat Citadel, an ancient fortress that has stood for centuries. The architecture and the surrounding landscape offer striking visuals. Photograph the intricate tilework and architectural details of the Friday Mosque, one of Herat's most significant landmarks. The grandeur of the mosque's design is a captivating subject. Explore the bustling markets of Herat's Old City. Document the vibrant colors, diverse products, and the lively atmosphere of daily commerce. Visit the historic Qala Ikhtyaruddin, a medieval citadel with a rich history. Capture the ancient walls, towers, and any cultural events or activities taking place within the citadel. Photograph the Gazar Gah, a serene garden with historic significance. The gardens provide a peaceful backdrop for capturing the beauty of nature in Herat. Document the architectural beauty and religious significance of the Shrine of Khwaja Abdullah Ansari. This sacred site is known for its spiritual atmosphere. Capture the grandeur of the Herat Grand Mosque, another notable religious site in the city. Focus on the architectural details and the interactions of worshippers.

O/N in Herat B,L,D

Aug 16: Day 13—Herat/Kabul (1½ hr flight)
In the morning we will spend some time sightseeing in Herat before checking out of our hotel and heading to the airport for our afternoon flight back to Kabul

O/N in Kabul B,L,D

Aug 17: Day 14—Kabul/Dubai
We will visit some sights before your flight and then drop you at the airport in good time to catch your flight back home. There are daily flights from Kabul to Dubai on Fly Dubai.


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View over the Bamyan (Bamiyan) Valley Showing the large Buddha Niche in the Cliff

Trip Notes

  • Visits and excursions order may be modified according to local conditions (road conditions, security issues, etc.)
  • Trip expenses: travelers should change about 400 USD into local currency. For drinks (not included with meals), shopping, and tips to drivers and guides. To buy crafts we recommend bringing some extra money. The guide will help you change money
  • Internet: each person is advised to buy a local telephone card with data services
  • We recommend to bring a shower towel and flip flops for the bathroom

Arrival & Departure 

Turkish Airlines, AA/BA, Qatar, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) & Emirates all fly to Islamabad
Fly Dubai airlines flies non-stop from Kabul to Dubai

Arrival & Meeting Place
Arrive at Gandhara International Airport, Islamabad in Pakistan where you will be met by your guide.

Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Fly Dubai.

We will get our visas for Afghanistan while we are in Islamabad. To arrive in Pakistan, you will need to apply for a Pakistani e-visa. Please go to the following link You will need to provide me with a copy of your passport and travel schedule so that our ground crew will be able to provide you with the necessary Letter of Introduction. 


In August, Afghanistan typically experiences hot and dry weather, especially in the lowland areas. However, the weather can vary depending on the region due to differences in elevation and geography. Here's a general overview:

  • Lowland Areas (e.g., Kabul, Kandahar): Expect high temperatures with daytime temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F) and occasionally reaching above 40°C (104°F). The weather is generally dry with minimal rainfall.
  • Mountainous Areas (e.g., Bamyan, Panjshir): While still warm during the day, mountainous regions experience cooler temperatures compared to lowland areas. Nighttime temperatures can drop significantly, especially at higher elevations.
  • Northern Regions (e.g., Mazar-i-Sharif, Kunduz): Northern parts of Afghanistan tend to be slightly cooler compared to central and southern regions. Temperatures in August may range from moderate to warm during the day.
  • Western Regions (e.g., Herat): Weather in western Afghanistan is similar to the lowland areas, with hot and dry conditions prevailing during August.
It's important to note that Afghanistan's weather can be unpredictable, and extreme weather events, such as dust storms or occasional thunderstorms, may occur. Additionally, Afghanistan's diverse geography, including mountain ranges and valleys, can create microclimates with variations in temperature and precipitation. 


The Persian or Dari language functions as the nation's lingua franca and is the native tongue of several of Afghanistan's ethnic groups including the Tajiks, Hazaras and Aimaqs. Pashto is the native tongue of the Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group in Afghanistan. Due to Afghanistan's multi-ethnic character, multilingualism is a common phenomenon.


The afghani is the currency of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which is issued by the nation's central bank called Da Afghanistan Bank. It is nominally subdivided into 100 puls, although there are no pul coins currently in circulation.

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The Great Mosque of Herat (Friday Mosque or Jama Masjid)



Maximum Group Size: 6

Tour Price Includes

  • All transfers
  • Hotels and guesthouses
  • English speaking professional fixer-guide during the entire trip
  • Food as mentioned in the itinerary 
  • Mineral water
  • Land transport in 4x4 vehicles
  • Fuel and tolls
  • Mentioned excursions
  • Tickets to the places mentioned in the itinerary

Tour Price Excludes

  • International flights and air taxes
  • Food and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary 
  • Afghanistan Visa 
  • Travel and cancellation insurance

Paying by check

If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:

Nicole Woodhouse
Pixelchrome, Inc, 
605 Rouen Drive, 
McKinney TX 75072

Paying by Wire Transfer

If you would like to pay by Wire Transfer please contact for bank account details.

Equipment Checklist

  • Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
  • Camera body(s)
  • Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good
  • Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
  • Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
  • Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
  • Charger for batteries
  • Spare batteries
  • Spare Memory cards
  • Memory card reader
  • USB key to exchange images

Also good to have

  • Tripod
  • Good quality polarizing filter