Is Afghanistan Safe Now to Travel?
Travel To Afghanistan?
Is Afghanistan safe to travel to? Certainly not. The risks associated with travel to any country are very high. However, is the security in Afghanistan high enough to allow travel to the country? Yes, it certainly is, but the risks must be weighed regularly, because the security situation in the country varies so rapidly, from a low risk to high risk.
How much should I consider leaving for Afghanistan at this time? You should consider at least two to three months of travel time. If you are planning to stay longer than this, then there are additional security concerns that you need to address. However, if you only plan to be out for a couple of weeks, then you do not need to worry about safety as much. There are many reasons to travel to the country, even if you only plan to stay for a few days.
Why should you consider leaving for Afghanistan now? There are a number of reasons to do so. One is the deteriorating security situation in herat, including the strategic border areas with Pakistan. The insecurity in herat includes infiltration of Taliban fighters, insecurity in the Kunduz Province, fighting in the north and west of Herat, and an unstable government.
What can you do to ensure your protection when traveling to Afghanistan? You need to get both your family and your traveling companions licensed through the proper Afghan authorities. In particular, you should consider getting the appropriate consular assistance. The consular assistance that you get will give you very important inside information about visa requirements and immunizations, and will especially help you get a visa to visit the consular section at the embassy in Herat.
It’s not hard to find out whether or not the country is safe for an Afghanistan visa when you’re planning to travel to the country. The U.S. State Department’s webpage on Afghanistan has a detailed list of all the visa categories. These categories include: Cultural Activities, Family Affair, Employment, Financial Transactions, International Trade, Medical Treatment, Personal Protection, Sports, and Trade. If you fall under any of these categories and are planning to travel to Afghanistan, you should apply immediately for a visa. To ensure that you are approved, you should complete the necessary paperwork.
You should also know what you need to bring with you to the country. The items that you should take with you include: passport, currency, blank visa form, contact person, first aid kit, batteries, foldable tools, medicines, toiletry items, list of immunizations, and itinerary. If you have your own vehicle, you may be able to drive the day before or the day after your trip. However, if you plan on travelling without a vehicle, please check with the embassy in Herat regarding flights and buses. If you are unable to get a visa on the day you travel to Afghanistan, you should expect to be dropped by the customs department at the airport.
Please note that the security situation in Afghanistan is especially outside the capital, Herat. There are high risks of theft, attacks, and kidnapping in the cities of Herat and Kunduz. Additionally, if you have any problems while in Afghanistan, especially outside the capital, it is wise to call the American Consulate in Afghanistan and ask for assistance. There is a U.S. Consulate in Herat that offers 24-hour emergency services. This includes support for those who have been detained, information on how to get a copy of an immigrant visa, and assistance with applications and verification.
Beyond Herat, there are several other provinces that have violent environments for tourists. Iqbal, Kunduz, Helmand, and Saran County in the northern part of the country are particularly risky. If you want to travel to northern Afghanistan, the safest places are Herat, Kunduz, and Baghlan. The population in these areas tends to be angry and hostile toward foreigners, so it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and carry the right mindset. In case of an emergency, it is also smart to have some knowledge of the local language (Kashto) and culture (Taliban has a diverse culture). In short, while Afghanistan may not be currently considered safe for U.S. Citizens to travel to, many travelers do return year after year.