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Travelling by road from Islamabad to Kabul

Hey there LSers,

I am travelling to Afghanistan in August to cover various photo stories. I am flying to Islamabad in Pakistan, and making my way by road up to Peshewar and on into Kabul probably via Jelelabad – hopefully with the UNHCR but this is yet to be confirmed. However I am looking for any info people may care to share on guesthouses in both Islamabad/Peshewar and Kabul. I have some ideas as have been to all these places before, but it is always good to get more advice from other knowledeable photographers. Any other info people may wish to shar is always welcome.

Many thanks in advance.


by Jamie Scott-Long at 2006-07-19 19:50:54 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) London , United Kingdom | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hi Jamie,

in Kabul you could visit the Gandamack Lodge (next to UNHCR) http://www.gandamacklodge.co.uk/
The owner is Peter Jouvenal. He might be able to answer all your questions.
Ps say hello to Peter from Kash.

All the Best, Kash

by KASH Gabriele Torsello | 20 Jul 2006 09:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Dear Jamie,

In the past two years I have travelled form Islamabad to Afghanistan and back with refugees and a few months ago I was in Kandahar and Helmand province for a month. This route you are considering is very dangerous at this time. Grow a beard! With the UNHCR you should be OK though. Then again this is Afgahanistan.. Co-incidentally I am in the UK and will be in London next week until August 1. I am in Glasgow for a few more days on assignment. Email me and we can talk, hopefuly we can meet up.

Is your visa to Pakistan as a journalist? There are a number of serious considerations when working in Pakistan. Peshawar is an interesting place and the Khyber Pass is unforgettable. Yet the tribal regions are very dangerous. We best discuss this off this site.


I have stayed at the Gandamack Lodge, it is excellent and they rent body armour if you need it.. They even have armed guards which is great and you have a DHL next door and the coalition accreditation office is near by if you were thinking of embedding. Iranian embassy accross the street. You can be hooked up with fixers and drivers at the lodge, no problem. If Jimmy is at the Lodge he will help you with everything and he is a great guy! Get a mobile for safety as well. Go with Roshan service on your cell, they are the Orange/vodaphone of Afghanistan.

If you are staying in Kabul for a while I suggest getting a mobile phone or a card for your gsm phone if you have it. The Lodge has internet. Are you up to date on your shots and travel health knowledge? Bring Cipro and sores and abbrasions are infected easily there, bring some alcohol swabs and a few small bandages. Overall I found Kabul safe.

Good Luck!


by Louie Palu | 20 Jul 2006 19:07 (ed. Jul 20 2006) | Glasgow/Edinburgh, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Actually in Islamabad, I know the road inbetween Pakistan capital’s and Kabul. I wouldnt recommand this road if you travel with a journalist visa since the pakistani authorities are reluctant to see journos around Peshawar. Just check if this is a three city visa (Lahore, Karachi & Islamabad).
Beside the visa, it has been tense thoses last weeks around the Khyber thought you still can make it but definitely, grow a bear and adopt local clothes.
You can fly UNHAS from Islamabad for a 200$ one way to Kabul, sure, not exciting as the road but if you work is in Afghanistan, you might consider this option. Is needed a letter of accreditation from a media and a press card. Address of UNHAS in Islamabad is House 6, Street 2, F8/3, Islamabad, ask for Sarwaz Hussein the nice man in charge of the flight on this side of the border.
Another nice and wireless Guest House in Kabul, Le Monde, as the french newspapaer, all commodities + nice and helpfull staff (Rose & Gary).
Good luck,

by Karim Ben Khelifa | 20 Jul 2006 19:07 | Islamabad, Pakistan | | Report spam→
With regards to growing a bear and adopting local dress …… yes It is a very good idea, but don’t overdue.
They may take you for a forein ‘intruder’ and have security stopping you very quite often….
Especially in Kabul, the Afghani one, wearing a bear might be associate to insurgency.

I can tell you that Honesty is the key factor for a free & open minded vision of an amazing and historical route to KBL. I am sure you know this already.

And wearing a salvar-camiche and groving a bear is a way of showing respect to the locals you are visiting
But, as you know, there is a war in evolution and in preparation too and looking like an individual Afghani, wearing some gear and travilling around, might looks suspicious.


by KASH Gabriele Torsello | 20 Jul 2006 20:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Jamie Scott-Long, Photographer Jamie Scott-Long
London , United Kingdom
KASH Gabriele Torsello, Photojournalist KASH Gabriele Torsello
London , United Kingdom
Louie Palu, photojournalist Louie Palu
Kandahar , Afghanistan
Karim Ben Khelifa, Photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa
[undisclosed location].


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