Dushanbe To Bishkek (22 Days)

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Dushanbe To Bishkek (22 Days) Central Stans (Cadb22)
Dushanbe, Almaty, Bushkek
From: £1595

Discover the stunning scenery of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan with a trip that takes you off the beaten track and into the heart of the wilderness. From the border with Afghanistan we travel through the highlights of the Silk Road visiting Samarkand and Tashkent, before getting out in to the wilderness in Kazakhstan. We visit the ex capital city of Almaty and then enter the wilds of Kyrgyzstan, taking an epic journey around Lake Issy-Kul before ending our journey in Bishkek.

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We leave Dushanbe behind and depending on the border crossing timing we may camp en-route to Termez. Situated on the border with Afghanistan, is the ancient town of Termez and we have a full day to explore its many historical sites. Genghis Khan’s troops destroyed the city in 1220, but many mosques, monasteries and fortresses still stand testament to this regions resilience.

Bukhara, our next stop, is situated on a sacred hill, and was founded in the 13th century BC and it is home to over 350 mosques and some 100 Islamic colleges. The city is intrinsically linked to the history of the Silk Road and later the ‘Great Game’ that played out in the nineteenth century between Russia and Great Britain. One of the most famous individuals involved in this historical period, the Englishman Alexander Burnes, was known as ‘Burnes of Bukhara’ and the books he authored based on his adventures in this part of Asia gave him celebrity status in Victorian England.

Bukhara today is an attractive city with narrow streets, green parks and gardens, and is a pleasure to wander around and there will be the opportunity for a bout of good humoured haggling in the bazaar.

The Kyzylkum Desert is about 300,000 sq km and lies between the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers. This is a vast arid plain with a number of isolated bare mountains rising to 900 metres and we journey across it on our way to Samarkand. Scheduled permitting, we may opt to take the local train and rejoin the truck on arrival.

Samarkand itself is the second largest city in Uzbekistan. It dates back 2,500 years, making it as old as Babylon or Rome. Here we have a couple of days to explore the splendid architecture such as the 15th century Bibi-Khanum Mosque which when it was built was considered to have the largest dome in the Muslim world. Today it stands next a noisy and colourful Oriental market. No trip here is complete without a wander around the three edifices of the Registan, once Medieval Samarkand's commercial plaza and today quite possibly the most awesome sight in Central Asia.

From here we drive northwards to Tashkent, the present capital of Uzbekistan. This modern, cosmopolitan city hosts a mixture of Islamic, Soviet and twenty-first century buildings, and is a pleasant place to spend a couple of nights. Riding the city’s metro is an experience in itself, with many of the stations ornately decorated, much like the more famous underground in Moscow, and there is also some lively nightlife to check out.

We drive north away from the city to the border with Kazakhstan. Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve is our main stopping point and we spend some time to take in the stunning scenery of green valleys, rushing rivers and snow capped peaks. Here we stand a chance of spotting bears, ibex and golden eagles. There are hiking and horse riding options around the reserve.

Following the Kyrgyz border, we head East to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis and capital until 1997. Almaty is the largest and most ethnically and culturally diverse city in Kazakhstan. Set in the foothills of the Trans Lli Alatau mountains, the area has a ski resort (Shymbulak) at an elevation of 2,200 mtrs and enjoys a great amount of snow from November through to May.

The city has many sights and attractions, including Ascension Cathedral in Panfilov Park; Abay Opera House; Golden Warrior Monument in the Republic Square and the giant Almaty Tower. Or for adrenaline lovers, why not ride the ‘Fast Coaster’ roller coaster, that is located on the side of a mountain and reaches speeds of 45 km per hour.

We cross the border and enter Kyrgyzstan at the Eastern end of Lake Issy-Kul, which was used for testing Submarine Torpedoes in Soviet times!

The area of Altyn Arashan and its surrounds offer the outdoor lover many hiking and horse riding opportunities and we spend a few days here to take in the amazing scenery.

We visit the vast red stone cliffs in Jeti-Oguz and visit the town of Karakol with its attractive houses and tree-lined streets. Behind it are the Terskay Ala-Too Mountains, an unspoilt wilderness populated only by nomadic shepherds.

As we travel around Kyrgyzstan we camp, but we also may have the opportunity to use some family homestays, where we are welcomed into a local home for the night. These are subject to availability, but if we can arrange them they offer a fantastic experience, allowing us to feel part of the family for a night and make some new friends!

We take a leisurely drive along the south side of Lake Issy-Kul, camping under the stars for one final night, before arriving in Bishkek, the Capital.


Discover Bukhara - an important stop on the Silk Rd, home to over 350 mosques and 100 Islamic colleges
Appreciate the beauty of the Registan, medressas and mosques in Samarkand
Wander the leafy streets and enjoy the cafe culture of Almaty
Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery and alpine lakes throughout Kyrgyzstan
Take a swim in Lake Issyk-Kul, the world's second largest Alpine lake
Hike through the sandstone cliff formations in and around Jeti-Oguz
Venture into the Altyn-Arashan Valley and hot springs by foot or horsebac


  • Accommodation - approx. 50% camping & 50% in hostels/hotels
  • Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • All Transport on Oasis Expedition Truck
  • Camping and Cooking equipment
  • Services of Oasis Crew

Not included

  • Visas
  • Local Payment (see tour notes & options)
  • Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information
  • Flights
  • Airport Taxes & Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • Drinks
  • Tip
Dushanbe To Bishkek (22 Days) Central Stans (Cadb22)
Next Booking: July 28, 2024
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