Travel Guide

Afghanistan Basics

The Basics


Time: GMT +4.5

Electricity: Electrical current is 220 - 240 volts, 50Hz. Plugs with either two or three round pins are standard.

Money: Electrical current is 220 - 240 volts, 50Hz. Plugs with either two or three round pins are standard.

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: Pashto and Dari are the official languages of Afghanistan, and the most widely spoken.

Entry requirements for Americans: Nationals of the USA need a passport that is valid for six months at the time of entry, and a visa.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: British nationals with the designation of British Citizen in their passport need a passport valid on arrival, and a visa. Other passport designations must be valid for six months after the period of intended stay. These require a visa as well.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Nationals of Canada need a passport valid on arrival, and a visa.

Entry requirements for Australians: Nationals of Australia need a passport valid on arrival, and a visa.

Entry requirements for South Africans: Nationals of South Africa need a passport valid for six months after the period of intended stay, and a visa.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: Nationals of New Zealand need a passport valid on arrival, and a visa.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Nationals of Ireland need a passport valid for six months after the period of intended stay, and a visa.

Passport/Visa Note: Travellers to Afghanistan require a passport that is valid for six months beyond the period of intended stay and proof of return or onward tickets. Tourist and business visas are available and should be applied for in advance. Depending on travel history, a health clearance letter could be required. It's strongly recommended that all visitors register with their embassy, police department or the Afghan Tourist Organisation on arrival. All women should cover their bodies with clothing, except for the face, hands and feet. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: A yellow fever vaccination is required for all travellers arriving from infected areas. Vaccinations are also recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid. Travellers should be up to date on their vaccinations for polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and tetanus-diphtheria, and those spending a good deal of time outdoors and at possible risk of animal bites should also consider a vaccination for rabies. Tap water shouldn't be drunk unless it has first been boiled, filtered or chemically disinfected. Medical facilities are limited in Afghanistan and medications are often in short supply. Comprehensive travel health insurance is recommended and all essential medications should be taken along.

Local Customs: Afghanistan is an Islamic country and visitors should be respectful of Islamic traditions and laws, particularly during the month of Ramadan. Homosexuality is illegal. Travellers should be careful about what they photograph as it is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations and palaces, and the locals don't always appreciate being photographed either. It is illegal to buy or export historical antiquities without a receipt from an authorised dealer and travellers may be asked for proof of purchase when leaving the country.

Duty Free: Local currency can be imported and exported up to an amount of AFN 500. Each person may import a reasonable amount of tobacco and perfume for personal use. Alcohol is prohibited.