Getting around in Afghanistan

Afghanistan, a landlocked country located in South Asia, has a diverse and rugged terrain that poses challenges for transportation. With mountain ranges, deserts, and valleys, navigating through the country can be difficult. Despite these obstacles, transportation is vital for connecting cities, towns, and remote villages.

The history of transportation in Afghanistan dates back centuries, as the country has been a key part of the ancient Silk Road trade route. Today, the transportation infrastructure in Afghanistan is still developing, with ongoing efforts to improve road networks and public transportation systems. The lack of adequate infrastructure can make traveling within the country a daunting task for both locals and tourists.

One of the most common modes of transportation in Afghanistan is by road. While major cities like Kabul have paved roads, many rural areas are only accessible by unpaved roads or mountainous paths. As a result, navigating through the country can be time-consuming and challenging. In recent years, there have been initiatives to improve road conditions and establish bus services to connect different regions.

According to the World Bank, only about 40% of Afghans have access to paved roads, highlighting the need for further investment in transportation infrastructure. The lack of reliable transportation options hinders economic development and limits access to essential services for many communities. As Afghanistan continues to rebuild and modernize, improving transportation networks will be crucial for connecting people and goods across the country.

Looking for Easy Ways to Get Around Afghanistan?

Are you struggling to find efficient transportation options in Afghanistan? Navigating the diverse terrain and busy streets can be a challenge, but fear not – we have all the information you need to make your travels easier and more enjoyable. From local transportation tips to must-visit locations, our comprehensive guide will help you navigate through Afghanistan with ease. Keep reading to discover the best ways to get around in this fascinating country.

Transportation in Afghanistan

Getting around in Afghanistan can be a challenging but fascinating experience. The country has a limited transportation infrastructure, with most roads being unpaved and poorly maintained. However, there are several options for traveling within the country.


One of the main ways to get around Afghanistan is by road. The main highways in the country are generally in better condition than smaller roads, but caution is still advised due to the presence of landmines and the threat of attacks.

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Afghanistan is limited, but there are some options available. Minibuses and shared taxis are common in cities and towns, offering a cheap way to travel short distances. However, these vehicles can be overcrowded and uncomfortable.

Private Vehicles

Renting a car is possible in Afghanistan, but it is generally not recommended for foreigners due to security concerns. If you do choose to drive yourself, be aware of the poor road conditions and erratic driving habits of locals.

Air Travel

Domestic flights are available between major cities in Afghanistan, offering a quick and relatively safe way to travel long distances. However, flights can be expensive, and schedules may be unreliable.


According to a report by the World Bank, only 15% of roads in Afghanistan are paved, making travel by road a challenging prospect in many parts of the country.

How safe is it to travel around Afghanistan?

Given the security situation in Afghanistan, it is recommended to exercise caution and stay updated on travel advisories before planning any trips. It is also advisable to hire a local guide for added security.

What are the main modes of transportation in Afghanistan?

The main modes of transportation in Afghanistan include buses, taxis, and domestic flights. However, roads in some areas may be poorly maintained, so be prepared for rough journeys.

Can I drive in Afghanistan as a foreigner?

Foreigners can drive in Afghanistan with an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a valid driver’s license from their home country. It is important to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and customs before driving.

Are there any restrictions on women’s transportation in Afghanistan?

Women in Afghanistan may face restrictions on their mobility, especially in more conservative areas. It is important to respect local customs and seek guidance from local women on the best modes of transportation.

What is the best way to navigate the streets in Afghan cities?

Walking and using public transportation such as buses or shared taxis are common ways to navigate the streets in Afghan cities. It is also a good idea to have a map or GPS app on hand.

Are there any cultural norms to be aware of when using transportation in Afghanistan?

When using transportation in Afghanistan, it is important to dress modestly, especially for women, and show respect for local customs. It is also customary to greet fellow passengers and the driver when boarding a vehicle.

Can I use ride-sharing services like Uber in Afghanistan?

Ride-sharing services like Uber are not available in Afghanistan. However, you can use local taxi services or apps like Snapp and Kabul Taxi for transportation in major cities.

Is it safe to use public transportation in Afghanistan?

While public transportation is generally safe in Afghanistan, it may be crowded and uncomfortable at times. It is important to keep your belongings secure and be vigilant when using buses or shared taxis.

What should I do in case of an emergency while using transportation in Afghanistan?

In case of an emergency while using transportation in Afghanistan, contact local authorities or your embassy for assistance. It is also a good idea to have emergency contacts and travel insurance in place before your trip.

Are there any specific travel tips for getting around in rural areas of Afghanistan?

  • It is recommended to hire a local guide or driver familiar with the area.
  • Be prepared for long and bumpy journeys on unpaved roads.
  • Respect local customs and seek permission before taking photographs.


Overall, navigating the transportation system in Afghanistan can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. By being prepared with the proper documentation, familiarizing yourself with the various modes of transportation available, and being flexible with your plans, you can successfully navigate the country’s diverse terrain and infrastructure. Whether traveling by road, air, or foot, it is important to always prioritize safety and be mindful of the unique cultural norms and customs that may influence your journey. By staying informed and planning ahead, you can make the most of your time in Afghanistan and truly immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of sights, sounds, and experiences that the country has to offer.

In conclusion, transportation in Afghanistan may present its own set of challenges, but with the right mindset and approach, you can navigate the country with confidence and ease. Whether exploring the bustling streets of Kabul, traversing the rugged mountains of the Hindu Kush, or journeying through the vast deserts of the south, getting around in Afghanistan is a journey in itself. Embrace the adventure, be open to new experiences, and you will be rewarded with memories that will last a lifetime.

Overland Travel Tips for Africa

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.