Download GPX file for this article
35.2570.75Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Travel Warning WARNING: All of Afghanistan is unsafe and many governments advise against all travel there; see warnings in the Afghanistan article. Nuristan may be safer in some ways since it is so isolated but other threats, such as local banditry, may be worse here.
(Information last updated 15 Oct 2021)

Nuristan is in the northeast part of Afghanistan.


Nuristan is one of the most remote areas on Earth, right up in the Hindu Kush mountains. The area used to be called Kafiristan, land of unbelievers, until it was converted to Islam at swordpoint in the late 19th century and became known as Nuristan, land of light.

Kipling wrote of it in The Man Who Would be King. In his day, no Europeans had been there. John Huston made a film based on the book, with Sean Connery and Michael Caine in lead roles. It is a fine movie and the geography is about right, but the culture is more from Kipling's imagination than anything related to the actual place.

A wonderful book about the area is Eric Newby's A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, long out of print but worth hunting for. When Newby and a friend visited Nuristan in the 1950s, they were the second or third European expedition ever to reach it.


  • kashi – how are you
  • lesem – fine
  • ow – water
  • boodi – bread
  • korangi – where are you going

Get in[edit]

To even get close to Nuristan, you need a four-wheel drive vehicle with a winch and other rough-country preparation.

Get around[edit]

For most of the area, you need to hike or ride a horse or donkey. A local guide is near mandatory.



There are some peaks of interest to mountain climbers.




Stay safe[edit]

In addition to the warning box above, Nuristan poses risks of altitude sickness.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Nuristan is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!