Slap bang at the crossroads between Central Asia, India and Persia, Afghanistan’s location has guaranteed it a starring role in the Silk Road trade, the hippie trail and, sadly, a string of bloody conflicts. Unfortunately much of the country’s wildlife, architecture and infrastructure have been decimated by war, and the security situation remains highly volatile. Nevertheless, it’s no coincidence that tie-dye clad travellers once flocked to this ancient land of craggy mountains and poppy fields. There are many draws: rugged scenery, spirited, hospitable people and an idiosyncratic culture where a perfect weekend involves flying bright kites and watching the traditional sport of buzkashi – polo played with a headless goat. Although tourism is extremely small-scale, a handful of tour operators do cater for expats, NGO workers and curious visitors. If you're considering a visit, monitor the security situation closely and ensure you are travelling with a knowledgeable and responsible operator.
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