Traverse mountain passes, wander through steep valleys, and experience generous hospitality from the remote villages that call these mountains home.
The Fann Mountains are a must visit. Located in the west of Tajikastan near to the city of Pankakent, close to Uzbekistan, they are part of the Western Pamir-Alay Mountain range popular for trekking, lakes, and mountain gazing.
Most treks will start in the western city of Pankakent which borders Uzbekistan. If you wish, you can start your trek from the beautiful Iskanderkul lake north west of Dushanbe.
As of March 2018, the border crossing between Samarkant, Uzbekistan and Panjakent, Tajikistan is now open to tourists.
There are many trekking options in the region that will suit all levels. We trekked independently carrying everything we needed for 5-7 days of wild camping in March. A good level of map reading is required as well as experience in walking, especially at altitude.
Unfortunately, the snow and ice had not thawed fully and we had to cut short our planned 5 day trek from the 7 Lakes to Iskandarkul – mountain passes were dangerous with 2m high snow and paths were slippy and difficult to follow.
The best time to visit Tajikistanis from May to September.
Drinking water is available from the small streams and roaring rivers and you can camp wherever you wish. It is walkers dream. We were the only tourists in the mountains and met the occasional shepards who would take their goat herds for walks up almost vertical scree slopes without even breaking a sweat.
The famous 7 Lakes are located in the heart of the Fann mountains and are definitely worth visiting. A popular route if you do not want to venture into the high mountains with plenty of homestays available.
Our 4 day trek started at Lake Number 6 (Marjoz) at the village of Tiogli. We paid 400 Somoni ($45) for two people for a private taxi. Make sure you confirm the price PER PERSON as the price stated by jeeps and taxis are most often the price for one person (we learnt this the hard, expensive way).
To get around Tajikistan you can travel in shared jeeps (called machines) or private taxi. Shared jeeps will wait until they are full before leaving.
We used the following maps on our phones to navigate the mountains. We were unable to buy a decent walking map in Panjakent so buy a map before you arrive.
From Tiogli we headed west into the mountains toward Tavasang Mountain Pass. We camped outside a small settlement where we met local children. We were told the pass was closed but decided to continue.
Tavasang Pass was impassable with snow over our heads so we detoured up and around the pass where there was no snow. To enjoy the trek, we would strongly recommend coming in season.
The landscape is breathtaking. The high peaks and sheer cliffs seem to hang over you as you weave through the valleys. There are countless paths to follows that local herders use so you feel like you are the only person to have walked on these paths.