Lying at the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan is the cradle of civilisation for the region. Timur ran his vast empire from here in the 14th century and architecture buffs will be in heaven when confronted by the epic scale of his legacy. The medieval cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are the jewels in the crown of Uzbekistan. Blue tiled mosques, towering minarets, and grand palaces leave the visitor awed and humbled. A trip through Uzbekistan is a trip through the land of the Silk Road, passing Bactrian camels, lonely forts and windswept desert landscapes. Uzbekistan is not just a Timurid museum. Modern-day Uzbekistan is a balancing act between its traditional Islamic past and its post-Soviet future. Atmospheric markets selling prayer mats and Baltika beer, endless cotton fields and the sobering sight of the now nearly dry Aral Sea stand testament to the impact of those years. Yet they are the experiences that make a visit to Uzbekistan so memorable.


Kyzylkum Desert UzbekistanMeaning Red Sands in Turkic language, this is one of the great deserts of Central Asia and essentially sits wedged between the major rivers of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Whilst its sands do creep into Kazakhstan and a small portion of Turkmenistan (where it merges with the Kara Kum Desert or “Black Sands”), the majority of this desert lies in Uzbekistan. Venturing into the depths of the Kyzyl Kum is a place where few people go and the truest way to do so is by camel. If you’re lucky you can see desert tortoises, wild saiga antelope, and even giant monitor lizards. Also worth visiting is Aydar Lake, a 4000 square kilometer body of water sitting in the desert and an unintentional byproduct of the Soviet’s damming of the Syr Darya in the 60s.


Tashkent UzbekistanUzbekistan’s capital city was the administrative centre for Russian central Asian and grew to become the fourth largest city in the old USSR. It dwarves any other city in the country. At first glance the wide boulevards, orderly monuments and gaudy metro system suggest that any remnants of traditional Central Asian life has long gone. However, there are still areas pockets of traditional life in some of the bazaars and madrassas.


Fergana Valley UzbekistanAlthough this ethnically diverse valley has been the scene of various conflicts, today the Fergana region is safe and is not only a stunning place to trek and explore, but also an ideal place to learn about the various Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz cultures which converge in this valley.



E-visa to be obtained in advance.


It can get cold in Central Asia, especially at night. Temperatures at night can drop below freezing.


For up to date exchange rates please have a look at


Two prong European style systems (types C and F).


Poor internet connection/speed.


Noodles are a staple. Served in broths and with stews alongside vegetables and meat, particularly mutton. Bread is also a staple.


Alcohol is permitted and is widely available.


Uzbek. Russian commonly spoken.




No special dress code.


The FCO considers Uzbekistan to be a low risk region to travel.


Christopher Baumer – The History of Central Asia (tetralogy)

Trips in Central Asia

Paddling in Kyrgyzstan

    Unseen Kyrgyzstan

    Cultural, Trekking

    Kyrgyzstan, an offbeat destination renowned for its trekking and horse riding, is an ideal place to discover nomadic culture at a grassroots level. There are plenty of rarely-visited locales to explore throughout this centuries-old Central Asian nation, and our two-part…

    from $2,750
    Trekking Tajikistan: Pamir Mountain Lakes

      Trekking Tajikistan: Pamir Mountain Lakes


      We will be traversing through the heart of the mountain range. Along the way, we will stay in the homes of the Pamiri natives, camp near centuries old caravanserais and explore the shores of shimmering blue Alpine lakes.

      from $2,750
      Visit the Wakhan Corridor with Untamed Borders

        Trek The Wakhan


        Contact us for the status of trips to Afghanistan. A 22-day journey to visit the land of one of the world’s last and least visited nomadic cultures: the Kyrgyz of the Afghan Pamir. We will begin and end in Tajikistan’s…

        Marathon of Afghanistan

          Marathon of Afghanistan

          Cultural, Marathons

          Contact us for the status of trips to Afghanistan. The Marathon of Afghanistan will take place in the Bamian province, amidst the mighty mountains of the Hindu Kush in central Afghanistan. The astonishingly beautiful valley, a UNESCO world heritage site,…

          Man with bird cages Kabul Afghanistan

            Melons & Grapes Grand Afghan Tour


            Contact us for the status of trips to Afghanistan. Each autumn we run a trip to Afghanistan and we think it's the perfect time to visit, and all because of the fruit. How can land that appears to be made…

            Buzkashi in the shadow of the Buddha niches

              Afghan Winter Tour + Buzkashi


              Please contact us for the status of trips to Afghanistan. We start in Kabul before taking a short flight across the Hindu Kush to Herat, the most architecturally complete city in Afghanistan. Then we will move on to Bamian where…

              Afghan Ski Challenge

                Afghan Ski Challenge


                Contact us for the status of trips to Afghanistan. Untamed Borders was the first company to run ski trips to Afghanistan in 2011. 2021 will be our 11th season running ski trips to Afghanistan, and we have again been asked…

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