- General Info
- Health Risks
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
Tajikistan has experienced three changes in government and a five-year civil war since it gained independence in 1991 from the USSR. A peace agreement among rival factions was signed in 1997, and implemented in 2000. The central government's less than total control over some areas of the country has forced it to compromise and forge alliances among factions. Attention by the international community in the wake of the war in Afghanistan has brought increased economic development assistance, which could create jobs and increase stability in the long term. Tajikistan is in the early stages of seeking World Trade Organization membership and has joined NATO's Partnership for Peace.
Source: CIA World Factbook
Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout Eastern Europe and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites. All travelers to malaria-risk areas in Eastern Europe, including infants, children, and former residents of Eastern Europe, are at risk for malaria. Parts of the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have malaria risk.. Travelers to malaria-risk areas in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan should take the antimalarial drug chloroquine to prevent malaria. For additional information on malaria risk and prevention, see Malaria Information for Travelers to Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (NIS).
In Uzbekistan, the risk of malaria is low and varies along its border with Tajikistan; travelers to Uzbekistan or their health care provider should contact CDC (Malaria Hotline, 770-488-7788) for risk and prevention advice.
An outbreak of diphtheria is occurring in all the states of the former Soviet Union. Travelers to these areas should be sure that their diphtheria immunization is up to date.
Tickborne encephalitis, a viral infection of the central nervous system occurs chiefly in Central and Western Europe. Travelers are at risk who visit or work in forested areas during the summer months and who consume unpasteurized dairy products. Vaccine for this disease is not available in the United States at this time. To prevent tickborne encephalitis, as well as Lyme disease, travelers should take precautions to prevent tick bites.
Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid nighttime travel if possible and always use seat belts.
There is no risk for yellow fever in Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (NIS). A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.
CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at least 46 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for 11 to 12-year-olds who did not receive the series as infants.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an absolute 1-micron or less filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. Absolute 1-micron filters are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- If you are going to visit risk areas for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.)
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).
- Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
- Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
- Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
- Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
- DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- Children under 10 years old should not apply insect repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth.
- To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
SAFETY AND SECURITY:
Tajikistan has suffered from severe security problems since gaining independence.
Instability in Afghanistan has adversely affected the security situation in
the Central Asian countries sharing a border, including Tajikistan. It is currently
unclear how anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan have affected the risk
of future terrorist actions in Tajikistan. In addition, organized crime continues
to be a serious problem in the capital city of Dushanbe and its environs, and
security forces have a strong presence in Dushanbe and areas to the south. Supporters
of extremist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Al-Qaeda,
and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement remain active in Central Asia. These
groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. Government
or private interests in the region, including in Tajikistan. Terrorists do not
distinguish between official and civilian targets. Because of increased security
at official U.S. facilities, terrorists are seeking softer civilian targets
such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, hotels, schools,
outdoor recreation events, resorts, and planes. In 1999 and 2000, IMU fighters
used Tajik territory to stage cross-border attacks into the Kyrgyz Republic
and Uzbekistan, taking American, Japanese, and Kyrgyz citizens hostage in the
Sporadic violence does occur in Tajikistan. The violence is largely the result of fighting between heavily armed, rival clan-based factions competing for control of markets and narcotics trafficking. Past incidents have included several spontaneous shootouts between factions in public marketplaces (particularly the Green Market), a marketplace bombing in April 2001, and a suicide bombing in September 2001. Though such incidents have not specifically targeted Americans, innocent bystanders have been injured or killed during these attacks. Criminal and terrorist groups in Tajikistan do not distinguish between civilian and official targets, and for this reason, U.S. travelers should avoid demonstrations, places where military personnel congregate, and crowds. Americans should be aware that the danger increases greatly after dark.
In addition, there have been clashes between government troops and criminal groups outside of Dushanbe. In summer 2001, the Tajik government conducted security operations in order to eliminate one such criminal group that was responsible for the June 2001 hostage-taking of foreign aid workers (including an American citizen) in the Karategin Valley. This operation resulted in the deaths or arrests of many of the group's members. Other Tajik security initiatives have included a campaign to disarm factional militias operating in Dushanbe.
Outside of Dushanbe, the situation
has generally remained calm in the northern province of Sughd (formerly Leninabad)
and in Gorno-Badakhshan in the east. However, the security situation in former
opposition-held areas such as the Karategin Valley remains fluid. In the past,
renegade groups in these areas have targeted foreigners for violence. U.S. citizens
should check with the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe for current information before
traveling outside Dushanbe.
Security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms, telephones and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with the authorities.
From time to time, the U.S. Embassy
may suspend or otherwise restrict the travel of U.S. Embassy personnel to Tajikistan
and within Tajikistan. The Department of State relocated U.S. Embassy operations
from Dushanbe, Tajikistan to Almaty, Kazakhstan in 1998 due to instability in
Tajikistan, threats against Americans and American interests worldwide, and
the limited ability to secure the safety of U.S. Embassy personnel in Dushanbe.
American diplomatic personnel currently reside in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and travel
frequently to Tajikistan.
Note: U.S. citizens should check the Consular Information Sheets and current Travel Warnings or Public Announcements for nearby countries, including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan.and Uzbekistan on a regular basis. The U.S. Embassy in each of those countries can provide up-to-date information about local crime and safety issues. Information about how to contact each Embassy directly is available on the Internet at the Consular Affairs home page, http://travel.state.gov, or by calling the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe.
CRIME: Tajikistan is a country with a struggling economy and widespread unemployment. This has resulted in considerable street crime, in addition to the organized crime described in the previous section on "Safety and Security." There have been a number of pickpocketings, muggings and armed robberies in the homes of persons perceived to have money, including foreigners. Travelers should not travel alone or on foot after dark.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html/, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of State
midlatitude continental, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid to polar in Pamir Mountains
Source: CIA World Factbook
Tajikistan's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.
To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.
For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.
A passport and visa are required to enter Tajikistan. Travelers must produce
the visa to register at hotels. Failure to produce a valid visa may cause a
traveler to leave the country immediately. Visas issued by the Russian embassies
and consulates are no longer valid for travel to Tajikistan. Tajik visas can
be obtained at Tajik embassies or consulates abroad. Tajik visas can be obtained
at the Dushanbe airport upon arrival only through prior arrangement with the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan. Visitors to Tajikistan require an
official invitation from a sponsoring organization or individual. Entry into
Tajikistan at points along the Gorno-Badakhshan border requires special authorization
in advance in addition to a valid Tajik visa.
Tajik authorities advise that requests for visas need to be submitted by sponsoring organizations or individuals to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or OVIR (Department of Visas and Registration) at least three weeks in advance of the planned travel. Travelers who would like their visas to be extended need to apply for extension in advance through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (official travelers) or OVIR (tourist or commercial travlers). Travelers staying in Tajikistan three days or longer must obtain registration stamps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or OVIR. The registering agency also depends on whether the purpose of the visit to Tajikistan is for official or personal travel. For further information on entry requirements, please contact the Mission of the Republic of Tajikistan to the United Nations, 136 East 67th St., New York, NY 10021; telephone (212) 472-76-45.
Note: To ensure admission to another
country when leaving Tajikistan, travelers should obtain the appropriate double
entry Russian, Kazakh or Uzbek visas before departure from Tajikistan.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Source: U.S. Department of State
The time zone for Tajikistan is 5 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Tajikistan would be 10:00 pm
The unit of currency in Tajikistan is the somoni.
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
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