Tajikistan hunting brochure:
Beautiful and remote, Tajikistan has much to offer to mountaineers, hikers, rock climbers and hunters worldwide. Some of the highest mountains take up most of Tajikistan’s territory, where the wild and most exclusive Marco Polo Argali inhabit.
The populated valleys have a rich history. In former times, Tajikistan was at the crossroads of Asia and four major Silk Road routes passed through the Pamir, often referred to as the “Roof of the World” and the Fann mountains. These mountains are most impressive, with some of the most unapproachable peaks and terrains, as well as over 1000 mountain lakes.
Today Tajikistan is in the process of strengthening its democracy and transitioning to a free market economy after the 1992-1997 civil war. There have been no major security incidents in recent years, although the country remains the poorest in the former Soviet sphere.
Despite its relatively small land area, the climate in Tajikistan varies widely, due to the country’s mountainous topography. The climate in lowland Tajikistan is moderate in spring (March through May) and fall (September through November). In cities, daytime temperature averages around 20-30°C. Summer can be ferociously hot, often times exceeding 40°C. Fall is one of the best times to be in Tajikistan, as the local markets – bazaars are full of melons, watermelons, grapes and other fruits. While winter is rather mild in cities, with some snowfall between December and February, it reaches extreme polar temperatures in the mountains. Precipitation is high, and most times mountains passes are closed till the roads are cleared.
Hunting in Tajikistan is conducted in one of the most remote and barren spots on Earth. Many find it incredible how the small, quaint villages in such areas survive, let alone make their living. Here, some of the highest mountain ranges on earth congregate – the Karakoram and Himalayas to the south, the Hindu Kush to the west, and the Tian Shan to the east. Hunting takes place in Central Pamir Mountains in Gorno-Badakhshan region. A network of high and wide valleys are draped around peaks reaching over 7000m (23, 000ft), the highest of which is the Peak of Somoni at 7495 m (24, 600ft). Worth mentioning are also the highest mountain salty lake Karakul and the biggest glacier Fedchenko (77m ~ 252ft). If you like it vertical, Tajikistan has the landscape for it.
Due to remoteness of the area and the physical strain required for this type of hunting that not everybody can cope with, game population is remarkable. Most are able to sight over 40-60 Marco Polo rams within the first hours of hunting. You’ll be staggered by the number and size of horns that came from sheep killed by wolves, age and/or winter. The sheep rarely descend lower than 3000m (10, 000ft). Russian 4X4 jeeps are used to transport you to a base camp generally situated at 13, 000ft above the sea level. The drive is scenic, but arduous due to rugged roads and continuous ascension as you will most likely start feeling the high altitude pressure at 8,000ft already.
The region is often described as the ‘polar desert’. Not only does it pose challenge in terms of high altitude terrain, but also temperature wise that can get extremely cold and windy. Weather at such altitudes is rather unpredictable. Even the most experienced hunters may experience altitude sickness, in which case Diamox is recommended to prevent pulmonary edema or even brain swell. To this reason we also insist that you take one-day adaptation to the climate and altitude at the base camp. Since the climate is dry, keeping oneself well hydrated is a must. Good physical condition is a necessity. In addition, check with your doctor before the trip. Proper clothes and equipment are also key to combating harsh conditions and to making your hunt more enjoyable. Please, see our Asian/MarcoPolo & Ibex Hunters’ Equipment Checklist for recommended outerwear, equipment, medication and other personal items.
See the species we hunt in Tajikistan: