In the Spotlight: Afghanistan Travel Advice

Posted in High Risk Travel Insurance Afghanistan Travel Advice, travelling to Afghanistan, High Risk Voyager Travel Insurance on 31 October 2022

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has advised against ‘all travel’ to Afghanistan and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future due to security concerns. There is a heightened risk of detention of British Nationals and there is a high possibility that the British Government will not be notified about such detentions.

The situation in Afghanistan remains extremely volatile under Taliban rule, however, if you are planning on travelling there, here are some things you should be aware of in order to stay safe.

Avoid Crowds and Public Events

Official guidance from the FCDO states that any British Nationals in Afghanistan should remain vigilant at all times and should, where possible, avoid large crowds and public events – including religious events – in order to keep a low profile. Another reason to avoid these events is that terrorists often look to attack big events or large crowds in order to cause maximum amounts of disruption and panic.

Since the death of Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a US drone strike, the chances of British Nationals being detained without due process has increased monumentally. There is no formal law structure or processes in place in Afghanistan, so even if you have travelled there before, you should not rely on any previous experiences as laws, rules, and society is changing regularly.

Avoid Suspicious Activity

Because foreign nationals have been detained without due process, it would be wise to avoid any activity that could be deemed suspicious or interpreted as seeking to achieve political change, as per FCDO guidance. Any activity that can be interpreted as you seeking to achieve political change through violence, inciting violence, or photographing Taliban buildings, could all lead to detention in Afghanistan.

The WorldTravelGuide notes that Foreigner’s activity is often viewed with suspicion. Whilst you may not think your behaviour is suspicious because it is how you would act in the UK, it is important to remember that, due to there being no formal law structures in Afghanistan, anything deemed suspicious by those in power could lead to your detention. For more information, please visit the FCDO website.

Travel is Extremely Dangerous

Travelling around Afghanistan can be dangerous, but equally, driving to borders can also be fraught with perils. Afghan borders often remain closed but those that are open can be subject to closure at short notice, what's more, these closures are often unannounced.

Furthermore, there are often reports of clashes between Afghan and neighbouring forces at border crossings which would put you in even more danger if you were to attempt a border crossing.

Whilst travelling around Afghanistan by road, remember that foreign nationals are often seen as a target by terror groups and as such, you should be prepared to take evasive action should you be approached whilst on the road. Kidnapping is often favoured by Afghan’s and is likely to continue so this is something to be warry of especially as the UK government is unable to make payments to terrorists for your release, as payment of terrorist ransoms is illegal under the Terrorism Act 2000.

If you are travelling around Afghanistan then it is strongly encouraged by the FCDO that you do not keep a predictable schedule, rather change up your travel patterns and avoid repeating similar behaviours. Where possible, have a contingency plan in place in case you should either come under attack or feel vulnerable.

Travel via air is also considered extremely dangerous. Airports are constantly a target for terror attacks as terrorists look to harm foreigners. For instance, in 2021, Kabul Airport was targeted, and the terror attack killed 183 people. Because of these attacks and the volatility in the region, the British Embassy in Kabul has ceased in-country operations and the British Government has no ability to provide consular support within Afghanistan.


Since November 2nd, 2021, the use of foreign currency in Afghanistan has been banned and any payments must be made in Afghan currency (the Afghani – AFN). Please be aware that there are frequent shortages of local currency and credit cards are not widely accepted. Whilst some ATM’s will accept foreign bank cards it is not common, plus, banks themselves are closed on Fridays and queues are likely at any other time due to infrequent opening hours.

Medical Aid

Currently Kabul does not have a public ambulance service so if you are in need of medical attention then you are best to consult with a local practitioner. If you are required to go to a medical facility then it is best to contact your insurance company first as you may be required to pay for medical services.

Need Travel Insurance for Afghanistan?

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  • Emergency Air Ambulance and Medical Evacuation services
  • Single Trip policies from 1 day up to 365 days
  • Annual Multi-Trip policies for an unlimited number of trips up to 31 days each
  • Discounts for groups of 5+ purchasing together
  • Discounts for having taken recognised risk management, travel safety, and personal security advice before departure
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Or Leisure Only Trips up to 31 Days Cover*: *For Leisure trips ONLY, no War Cover is provided under this policy.

If you want to find out more about High Risk Voyager’s policies then please feel free to click here to read our Policy Wording or to find out more about our One Tap Emergency App, please click here.

*Unfortunately, due to the ongoing situation, we are currently unable to provide cover for those travelling to Ukraine or Russia.

This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording for the latest terms, conditions, and exclusions.

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