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    Indonesia: Lombok. Go Now!

    Indonesia
    This archipelago nation is culturally diverse from big cities to isolated islands. Begin Your Journey!

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    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

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    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

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    Qatar
    Although little more than a deserted peninsula, Qatar has a thriving culture based on technology and immigration, with Doha (pictured) taking the lead. Explore Qatar!

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    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Afghanistan

WARNING: Afghanistan is currently unstable, please read this travel warning before going!

Geography

Afghan Geography - Mountains from the air
Mountains from the air

Afghanistan is a landlocked country that sits between the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. It shares land borders with Iran to the west, Pakistan to the south and east, China to the east, and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to the north.

Much of Afghanistan is desert or mountain. The Hindu Kush Mountains in the country's east are some of the highest in the world. In this range and from this range there are numerous rivers and this region is the most densely populated part of the country. Outside the deserts and mountains, there are a few lower elevated valleys that are quite fertile and livable, primarily found in the country's northwest.

Weather

Afghanistan has a number of weather variations based upon elevation and seasons. As a fairly mountainous country the elevation changes create vastly differing temperatures and weather patterns. Winters (November to February) in the mountains are very cold and can receive a great deal of snow; temperatures in the mountains in winter can average 15° F (-9° C), while in the lower valleys temperatures tend to move below and above the freezing point (32° F (0° C)). Summers in the mountains tend to warm up, but at elevation evening temperatures are still very low and can be near or below freezing, although day time temperatures can rise significantly. Again the valleys and low lands are warmer as Kabul receives daily highs of about 90° F (32° C) with nights falling to about 55° F (13° C) during the summer months. Springs and falls (autumns) are less predictable, especially in the mountains where snow can arrive in the fall and melting snow can cause trouble in spring.

Wildlife

Afghan Geography - Poppy plant
Poppy plant

Afghanistan has a very rich and varied wildlife, particularly due to its geographical variations. Among the mammals are leopards, sheep, urial, bears, ibex, wolves, and many more, primarily smaller mammals and rodents. The one area that the country truly lacks in is sea life, since the country is landlocked. This limited the sea life to rivers and lakes so only fresh water fish are present like carp and trout.

There are thousands of bird species that call the country home, either a permanent home or just a temporary one. Among these, some of the more recognizable birds are eagles, falcons, vultures, owls, and partridges. The amphibian and reptile life are pale in comparison to the bird diversity, but still fairly impressive as lizards, turtles, and snakes are all common.

This page was last updated: March, 2013