“I have nothing but praise for Kausar, Prince and the drivers. They went out of their way to make my trip in Pakistan a memorable one.”
Karen, Australia 2012
Karen joined us for a private trip to Chitral, the Kalasha valleys, Peshawar and the Greco-Buddhist sites of Northern Pakistan in the Spring of 2012.
“I had a excellent time in Afghanistan: it was fascinating to see at first hand this country that has been constantly in the news for so long and to discover that in many ways it is markedly different from how it is portrayed by the media. The trip was also great fun, not least because James was very attentive to catering to the wishes and interests of his clients. We were in a small group but it felt like a personalised tour.”
Robin, UK 2012
Robin joined us on our Ski Afghanistan - Bamian trip in the Spring of 2012. As well as skiing in the Koh e Baba range our group rode horses at the lakes of Band e Amir, flew kites in Kabul during the Persian new year celebrations and star guests on radio Bamian. For details on our ski trips in Afghanistan please visit our Alpine Afghanistan page.
"We would like to thank the crew of Untamed borders for our amazing trip Pakistan.
It would not have been possible for us to experience so much in so little time without Kauser and Prince. We want to thank you for making us feel safe and at home. Thank you for introducing us to all of your friends. The people we met were highlight of the tour. Thanks you for all of the delicious food. Your hospitality and generosity was extraordinary.
A special thanks goes to James for his help organising the trip via email. The whole process was hassle free and exactly what we wanted. Extra thanks for helping us to organise the paper work so we were able to obtain our visa in Saudi Arabia. You are all Super Stars.
We both had an unforgettable time."
Elizabeth and Naomi, Australia 2011
Liz and Naomi joined us for a private trip to Peshawar, Chitral, the Kalasha valleys, Islamabad and Lahore in November 2011.
"An unforgetable trip in one of the most amazing countries in Asia. It was great to travel with a professional team who know this gem of a destination so well!"
Alex, Norway 2011
Alex joined our Grand Afghan Tour – Melons and Grapes trip that visited Kabul, Bamian, Mazar e Sharif and Herat in September 2011. If you want to experience the same then join us on our Melons and Grapes trip for 2012
"The trip to Afghanistan was exciting, thrilling and a real eye opening experience. Kauser was a fantastic guide and he went to great lengths to ensure that I was comfortable at all times throughout the journey and was kind enough to take me to see a doctor when I was sick in Kabul. Travelling by car provided me with the rare opportunity to see a great deal of the country, allowing for easy access to engage with the people of Afghanistan. I was really impressed by the informal nature of this holiday and I'm happy to have chosen a company where one is treated as a friend rather than a client. This trip was excellent in all regards, and much better than I imagined it to be. Thank you for everything."
Joseph, UK 2011
Joseph joined us for a private trip to Afghanistan where he visited Kabul, Mazar e Sharif, Balkh, Bamian and the lakes at Band e Amir.
"My ski trip to Afghanistan was unforgettable. I could not have asked for better guides in James and Kausar. They went to great lengths to ensure my trip was enjoyable, and both have an intimate knowledge of the region, the people and the history. I did not feel like part of an tour, but rather that I was simply travelling with friends. The skiing possibilities in both Bamian and the Salang Pass are extensive, with terrain and conditions as impressive as anything I've seen in Europe or North America.
With no ski lifts, you just have to work a little harder for each turn - the challenge of climbing new peaks in such an untouched environment adds to the skiing experience."
Richard, Australia 2011
Richard came with us on our first groundbreaking ski touring trip to Afghanistan. Check out our Alpine Afghanistan page for further information on skiing trips in Afghanistan.
"Our trip to Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland with Untamed Borders was an amazing journey and a fascinating insight into the tribes and culture of that area. Nothing was too much trouble for James and our local guide, Pei, and they went above and beyond the normal call of duty in their efforts to ensure we were able to see and do everything we had requested on our hectic schedule. Refreshingly, we found that Untamed Borders recognises not all travellers want the same experiences, rather than making you feel like an inconvenience or trying to dissuade you from attempting something different (as we have found with some other similar travel companies) James actually embraces the unusual and sets about achieving your goals with enthusiasm. We are already looking forward to further trips with Untamed Borders in 2011 and would definitely place them at the top of the many companies we have previously travelled with over the years. Good luck and every success for the future!"
Nigel and Andy, UK 2010
Andy and Nigel joined us on a trip to Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. They joined Adi tribesmen on a traditional hunting trip into the jungle and shared breakfast with tattooed nagas discussing their head-hunting past.
"In Untamed Borders we found a highly skilled, enthusiastic team who completely understood our needs. Their depth of knowledge and patience in answering inumerable questions was key to getting the green light from members of the team that had concerns about whether mountaineering in Afghanistan was safe or even possible."
Daniel, Netherlands 2010
Untamed Borders provided logistic support to Daniel and his team of climbers as they travelled to the Wakhan corridor and successfully summitted three unclimbed peaks on the Afghan/Pakistan border.
The expedition was shortlisted for the Alpine climbing expedition of the year by The Royal Dutch Climbing Association and won the Hermn Plugge Irish Coffee Award.
Visit the expedition website for further photos and details.
Check out our Alpine Afghanistan page for trips and ideas for Climbing in Afghanistan.
"Many thanks for a great trip. The itinerary covered a stunning variety of sights and activities and despite our many questions about the places we visited, James was able to answer them all, revealing an impressive base of knowledge about the areas covered by Untamed Borders. The local contacts utilized by Untamed Borders were excellent too and because of them we were able to see and visit a number of places that are not normally accessible. Oh, and the Untamed Borders crew are a fun group to travel with as well..."
Justin and Elenora, USA and Italy 2010
Justin and Elenora joined us for a trip to the North East of India. They visited the Tibetan Buddhist region of Tawang, accompanied Adi tribesmen on a traditional hunting trip to the jungles of Arunachal Pradesh and crossed bridges made from living trees built by Khasi tribespeople a stones throw from the Bangladesh border.
"I wanted to thank you, gentlemen, for such a warm welcome to Pakistan! James, Kausar and Prince ensured that I made the most of my time there, helping me celebrate my birthday in style, investigating alternative routes when weather was bad, dealing with police and visa applications, arranging visits to villages and schools, introducing me to your friends, and helping me through the fasting at Ramadan, I simply could not have experienced so much without their organisational skills and local knowledge of the different areas we visited. Peshawar I feel I know well, having seen many different sides to it and I loved being in Chitral and the Kalasha valleys.
Afghanistan? What a beautiful country! Last week I was showing my students photos of the Band-e-Amir lakes and Chehel Burj (FortyTowers) when they were learning Writing to Describe; they loved them – lots of ‘azure lakes’ and ‘isolated towers...
James was a fantastic guide. He has a genuine love for the people of the region and soaks up information, both historic and cultural, in order to tell you learned jokes. With his adequate knowledge of key regional languages, his charm and his resourcefulness, any remotely edgy situations were diffused and, most of all, the trip was really good fun. He is, however, a lousy card player."
Matt, UK 2010
Matt spent a month in Pakistan and Afghanistan on a tailored itinerary
"Thank you for hosting an amazing trip to Afghanistan, it was thoroughly enjoyable. Kabul and Bamian especially were amazing to see. I truly enjoyed meeting all your friends in Kabul and getting the chance to share a meal with them and learn about Afghan culture and traditions. I especially want to say thank you for catering to my special dietary allergy needs – you guys really went above and beyond with that! There were so many emotions experienced on this trip, from amazement and awe of the beautiful mountain sights, to sympathy and compassion for the numerous orphaned kids we encountered who’d lost their fathers to war, to pure delight and gratitude towards your local friends who literally opened their homes (and carpet shops) to us to share a delicious homemade Afghan meal with them. This was truly a rare opportunity and a thoroughly enjoyable one. Hopefully I’ll be back to do Pakistan!"
All the best guys,
Jimmy Song, USA 2010
Jimmy visited Afghanistan during the Nau Ruz celebrations as part of a group of students from the London School of Economics
"Despite the warnings of travelling to Afghanistan I couldn't resist visiting as i had travelled to all of the rest of Central Asia. Uncertain of what to expect, I enlisted the help of Kausar Hussain from Untamed Borders. His assistance proved to be indispensible as he knew local people and languages in the areas of interest for tourists. Kausars courage, determination and thorough knowledge of the country swiftly gave me confidence and his lessons of political and historical issues made me understand the current situation and passed the time on the long overland trips.
The Central Route from Kabul via Bamian and the Band e Amir lakes onward to the Minaret of Jam is incredibly stunning! I must acknowledge to have visited one of the most beautiful countries ever and will remain my favourite place in the region. Needless to say that with the solid help of Kausar & Untamed Borders I felt always safe and can only recommend their services and adventurous tours."
Gerd Sonnleitner, Austria 2009
Untamed Borders arranged a bespoke trip to Afghanistan for Gerd visiting Kabul, Mazar e Sharif, Balkh, Herat, Bamian and a magical trip to the Minaret of Jam.
"Afghanistan is not the Costa del Sol. But then, if you've stumbled upon Untamed Borders, the latter is probably not the sort of thing you're looking for. What you might want instead is the chance to visit a part of the world that is completely different to anything you've ever experienced before (or will ever experience again), to encounter the limitless hospitality - and humbling dignity - of the Pashtun people, and to see the reality behind the distorted media image of this troubled and volatile region.
If you're like me, the first thing on your mind will be safety. All I can say is that James and Kausar from Untamed Borders are the only two people in the world you want to be looking after you. I would (and probably did!) trust them with my life. They have been living in and guiding people around Afghanistan and Pakistan for many, many years; they speak the languages - but most importantly, they know the people. Dressed in local clothes, in a local car driven by a trusted local driver, I felt far safer than the foreign aid workers in their great shiny land cruisers, surrounded by armed guards and an obvious target. And as I travelled with James and Kausar around Peshawar and then from Kabul to Bamian and Mazar e Sharif, I never ceased to be amazed by the number of their friends who invited us into their homes, fed us, and delighted in showing us their lives.
I was also surprised by how different James and Kausar are from your standard 'guides'. They are not in this business to make money. They do what they do because they are passionate about these lands: their people, their history, and their astonishing natural beauty. If you go with them, I suspect some of that passion will rub off - and I hope that, like me, when your trip is over you will feel lucky to count them as your friends."
Jake Lander, UK 2009
"It was great to meet you all and I was extremely pleased with your help and kindness. I did enjoy the trip and because of you i had this amazing opportunity to experience another dimension of Peshawar"
Zygmunt spent time with Untamed Borders in Peshawar and is a keen photographer. He showcases some of his fabulous photos of Pakistan and Afghanistan on his website. www.zygmontek.com
Zygmunt Korytkowski, Poland 2009
"A quick note to say how much I appreciated my recent tour of Peshawar. From the mainstream sights to the hidden secrets, it was a whirlwind tour of epic proportions! I had a fantastic time, learned a lot, saw some fascinating sights, dined like a king, and met some wonderful people. Most of all, it was a pleasure to meet you - your warmth and generosity was overwhelming - and I would not hesitate in recommending your services to others."
Rob Jardine, Australia 2009
In May 2009 Rob visited Prince and Hussain from Untamed Borders on his mammoth overland bike ride from Melbourne to London. Visit Rob's blog at http://melbourne-london.blogspot.com/ for the full story.
Jason Tanner visited us in May 2009. He is a quite outstanding photojournalist and his photos speak for themselves. Go to www.jasontanner.net to view some of his work.
"Every time I hear someone mention Peshawar, a chilly thrill crosses my spine, heating my heart. One unforgettable, intense day spent with Hussain, from the storytellers to the refugee camps. It is amazing how, in such a short time, he managed to give me a deep insight of the real Pakistan. This region and its folks are gorgeous, I wanna come back and will ask him to show me around again, and enjoying one more cup of chai."
Mirko Kolan, an Italian in Cyprus 2008
"I spent 1 week in Afghanistan in July 2008. It's a fantastic country and one that people do not think of visiting due to the current situation. For peace of mind I asked Hussein to come along with me, and I am very glad he did. Being with someone who knows Afghanistan so well allowed me to relax and enjoy myself, he also showed me some wonderful places. He is an interesting and charming man, who gets on easily with people. I thoroughly recommend his services, but be warned once he starts talking he's hard to stop!!!"
Niall Copeland, Northern Ireland 2008
"James from Untamed Borders gave me much valuable balanced advice on the risks of walking in Afghanistan. He was generous with his time and even gave me a handful of Afghanis to get me started once I crossed the border from Tajikistan. His knowledge and experience of the country gave me the confidence to pass through Afghanistan on my Peace walk to Tibet."
Britt Das, The Netherlands 2008
Britt is a peace walker, walking 10,000km from Amsterdam to Lhasa for Peace, Freedom, Respect and for the people of Tibet. Further details on her epic journey can be found at www.footprintsforfreedom.org.
"I am not one to ever take tours but crossing the border areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan was different and I felt I needed some support. Hussein ensured my crossing of the Khyber Pass was hassle free. The places he showed me in and around Peshawar are something that will live with me for a long time"
Mark Williams, UK 2008
"I was concerned that Pakistan and Afghanistan were not the places for an American to be given the current world political climate. I was proved very wrong, all the people I met where incredibly friendly and hospitable. Far removed from some of the fears I first had. James and Hussain proved to be wonderful company and gave great insight into the local political situation as well as the cultural and historic history of Afghanistan and Pakistan. I only wish they did trips to more places."
Ben Walker, USA 2008
"Hussain took me on one of the most adventurous trips I ever had in Pakistan. Meeting people from the tribal areas - the last free place on earth. We visited a madrassah school, a brick factory made and run by Afghan refugees and a workshop for Pakistans funky multicoloured trucks.
Egill Bjarnason, journalist for 24 Stundir, Iceland 2007
"On principle I NEVER take tours. However there are times and places that you need to and this is one of those places. I went with Untamed Borders to the Khyber Agency and Afghan refugee camp in the tribal areas, which would have been absolutely inaccessible on my own. I had an incredible time and it was totally worthwhile. Besides this, I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Hussein and Prince, besides being extremely professional they are (more importantly) really great guys you can trust. I highly recommend spending time with them to find what you'll only see on CNN/BBC, at very least for the travel street cred."
Adam Todd, Canada 2007
"In Untamed Borders I found people who enabled my friend Alex and I to do something we would not have otherwise done alone. Hussein showed us around Peshawar, introducing us to their friends and giving us a feel of the frontiers of Pakistan. Then we crossed over the Khyber Pass, and we were taken through Jalalabad, into Kabul and then up to Mazar-e-Sharif and Balkh. They assisted us in purchasing carpets, made sure we were fed (and clothed in Shalwar Kameez and traditional scarves), and generally kept really good company. I can only recommend Hussain; we felt very safe in his capable hands."
Simon Maydon, UK 2007