Afghanistan Guide

Afghanistan Guide

Afghanistan – country information

Country name Afghanistan
Official name Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Capital Kabul
Continent Asia
Area 652,090 km2
Population 25,500,100 (2013)
Foundation of a state 19/8/1919
The highest mountains Nošak 7485 m
Longest rivers Hilmand (part) 1400 km
State system an Islamic republic with multiple parties and a transitional legislature
The biggest cities Kabul (capital) 2,200,000, Kandahar 340,000, Herat 250,000
Official language Pashto, Dari (Afghan Persian)
Ethnicity/National Composition Pashtun 54%, Tajik 21%, Uzbek 8.5%, Hazara 8.5%, Aymak 3%, Turkmen 2%, Baloch 1%, others 2%
Religious affiliation Sunni Muslims 74%, Shia Muslims 25%, others 1%
Currency 1 Afghani (AFA) = 100 pula
gross domestic product (GDP) US$1,055 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 43.34 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 52.5%, mining and industry 28.5%, construction 6%, services 13%

Afghanistan – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
China Peking 9,640,820 km2 1,363,350,000
Iran Tehran 1,648,200 km2 77,288,000
Pakistan Islamabad 796,095 km2 185,914,000
Tajikistan Dushanbe 143,100 km2 8,160,000
Turkmenistan Ashgabat 488,100 km2 5,240,000
Uzbekistan Tashkent 447,400 km2 30,183,400

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Afghanistan is a landlocked country in the mountains of the southern part of Central Asia. It borders Pakistan to the southeast and Iran to the west. It has a short border in the north with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and a long border with Tajikistan. In the northeast, at the end of the narrow Vachan corridor, lies China. Afghanistan has been torn apart by civil war since the late 1970s, when Islamic fighters (the Mujahideen) launched a guerilla war against the communist regime backed by the occupation troops of the Soviet Union. Islamic forces gained definitive control of the country in 1992, although fighting between various rebel factions continues.

Country data

Location: South Asia

Time zone: CET + 3.5 (during summer time: CET + 2.5)

Total area: 652,230 km²

Land area: 652,230 km²

Water area: 0 km²

Length of the state border: 5,987 km

Bordering countries:
China: 91 km
Iran: 921 km
Pakistan: 2,670 km
Tajikistan: 1,357 km
Turkmenistan: 804 km
Uzbekistan: 144 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Kabul

Provinces: 34
Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak, Zabul

Telephone code: 00 93 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Noshak 7,485 m


Population: approx. 31.8 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 2.3% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 49

Life expectancy: 49 (male), 52 (female)

Official language: Afghan / Persian 65%, Pashtu 35%


  • 80% Sunni Muslims
  • 19% Shia Muslims
  • 1% other


Nationwide there is a desert and steppe climate, with hardly any precipitation.

Temperatures fluctuate between 5 – 10 ° C in winter and around 30 ° C in summer (on the flat plains).

At altitudes over 2,500 meters, there is a wintry climate almost all year round.



Currency / finance

Currency unit: Afghani (AFN)

Classification: 1 Afghani = 100 pulse

ATMs: Only a few in the big cities.

International credit cards: These are not accepted.

Regulations: Foreign currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts. The national currency can be carried up to an amount of 2,000 Afghani.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • Cigarettes, cigars or tobacco in small quantities
  • small amounts of alcohol

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

All goods and items that are required during a stay should be carried with you on entry, as there is hardly anything to buy due to the poor economic situation.

Food can be carried in closed containers (cans, bottles) up to 10 kg per person.

Travel advice

Warning against traveling to Afghanistan!

There was an attack on the German consulate general in Mazar-e Sharif on November 10, 2016. The Consulate General is currently unavailable.

There is a very high risk of armed violence across the country at any time. Terrorist attacks take place across the country every day.

Even the presence of the international protection force does not offer foreigners any protection.

Even simple medical care is not guaranteed, especially outside the capital, Kabul.

There is a visa requirement to enter Afghanistan. This must be applied for and approved by an Afghan diplomatic mission abroad before the start of the journey.


Afghanistan is by far the largest drug-growing country in the world. Around 75 percent of global heroin production comes from there.

Large parts of the economy have been destroyed by the years of war. The standard of living is among the lowest in the world. Around every third resident is unemployed.

Industries: fertilizer, natural gas, coal mining, carpet production, textiles, cement

Natural resources: iron, natural gas, coal, copper, salt, sulfur, talc, zinc

Land use:

  • Usable land: 12%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 46%
  • Forests: 3%
  • other: 39%


Due to the unfavorable climatic conditions and the constant lack of moisture, the vegetation in the entire country is only very poorly developed.

Dry grass and steppe landscapes determine the landscape everywhere. Only along rivers are there small forests, mostly made up of tamarisk, poplar and willow.


A specialty in the animal world is the Marco Polo sheep, which can be found in northern Afghanistan.

A few years ago the Kaspi tiger was also native to this region. However, this has since been eradicated.

Gazelles, hyenas and jackals are most common in the country’s steppes. Mountain goats and snow leopards are native to the higher mountain regions.

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