If you have chosen Afghanistan as a travel destination, then getting around Afghanistan is the most important vital information you will require.
Plane: Flights are the safest option in a country like Afghanistan, where some road journeys are too risky. But then you will also have to bear some annoying flight experiences. In Afghan, there is no system like a booked window seat even if you book one at the check-in counter. People will sit wherever they want.
The first time I had to forego my wish of watching the Hindukush mountains from above. But the second time, I fought for my seat. And in addition if you are one of those lucky ones, who get to fly by Kam Air, only God can save you. Worst ever customer service I have seen in any airlines, right from the check-in counter to the in-flight service. I asked for a bottle of water and the steward just banged the bottle on my tray. Unfortunately Kam Air has most connectivity from Kabul to other cities. I don’t know the services of other airlines like East Horizon, Ariana, Safi Airways but if possible, avoid this terrible terrible terrible airlines.
East Horizon is the only airline that connects Kabul to Bamiyan. A good option if you are little hesitant about taking the road journey from Kabul to Bamiyan. People in India can book this flight from an agent – Sufficient Holidays (P) Ltd. The agent’s name is Nitin Gosain (mob – +91 9891111890, email id – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Car: An experienced and English speaking driver/guide: This is very vital in a country like Afghanistan especially in Bamiyan. It is not a country to backpack or take a cycling trips. Hiring an experienced driver is like taking care of 90% of your security. You need local English-speaking drivers or guide to tell you which routes are safe. Remember, Afghanistan is divided by tribal factions and as you enter into different ethnic areas, you need to be act accordingly, which only your local driver can guide you.
We hired Khan, who was recommended by couple of guys in Lonely Planet forum. Based in Bamiyan, Khan ususally drives tourists from Kabul – Bamiyan. But he is available for other places too upon request. The main reason our trip in Afghanistan was event-free was Khan. He was our lifeline during our Kabul-Bamiyan-Panjshir leg.
For Balkh, we hired a local taxi from Mazar-e-Sharif, who charged us 3000 Afghani. In Herat, we stayed at Marco Polo hotel and our local sightseeing was arranged by our hotel.