There is a low risk of malaria in the southern border areas (particularly around the Khatlon region) and occasionally in some central areas, including the capital Dushanbe.Getting around is by far one of the biggest, and costliest, challenges when travelling in Tajikistan.Criminal gangs who operate the business are unlikely to target travellers, but it pays to be aware of the problem if travelling close to the Afghan border and to bear in mind that the temptation of making a fast buck has proved too much for many border guards and police who are often in on the trade Taxis, often unlicensed, meet shared taxis (locally called marshrutkas) arriving in the dead of night to Dushanbe from other destinations in Tajikistan – do not allow the driver's friends into the car under any circumstances, even if this means getting out.Men should be aware that at some of the cheaper hotels in Tajikistan that they may be targeted by prostitutes.If you are mugged, or worse, the police, some of whom are corrupt, may, or may not help you - low salaries, and inadequate training result in a lack of professionalism among the police (who are often more concerned with coercing bribes from drivers).The police do occasionally stop tourists and ask to see your documents, always carry a photocopy of your passport if you have secured it elsewhere.Be aware that areas bordering the country – particularly along the Afghan, Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders –may have unexploded mines although these are usually clearly marked.
Many Tajik men have not had much contact with western females and there is a sense that some are unsure how to behave – as usual the mention of a husband is a good idea, even if fabricated.
As Tajikistan is 93% mountains, no doubt your trip will include some adventures amongst the peaks – be very aware that altitude sickness is a real threat if travelling above 4000m.
Almost as bewildering and worrying are the state of the public ‘toilets'(filthy at best), carry your own toilet paper at all times as for sure it won't be provided, and a hand sanitiser.
As part of the Soviet Union before it's independence in 1991, virtually no visitors crossed the border, then the 1990's – which might have brought hope and freedom, instead delivered a particularly cruel civil war for the people of Tajikistan, which wrought havoc and set the country back considerably.
The smallest, and poorest republic in Central Asia, it is sandwiched between notorious Afghanistan and China, but also borders Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.