ABOUT Afghanistan is situated in southwestern Asia, bound on the north by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan; on the east by China; on the south by Pakistan; and on the west by Iran. Afghanistan roughly covers an area of 647,497 sq km. The northwestern, western, and southern border areas are primarily desert plains and rocky ranges, while the southeast and northeast borders rise progressively higher into the major, glacier-covered peaks of the Hindu Kush, an extension of the western Himalayas. Only the northern border is formed by the river Amu Darya. Afghanistan is a charming and energetic country with lots to offer visitors, including the ancient Afghan historical monuments, the renaissance beauty and fashion metropolis cities. However You should be aware of the continuing high threat from terrorism within Afghanistan. Threats, specific or otherwise, are reported on an almost daily basis. Terrorists and insurgents conduct frequent and widespread lethal attacks against British and Coalition armed forces, political and civilian targets.

CLIMATE The climate in Afghanistan is extreme in nature. While summers are very hot, winters can be bitterly cold. Summer temperatures can rise as high as 49° C, while the midwinter temperatures touch as low as -9° C. Temperatures often range greatly within a single day. Variations in temperature during the day may range from freezing conditions at dawn to the upper 30°s C at noon. Frontal winds sweeping in from the west may bring large sandstorms or dust storms, while the strong solar heating of the ground raises large local whirlwinds.

BEWARE We continue to receive reports which indicate specific terrorist threats against visibly British and western institutions, organisations and individuals. Threats also apply to those involved in work with the United Nations as well as those working in the humanitarian and reconstruction fields. Additional vigilance and care should be taken, particularly in and around landmark locations and places where large public crowds can gather. Hotels (used by the Government of Afghanistan and western nationals), ministries, religious and military establishments have been attacked in the past and there is always the possibility that there may be further such attacks.