International speleological expedition to the salt caves of Tajikistan, August 2024

The first half of September is the most comfortable time for the expedition

In 2020 and 2021, we did not manage to organize an expedition to Tajikistan. Everyone knows the reasons, pandemic and quarantines. However, we did a reconnaissance of the karst area in 2022.

The expedition is organized jointly by: the Foundation for the Preservation and Exploration of Caves, the Tian-Shan Geological Society and the Tashkent Speleologists Club (Uzbekistan). Speleologists from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan will take part in the expedition, and we also invite speleologists from other countries for joint research.

Currently, there is not a single speleologist in Tajikistan. Almost half of the country’s territory is occupied by the Pamir Mountains. The other part of the country is unique geological landscapes and cool oases.

At present, Tajikistan is a modern rapidly developing country. More and more foreigners come to this country to get acquainted with its ancient culture and unique nature. There are many ethnic groups living here who speak different dialects. Different peoples can live in different gorges. The people of Tajikistan are very hospitable.

There are also many karst areas in Tajikistan that remain unknown to speleologists. Therefore, we continue to explore the karst and caves of Tajikistan.

One of the unique karst areas is located in the south of the country. There are rare geological monuments of nature called Khoja Mumin and Khoja Sartis. These two grandiose mountains are made entirely of salt. Several large caves are known within these salt massifs. But, as you know, salt is a rapidly soluble mineral, so the formation of caves in Khoja Mumin and their transformation occurs relatively quickly.

Our cross-border speleological project to explore unknown karst areas and caves in Tajikistan is being implemented jointly with Tajik colleagues.

We want to learn about the natural conditions of the country, get acquainted with one of the most ancient cultures in Central Asia, discover new caves and understand the prospects for further research.

Tasks of the expedition: speleological, biological and other research.

During the reconnaissance expedition in 2021, we learned about some of the natural features and difficulties in Tajikistan.

The unique salt karst and caves in the Khoja Mumin mountain range are of great scientific interest. The Khoja Mumin mountain range is completely composed of salt of tectonic origin. In 1989, a group of Kyrgyz speleologists explored only a small part of the mountain range for 5 days. They discovered 2 large caves, 2700m and 550m.

The mountain range is located in the arid climate zone, however, there are a large number of springs. It is not clear where the water comes from in this hot climate.

We invite interested speleologists, biologists and other scientists to take part in the Khoja Mumin 2022 expedition.

The most favorable time for the expedition is the first half of September. At this time it is no longer hot.

The purpose of the expedition is to search and explore new caves in the salt mountain. As well as exploring the caves, which are known to the locals.

Expedition dates: September 05 – September 19, 2023

Logistics and program

  • Day 1. Arrival in Dushanbe – the capital of Tajikistan, meeting at the airport, accommodation in a guest house,
    Our chef will buy and prepare food. Briefing.
    Day 2. Transfer Dushanbe – Kulyab – Khoja Mumin, setting up the base camp,
    Day 3. Reconnaissance,
    Day 3-11. Exploration of the karst area and work in caves,
    Day 12. Transfer Khoja Mumin – Dushanbe. Accommodation in a guest house.
    Day 13. Free program
    Day 14. Transfer Dushanbe – Airport

We plan to use a comfortable bus for transfers between Dushanbe and Khoja Mumin. To work on the Khoja Mumin salt massif, we plan to use off-road transport.

We will provide individual tents for all participants.

For a safe base camp, we have all the necessary equipment: a large tent for the kitchen, a large tent for the dining room, an electric generator, tables, chairs, radio stations, field toilets, a field shower, etc.

If you are planning to take part in an international expedition, please contact us:

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