Kandahar is a city in southern Afghanistan, the capital of Kandahar Province on the Arghandab River. The province has 886,000 people, while the city has about 316,000 (2002 official estimates). It is the second-largest city in Afghanistan, approximately 3,297 feet (1,005 meters) above sea level, and is 280 miles (450 km) southwest of Kabul. The city of Kandahar is a major trading center for sheep, wool, cotton, silk, felt, food grains, fresh and dried fruit, and tobacco. The region produces fine fruits, especially pomegranates and grapes, and the city has plants for canning, drying, and packing fruit. Kandahar has an international airport and extensive road links. Together with Peshawar in Pakistan, Kandahar is the main city of the Pashtun people. It is linked by highways to Herat in the west, Ghazni and Kabul to the east, Tarin Kot to the north, and Quetta in Pakistan to the south.
Climate: In the semi-desert low-lying areas of the southwest, including Kandahar, the climate is dry and hot. Here the temperatures can go as high as 40°C (104°F) in the summer. It is rainy between January and March, with no rain between May and September.
Hottest months: May - Sep. High 40°C (104°F) Low 16°C (60°F)
Coldest months: Nov - Feb. Low 0°C (32°F) High 15°C (59°F)
- Accommodations: In "modular style" housing with 8 rooms to a building. There are one to four people per room, depending on availability. Bathrooms with hot showers are located inside each building.
- Vendors: There are many stores and items for sale. There is a PX (Post Exchange store). You can also order items from the internet since you will have an APO address.
- Employees work 11 hours per day, 7 days a week (77 hrs/week).
What to Bring
- Luggage - Don’t bring more than you are willing to carry. Suitcases don’t roll on gravel! Ship the rest in advance.
- Money - How can I get cash? The easiest way is to bring some with you. You can cash checks there - usually about $200/month. You can also use a debit card at the PX to get $20 back per day with purchase.
- Small flashlight
- Durable clothes. Consider some lightweight, hiking-type clothes for the extreme summer heat.
- Khaki Pants are good because the area is very dusty! There is no concrete, only sand and gravel.
- Comfortable, sturdy shoes. Hiking boots are preferred since terrain is rocky and sandy. You will get sand inside of normal running shoes. Light colors will not show dirt as much
- Shower shoes (rubber flip-flops)
- Towels (can usually buy at the PX, but you may need one en route)
- Twin sheets (can usually buy at PX) and blanket (can use sleeping bag too)
- Pillow (also typically for sale, but you can never be sure)
- Exercise clothing – nothing revealing!
- Pictures of loved ones
- Personal media devices
- Sun block
- Good, dark sunglasses
- Cargo pants are nice for carrying things. You can’t take a purse into dining facilities.
- Don’t worry if you forget things. You can always order stuff from the internet