Does Afghanistan have any nearby sea or ocean?

Tourist Attractions

By Felicity Long

Afghanistan’s Geography

Afghanistan is a landlocked country located in South Asia, bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north. Its capital city is Kabul, and the country covers an area of approximately 652,000 square kilometers. Afghanistan is mountainous, with the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges dominating the landscape.

Afghanistan’s Surrounding Countries

Afghanistan is surrounded by six countries, all of which are landlocked except for Iran, which has a coastline on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Pakistan is Afghanistan’s largest neighbor, sharing a 2,430-kilometer border, followed by Iran with a 936-kilometer border. The northern borders of Afghanistan are shared with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, with a combined length of about 2,500 kilometers.

The Landlocked Nature of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a landlocked country, which means it is entirely surrounded by land and has no direct access to the sea or ocean. This lack of access to the sea or ocean has significant implications for the country’s economy, as imports and exports have to be transported through neighboring countries, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Afghanistan’s Nearest Water Bodies

Although Afghanistan is landlocked, it has several rivers that flow through the country, which provide a crucial source of water for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. Additionally, the country is in close proximity to several water bodies, including the Amu Darya River, Harirud River, and Helmand River, as well as the coastlines of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan.

The Amu Darya River

The Amu Darya River is the longest river in Central Asia, flowing through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, before forming the border between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. It then flows through Afghanistan and into Turkmenistan, where it eventually empties into the Aral Sea.

The Harirud River

The Harirud River is a major river in western Afghanistan, forming the border between Afghanistan and Iran. It flows from the Hindu Kush mountain range and eventually empties into the Turkmenistan desert.

The Helmand River

The Helmand River is the longest river in Afghanistan, flowing through the provinces of Helmand and Nimruz before entering Iran and eventually emptying into the Gulf of Oman.

The Iran Coastline

Afghanistan shares a 936-kilometer border with Iran, which has a coastline on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The Persian Gulf is an important shipping route for oil tankers and other cargo vessels, and Iran’s ports handle a significant amount of cargo.

The Pakistan Coastline

Pakistan shares a 2,430-kilometer border with Afghanistan, and its coastline is located on the Arabian Sea. The port of Karachi is Pakistan’s largest port, handling the majority of the country’s sea-borne trade.

The Turkmenistan Coastline

Turkmenistan shares a border with Afghanistan in the north and northeast, and its coastline is located on the Caspian Sea. The country’s ports, including Turkmenbashi, are important for the transportation of oil and gas.

The Arabian Sea

Although the Arabian Sea is not directly adjacent to Afghanistan, it is the closest sea to the country. It is located to the south of Pakistan and the west of Oman and Yemen, and is an important shipping route for oil tankers and cargo vessels.

Conclusion: Afghanistan’s Lack of Access to the Ocean

In conclusion, Afghanistan is a landlocked country with no direct access to the sea or ocean. However, it is in close proximity to several water bodies, including rivers that flow through the country and the coastlines of neighboring countries such as Iran, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan. While these water bodies are important for trade and transportation, Afghanistan’s landlocked nature poses significant challenges for its economy.

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Felicity Long

Felicity Long, a seasoned travel journalist with 15+ years of experience, specializes in exploring Europe, family travel, and skiing, as evident in her book "Great Escapes: New England" (The Countryman Press). She edits the Europe eNewsletter and contributes significantly to TravelAsker's destinations sections. Felicity has received esteemed awards, including the Cacique and Yo Leonardo Awards, in recognition of her outstanding international travel writing accomplishments.

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