Author: Naomi Dunbar

The world’s most dangerous roads: Kabul-Jalalabad Highway, Afghanistan

Kabul-Jalalabad Highway, Afghanistan

In this series, we’re going to be taking a look at the world’s most dangerous roads. The spine-tingling, the sweat-inducing, and the damn right butt-clenching. These roads are certainly not for the faint hearted, and those only with the biggest of balls among us would dare to tackle them on their two-wheels. So, are you up for it? We’ve already explored the nail-biting Pasubio Road in Italy, today we’re going to take a look at the Kabul-Jalalabad Highway in Afghanistan.

Kabul-Jalalabad Highway, Afghanistan

The Kabul-Jalalabad Highway is a part of the A01 national highway that links Kabul and Jalalabad in Afghanistan. Before even getting onto the road conditions and other drivers, it’s probably worth noting that a large section of the road follows the Kabul River Gorge through, um, Taliban territory…

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Now, that’s probably enough to put off even some of the riskiest adrenaline junkies, but I’ll continue for those who are intrigued (as you have clicked onto an article about the world’s most dangerous roads). Not only is the territory scary, but the road runs along 600m high cliffs, can be pretty darn narrow, has many sharp twists and turns and is frequented by reckless drivers.

Kabul-Jalalabad Highway
Photo: Sven Dirks/Wikimedia

The Kabul-Jalalabad Highway reaches an elevation of 1,200m above sea level, so you can imagine how dramatic the mountain views would be from your saddle… and how stomach churning the view off the side of the road would be. One wrong turn on this treacherous road could see you plummeting for hundreds of metres to, what we can only assume, would unfortunately be your death. In fact, due to these sheer drops and the reckless driving of others in the Kabul-Jalalabad Highway, it’s claimed that so many lives have been lost on this road that people have simply stopped counting.

The road snakes for approximately 40 miles through staggeringly rugged mountains, and not only is there a serious amount of reckless drivers, unsafe territory and sheer drops, but the road can also be prone to deadly rock fall – something you really don’t want to get caught up in on the bike or in any vehicle. Rock: 1 – you: 0.

rock fall Kabul-Jalalabad Highway
Photo: Sven Dirks/Wikipedia 

So, does any of this tickle your fancy or am I not selling it to you? Be sure to check out the rest of the world’s most dangerous roads series and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.