Large areas of Afghanistan remain highly insecure. NATO-led military operations are ongoing against the remnants of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Acts of violence, often targeting foreigners, continue to occur in Kabul. Visitors should maintain a very high level of security awareness, avoid demonstrations and political gatherings, avoid travelling alone and in the dark, and contact their consular representative for the latest information. Afghanistan is among the most heavily mined countries on earth. Extreme caution should be taken when venturing into areas that may be mined.
Official languages: Pashto, Dari (Persian)
Currency: Afghani (AFN)
Afghanistan's mostly mountainous geography makes for varying degrees of harshness depending on the altitude. Most of the country experiences a harsh winter from December to February where 8°C (47°F) is a warm day and -8°C (18°F) a very cold night. A light to moderate wet season occurs from October to May with March and April being the only particularly wet months. Between June and September it is quite dry with average highs of 30-32°C (86-89°F) and apart from the arid winds along the Iranian border it can be quite pleasant. However May and September to October provide particularly comfortable mid 20°C (around 80°F) days and a little more moisture. Afghanistan's lower areas have slightly warmer winters with the only significant rain for the year and summer days bake with an average high around 39°C (104°F) in July.
Afghanistan is a land-locked and mountainous country in central Asia, with plains in the north and southwest. The highest point is Nowshak, at 7,485 m (24,557 ft) above sea level. Large parts of the country are dry, and fresh water supplies are limited. Afghanistan has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The country is frequently subject to minor earthquakes, mainly in the northeast of Hindu Kush mountain areas.
At 249,984 mi² (647,500 km²), Afghanistan is the world's 41st-largest country (after Myanmar). Comparatively, it is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Texas.