Last year clashes broke out on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border over various factors including water resources and access to the enclaves and exclaves of the region. The clashes occurred in September last year and you can read about here . For over 9 months the border was completely closed to all crossing. This meant those wishing to travel between Tajikistan and Kyrgzystan, or vice versa, were required to travel through a third country, most commonly Uzbekistan.
This July (2023) tourists (but not locals) have slowly been permitted to cross the border again. Both directions are now open providing you obtain the necessary permit on the Kyrgyzstan side. The only crossing currently open is the Kyzyl-Art crossing. Kyzyl-Art is located between Bordaba and Sary Tash on the Kyrgzystan side and Markansu and Karakul on the Tajikistan side.
In order to cross you are now required to get an authorised travel agency in Kyrgyzstan to organise the permit for you. You can contact us on [email protected] and we can point you in the right direction. The authorised agency requires you to provide a scan of your passport, the dates you wish to cross the border and the direction in which you are crossing. There is also a USD$20-$30 fee for the permit depending on which agency you use.
There is currently no permit required from the Tajikistan authorities, although you will need to have obtained the GBAO (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast) permit beforehand. The GBAO permit was also required even before the recent violence.
There are also reports that the border guards are taking small ‘fees’ for crossing the border insisting on $5-$10 in order to allow you to cross, although some have reported not needing to pay anything as long as they have the permit from the Kyrgyzstan side. This largely just depends on who happens to be there when you're trying to cross.
There are still reports that the authorities are not properly communicating with the border that you have a legitimate permit, so be prepared to wait a couple of hours while they contact Osh to make sure you have permission to cross.
This is definitely a step in the right direction and hopefully by next year crossing this border will be back to normal.