Kandahar is a major city in the South of Afghanistan.
Kandahār or Qandahār (Pashto: کندهار ) (Persian: قندهار) is one of the largest of Afghanistan's thirty-four provinces and is located in the southern region of the country. Kandahār is a border province connecting the southern region to Pakistan's Balouchistan province through Chaman and used to be the capital of Afghanistan until the late 17th century. It is considered to be an economic and political hub of Afghanistan and has always played a major role in the history of Afghanistan.
Most of its inhabitants are Pashtuns (Pashto: پښتون Paṣ̌tun, Pax̌tun). Many Afghan rulers such as; Ahmad Shah Durrani, Mirwais Khan Hotak, King Amanullah Khan, King Nadar Khan, and King Zahir Shah have originated from Kandahar.
Kandahar is surrounded by mountains. The capital is Kandahār, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m (3,297 feet) above sea level. The Arghandab River runs along the west of the city. The Ring of Rivers lies alongside the city and lush green gardens enhance the natural beauty of the city.
The majority of Kandahār people are engaged in agricultural endeavour. The province has a population of nearly 913,000, with over 800,000 living in its capital city.
Kandahār is a major trading center for sheep, wool, cotton, silk, felt, food grains, dried fruit, fresh fruit including pomegranates and grapes, and tobacco.The city has canning plants and facilities for drying, and packing fruit.
There is an international airport in Kandahār and roads provide links to Tareen Kot in the north, Quetta in Pakistan in the south. Farah and Herat toward the west, and Ghazni and Kabul to the northeast.
Kandahar International Airport (IATA: KDH) now has flights on Ariana Afghan Airlines [www.flyariana.com] & Kam Air between Kandahar, Dubai every Wednesday Ariana & Monday Kam Air; as well as three domestic flights per week between Kabul and Kandahar and one Domestic flight from Kandahar-Herat-Kandahar every Tuesday by KamAir. Pamir Airways has daily morning flights from Kabul which is cheaper than Kam Air and Ariana Airlines. Flights are also available by the UN (UNAMA and UNHAS) and the ICRC but are only open to UN staff and other approved organisations. Kandahar Airport is quite primitive and low-tech. It is well secured, being adjacent to a large ISAF base. Approaching the departure terminal requires passing through several vehicle and pedestrian checkpoints, which is not scary or unpleasant, but can involve delays. All baggage is x-rayed and checked by sniffer dogs at a checkpoint a considerable distance from the terminal; passengers must leave vehicles for this procedure.
A good highway, the A01, links Kandahar to Kabul. However, passing through Zabul province is not safe. The Highway from Kabul to Kandahar is nowadays quite safe apart from regular patrolling of security forces. Total drive is of 6 hours but can take 12 hours if there is patrolling as US Forces do not allow cars to overtake them. The highway from Herat is also being improved, again it is very dangerous where it passes through Helmand and Farah. Highway A75 which runs south towards Spin Boldak and the border with Pakistan, then continuing to Quetta is also very dangerous. Afghan police are known to force payments or steal from vehicles along the roads, especially if you are not known to them.
Dirt roads are highly likely to have landmines or explosives.
There are plenty of food choices in Kandahar, however most of them only serves Afghan cuisine. The popular items include roasted chicken, lamb, and beef, along with Afghani rice dishes, cooked vegetables, and plenty of fine fresh fruits.
Pizza Hut, Subway and Tim Horton's all have outlets inside the military airbase if you're looking for a taste of America. You need an ISAF access badge to get on the base.
Travel to Kandahar emphatically not advised as of 2011 due to the serious risk of suicide bombings, kidnapping and general lawlessness. Most foreign governments will advise against all travel to Kandahar. As of 2013, the city centre of Kandahar is quite safe, at least for the Afghans who live there. Bomb attacks or other mass-casualty incidents are very rare. Targeted assassinations are a bigger danger; victims are typically people associated with the government. However, foreigners who cannot blend in may easily become victims of crime by extremists (particularly the Taliban). Dressing like a local and speaking Pashto is not a guarantee for safety. Most foreigners working in Kandahar only drive from one secured compound to another and do not walk around town.
Dirt roads are very dangerous and should be avoided as land mines are not necessary clear of many rural areas.