former semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan (1947–2018)
Asia > South Asia > Pakistan > Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Travel Warning WARNING: Travel through the tribal areas is advised against by most governments, including that of Pakistan. Pakistan authorities have little control over these areas, and almost no ability to come to your aid in an emergency. Kidnapping can be a risk in many parts of the region, and it's widely believed to be used as a hideout for the Taliban and Al Qaeda. See "Stay safe" for more details.
Government travel advisories
(Information last updated Apr 2019)

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Urdu: قبائلی علاقہ جات) were a region in Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. It was merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018, but as the situation there is different from that of the FATA, we cover them separately.


Map of Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Other destinationsEdit


The FATA comprise a region of some 27,220 km² (10,507 mi²). Miran Shah is the tribal capital. There are seven areas known as "agencies" and six areas known as "frontier regions".


Pashtu is the predominant language in the region, though many people also speak Urdu.

Get inEdit

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Stay safeEdit

Travel here is strongly discouraged. If you must travel here, please see war zone safety.

The tribal areas are generally not considered a tourist destination and for good reason. While there are many good people living in these areas, there are also a fair share of those willing to cause trouble to foreigners, and there's little than can be done to help you if you're in trouble – don't expect your embassy to come to your rescue either. Travellers to Landi Kotal and the Khyber Pass require an armed escort and a permit – you won't get through without these, so don't waste your time trying. Dara Adam Khel also attracts a handful of travellers to visit the gun manufacturing, but the same risks apply there: use caution.

The U.S. military carried out a drone bombing campaign in this area until July 2018. The robotic aircraft were heavily loaded with weapons targeted anyone believed to be members of Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. The bombing could be resumed at any time.

Several tips:

  • Drones are characterised by the loud buzzing noise that they make, equivalent to that made by a bee or a lawnmower. You may also see the aircraft circling overhead.
  • Do not perform the following actions:
    • Lay down and drop something on a road (it looks like you are laying an IED)
    • run
    • point at the aircraft.
These actions may result in the aircraft opening fire.
  • Just pretend that you don't see the aircraft and that you are having a normal day.
  • Stay away from anyone who you suspect to be a member of AQ or the Taliban. They will be targeted, and if you are near them you will be caught in the blast radius of the aircraft's weapons.

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