Temperatures in the central highlands are below freezing for most of the winter, and snow is common at higher elevations. Summertime highs in lower elevations such as Jalalabad or Mazar-e Sharif can exceed 50C/120F. In higher areas such as Kabul, summer temperatures can be 30C/90F and winter around 0C/30F. The most pleasant weather in Kabul is during April, May and September.
Officially 220V 50Hz. Electricity supplies are erratic but slowly improving in major cities. Voltage can drop to below 150V in some places. The Afghans' enthusiasm for homemade generators or modifying low quality ones means that the frequency and voltage can also vary wildly.
There are three types of electrical outlets likely to be found in Afghanistan. They are the old British standard BS-546, the newer British standard BS-1363 But the European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko" is the standard and obviously most common. Generally speaking, U.S. and Canadian travelers should pack adapters for these outlets if they plan to use North American electrical equipment in Afghanistan. You may also find cheap universal adapters in the local markets.
Afghanistan is a very ethnically diverse country. Tribal and local allegiances are strong, which complicates national politics immensely.
The Largest ethnic groups are the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.
Baloch tribesmen, still largely nomadic, can be found anywhere between Quetta in Pakistan and Mashad in Iran, including much of Western Afghanistan. They make marvellous rugs, if somewhat simple.
There are tens of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs living in different cities but mostly in Jalalabad, Kabul, and Kandahar who belong to the Punjabi, Sindhi, Kabuli, and Kandhari ethnic groups.
Hazaras in the Central mountains look much more Asiatic than other Afghans. According to some theories, they are descended from Ghengis Khan's soldiers.
The two largest linguistic groups speak Pashto and Dari Afghan Persian. Pashto speakers predominate in the South and East, Dari in North, West and central Afghanistan. About 11% of the population have Turkic languages, Uzbek or Turkmen, as their first language. Many of them are in the North, near Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Minor native language groups include Nuristani languages, Dardic languages and Pamir languages, found in small pockets in the east and northeast.
Afghan Scene magazine(http://www.afghanscene.com/)
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby – a hilarious account of pioneer trekking in Nuristan in the 1950s
The Places Inbetween by Rory Stewart – a fascinating post 9/11 travelogue of Stewart's walk from Herat to Kabul just after the fall of the Taliban.
The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini – a beautiful and heartbreaking tale of childhood in Afghanistan
Good Morning Afghanistanby Waseem Mahmood - a true account of the setting up of the first public radio station in Kabul after the Taliban fell.
An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistanby Jason Elliot -- a true travelogue from the period between the expulsion of the Soviets and the ascension of the Taliban. He went everywhere.
Mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest. The Hindu Kush mountains run northeast to southwest, dividing the northern provinces from the rest of the country, with the highest peaks found in the northern Wakhan Corridor. South of Kandahar is desert.
The lowest point is Amu Darya at 258 meters, and the highest is Nowshak at 7,485 meters.