What tourists need to know about the national parks of Kazakhstan

Buyratau State National Natural Park will surprise tourists with the beauty of the steppes, the rocks of unusual shapes and a huge enclosure for animals. The park is located on the territory of the Yereymentau and Falcon mountains, one hundred kilometers northeast of Nur-Sultan. The main pride of Buiratau Park is the largest animal complex in Central Kazakhstan. Its area is 400 acres. Marals, bison and roe deer live here. Accompanied by an inspector, you can arrange a real Kazakhstan safari here.

The nature park has developed four main tourist routes, including hiking, horse riding, cycling, car and combination. The best time for hiking on the trails is from May to September. You can find out more about them on the official website.

You can get to the “Buiratau” as part of a group transport provided by the national park, through a travel agency or on your own in off-road vehicles. It is more convenient and closer to the Belodymovsky branch, where the animal cage is located, from Karaganda. First, reach the village of Molodyozhny (90 km) and then another 80 km to the branch itself. From the capital, you should reach it by a detour: in the village Osakarovka – 111 km, then in the village Molodezhny – 80 km, and then in the Belodymovsky branch – 80 km.

Falcon Mountain, Buyartau. Photo from www.gnpp-buiratau.kz

There are no hotels or cafes in the park, so it is worth considering the trip in such a way that you can return to the city at night or camp in a tent camp.

Karkaraly National Natural Park is located in the Karaganda region and covers the Karkaraly Mountains and the Kent massif with deciduous and coniferous forests. The mountains stretch at an altitude of over 1,000 meters. Here, between the mountains and the forests, there are lakes. The streams, which run in the mountain gorges, give birth to rivers such as the Karkaraly, the Zharym, the Kendara, the Kopa and the Kerala. There are also attractive lakes for tourists: Shaitankol, Kendara, Bassein, Ulkenkol and Pashennoe. In the mountains, there are often small lakes and bowls in granite cliffs filled with rainwater.

The most interesting place for travelers is the lake, wrapped in legends and scary stories Shaitankol (Devil’s Lake). Located on the highest points of the Kentish Mountains, it is 70 meters long and 50 meters wide. It is a bright blue bowl in the center of steep cliffs and dense forest. The most interesting thing is that the water in the Devil’s Lake never freezes and the water level never changes.

There are six paths for tourists in the park – hiking, cycling and horse riding. Tourists are also offered tours of Karkaraly National Park for three, five and seven days. There are two tariffs: economy and business. The price for a three-day economy is from 6,000 tenge. A business with three meals a day – from 19,500 tenge. Minibus rental – 1,100 tenge per hour, tour guide services – 500 tenge per hour, tour guide – 1,100 tenge per hour. The minimum price for a five-day excursion is 10,000 tenge, for a seven-day tour – 14,000 tenge per person. Other information is available at the link. http://karkaralinskpark.kz/turizm

A daily train departs from Almaty to Karkarali in the direction of Almaty – Karaganda. Buses or taxis run from Karaganda to the park. You can also reach Karkaraly from Nur-Sultan by train, bus or taxi to Karaganda.

Burabai State National Natural Park (Borovoe) are picturesque mountains, lakes and pine forests. There are 14 lakes in the park. The most famous are Borovoye, Big and Small Chebache, Katarkol, Maybalyk. The highest point of the area is Mount Kokshetau, to the south is Mount Burabay (690 meters), and to the south are the Shchuchinsky Hills, the largest of which is Zheke-batyr (826 meters). The main decoration of Lake Borovoe is Mount Okzhetpes and the stone island of Zhumbaktas. Burabay is considered the main resort area of ​​Kazakhstan and there are a large number of tourist bases and rest houses, sanatoriums, restaurants, cafes and places for outdoor activities.

Burabay.  Photo from www.parkburabay.akmol.kz
Burabay. Photo from www.parkburabay.akmol.kz

A train runs from Nur-Sultan to Borovoye. Travel time is three hours 42 minutes. You can also get there by bus, via Shchuchinsk, for 1,500 tenge. The price of a taxi on the same route will be 2,000 tenge per person. From Almaty to the resort of Borovoe you can reach by train. Travel time – 15 hours 14 minutes. By plane to Kokshetau – one hour 50 minutes. From Kokshetau you can reach Borovoe by bus or taxi (distance 35 km).

Kokshetau National Natural Park is located in two regions – Akmola and North Kazakhstan. There are many blue lakes and blue mountains of different heights up to 1,500 meters. The area of ​​the national nature park “Kokshetau” is 182,076 hectares, which is proportional to the area of ​​the whole state in South Africa – Mauritius.

Here, visitors are offered a variety of tourist routes: Aiyrtauchik Lake, Akan Seri Hill, Turquoise Wave, Botai settlement, arboretum, mountain hills, Green Cape. You can cross the tourist routes in different ways – on foot, by bike, horse or boat.

There are currently 22 different trails (hiking, cycling and horse riding), including 7 tourist trails (2 cars, of which 1 snowmobile, 2 combined, 3 water) and 15 tourist trails (10 hiking, 3 cycling, 2 horseback riding). The price for the provision of tourist trails is 500 tenge per person per day, there are preferential prices for students and retirees. Hotel rooms – 1,000 – 2,000 tenge per bed per day. The driver is paid separately – about 500 tenge per hour. Tourists are also offered parking services, baths, bicycle rentals, hiking trails and other services. Prices on the site.

A place that has absorbed many legends and beliefs, the grandeur and grandeur of nature of the Pavlodar region – Bayanaul National Natural Park. The territory of the park is a kind of oasis in a semi-desert environment. There are six lakes here, three of them – Zhasybai, Sabyndykol, Toraigyr – are the most popular among tourists because of the infrastructure that has been created near them: recreation centers and children’s camps are concentrated here. The cliffs of Kemberta, Naizata and Saimanda are also interesting to visit. On the ground of the park is the tomb of the legendary Kazakh warrior Zhasybay batyr.

Bayanaul.  Photo from www.bayangnpp.rka.kz
Bayanaul. Photo from www.bayangnpp.rka.kz

The main tourist season, when you can enjoy the beach, swim in the lakes, go hiking, is from May to September. But even in winter, there is something to do here – leisure centers will offer skiing and snowmobiling.

The nearest town to Bayanaul Park is Ekibastuz. It is accessible by train. Then from the bus station to Bayanaul by bus or taxi. The nearest airports in the park are in Pavlodar and Karaganda. You can also get there by bus, taxi or car. But the journey will take longer. From Pavlodar to Bayanaul – about 230 km, from Karaganda – about 260.

The status of the largest natural park in Kazakhstan has Katon-Karagai National Park. Located in the region of East Kazakhstan. Its area is over 640 thousand hectares and the area has a variety of flora and fauna, among which there are species mentioned in the Red Book. Local attractions that have been turned into state monuments stand out: the mountain resort of Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi, Mount Belukha, 4,506 meters high, the most beautiful waterfalls in Kazakhstan, the Barrows Berel, the famous Austrian road. And the Katon-Karagai region is the only place in Kazakhstan where deer are raised and receive valuable raw materials – horns, which are valued for their high content of biologically active substances for the manufacture of medicines.

Photo from www.br.katonkaragai.kz
Photo from www.br.katonkaragai.kz

In the national park, tourists are provided with all the necessary vehicles to move around the area, hiking equipment is organized and camps with tents. The village of Katon-Karagay is accessible by car. On the road to the southeast from Ust-Kamenogorsk. And you can with regular buses. From Ust-Kamenogorsk they leave daily at 8.30 and at 11.00 in the morning.

It is important to note that visitors to the national park must issue a pass for the border zone. For foreigners and stateless persons of the Republic of Kazakhstan, an additional passport registration is required in the Department of Internal Affairs of the East Kazakhstan region.

Altyn-Emel State National Natural Park in the area of ​​Almaty covers an area of ​​over 500 thousand hectares. The landscapes of the park are very different: from desert lands to mountain systems. One of the most interesting places in the national park is the Singing Dune, the Bes Shatyr complex, which consists of Saka tumuli, the Aktau chalk mountains, called “lunar” for their extraterrestrial landscapes.

Singing dune.  Photo from www.altyn-emel.kz
Singing dune Photo from www.altyn-emel.kz

The administration of Altyn-Emel Park is located in the village of Basshi (73 Askarbek Street). The distance from Almaty is 245 km. From the regional center – the town of Taldykorgan – 120 km. The road is paved, so it is accessible by any car. A network of dirt roads over three hundred kilometers long has been created in the territory of the park itself.

There are three hiking trails in Altyn-Emel. In the village of Basshi and in the park there are several small hotels with all amenities. Food will also be provided there. If you have your own tent, you can stay at a campsite. It is best to book seats in advance. All prices can be displayed on the park website.

Every year the number of visitors to the national parks of Kazakhstan increases. For example, last year the number reached a record level: 1.48 million people. Thus, tourists visited Burabay more often – more than 655,000 people. In second place is the Ile-Alatau (430,044 people). The top 5 also included the Bayanaul National Parks (56,200 people) and Kokshetau (49,045 people).

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