Walking to Korgalzhyn state nature reserve
Duration: 7 days/ 6 nights
Season: April - October
During this tour you will visit Korgalzhyn state nature reserve and see amazing pink flamingoes in wildlife. Then visiting of 2 most important cities in Kazakhstan, along with Saka bath, that will bring you harmony and relax.
Day 1. Arrival to Astana. Meeting with the guide and departure to Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve (130 km, 2 hours)
11.30 – Arrival to Korgalzhyn village. (Korgalzhyn village is located 35 km from Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve)
Excursion at Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve museum which is very informative and where you will learn interesting facts about Korgalzhyn reserve just before its visit
Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve is a unique place, located in the steppe of Kazakhstan and part of the UNESCO World heritage list. It protects about 5432 sq.km of lakes, steppes and semi-deserts with the biggest lake Teniz which is 5 times saltier than world oceans. Here you can see rare spices of birds like Pink flamingo which migrate to Korgalzhyn lakes in period from May to August, in total in 2016 c.15000 flamingoes migrated to Korgalzhyn lakes. Besides flamingoes, there you can see Dalmatian pelicans, kinky pelican, steppe eagle, belladonna crane, white-headed duck and also rare species of animals such as Saiga, marmot and others.
13.00 – Lunch at local café
14.30 – Transfer to the guesthouse located at the center of Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve.
On the way to reserve, we will pass Birtaban- Shalkar lake system, where big amount of birds gathers, and it is the beloved place for ornithologists. There you can see the process of how the birds hunt and get their food.
18:00 Arrival and accommodation at Karazhar Cordon guest house which is located in the national park territory between two lakes: Yessey lake and Sultankeldy lake, there you can be closer to wild reserve and enjoy beautiful landscape of the steppe
Dinner and overnight at the guest house
Meal: lunch, dinner
09.00 – Transfer to lake Saumalkol, which is a perfect place for video and photo shooting, on the way you might see a fox, a corsac, a badger, a marmot, also a wild boar.
On the way to reserve, we will make stops on the bank of Essei lake where various kinds of birds rest and feed: swans, geese, pelicans, cormorants, ducks, etc. On the shallow of salt lakes Zharsuat and Shubasor you can see flocks of pink flamingos, piebald women, waders. Along the Essei lake we will have walking stop on observation platform, where almost every summer, large flocks of waterfowl and water birds gather.
Lunch at guesthouse
Return to Malyi Tengiz Lake in order to observe pink flamingoes and if we are lucky enough we will be able to meet Saiga deers (Red Book Steppe deers)
Return to guesthouse
Dinner and overnight.
Meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner
08.00 – Transfer to explore Eastern and Nothern part of Sultangeldi lake
Today our route runs along the eastern shore of Lake Sultangeldi with thickets of nitraria. Here you can see the landscape of cane thickets and the water surface of the lake, which changes during the day. We will have trekking along the bank of Sultangeldy lake. Then the route goes further to Lake Tuz, where you can meet a marmot-bobak, badger, fox etc. On the route you can observe the representatives of the steppe avifauna, such as larks, wagtails, cranes, gray and white herons. Also, in June, on Lake Tuz, you can observe the feeding process of pink flamingos.
Lunch at guesthouse
After lunch we will drive to Malyi Tengiz lake, where the majority of pink flamingos’ flock looking for food at this salty lake, which is also perfect place for breeding.
Transfer back to Astana
Dinner at local restaurant.
Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Meal: breakfast, lunch
Breakfast. Meeting with a guide and transfer for city tour
City tour starts from old part of the city on the right side of Ishim river. Constitution Square, Museum of the First President, Congress Hall will be starting points of excursion. You will walk along the riverside of Ishim and see the city in dynamics, and how it is developing, and then continue tour with the most important architectural buildings and monuments of the modern capital (Independence Square, Water-Green Boulevard, and Round Square).
Visit National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the museum you will see the Golden man, well known not only in the Kazakh steppe but also in all Central Asia.
Visit Bayterek, symbol of Astana.
Visit Atameken –miniature map of Kazakhstan.
Visit Temple of Peace and Accord- pyramidal building of the Palace of peace and Accord built by the project of a prominent British architect, Norman Foster, became the genuine decoration of the new capital of Kazakhstan.
Visit Nur-Astana mosque. The fantastic outline of the left bank of Astana.
Dinner in the restaurant.
Transfer to train station to catch a train to Almaty.
Overnight on the train
Arrival to Almaty
Transfer to breakfast, then city tour.
City tour starts from visit of Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, named after the 28 Panfilov guards from Almaty, who died heroically defending Moscow against the Nazi invasion in 1941. The next stop is the world’s most elevated wooden church, Zenkov Cathedral, Green bazar and the Central mosque. Then we will pass through the modern highlights of the city: futuristic and busy Al-Farabi street, the Presidential palace, Monument of Independence.
Transfer to Medeo gorge, where you will have a brief stop on the huge Medeo dam, which protects the city from destructive mudflows formed on the tops of the western Tien Shan.
Getting to Shymbulak from Medeo by cable car.
The Ski Resort Chimbulak is located on a picturesque valley in the Zailiyskiy Alatau within the height 2260 m above sea level, 25 km from the center of Almaty.
Transfer to visit Kok-Tobe mountain (the highest point of the city, located at height of 1100 meters above sea level). From its top opens the surprising panorama on mountains and the city. The highest TV-tower is located here.
18.00 Transfer for dinner at local restaurant.
Transfer to hotel for overnight.
10:00 After breakfast depart to the State Natural National Park Charyn (280 km from Almaty, 4h).
12:00 Lunch at local café near Charyn Park.
Excursion in Charyn Canyon
Charyn Canyon stretches 154 kilometres along the Charyn River in the northern Tien Shan mountain range. In parts, it attains a depth of 150 to 300 metres.
One part of it is known as Valley of Castles for its unusual rock formations. The width of it ranges from 20 to 80 meters and the length are 2 kilometers.
Charyn Canyon is considered to be the largest canyon in the world after the famous Colorado one in America.
Drive back to Almaty
Dinner in the local restaurant
Back to hotel for overnight
08:00 Transfer to Saka bath
9:30 Arrival to Saka bath
10:00 Start bath procedures in the Saka bath.
It is a hiking bath of the ancient Saka tribes. It was built in the form of a cube of birch blocks, covered with a canvas canopy. In the center there is a stone oven, which is heated for several hours.
Saka bath is an unusual bath, it was built according to the canons of ancient tribes inhabiting the territory of Eurasia in the V-I century BC. E. Scythians, Saks. Such baths were built even in hiking conditions. Baths with herbal decoctions and hot stones, aromatic mixtures made from components of coniferous trees were used in such baths. Scientific researches have proved that a rationally built bath procedure can replace sport training, restore balance in the body. The technique used in the Saki bath triggers the regenerative functions of the body. Because of the sudden change in temperature, the vessels are trained. Bath steam with the use of aromabalzams creates a sterile environment, expands and thoroughly cleanses the pores of the body. Due to active sweating, lactic acid is excreted from the body, ice, oxidative processes are activated, which means that microelements, carbohydrates, proteins are better absorbed, which contributes to the loss of kilograms. For one such session, you can lose up to 4 kg. As well as thousands of years ago, in this bathhouse you can not only steam but also find harmony with the world and with yourself. A benevolent atmosphere, aromatic steam and cold water give a feeling of peace and peace. And in this age of emotional overloads, this quality of the Saki bath cannot be overestimated.
14:00 Lunch in the local café
18:00 Drive back to Almaty
19:30 Dinner in the local café
21:00 transfer to airport to catch a flight home