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Birdwatching (Kazakhstan)


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is the ninth largest country in the world, situated in the middle of the Eurasian Continent. It stretches almost 3,000km from the Volga Delta in the west to the west border of in the east, and 1,600km from in the north to, and in the south. It occupies a territory of 2,700,000km2. Plains cover 60% of this territory, hummocks 30% and mountains and foothills to 10%. The Western Tien Shan, Northern Tien Shan, Dzungarian region and Altai are the largest mountain regions in. About 34,500 lakes are scattered over the country and are most abundant in northern regions. Some of these lakes are intermittent. The largest and famous are Caspian Sea and, and lakes Balkhash, Zaisan, Alakol, Tengiz and Kushmurun. The majority of rivers such as Ural, Irgiz, Turgai, Sarysu, Nura, Ili etc. belong to the closed catchment-areas of large lakes. Only the rivers Irtysh, Ishim and Tobol flow to the.

This typical inner-continental country has great diversity of landscapes: different types of steppes and north desert, coniferous forests, large lakes, and river valleys, huge mountains with magnificent gorges and white-capped picks. The northernmost region is represented by the forest-steppe ecosystems of the Western-Siberian Lowland. Further south, these ecosystems change for the steppe ones followed by extensive desert covering over 44% of the total area of the country. The mountains belts include different types of forests, alpine meadows, tundra, permanent snow belts and glaciers.

This geographical location and diversity provide a rich composition of flora and fauna with over 6,000 species of vascular plants and 835 vertebrate species. There are 489 bird species, including 396 breeding species, the rest are migrating and wintering species. Some of them are familiar species, but also there are encounter many wonderful and rare birds such as: Greater Flamingo, Red-breasted Goose, White-headed Duck, Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Imperial Eagle, Saker, Black Grouse, Siberian White Crane, Great, Houbara & Little Bustards, Sociable Lapwing, Pallas`s, Black-bellied & Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, White-winged & Black Larks and many others. Between the near 178 species of mammals there are also very interesting species: Snow Leopard, Persian Gazelle, Saiga, Asian Wild Ass, Bukhara Red Deer, Argali, Ibex.

Many regions of are very interesting for birdwatchers. Mainly tours are held on the territory of national parks and nature reserves: Naurzum Reserve, Aksu-Jabagly Nature Reserve, Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve

Naurzum Reserve situated in the south dry steppe of Kustanai Oblast, but this region, together with typical landscapes, also has contrasting landscapes that attracted an extraordinary wealth of animals and world of vegetation. Steppe, lakes, meadows and forests create an interesting combination of habitats. Typical, short feather grass steppe and other variants occupy majority of this territory. In the spring, a variety of flowers cover the steppe; afemerals and flowering adonises, Pulsatilla flavesceus, different tulips and irises. In June, the flowering feather grass transforms the steppe into a shimmering silver sea. Three forested areas situate in different soil condition lead to them composition and structure.

Established in 1926, the Aksu-Jabagly state nature reserve is the oldest nature reserve of. Located in the north western part of the range at elevations from 1100 to 4238 meters, it is one of the richest populated nature reserves in the world. You will find there luxuriant mountain fields and steppes, magnificent juniper forest, springs and rivers, and rocks. In spring the landscape is covered by rare flowers, wild tulips (Greig’s giant tulips and Kaufmann’s tulips) in particular. When in May its alpine meadows are dotted with the wild bright red tulips, a traveler can enjoy the spectacular and unforgettable view – a cover of giant flowers spreading across emerald green fields. By the way, the tulips of originated from this region! Fauna is represented by 238 different bird species. Even most African nature reserves won’t come close to this number. The largest bird in the reserve is the golden eagle which can sometimes be seen circling above the Aksu river canyon looking for prey. With its 3 meters span the golden eagle is an amazing view indeed. Besides birds there live 42 species of mammals (Arkhar Wild Sheep, Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Eurasian eagle owl and the Himalayan griffon vulture and others are among them), several species of reptiles and about 5000 different insects. Not only wildlife is very diverse. The botanist can find here not less than 1279 different plants, 150 endemic species among them.

There are several interesting destinations inside the park. The Aksu river canyon is one of the deepest canyons in. You can visit the canyon by jeep at the west side of the reserve where views are spectacular indeed. There is also the possibility to be dropped by a car at the entrance of the park and walk near the canyon to the viewpoint and then back to the. You need to be in good health for this option for you should expect walking for a minimum of five hours. If you go to one of the two observation houses of the nature reserve, you may enjoy a captivating view at a waterfall and there is also the possibility to watch a large number of bird species.

Nature Reserve - a wetland paradise. In the very heart of, 160 km northwest of Astana, awaits the Kurgalja National Preserve. is the largest preserve zone in, occupying an area of about 258.9 million hectares, including 198,000 hectares of wetlands. Despite being under 3 hours from Astana, and possessing a collection of birdlife that has recently attracted a nomination for UNESCO World Heritage Site status, the Korgalzhyn area remains surprisingly unknown, even within. The vast wetland area, a combination of virgin steppe and lakes, is home to wolves, marmots and saiga. However, it is the birds, and the pink flamingo in particular, that are the real attraction. Located at the crossroads of two migration routes, the wetlands act as a giant motorway junction service station for birds (alone has the capacity to feed 15 million birds). The area, most of which is protected as a ’Zapovednik’ (national nature reserve), is home to the world’s most northerly population of pink flamingos, one of over 300 species of birds, which includes one of the largest wildfowl population in Asia. Other notable residents include pelicans, cranes and a variety of birds of prey.

Spring and summer (mid April to September) provide the best opportunity to see the wide range of bird life. Flamingos should be resident during the whole of this period. For a fortnight at the end of April and start of May, the steppe bursts into color as tulips come into bloom. Ice fishing is popular during the winter months.

It is set in the Tengiz-Kurgal Depression located at the junction of steppe and semi-desert zones separating the Kazakh sandstone area from the Kokchetau Hills. There are no big trees in its territory. This is a kingdom of stunted shrubbery and grass, solely typical of the steppe.

Here exists the most beautiful feather-grass steppe. The territory of the preserve is the connection of two large lakes, Tengiz and Korgalzhin. The word «tengiz» in its translation means «sea». The total area of wetlands is 159,000 hectares, which is twice as large as Lake Geneva in area, and its water mineralization exceeds the oceans’ saltiness by 5–6 times. The preserve’s flora counts about 350 kinds of plants, 90% of which are grasses. The fauna includes some 82 types of birds, 33 of which are included in the «Red Book»; they are the black lark, great bustard, crane, gyrfalcon and steppe wind hover. This is the northern nesting habitat of the pink flamingo.

In the territory of the Kurgalja Preserve the luckiest tourists may come across black stork, whooping swan and brand goose; and in the reed-beds wild boars are hiding. From time to time, forest dwellers from Northern Kazakhstan and, such as lynx, roe and elk visit this remote territory.

On its territory there are no large trees, as this is the domain of low grasses and bushes typical for the steppe area. The Kurgaljinski lakes are rich in fish, including edible species. They are golden and argentine crucian, ide, pike, tench, perch, and roach. (which stands for ’sea’ in Kazakh) is the largest in the reserve.

It is made unique by the pink flamingoes, nesting on the islands of the ancient lake. Here lives the world’s furthest northern colony of these wonderful birds. They lived here even in the Paleocene Period, when the whole Tengiz-Kurgaljinski Depression was covered with the.

Tour for 22 days/23nights

Route: Almaty — Aksu-Dzabagly — Kurgaldzhino — Hi river — Altyn-Emel -Ash Tree Grove — Zhalanash — Period: May 20-June 20, September 15 — October 15 Accommodation In 3* hotels in cities, guest houses in villages, tents in nature

Day 1. Arrival to Almaty early in the morning, transfer to the Hotel accommodation, breakfast, lunch, city tour including visit to the State historical museum, dinner, overnight.
Day 2. Breakfast, after lunch night train to Shymkent dinner and overnight in the train.
Day 3. Breakfast, transfer from Shymkent to Bairkum village, lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight in the private house.
Day 4. Breakfast birdwatching, lunch-boxes, transfer to Shymkent, accommodation, hot dinner, overnight at the hotel
Day 5. Breakfast, transfer to Aksu-Dzhabagly national park, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 6. Breakfast, full day in Aksu-Dzhabagly national park, lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 7. Breakfast, all day birdwatching, lunch-boxes, after dinner transfer to train station Tulkubas, overnight in the train
Day 8. Breakfast early morning transfer to Almaty airport, flight to Astana, transfer to Kurgaldzhino national park (Tengiz lake), accommodation in the guest house, hot dinner, overnight in the guest-house.
Day 9. Breakfast all day in Kurgaldzhino national park, lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 10. Breakfast, birdwatching in Kurgaldzhino till lunch, transfer to Astana, flight to Almaty, transfer to the hotel, accommodation at the hotel, dinner, overnight.
Day 11. Breakfast transfer to Kanshegel village via Sorbulak lake (210 km.), lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 12. Breakfast birdwatching. lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest house
Day 13. Breakfast, transfer through Taukum desert, Topar lake, Akkol village to Вalcanas village (200 km), accommodation at the private
Day 14. Breakfast. lunch-boxes, transfer to Altyn-Emel national park (290 km), hot dinner and overnight at theguest-house in Altyn-Emel.
Day 15. Breakfast full day in Altyn-Emel national park, lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 16. Breakfast full day in Altyn-Emel national park, lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 17. After breakfast drive to Ashen Grove (150 km), birdwatching, lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 18. Breakfast transfer to Zhalanash village (95 km), birdwatching, lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 19. Breakfast after lunch transfer to Almaty (220 km), accommodation in a hotel, hot dinner, overnight at the hotel.
Day 20. After breakfast transfer to Almaty lake (35 km), birdwatching, lunch-boxes, hot dinner, overnight at the guest-house.
Day 21. After breakfast excursion to Medeo with lunch in Kazakh-Aul restaurant (45 km), drive to Almaty, accommodation at hotel, dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 22. Breakfast, rest in the hotel, optional excursions (shopping, sauna, national instruments museum, national instruments concert, bazaar, botanical gardens), galadinner, overnight.
Day 23. Early departure to the airport

Route: Almaty – Sorbulak – Taukum desert – Kanshengel – Toparskie Lakes – Djelturanga – Karoi –Bakanas_ Ili river – Kapchagai reservoir – Almaty – Big Almaty Lake – Almaty

Duration: 9 days

Season: May- September

Number of pax: 10–12

Day 1. Arrival to Almaty. Meeting with guide. Transfer to hotel for accommodation. Almaty city tour, including visit to 28, Zenkov Cathedral,, Republic Square, Central Mosque, Green Bazaar. Excursion to Kok_Tobe mountain where TV_tower is located. Chair lift. Return to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2. This day we’ll drive from Almaty to Taukum desert, on the way visiting, which is famous for its fish and birds inhabiting its shores. Stopover on the lake for several hours. Further drive to Kanshengel village, passing Kurty reservoir. Overnight either on the camel farm in the neighborhood of Kanshengel or in tents Recurvirostra avosetta,Tringa ochoous, Tringa tetanus,Podiceps ruficollis, Podiceps nigricollis,Podiceps griseigena, Podiceps cristatus,Tadorna ferruginea, Tadorna tadorna,Anas platyrhynchos, Anas strepera,Anas querquedula, Anas clypeate, Larus ridibundus, Larus argentatus, Chlidonias nigra, Sterna albifrons, Sterna Hirundo,Pastorroseus etc…
Day 3. This morning move to the north through Taukum desert and to, which were formed out of water from the underground rivers and are really amazing places not only for fishing and hunting but principally for bird watching. In several kilometers from the lakes in the neighborhood of Djelturanga village there is a wonderful turang grove, where turanga, a relict tree of deserts, grows. Overnight in the grove in tents. Netta rufina, Anas crecca, Aythyanyroca, Ardea cinerea, Egretta alba,Columba eversmanni, Dendrocopus leucoptera, Parus bokiharensis, Parus
Day 4. Early in the morning we leave Djelturanga turang grove and move to Karoi village, following the right shore of river. Stopover for several hours on the bridge through the river. Further we begin moving to Karoi village and make stopover in saksaul spinney, searching for the rare bird Podocespanderiilensis. Overnight in saksaul
Day 5. This morning we dedicate to the search for Podoces Panderi ilensis. After breakfast transfer from Karoi to Kapchagai reservoir, on the way passing Bakanas, Bachbachty and river. Overnight on the river or not far from the Kapchagai reservoir in tents.
Day 6. In the morning transfer from Kapchagai to Almaty (70 km) to the (2511 m, 25 km from Almaty) which is located in Big Almaty gorge. It’s one of the most picturesque and popular places to visit among the locals. People are attracted by beautiful nature, fresh air, forests and of course the lake itself. It was formed as a result of ancient glacier moving and left a basin afterwards. Later it was supplied with warm water and so the lake appeared. There a lot of different species of birds inhabiting Big Almaty gorge, forests and the surroundings of the lake. Overnight either in tents or at a guest house of the observatory (2700 m above the sea level). Phylloscopus trochiloides, Phoenicurus caeruleocephalus, Prunella fulvuscens,Corvus corone orientalis, Myophonus
Day 7. Morning excursion to the Marble stream in search for the Severtzov’s Tit_warbler – Leptopoecilasophiae. After breakfast drive to the Cosmo station (3300 m above the sea level). After lunch and rest excursion behind the lake for Ibis_Bill – Ibidorhynchusstruthersii watching. Overnight either at a guest house of the observatory or in tents. Severtzov’s Tit_warbler – Leptopoecile sophiae, Mycerobascarnipes, Carpodacus rhodochlamys, Phylloscopus griseolus,Luscinia pectoralis, Prunella fulvescens, Phoenicurus erythronotus, Phylloscopus humei, Serinus pusollus, Guldenstadt’s
Day 8. Excursion in the surroundings of observatory.After breakfast move to Almaty. On the wayseveral stopovers for bird watching. In someplaces possible to go on foot. Arrival to Almaty,accommodation at hotel, rest.In the evening – gala dinner. Overnight at hotel. Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps fulvus, Aegypius monachus, chrysaetus, Aegolius funereus, Surnia ulula,Picoides tridactylus, Nucifraga caryocatactes rotschildi, Troglodytes troglodytes tianschanocus, Prunella
Day 9. Departure Check_out hotel, transfer to the airport for departure from Almaty


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Motysheva Anara Motysheva Anara
mob.: +7 777 225 4037
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Mukasheva Elmira Mukasheva Elmira
tourism supervisor
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Gabdulina Assiya Gabdulina Assiya
senior manager
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Arystankulova Aida Arystankulova Aida
ticket agent
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Myrzabay Tolganay
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Starodumova Natalya Starodumova Natalya
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