Highlights of Kazakhstan
Unlike the neighboring countries of Uzbekistan (‘Silk Route and old cities’) and Kyrgyzstan (‘nomads and nature’), the touristic potential of Kazakhstan is less easy to interpret. The country is many times larger than these neighbours and therefore the variation in nature is also greater.
With Kyrgyzstan it shares a nomadic history and culture. The outward characteristics of the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz are also very similar. The biggest difference with the small neighbor is that Kazakhstan, through the enormous reserves of natural resources and good economic governance, has undergone an enormous prosperity development. This is different in the poorer Kyrgyzstan, which has a much lesser amount of natural resources.
Essence of Kazakhstan
But what makes Kazakhstan unique and worth a visit? In our opinion, the essence is ‘variation and adventure’:
– the vastness and emptiness of the land, where you will find more sheep and horses than people
– futuristic architecture in the new capital Astana
– visible Soviet history, including architecture, Gulag camps and the Baikanur Space Center
– the mix of peoples and their distinct cultures whilst living in harmony with each other; apart from ethnic Kazakhs (about two-thirds) many Russians, Uzbeks, Uiguren, Koreans etc. live in Kazakhstan, often as a result of deportations by Stalin
– a wide variety of landscapes, from semi-desert to steppe and high mountains on the relatively small area of Almaty province, which makes it easy to explore in a short period
– the possibility of completely off-road travel in remote corners such as Mangistau in the west, the Altai Mountains in the east and the Ulytau area in Central Kazakhstan
– cosmopolitan Almaty, equipped with all modern conveniences and beautifully situated at the foot of the high mountains
– in the summer the still visible nomadic life in the border areas with Kyrgyzstan
– the history of the Silk Route in the form of buildings and ruins in the south near the border with Uzbekistan
– the unspoilt nature and the lack of mass tourism
– finally, from January 2017, many countries’ citizins can travel without a visa in Kazakhstan for visits up to 30 days!
Frequently Asked Questions about Kazakhstan
1. Do I need a visa for travelling in Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan is visa-free for up to 30 days for most countries.
2. Is Kazakhstan a safe country to visit?
Yes it is. The safety situation is not much different from the average European country. Of course, one always has to take care of his or her belongings.
There are no political or ethnic tensions in the country (in 2020 and before).
3. Do I need vaccinations to visit Kazakhstan?
The Dutch Health Authorities (GGD) recommend vaccinations for Hepatitis A and for DTP (Dyptheris, Tetanus en Polio).
4. How can I pay in Kazakhstan?
There are ample ATMs to collect local cash money with your debit card of your credit card in the country. Also, in many shops and restaurants it’s possible to make contactless payments.
However, do take some cash (Euro or USD) with you to be able to exchange also in the countryside.
5. What is the best period to travel in Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan has a continental climate. Because it is also a huge country, it has different weather types in the four seasons.In the deserts and steppes it can get very hot in summer with temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius and higher.
The more southern, the hotter. Please take this into account when you are planning your trip in the popular Shymkent-Turkestan-Kyzlorda region in summer. It should be noted that in the same area there is also the nature reserve Aksu-Jabagly, where you can escape the summer heat in the high mountains!
Astana (Nur-Sultan since 2019) in the north is located in the open steppe and therefore has to deal with more wind. In winter that can mean Siberian temperatures up to 30 degrees below zero, and a blazing wind!
The best weather can be found all year round in Almaty and the surrounding area. Namely a moderate continental climate with a lot of sun and temperatures usually not too high in summer and usually not too low in winter.
It rains not much in Kazakhstan. Mostly in spring and in autumn. In addition, Almaty and its surroundings – the high mountains – usually have regular snowfall from December to March.
Why Kazakhstan with us?
– firstly, the owner of Kazakhstan Tours has lived there for several years and has visited numerous times, he knows the country inside out. That is why we can help you with your individual program, especially when you want it tailor-made
– several (Dutch) TV programs make use of our services & knowledge, in Kazakhstan and in other countries of Central Asia (The World’s Most Dangerous Roads and ‘3 op Reis’, both already twice)
– we have built up a network of excellent guides and drivers together with our local partners
– read the testimonials of our customers!
– we are affiliated with the Dutch GGTO Guarantee Fund so your tour is guaranteed also in the case of our (not expected) insolvency