Wilderness Tour in Central Kazakhstan

Wilderness Tour in Central Kazakhstan

A steppe adventure with local specialists

A road trip through the endless steppe of Central Kazakhstan with local biologists, to get acquainted with the flora and fauna of the steppe. This program was established only recently and very few foreigners have undertaken this tour. A true pioneers trip! Start and finish are in Astana.

The 2019 program is extended to 12 days incl. flight dates and will be modified on these pages shortly

DAY 1. Meet at the Astana Airport. Check-in at the hotel into a single or twin/double room. A short tour of the city, depending on the arrival times at the airport. Free time.

DAY 2. Early in the morning, we will set out to the village of Korgalzhyn (130km) where the group will be given rooms in a guesthouse. On the way, we will have the chance to see the Red-footed falcon, Skylark and other birds. Lunch and dinner will be organised at the guesthouse. Next is an outing in search of a Sociable lapwing flock and photo-taking. Also planned for that day, is a trip to the visitors’ centre at the Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve.

DAY 3. 
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we will head for the nearest fresh- and salt-water lakes to observe local water birds. We might see Flamingos at the Tengiz Lake as it is the Northern most nesting location for the species. We will take a picnic lunch. Dinner and overnight stay at the guesthouse back at the village.
DAY 4. After an early breakfast, we will move on to the next part of the itinerary – to the city of Arkalyk (200km). On the way, we will make a few stops at lakes and at other sites amongst the beautiful landscape. We will stay in a comfortable hotel and have dinner there.

DAY 5. 
On this day, we plan to go on a safari in the Turgay steppe in search of the Saiga antelope. On the way we will encounter many different birds and small mammals. If we come across a group of Saiga antelopes, we will be able to stop and observe them using optical equipment. In May, it is possible to observe the birth of Saiga calves and watch them from a short distance. Dinner and overnight stay will be provided at the well-organized ACBK field camp.

DAY 6. 
A visit to the Altyn Dala Reserve. We will take a trip to the Tosunkum sands where you will be able to see the unique Asian poplar groves and interesting ecosystems. You might also see a wolf den. In the evening, we will set up photo-traps, which will later gather information on local nocturnal and other creatures. We will have a picnic lunch, dinner and overnight stay will be provided at the well-organized ACBK field camp.

DAY 7. 
After an early breakfast, we will go to the Naurzum nature reserve. The last stop of this itinerary is the town of Karamendy (300km). Close to the border of the reserve, we will stop in a mountainous area of Kyzbel’-Tau. Kyzbel’-Tau is only 120m high but, nevertheless, offers an incredibly beautiful view of the valleys that lie on either side of the mountain. Patches of mixed forest that are also nesting sites for the Eastern imperial eagleand smaller birds cover the mountainsides. That is where we will have a picnic lunch. Then we will set off for the small town of Karamendy where we will check in at a hotel and have a dinner.
DAY 8. In early morning before breakfast, we will head for the site of the male Black grouse mating to listen to their mating calls. To be able to observe these birds at a close range without disturbing them, we will use hides. After a breakfast we will go to the visitors’ centre of the Naurzum reserve where we will learn some basic information about local flora and fauna. Afterwards, we will go to a pine forest – Tersek. On the way, we will stop in places where the stipa plant grows and sites that are home to the Bobak marmot. During a short period in May, the steppe is covered in Schrenck’s tulip flowers making it a very bright and cheerful landscape. Once we are in the pine forest, it will be possible to go for a walk there. The forest is home to old pines, some of which are as old as 200 years, and to trees that grow in sandy soils. By the forest, there are clay buttes – layered variegated clay presents a wonderful colour scheme ranging from white to brick red. This is where you can see how different ecosystems converge. You might be able to see Roe deer, moose and badger. A lunch will be organized as a picnic in the forest. Dinner and overnight will be organized in same guesthouse in Karamendy village.
DAY 9. After breakfast, we will set off for the town of Kostanay to take a flight to Astana. Arrival in Astana, check in at a hotel. A final dinner will be organized in one of restaurant in Astana.

DAY 10. Transfer to the airport according to the flight departure time.

The cost of this program is €1,275 p.p. at ten persons and €1,725 at five persons (the minimum).
Included in the offer are:
– all accommodations, in double rooms
– all transfers in Kazakhstan including the domestic flight
– services of an English language guide
– all meals, including drinks and snacks

Not included in the offer are the international flight tickets and all services not mentiones.
Finally we will withhold €15 per booking for the Dutch GGTO Travel Guarantee Fund.



Astana, Central Kazakhstan


May 11-24, 2019


from €1,275 p.p. excl. the international flights


14 days