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South Kazakhstan Expedition tour

It is a photo-journey and expedition to a fantastic world of South Khazakhstan — Semirechye (Seven Rivers), where colorful sedimentary clays from the times of dinosaurs come to the surface. It is the place where unthinkable number of colors and shades can be combined in one photo shot!
We travel to:
  See bright red fields of wild poppies.
  Study rock pictures of Buddha in the canyon of the river Ili.
  Hear the road roar of the unique Singing Sand Dune.
  Walk around alien Aktau landscapes.
  Have a walk at the bottom of the Charyn canyon, the younger brother of the Grand Canyon.
  See a submerged forest of one the most beautiful Asian lake — the Kaindy.
  Climb the high plateau Asy surrounded by snow-covered peaks of the Tian Shan.
  i-want to expedition!

Brief overview:

The organization fee covers: the work of managers and officers in national parks, transportation in an off-road vehicle, accommodation in the tent camp, touristic camps and hotels, travel meals, excursions, all recreation fees.

Time for the tour: only the end of May (flowering time of poppies)
The starting and finish point: Almaty, Kazakhstan
Duration: 10 days
Number of participants:  2-8 people
• Price per person: about 1200-3500$ (for more details email us)
  Photography: landscape photography (mountains, deserts, flower fields, canyons, clay and chalk formations, photographing wild animals (birds and onagers), travel-photography.
  New knowledge and experience: the culture of ancient societies, geology and geomorphology with outstanding examples (mount Aktau and Katutau, the Singing Sand Dune, the Charyn canyon), nature study (an extensive amount of flowers and unique plants), modern nomadic culture.
  Activities: photography, meeting unusual and unique natural phenomena, walks across mountains and canyons, bathing in rivers and mount lakes and a true zest of adventure.
A video story about «South Khazakhstan Expedition. Spring in the Semirechye» (while only Russian)
In 2013 a film company EdikArt filmed and cut a story about an off-road expedition across the wilderness of South Kazakhstan. This unique journey was organized by the Russian Geographical Society under the guidance of the Siberian Expeditions — a club of travels with sense.
© almost all photos on this page are made by our team in previous expeditions


South Kazakhstan Expedition   The team of Siberian Expeditions

The second half of May is a very favoring time to travel to South Kazakhstan (Semirechye): the scorching heat hasn’t yet arrived, the steppe is covered with fields of bright red wild poppies, peculiar endemic plants bloom on slopes of sandy dunes and clayish canyons. Winter still reigns in the Tian Shan, which adds to the contrast of colors at photos.

Our journey will be full of energy and vigor — almost every day will bring a new landscape, new reality and new adventures At the same time we will have an extensive possibility to photo almost all major places of interest both in morning and in evening light.

It is also worth noting that the Semirechye is a unique textbook about the geological history of the Earth. We will literally have a walk on the bottoms of the most ancient lakes, rivers and oceans — those very alien landscapes. We will get acquainted with unusual nature phenomena, such as the Singing Sand Dune, volcanic outcrops of the Katutau, the Charyn canyon and the torrential lake of Kaindy. There will be a lot of interesting stories on the topic, with striking examples around.

We will also climb the high plateau Asy, at almost 3,000 m, play snowballs there and picture wild yellow and red tulips.


Rodion, the head of the journey
Has 7 -years experience in organizing expeditions. A member of Russian Geographical Society.


Sergei, transport and organization support of the expedition
An expert in tourism, an organizer of expeditions and journey around the Kazakhstan.




Why you should take this journey with us:
You will take part not in a tour or a trip, but in a real expedition, with its objectives, uncertainties, research and its unique atmosphere.
You will feel like a hero of the childhood books, Indiana Jones — this is the very authentic adventure tourism.
Especially for photographers! The entire route and schedule planned in such a way that you had the most time to shoot all the sights and the most beautiful views of the South Kazakhstan (Semirechye) in the morning and in the evening light, and tour leader will show you the most optimal and favorable terms of shooting.
You will get a unique life experience.. No one returns the same person from this journey: there is a reassessment of values in life; there are interesting and reliable new friends, even the eyes of the travelers become wiser and happier. You are not a customer, you are a part of the team. . As a rule, the journey is just the beginning — we can work together on the received materials or carry out further joint projects.

What will we see and what will we do?
(click on photos to learn the details)
Actau Mountains, South Kazakhstan Expeditions
fotress-turkestan-kazakhstan-expeditions buddha-south-kazakhstan-expeditions singing-sand-dunes-kazakhstan-expeditions
crystals-of-gypsum-kazakhstan-expeditions volkano-rocks-kazakhstan-expeditions charyn-kanyon-kazakhstan-expeditions
lake-kaindy-kazakhstan-expeditions plateau-asy-kazakhstan-expeditions turgen-waterfalls-kazakhstan-expeditions
What unusual and beautiful plants and animals shall we meet?
(click on photos to learn the details)
700-yaer-old-willow-kazakhstan-expeditions haloxylon-kazakhstan-expeditions siberian-spruce-kazakhstan-expeditions
kulans-kazakhstan-expeditions gazzele-kazakhstan-expeditions marmots-kazakhstan-expeditions
© almost  all photos on this page are made by our team in previous expeditions



Day 1. A walk around Almaty
Meeting in the airport, accommodation in a hotel, exchanging currency. A walk around the city center: we can go to a beautiful park of 28 Panfilovtsy, the Nezavisimosty (Independence) Square, the Cental Kazakh Museum. We will see sunset on Mount Kok Tobe where a spectacular view opens to the city and over-tree-thousand-meter mountains raising above it.
Meals in cafes, accommodation in the hotel KUZE.
Day 2. Fort Turkestan and rock pictures of Buddha
Early in the morning we will drive north-west — to the canyon of the Ili river, where mountains are red in the season due to poppies blooming. An excursion to Buddha drawing and short trekking in the mountains of Tamgaly Tas, where we admire the great views of the canyon. After, we will go to see the full-scale decorative fort Turkestan build specially for the Kazakh film «Nomad». We will then drive to the Kapchagai water reservoir.
Rally: about 180 km (smooth road). Breakfast in cafes, lunch picnic, dinner in hotel. Accommodation in the hotel Altyn-Emel.
Day 3. Poppy fields and Altyn-Emel National Park
In the morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to the national park Altyn-Emel and set our camp near the cordon of park rangers, not far from the Singing Sand Dune. On the way we will see a large poppy field and steppe overgrown with feather. We will possibly taste Kazakh national cuisine.
Rally: about 230 km (smooth road, then steppe dirt roads). Breakfast in hotel, lunch in cafe, dinner in the house of a park ranger. Overnight spent in the tent camp.
Day 4. The Singing Sand Dune and the Aktau mountains
At 5 a.m. we will start to the Singing Sand Dune — in the rays of the rising sun it is especially picturesque. The Dune is really singing, though only when the air is dry. The sound similar to that of an organ, or an airplane roar appears when one walks on the sand, besides the more you put force to the Dune, the more it sings. This phenomenon is not yet completely studied. Then we will have breakfast and drive east to the Aktau mountains. When we are there, we will have a couple of hours for a walk in these unearthly clay labyrinths. But if the weather is rainy, we’ll have to give up on having a walk, if the Aktau mountains are soaking, they become really dangerous. Close to the evening, we will drive to the Katutau mountains, to unusual volcanic outcrops. Closer to the night back to the hotel in the village of Basshi.
Walk: 3-6 km, rally: about 151 km (steppe dirt roads, saline) Cooking at the stove in a house of a park ranger, accommodation in the hotel in the village of Basshi.
Day 5. China Wooden Mosque and Chuldzha thermal springs
In the morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to the Tiger mountains and short trekking in In these beautiful places. After, we will go to see China Wooden Mosque (XIX centure) in village Zharkent near the Chinese border. Close to the evening, we will drive to Chuldzha thermal springs (40-50 degrees Celsius). At this point, we have a rest, enjoy life and discuss the interim results of our South Kazakhstan Expedition.
Walk: 1-2 km. Rally: 300-340 km (asphalt). Breakfast, lunch and dinner in cafe. Accommodation in the hotel Chuldzha Springs.
Day 6. Tian Shan, lake Kaindy
That day we will drive towards the Tien Shan mountains. Landscapes around gradually changing from the steppe to alpine. After lunch, we in the mountains, at an altitude of 1900 meters, among the slender ranks of the Siberian spruce. An excursion to the lake Kaindy, rest, wildlife watching. At night you can watch the wild owls in the surrounding woods.
Rally: 200 km (asphalt, then mountain dirt roads). Breakfast in cafe, lunch picnic, dinner in cafe-yurt. Night will be spent in the yurt-camp.
Day 7. The Charyn canyon
We will wake up with the first sunlight. Then we’ll descent to the lake Kaindy and submerge in the fabulous world of ethereal beauty. After breakfast in the cafe-yurt, we will drive towards the Charyn canyon. An excursion and short trekking in the Valley of Castles — the most beautiful places in the canyon. After our walk we will rest at the river Charyn.
Walk: 5-6 km, rally: about 150 km (mountain dirt roads, asphalt, steppe dirt roads). Breakfast in yurt-cafe, lunch picnic, dinner in cafe-yurt. Night will be spent in the yurt-camp.
Day 8. Through Asy plateau
We will drive further up in the mountains: through the plateau and at the very border between winter and spring. There will be lots of alpine flowers. Then we will drive downwards along the serpentine road in a narrow Turgen gorge — to the realm of mossy fir woods and waterfalls. Coming out of the gorge, we will temporarily say goodbye to the mountains and go on the route Almaty.
Rally: about 150 km (mountain dirt roads, fords, asphalt). Breakfast in yurt-cafe, lunch picnic, dinner in
cafe. Accommodation in the hotel KUZE.
Greate Almaty lake, South Kazakhstan Expedition  
Day 9. Great Almaty lake
We will drive along the border of Almaty, and then further in the mountains — to the Great Almaty lake, at the altitude 2,735 km where Tian Shan astronomic observatory is located. We will have rest and enjoy the view of Tian Shan mountains and Great Almaty lake. At the afternoon we might drive further upwards to the altitude of 3,336 m (it will be still winter there) to the space station — a high mountain laboratory of space research. After having lunch, we’ll return to Almaty, have a farewell dinner and drive to the airport or hotel.
Rally: About 40 km (asphalt), meals in cafes, accommodation in the hotel KUZE.
Day 10. Back home
All members of the South Kazahkstan Expedition returned home. Bright and mysterious Asia, goodbye, we will not forget you ever!
Until we meet again!
General information:

Time for the tour: only the end of May (flowering time of poppies)
The starting and finish point: Almaty, Kazakhstan
• Duration: 10 days
• Number of participants:  2-8 people
• Price per person: about 1200-3500$ (for more details email us)


  Expedition vehicles:

Two or three comfort minibuses Mitsubishi Delica. They have high off-road capabilities and fitted with inverters to recharge camera and video equipment.
In the minibuse three or four passengers accommodated.

Journey partners:

For mass media. For mass media: Do you want to publish a finely styled story with about this journey accompanied with good photos? There’s nothing easier, just contact us.

The organization fee includes:

• the work of managers and officers in national parks;
• the transportation in the vehicle along the entire journey route;
• accommodation in all hotels and yurt camps within official term of the journey;
• entrance fees in all national parks and reservations;
;• travel meals(picnic lunch, etc);
• meals in the cafés;
• group equipment: tents, camping furniture, etc.


The organization fee does not include:

Flight (rail transportation) to Almaty


Wishes to participants

Hiking experience is desirable, but not obligatory.

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     Rodion, Travel Consultant
    Rodion, Expedition Leader & Travel Consultant
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    skype: rodionzhitin, WhatsApp: +79137688731

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