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Home » Altyn-Emel national natural park. Аmaty province. Southern Kazakhstan.

Altyn Emel national park.

 Tours in national park Altyn-Emel.

“We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know” 

Albert Einstein.

Altyn Emel national park hiking.

Altyn-Emel national park. Nature-lovers will find an unexpected paradise in the Altyn-Emel National Park. The park covers 90 sq. km between the Ili River and the Аk-Таu mountain range. It is mysterious, beautiful country with а long history and а unique natural environment.
Nowhere can you find more amazing remains of the Sacae culture: ancient burial mounds and rock paintings of wild animals and hunting scenes (for details, see the Archaeology section).
The stunning Ak- Tau (White Mountains) are like аmuseum of the earth' s distant past, Fantastically-shaped natural sculptures rise from the bottom of an ancient sea in аll the colours of the rainbow, from the pale blue "lunar landscape" to the "red mountains".
These mountains are 30 km long, 1.5 - 2 km deep - and 400 million years old. There is а rich variety of wildlife here, with large numbers of jeirans, steppe antelope, mountain goats and sheep, wolves and foxes.
Altyn-Emel National Park is a national park in Kazakhstan. A vast territory on the southeast of Kazakhstan with unspoiled nature, abundance of wildlife and vegetation, known for its Singing Sands and Beshatyr Saka burial mounds.
It was created in 1996. The park covers about 4600 square kilometers between the Ili River and the Ak-Tau mountain range, near Lake Kapchagai, and consists mostly of desert and rocky terrain.
The park contains the singing sand, a large dune which is famous for the noises it produces. Two mysterious 100 metres high dunes, that under influence of west wind produces an astonishing sound reminding an organ.
Burial mounds of Beshatyr Saka - is a unique historical site and the only place in world there such burial mounds can be met. These are the huge artificial hills, 17 metres high and 100 metres across dated to the Iron Age and served as a graves for members of Saka royal families.
From the top of the hill, the one can get a fascinating view on Ili river. Red and white rocks of Altyn Emel turn the valley into very colourful scenary. Altyn Emel National park –  is situated  in southearten Kazakstan (about 150 km from Almaty and 160 km from the Chinese border) within the Dzhungar Mountain Region.
This national park covers a total area of 600 thousand ha, of which 100 thousand ha are water landscape and 500 thousand ha of desert, semi-desert, steppe and mountainous landscape.
Altyn Emel is the largest among the national parks and preserves of Republic of Kazakstan. The are 190 archaeological monuments in the territory of this national park: burial mounds ans settlements of the Bronze Age, the largest timuli in the Republic – king’s burials of the 2 and 3 centuries BC, caves and petroglyphs.
Altyn Emel National park is unuque from a scientific and cultural point of view due to the combination of its various topographies remaining mostly unchanged, its large number of natural sites, and its abundance of vegetation and animals, including fish.
Vegetation in the park ranges from tugai forests and swampy meadows to natural desert. Twenty nine endemic speciec have been registered here. Rich is the fauna: snow leopard, wolf, fox, steppe cat, manual and others.
Ornifauna numbers 231 species, of which twenty two species are listed in the Red Book of Kazakstan. Ihtyofauna of Kapchagai Sea and the Ili River in the territory of the national park includes thirty species of fish.
Altyn Emel National park – Besshatyr Saka Burial Mounds (these are the huge burial mounds from the Iron Age up to 104 m in diameter, up to 17 m high. They are a unique historical site), Singing Sands – two huge sand hills (up to 100 m) which make a sound similar to that of an organ when  the  sand is dry and the wind is from the West .
The name “Altyn Emel” has the Mongolian background, and by translation it means a gold saddle. It is corroborated brightly by the national legend: in summer of 1219 army of Chingiz khan moved through this valley to win the Central Asia.
When the great commander saw at sunset mountains covered with the yellowed grass, he exclaimed, “Gold saddle!” As it is known, nomads drew first geographical maps in the past based on associations.
Probably since then these mountains has assumed the name “Altyn Emel”. If to stare, the pass reminds externally very much a saddle.

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Authorship:
The Brochure «The State national natural park the Altyn-Emel».

Photos
Alexander Petrov.