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Home » Altyn-Emel nature park. Tours to Singing barchan, Kattu-Tau and Aktau mountains.

Zharkent-Taldykorgan area.

Excursion walks in park Altyn-Emel.

“Everything in excess is opposed to nature” 


Travel to Kazakhstan and park Altyn-Emel.

Zharkent-Taldykorgan area is located in the Zhungar Alatau foothills. The Zhungar Alatau, is a mountain system in the south-east of Kazakhstan and in China, The northern slopes are descend to the Balkhash-Alakol basin, the southern are delimited by the Ili River valley, running into Lake Balkhash.
The semi-deserts and steppe are located in the lower slopes, which turn into a meadow-forest zone (the Tien-Shan fir, Siberian Silver fir and other deciduous trees) on the northern slopes at the 1200 - 2600 m height.
The sub-Alpine and Alpine meadows, changing to grassland and glacially-grassland landscape zones are located above 2600 m. The snow line is at 3400 - 3600 m on the northern slopes, and 3200 - 3400 m on the southern slopes.
The deserts and semi-deserts turn into the foothill steppe, the deciduous forests are over 1200 m, the coniferous forests and alpine meadows, where six natural reserves are located, begin at 1700 m.
The wormwood, sedge, sandy couch-grasses and zhuzgun are characteristic to sandy deserts of the plains; it is the main zhailyau that is the winter pasture. The haloxylon, sandy couch-grass thickets and bushes occupy large areas.
The tugai forests of poplar, turanga, tamarisk, thickets of cane and chiy and veinik meadows are on the shores of lakes and in the rivers plains. The semi-deserts turn into the grass and wormwood dry steppes in the foothills up at the height of 600 - 700 m.
Cereal grasses prevail on the mountain slopes and plateau up to the 1250 - 1300 m; and the aspen-birch and apple forests, the Tien-Shan fir-trees and sometimes meadows of tall grasses are located higher.
A sedge and Altay violet predominate in the high-mountain alpine environments; it is the main zhailyau of summer pastures. Woods and bushes occupy 3.2% of the territory Wolf, fox, hare, saiga, various rodents and reptiles inhabit the desert zones.
A wild boar and musk-rat are found on the shores of lakes and in the rivers floodplains, a brown bear, badger, mountain goat, arkhar and maral are found in the mountain parts, A bustard, duck, goose, swan, partridge are observed among the birds, 'here are sazans, marinkas, perches and bream in the waters.
Among the historical monuments Zharkent-Taldykorgan area is famous for the Altyn-Emel Memorial Complex, devoted to Chokan Valikhanov, the first Kazakh scientist and poet. The Zharkent Mosque is an interesting sight in Zharkent.
Mountains, forming a "lunar" landscape, and also five Besshatyr Barrows. Ancient rock drawings can be found in the gorges. Animal species, entered into the red Book of Kazakhstan, are found in the park.
They are: I dzheiran and kulan, and also black stork, berkut, the bearded-eagle and others. Untouched, completely uninhabited places can be found in Altyn-Emel: Aktau (the White Mountains), an unprecedented beautiful land of amazing colours, with ancient marine deposits from the former Tethys Ocean.
A fantastic landscape! Among these vast waterless places, there is an oasis, where, according to legends, groups of wild (snow) people lived; there is a cave, amongst the rocks, on the floor of which a cross is cut, to all appearances, it is a Christian hermit's shelter (traces of the Nestorian Christians can be found all over Central Asia, Mongolia and China). Excursions can be arranged to: the Singing Barkhans, the Besshatyr Barrows, caves and rock drawings, the White Mountains, walk through the National Park and observe over the wildlife.

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"Zhetysu is the Land of  tourism”. A Tourist Guide-book. Almaty.  2003. 68 p. and the material for this page is taken from the printed edition.

Alexander Petrov.