KAZAKHSTAN and UZBEKISTAN Adventure Tour – 01/09-30/09.2020
Many expeditions treat Kazakhstan only as a transit country on its way to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Driving along the main roads, not much can be seen beyond the limitless flat as a steppe table. But Kazakhstan has fascinated us since its first visit. After several visits to this country, we came to the conclusion that Kazakhstan is simply the world in a nutshell. There is everything in Kazakhstan – the canyons are reminiscent of the Great in the USA. The high mountains of Tien Shan and Altai are almost Himalayan views with glaciers and eternal snow. Amazing rock formations are reminiscent of landscapes straight from classic westerns. Vast deserts with large dunes and African temperatures where you can feel like in the Sahara desert. Alpine lakes hidden in high mountains, you can see and touch them all in one country – Kazakhstan. One can not ignore the important factor that are people – Kazakhs. Very friendly, hospitable and helpful. Even the uninvited always try to help by devoting their time and often money.
Our goal is to cross Kazakhstan from its western ends to the eastern border. During the expedition, we will face real sandy deserts, African temperatures, vastness of the Kazakh steppe and reach the high mountains of the Altai. Participants must be prepared for a few days stay in a real desert at temperatures up to 45C. During the trip we will visit, among others: the Kyzył-kum deserts (10 in the world), Singing Dunes, the Aral Sea. Besshatyr Burial Mounds – mysterious burial mounds from several thousand years ago , depression Karagiye (fourth in the world -140mppm), mountains and park Altyn Emel, Charyn Canyon, Zailisky Alatau and Tien-Shan mountains, lakes Kolsay and Kaindy, we will spend the night on a wild paradise sandy beach on the Caspian Sea. These are just some of the places to discover in Kazakhstan. Nature is definitely Kazakhstan’s biggest tourist attraction, so we will focus our attention mainly on this aspect.
Until recently, the country was rather unfriendly to tourists. The police who tried to force money and make life difficult at every step, effectively discouraged from visiting Uzbekistan … and it’s a shame because it’s really worth it. Fortunately, a lot has changed in recent years in Uzbekistan. The government changed, the chords of policemen hunting tourists disappeared together with visas for citizens of many European countries. In a word, the country opened to tourism and tourists.
Uzbekistan is primarily the oldest monuments of Central Asia – Samarkand, Chiva, and Bukhara. In addition to architectural pearls, Uzbekistan is two deserts – Kara-kum and Kazył-kum, West Tien Shan Mountains, Aralskie Lake … or rather what is left of it and many other fascinating places. That’s all to see during our tour.
Acomodation TypeCamps Tents
Tour StyleOwn cars
Tour Difficulty Level
Group SizeMin. 3 - Max. 6 cars
The length of the planned route in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is about 5,000 km. The main part of the route runs on gravel, unpaved roads and asphalt in very poor condition.
- international driving license
- additional medical expenses insurance
- valid passport
- Russian visa – multiple tourist visa
Please contact us if You some need more information about visa regulations. The cost of fuel at an average price per liter is about 0.5 eur
MIN. NUMBER OF CARS – 3
MAX. NUMBER OF CARS – 6
The condition of registering the application and participation in the expedition is the payment of a non-returnable deposit * in the amount of PLN 1,400 up to 7 days from the date of application.
* the deposit is returned if the expedition is canceled by the organizer
The duration of the trip does not include travel to Kazakhstan and return to the Europe.
- guarantees of fun
- rest from everyday hustle and bustle
- 4×4 unforgettable adventure
- free car review on our website before and after the trip
- the presence 24/7 of an experienced representative of East Adventure 4×4.
- package of photos from the trip for each participantsouvenir
- souvenir gadgets.
- bad humor
- fuel costs,
- entrance costs to parks, museums, etc.
- accommodation costs at campsites or in pensions and hotels.
In the morning we set off from Astrakhan towards the Kazakh border. After crossing the border, we will drive for 550 km to the Akkergeshen plateau with its unique and characteristic spherical stone concretions, worked over the ages by the influence of the wind, rain and sun. We will then proceed to the Aktolagay cretaceous plateau, a seabed formed millions of years ago where it is possible to find many fossil remains of molluscs, corals, sea urchins and other marine fauna. Night in tents
We will drive 600 km towards the sacred Mount Sherkala. In some old tales we find definitions that look like a bowl, perhaps of a giant ”tourist”, others that the mountain looks like a tent on one side, and on the other a hidden beast, clearly a sleeping lion who has put his head down huge on the legs and the name means ”The Lion Castle”. Difficult and capricious mountain that does not tolerate the curious. It is difficult to climb, even more difficult to descend, humans are not allowed in its caves: they are inhabited by spirits. This has assured us a group of local elders intent on looking at us with suspicion and curiosity. Camp on the Caspian Sea.
Today we will arrive in one of the largest depressions in the world: Karagiye. Karagie is a unique natural site. Its name is translated from Kazakh as ”a black cavity”. And although it is not black in color, but with the dominant yellow and white, it is considered one of the lowest points in the world: it reaches 132 meters below sea level. They say that once upon a time there was a salt lake, Batir, instead of the cavity, but now there is only a lifeless desert surrounded by what were huge cliffs. Further on through the sandy desert with dunes we reach the mountains of Bashir. Camp.
Ustyurt plateau, with its incredible reliefs of an ancient seabed. The steep edge of the Ustyurt plateau is made up of limestone and chalk. Among the chalk rocks there are many marine sediment samples which once again demonstrate a scientific theory that in the past there was a sea.
We will cross steppes and deserts without horizon with numerous depressions, where the beds of the ancient rivers can be traced. I think here we will have the highest temperature of the whole trip. It will be curious to think that only in the ”near” Middle Ages was the Ustyurt plateau crossed with commercial caravan routes. Before the 15th century, cities thrived there. When the bed of the Amu Darya river dried, many of them thinned out over time, and today there are only ancient ruins that remind us that life once existed. Bivouac.
Day 5, 6, 7
We will cross the desert areas towards the Kazakh part of Lake Aral. A huge environmental disaster caused by man who left a great sea dry, the polluted land and the locals flooded with disease. The destruction of the Aral Sea is a strange legacy of the American Civil War, when the United States cut cotton exports to the outside world. In Russia, the decision was made to irrigate the land in recently assimilated Central Asian countries and develop their own cotton industry. At the time, the Aral Sea was the fourth largest inland sea in the world. By 1937, the area had successfully become a major cotton exporter with little impact on the natural environment. But starting in the 1950s, the aggressive Soviet irrigation projects from the Aral Sea began to have a negative impact. Between 1960 and 1980, the water level dropped 20 meters, exposing the seabed and increasing the salinity levels of the lake until the death of the fish population. Today the sea is almost dry and has separated into two much smaller seas. Fishing boats get stuck, rusting in a vast contaminated desert. In 2000, UNESCO developed a rescue plan for the area which attempts to recover water for the sea by 2025, but is considered unrealistic by many. The people with the most ability to directly influence this is the government of Uzbekistan, where the cotton fields are located, but are reluctant to make changes since their country’s delicate economy depends on the success of cotton cultivation. The World Bank funded a small dam that protected and even raised water levels in the northern part of the sea, but most agree that the rest could completely disappear within 15 years. The remains of the sea are remote, reachable after a day of travel through the desert. Night in a hotel in Aral.
Day 8, 9, 10
We will continue the journey across the steppe to Korgalzhyn National Park, the largest nature reserve in Kazakhstan. There are two large lakes in the area connected to each other: the salt lake of Tengiz and the flowing waters of Kurgalzhyn. The vital activity of many biological species is linked to these waters, the so-called oases in the hot and dry burning Kazakh steppe. If we are lucky we will also be able to see rare bird species such as the Dalmatian pelican, pink pelicans and 300 other types of birds. Also about 40 types of mammals have been recorded in the park territory and among the largest animals in the park there are foxes, moose, roe deer and lynx. Korgalzhyn National Park is a unique place on our planet. Night on camp.
Bayanaul National Park. Camp
Karkaraly national park. Spectacular mountain range where we will reach two lakes located at an altitude of 1200m. Camp.
We will move to Lake Balkhash today. Camp on the lake or optional in an hotel.
Day 14, 15, 16
Transfers and view of Altyn Emel Park considered one of the best places in Kazakhstan to see herds of wild mammals with hooves. The park boasts a population of approximately 6,000 goitered gazelles, known as jieran. In the 1970s, a small population of wild donkeys from Central Asia, or kulan, were brought here from the Barsakelmes Nature Reserve, in response to the ecological problems associated with the drying of the Aral Sea, which transformed Barsakelmes from an island. in a peninsula and the salinity of Aral increased considerably. The Alttyn Emel National Park also boasts some amazing archaeological and natural sites, of which the two most important are the iron age Besshatyr mounds and the great barchan, or more precisely barchans, known as the Sand Dune singer. Camp
We will leave for Sharyn Canyon. For millions of years, wind and water have carved Sharyn’s red sandstone to form today’s fantastic shapes and shadows. The history of the Charyn canyon dates back 12 million years, when the river slowly began to erode the stone that surrounded it. The oldest and darkest layers in the lower part of the canyons are volcanic lava rocks, on top of which debris slowly accumulates to form natural sculptures. Lizards, snakes, steppe hares, foxes and especially marmots thrive here. We then move to the Tien Szan mountains where we will see the Kajndy and Kolsaj lakes where we will spend the night in a camp. The unique feature of this lake is that, formed due to an earthquake that suddenly created a natural dam submerging the forest, it created an icy microclimate that allowed the plants to continue growing. Also called ”reverse forest” because the trunks are often bare outside the water, while under the surface of the water they are seen growing luxuriant.
Today long road transfer to the city of Taraz. Overnight in a small guest house.
Transfer to the border with Uzbekistan Zhibek Zholy KAZ / Taszkient UZB and we will reach Samarkand – visit of the city. Overnight at Hotel.
Transfer to Bukhara – city tour. Two millennia of history are shown with all the sadness of the numerous monuments that will make it difficult for us to remain concentrated. Considered a real medieval jewel on the Silk Road it was included in the UNESCO Heritage in 1993. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 21, 22
We will cross the desert territory of Karakum towards Khiva and remain fascinated by the ancient fortresses that we will find along the way. If we close our eyes we can review Genghis Khan’s raids or think of the ancient caravans of the silk road! And along the Uzbek side of Lake Aral we will be able to see the wrecks of sanded ships. Camp
Day 23, 24, 25
We will leave towards the Kotyayevka KAZ / Astrakhan RUS border where we will arrive on day 25. Camps along the way.
Bearing in mind the safety of event participants, East Adventure reserves the right to change the program and route of the trip resulting from weather events, security problems, withdrawal of permits. In such cases, East Adventure will make the necessary route changes. The tour duration does not include travel from EU to Mongolia. Journey from Latvia/Russia border to Russian / Kazkh border will take about 3-5 days. The program below applies only to stay in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and does not include days spent on rest.
RECOMMENDED CAMPING EQUIPMENT
- roof tent or any other type
- sleeping bags (recommended thermal comfort min. 0 C)
- tourist stove
- fuel to the stove
- kitchen dishes
- tourist chairs and table.
- technical water canister min. 20L
- we recommend taking light as well as warm and rain clothing and footwear with you
- we recommend taking a well-stocked first aid kit and a supply of necessary medicines.
Camping accommodation in tents “in the wild”. Occasionally yurts or home-stays will be available
The participants prepare their own meals. We recommend doing basic grocery shopping, such as cans, ready meals, coffee, tea, etc., before leaving. During the trip, there may be problems shopping along the route. Remember to replenish your drinking water supply. We plan several meals in local restaurants so that everyone has the opportunity to get acquainted with the local cuisine. It is a good idea to take EUR/US dollars with you and exchange them for local currency. Alternatively, you can use ATMs. Small shops and gas stations do not always accept payments in euros, much less by card.
- 20L fuel canister
- AT tires
- off-road equipment: straps, shackles.
- CB radio
LIST OF SPARE PARTS
- oils for engine, gearbox, diff’s and transferbox
- set of basic tools
- 2 fire extinguishers
- set of bulbs
- a reflective vest
- spare keys
- brake pads front / rear