Photo Tour: Altyn Emel Park (9 days)

Photo Tour: Altyn Emel Park (9 days)

August 10, 2016
All Tours | Photo Tours | Ecotours | Photo tour to Altyn Emel State Natural Park for bright and fantastic shots of unique natural attractions, such as the Singing Dune, Katutau mountains of volcanic origin, and Aktau chalky mountains - the world famous paleontological deposit.

Route: Almaty Region (Kazakhstan)

Season: January - December

Best Period: March - May, September - November

 

 

Travel route will run along a deserted area, and a large its part along the territory Altyn Emel state natural park, located in the Ili basin. There are a lot of interesting both historical and natural attractions in the park. The most popular of them are Aktau mountains, Katutau mountains and the Singing Dune.

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1. Almaty - Altyn Emel Park, Singing Dune

Group meeting and departure from Almaty at 07:00. Lunch (picnic) at Myn Bulak cordon of Altyn Emel state natural park. Transfer to the Signing Dune, walking and photographing. Transfer to overnight place at the bank of Ili river. Setting a camp, dinner and short briefing on the next day program. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp on the bank of Ili river.   
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 350 km

Day 2. Singing Dune

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn at the dune. Return to the camp, breakfast, free time. Lunch in the camp. Walking around the neighborhood until sunset. Return to the camp, dinner and a short briefing on the next day program. Free time. Dinner and a short briefing on the next day program. Overnight in the tent camp on the bank of Ili river.   
Singing Dune, reaching a height of 120 meters and a length of about 3 km, located in one of the corners of the Altyn-Emel National Park, a few kilometers from the Ili river between the mountains of Big and Small Kalkan. This sandy hill consists of very fine pure sand, which starts to "sing" in windy weather and its sound reminds the organ music. Before a sandy storm the dune sounds like a drum. From the top of the Dune you can observe the grand panorama of the surroundings. In the south - thin strip of the Ili River is visible as well as purple mountains of Sogety and Boguty, looking out from the white peaks of the Ketmen ridge. On the west the horizon is obstructed by the steep slope of the Big Kalkan, and the Small Kalkan – from the east. In the north - violet-blue ridge of Djungarian Alatau mountains, Chulak mountain, Matai and Altyn-Emel are visible. If the weather is dry and windy, the sand-dune will "sing" you its song, which could be heard as far as several kilometers...  

Day 3. Singing Dune - Katutau Mountains

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn at the dune. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to Katutau mountains. Arrival to an overnight place, lunch, setting a camp. Walking around the neighborhood, photographing the sunset. Return to the camp, dinner and a short briefing on the next day program. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp in Katutau mountains. 
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 80 km, walking distance - 2-10 km

Day 4. Katutau Mountains

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn in the mountains. Return to the camp, breakfast, free time. Lunch in the camp. Walking around the neighborhood until sunset. Return to the camp, dinner and a short briefing on the next day program. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp in Katutau mountains.  
The name of Katutau mountains comes from Mongolian dialect and means "harsh mountains." The mountains really harsh, this is confirmed by geological surveys, the results of which indicate that these mountains are entirely of volcanic origin. In ancient times in these places were volcanoes, comparable in size with such volcanoes as Vesuvius and Etna in Europe, Avacha in Kamchatka. The confirmation of volcanic activity are findings of residues of mud volcanoes in the surrounding countryside. There was a huge prehistoric basin at the foot of the volcano. Manifestations of extinct by that time volcanic activity had been gradually covered with bottom sediments washed from the rocks of the mountains. And volcanoes were buried. Millions of years are passed, water has disappeared, the bottom of the reservoir gradually began to collapse under the influence of wind and water, exposing buried volcanic crater, lava flows, volcanic ash and bombs. From all this, nature has created bizarre surreal compositions and individual forms.

Day 5. Katutau Mountains - Aktau Mountains  

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn, walking to the mountains. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to Aktau mountains. Arrival to overnight place, setting a camp, lunch. Walking around the neighborhood until the sunset. Return to the camp. Dinner and a short briefing on the next day program. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp in Aktau mountains. 
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 30 km, walking distance - 2-10 km

Days 6-8. Aktau Mountains

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn, walking in the mountains. Return to the camp, breakfast, free time. Lunch in the camp. Walking around the neighborhood, photographing the sunset. Return to the camp, dinner and a short briefing on the next day program. Overnight in the tent camp in Aktau mountains.  
Chalky Aktau mountains are the world famous paleontological deposit. In the layers of the Paleogene lacustrine deposits are found well-preserved remains of ancient animals whose age is estimated at 25-30 million years. Among the findings are remains of giant rhinos, crocodiles, turtles, etc. Aktau mountains is an enchanting spectacle of the variety of shapes and colors. Red clay, bluish-gray calcareous sandstone, gravel and gypsum-bearing Tertiary sediments. Stone galleries are stretched for kilometers. Stone textures vary after each new turn of the winding gorges. 

Day 9. Aktau Mountains - Almaty

Early wake up at 05:30 for photographing the dawn, walking in the mountains. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and departure to Almaty. Lunch on the way. Arrival to Almaty approx. at 18:00.  
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 250 km

TOUR FEATURES:

The tour program is very intensive, almost all camp-to-camp transfers will be off-roads. You will need to get up very early and walk a lot in search of the best shots. All of this - in the desert, where the weather often changes: it can be very hot during the day and quite cool during the evening and night. There are many dangerous insects and reptiles. That is why, it is strongly recommended to refrain from the use of alcohol and to be extremely careful.

Tour Price for 2017: 1080 USD Per Person, provided 4 persons traveling together

Tour Price INCLUSIONS:

1. Transport services on the entire route    
2. Guide-photographer service
3. Camping equipment for common use (camping tent, table, chairs, cooking utensils)
4. Food for cooking in field conditions  
5. Permits to visit the specially protected natural areas, all environmental fees

Tour Price EXCLUSIONS:

1. Accommodation in Almaty before/after the tour, if required      
2. Airport transfer, if required   
3. Meals not indicated in the program and/or not included into the tour price     
4. Rent of personal camping outfit (tent, sleeping bag, сaremat, personal utensils, etc.)      
5. Medical insurance    
6. Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required   
7. Personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program    

RECOMMENDATIONS on clothing and equipment:

Taking into account that in the evenings and at night can be quite cold, be sure to take with you:     
1. Waterproof membrane Gore-Tex jacket and pants     
2. Warm fleece jacket or Polartec jacket     
3. Windproof jacket     
4. Several sets of underwear, several pairs of socks and a pair of warm socks     
5. Several T-shirts with short sleeves, shorts     
6. Appropriate hiking boots, shoes for camp (lightweight sneakers)     
7. Sunglasses and sunscreen     
8. Head torch with adjustable brightness and beam distance, several sets of batteries     
9. Thermos for 1-1.5 liters, or other water container     
10. Personal hygiene items, personal first aid kit (for chronic diseases is obligatory)     
11. Camera, waterproof carrying case, a neutral filter with variable density, tripod, remote control, wide-angle and telephoto lenses    
12. Anti acarid remedy     
13. Tent, sleeping bag, caremat, utensils for personal use

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