Photo Tour: Doban-Nor (11 days)

Photo Tour: Doban-Nor (11 days)

August 10, 2016
All Tours | Photo Tours | Ecotours | The route of this photo tour goes through little-known, practically not visited mountain gorges and valleys, as well as a very beautiful and mystic lake. Having been in these places only once, you cannot not come back here again...

Route: Almaty Region (Kazakhstan)

Season: June - October

Best Period: June, September 

 

 

  

The first on route Tekes gorge lies. Tekes river is the main source of Ili river, a quite large river in the region. Tekes river originates an altitude 3535 meters above sea level, at the foot of the main massif of Khan Tengri mountain group. The soil in the lower valley is fertile, the pastures and meadows along the stream are abundant. The whole Tekes valley is picturesque, each turn of the gorge is keeping the wild beauty of nature and nice surprises.   
Next in the program is Kokpak gorge. This gorge has a lot of dead-end branches, beckoning with their beauty. It is as beautiful and picturesque as the Tekes valley, but more extensive and very popular among the local shepherds and gatherers from the nearby villages.  
Perhaps the main attraction of the route is Tuzkol lake - dead and salty. Salt density in the lake changes several times throughout the year and can reach 300 g/l. For example, the salt concentration in the Dead Sea about 340-350 g/l. It is noteworthy that no river flows into the lake, and it is undrained. Locals say that it is fed by underground mineral springs, and the mud of the lake is curative. In ancient times, when the Mongols lived on these lands, this lake was called Doban-Nor. From Mongolian it is translated as Windy Lake. On a clear day,  Khan Tengri peak, the seventhousander, is visible from the lake. 
Next, Ketmen mountainous country is waiting on the route. Ketmen ridge separates the two valleys. The highest points of the ridge are offering impressive views of the Northern Tien-Shan peaks: Khan Tengri, Pobeda Peak and other majestic mountains peaks. 

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1. Almaty - Tekes River Valley 

Group meeting and departure from Almaty at 07:00. Lunch in a cafe or a picnic on the way. Arrival to an overnight place on the bank of Tekes river. Setting a camp, walking until sunset, photographing. Return to the camp, dinner and free time. Overnight in the tent camp on the bank of the river.  
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 350 km

Days 2-3. Tekes River Value 

Early wake up at 04:30 for photographing the dawn. Return to the camp, breakfast, free time. Lunch in the camp. In the afternoon, walking until sunset,  photographing in the river valley. Return to the camp, dinner and preparation to the next day. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level.    
Total daily walking distance approx. 2-8 km  

Day 4. Tekes River - Tekes Waterfall  

Early wake up at 04:30 for photographing the dawn. Return to the camp, breakfast and disassembling of the camp. Transfer to a waterfall in the upstream. Setting a camp, lunch. Transfer to a pass for panorama shooting. Return to the camp, dinner and preparation to the next day. Free time. Overnight in the tent at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level.  

Day 5. Tekes Waterfall - Karakol Lake 

Wake up at 08:00, breakfast and disassembling of the camp. Transfer to Karakol lake. Arrival to an overnight place, setting a camp. Lunch, a walk around the lake, a rise to a mountain for photographing of Khan Tengri peak. Return to the camp, dinner. Preparation to the next day and free time. Optional - photographing of the night sky. Overnight in the tent camp at an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level.   

Day 6. Karakol Lake - Kokpak Gorge 

Early wake up at 04:30 for photographing the dawn over the lake, a walk in the mountains. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to Kokpak gorge. On arrival, lunch, setting a camp and walking in the neighborhood. Dinner, free time and preparation to the next day. Overnight in the tent camp at an altitude of 2200 meters above sea level.

Day 7. Kokpak Gorge - Tuzkol Lake 

Early wake up at 04:30 for photographing the dawn in the mountains. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to Tuzkol lake. On arrival, setting a camp, lunch. In the afternoon, a walk on the lake shore, photographing the sunset. Return to the camp, dinner and preparation to the next day. Free time. Optional - photographing of the night sky. Overnight in the tent camp at Tuzkol lake shore.   

Days 8-9. Tuzkol Lake

Early wake up at 04:00 and transfer to a shooting point of the dawn. Return to the camp, breakfast, rest. Lunch in the camp. In the afternoon, walking and photographing the sunset at the shooting point with overlook of Khan Tengri peak. Return to the camp, dinner and preparation to the next day. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp at Tuzkol lake shore.

Day 10. Tuzkol Lake - Ketmen Pass

Early wake up at 04:00 and transfer to a shooting point of the dawn. Return to the camp, breakfast, rest. Lunch, disassembling of the camp and transfer to Ketmen pass. On arrival, setting a camp. Photographing the sunset at the shooting point with overlook of Khan Tengri peak. Return to the camp, dinner and preparation to the next day. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp at Ketmen pass at an altitude of 3000 meters above sea level. 

Day 11. Ketmen Pass - Almaty

Breakfast and disassembling the camp. Transfer to Almaty, lunch on the way. Arrival to Almaty approx. at 18:00.  

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 mountains, where the weather often changes: it can be very hot during the day and quite cool during the evening and night, and not accustomed person can feel a lack of oxygen.  That is why, it is strongly recommended to refrain from the use of alcohol and to be extremely careful.

Tour Price for 2017: 1280 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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    Contacts in Almaty

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    +7 (727) 2-900-777
             info @ city-tour.kz
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