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Our address:
Republic of Kazakhstan
33, Abai Ave.
Astana city, 010000
Tel.: +7 7172 75 31 35
Fax: +7 7172 75 32 83
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Planning of rounds / Mangystau Safari

In addition to the Mangyshlak Peninsula, the Mangystau Oblast occupies the significant part of the Usturt Plateau and the southern Caspian Depression – Buzachi Peninsula. It is more than 16 million hectares of natural deserts and semi-deserts. There are several landscape zone here:

  • Caspian shoreline with many canyons and ravines;
  • Karatau Mountain Range;
  • Chalk and limestone chinks (breaks) and residual mountains;
  • Sand massifs;
  • Clayey and solonetzic dry lake floors; and depressions.

Any arborescent or frutescent vegetation is rare here. In the Mangyshlak Peninsula, land is bare and is a good geologic site to study sedimentary rocks.
The regional climate is sharply continental. The winters are severe, windy and have little snow. The springs are short and, as a rule, dry and windy. The summers are hot, cloudless and long. The autumns are long and mainly warm. The Caspian Sea that bounds the Mangyshlak Peninsula from three sides has impact on a narrow shoreline only. Here one can observe a slight increase in humidity, decrease in air temperature in summer and increase in winter, as well as some decrease in annual and daily amplitudes of temperature variations. In the rest parts of the Oblast, the air temperature is about 10.5 to 11.5 degrees with the absolute annual minimum 26 to 34 degrees and maximum 43 to 45 degrees and the surface soil heat reaching 60 to 70 degrees. The hottest period is between mid-July to mid-August. The autumn frost begins in late October and the spring frost ends in early April.
Atmospheric precipitations are insignificant. The annual average is 140-160 millimeters in the North and 90-120 millimeters in the South. The most precipitations occur over the mountainous part of the Peninsula. The predominant precipitations fall at springs and summers in the North and winters and springs in the South. Rains are heavy in late springs and summer. Heavy rains in the mountainous part can form mud-flows.
The Mangyshlak and Usturt snow cover is small (3 to 7 cm), unstable and discontinuous. As a result of high temperatures, many precipitations and almost constant windy weather, the evaporability exceeds precipitation by 10 to 15 times and air moisture content is only 40 to 60%.

Route 1: Karakiya Depression

Duration: 21 days
Length: 200 km
Difficulty: А
Seasonality: April 15 till October 15
Group: no more than 10 persons

One-day departure from Aktau to the Karakiya Depression – the third deepest in the world (the dry salty Batyr Lake floor is 132m deep). The route crosses the Depression west to east and lays along its eastern edge. The purpose is to visit few panorama sites and descending to the Depression’s floor in its southern end to see the fossilized fish remains. The Depression is the National Karakiya-Karakol Zoological Reserve.

Route 2: Tupkaragan
Duration: 2 days
Length: 400 km
Accommodation: 1 night in tents
Difficulty: А
Seasonality: April 15 till October 15
Group: no more than 10 persons
Day 1. Depart from Aktau. Travel from Aktau to Fort Shevchenko (140 km, asphalt). The purpose is to visit museum consisting of sections such as ethnography, local folk-tale narrator Muryn and the Mangyshlak sojourn of T.G. Shevchenko, Ukrainian artist and poet. A restaurant lunch (13.00-14.00). Travel from Fort Shevchenko to Zhygylgan (60 km, graded road and country road). The purpose is to visit the grandiose geologic collapse on the sea floor and to see Neogene fossilized animal traces (hoofed and saber-toothed cats, 15 million years ago). See the Tubejik 1 archeological monument. The total length of the pedestrian route is 3 km including the plateau ascent and descent (H-100m). Travel from Zhygylgan to Sultan Epe Canyon (30 km, country road). Visit the clan cemeteries of Karagashty Aulie and Ushtam (16-19 centuries). The Saint Sultan Epe’s grave and underground mosque are located at the edge of the Canyon. Sleep the night in tents.

Day 2. Breakfast. Travel from Sultan Epe to Shakpak Ata’s underground mosque (30 km, graded road and country road). See the Cretaceous Kapamsai Canyon with Stone Age workshops (6 km tracking). Field lunch (13.00-14.00). Shakpak Ata’s underground mosque is cut out in the cliff. It has drawings and epigraphy (10-13 century). Travel from Shakpak Ata to Aktau (140 km, country road, graded road, asphalt). The route will cross the big Cretaceous Shakpakatasai Canyon where stops are envisaged for panoramic views.

Route 3 - Karatau
Duration: 2 days
Length 400 km
Accommodation 1 night in tents
Difficulty А
Seasonality: April 15 till October 15
Group: no more than 10 persons

Day 1. Travel from Aktau to the Sherkala Mountain (200 km, asphalt). The Sherkala Mountain is a unique natural object looking like a gigantic yurt from one the seeing perspectives (H-300 m). The walking tour around the mountain (3 km) and ascent (30 m with climbing outfit, optional). Field lunch (13.00 – 14.00). Travel from Sherkala to the Akmyshtau Mountain Valley (20 km, asphalt, country road). Seeing the residuals of the Middle Age town Kyzylkala (10-13 century) and nomads’ rock drawings. The route passes the picturesque cross country along the Cretaceous terraces of the Airakty and Kairakty Mountains. Dinner. Overnight tent stop.

Day 2. Breakfast. The Tomalak Mountain peak ascent by a mountain path (Н - 200 m) that opens a fantastic panoramic view (the total length of the route is 4 km). Travel from Akmyshtau to Kokala with its bizarre washouts of speckled shales and spring water mountain gorge (40 km, country road, asphalt). Field lunch (13.00-14.00). Travel from Kokala to Aktau (140 km) stopping on a vast field of globular concretions.

Route 4: Back to the Stone Age

Duration: 3 days
Length: 350 km
Accommodation: 2 nights in tents
Seasonality: April 15 till October 15
Group: no more than 10 persons

Day 1. Departure from Aktau. Travel from Aktau to the Cretaceous Kapamsai Canyon (100 km, asphalt, steppe road). The panoramic view of the abrupt canyon slopes, seeing an Old Stone Age tool workshop and getting familiar with primary stove tool making skills. A little stroll on the Canyon floor. A field lunch in a picturesque grotto (13.00-14.00). Travel to Shakpak Ata’s Rock Mosque (10-13 century) and come back to the Sultan Epe Canyon mouth (15 km + 25 km travel to the overnight stop, steppe road). A Canyon floor walk (3 km tracking) with ascending to the edge (Н -100 m). Visiting the grave of Saint Sultan Epe and Sufi Cloister. Dinner. Overnight tent stop

Day 2. Breakfast. Seeing a New Stone Age sites. Getting familiar with the technology of making combined tools, producing fire, using a stone ax, burning clay ware and making herbal tea in a clay vessel. Field lunch.
Travel from Sultan Epe to the geologic Zhygylgan depression (40 km, steppe road). Seeing the Ushtam and Karagashty clan cemeteries along the route (15-19 century) and getting familiar with some forms of the local nomads’ sacral architecture.
The Zhygylgan Depression is on the Caspian shore washing the vast Tupkaragan Plateau. Here, in ancient times, seismic processes resulted in the subsidence of a vast 30-m thick limestone area. The depression is more than 10 km2. The total differential altitude to the sea shore is 180 m.
The Depression travel includes the Plateau descent and walking by a very crossed relief (3 km tracking). The main site to see in the Depression is a few limestone plates with Neogene fossilized animal traces (more than 15-20 million years ago). In geologically ancient times, this terrain was the silty shore of a vast reservoir. The surface of this reservoir kept numerous traces of merihippusi – tridactylous ancestors of a modern horse and saber-toothed cats. Dinner and overnight stop in tents on the sea shore.

Day 3. Breakfast. A little stroll to a cave dwelling to get familiar with the technology of making stone arrow and spear tips, sea shell decorations using bow drill, simple bow shooting skills and making a rock drawing using mineral paint and charcoal. Field lunch.
Return to Aktau (150 km, steppe road, asphalt) via the remains of a nomad temple 4-5 century B.C. with kindling a farewell sacrificial fire.

Call the following phone numbers for application details:
(3292) 43-00-00, 51-19-29,
Tel/fax: (3292) 43 55 20.

Our address: Aktau, Micro-Rayon 9, House 4, Apartment 110
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