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Kazakhstan Altai border permit Q&A

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:37 am
by Marta
Hey guys,
I need an advice. I would like to go to the Kazakh Altai for which visit I think I need a permit. Where can I get this permit? Do you know any person I could contact directly? How long does it take to obtain the permit? I read that it takes about 10 days, but I can not wait so long. The thing is that I am about to leave Russia, going to Semey afterwards, so I could get to Ust-Kamenogorsk around the 24th and then continue to the Altai.
Also, I am planning to go to the Altai alone, without a local Kazakh guide. Do you think thats possible? Will I need to hire a private transportation to get to the springs or is there any local minivan/car/shared taxi?
How long does it take to get from Ust-Kamenogorsk to Katon Karagay and then to the Rakhmanov springs?
the places I would like to visit are mainly the Rakhmanov springs and Markakol Lake.

Thank you very much for any help or advice,

Re: Altai - border permit

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:18 pm
by steven
Hi Marta,

Ust kamen to katon is about 6hours. From there it is another 3hours to rakhmanov springs. To markakol is 7hours drive from ustkamen. The austrian road connecting katon and markakol is out of use, the bridge broke down. A guide is not necessary.

We can help with the permit. It does take 10 business days. Seeing you posted this a week ago you will have already done your trip, i hope it went well. Sorry for not teplying earlier, i am also traveling these places and there is not much connection to internet, as you might have figured out by now!

Articles about these places will go up in winter.

Re: Altai - border permit

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:57 pm
by Marta
Thank you Steven. Eventually, I did not go to the Altai, as I was too sceptical about that permit-issue. I in Almaty already... Though, I am determined to go there some time in the future, so I will keep an eye on new information regarding this topic. Thanks again. Safe travels, Marta

Re: Altai - border permit

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:45 am
by juwanilie
Thanks for those info. As it seems to take 10 days, we can not take it anymore...
But how can we know where the Altai region needing the permit begin ? Is there a map somewhere ? We are in Alakol now and still have 8 days to spend in NE kazakhstan before to enter Russia. We would like to know until where we can go east !

Re: Altai - border permit

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:23 pm
by steven
In katon karagai valley, it starts only in uryl, so you can go quite a long way really. For markakol, it starts at the ferry over bukhtarma at kurchum.

Re: Altai - border permit

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:33 am
by juwanilie
Thanks you Steven for this precise answer !

Re: Altai - border permit

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:52 pm
by 3times_around ... ne-permit/
says to check with local travel agent o obtain permit and whether local Kazakh must accompany you.
On this page, Caravanistan says they can get the permit ... but doesn;t know i a local Kazakh must accompany?

1. Is early September, say 10th, too late/cold/transport still available to visit Lake Makakol ? Rachmanov Springs?
2. How long is the Border Permit valid?
Suppose it's ready by Sept 10, but can start to go only on 20th (assuming transport available).
Could write "exact" dates Sept 10 to Sept 30 ... acceptable to enter on 20th?
3. Cost of Border Permit?
4. copy of your Kazakh visa and registration card
My passport does not require Visa. Do you want copy o entry stamp?
Since they want this info, is it correct that cannot apply for Border Permit until after arriving in KZ?
This is disturbing and limiting because many people get 30days (some maybe only 15 days), so you almost need to know it/apply as soon as arrive and certainly before heading out to country-side away rom Almaty or Astana, wherever Border Permit would be collected.
So, again, seems rather limiting.

Nevertheless, would like to know answers and would apply as soon as arrive (assuming that's what's required)... then, instead o hanging around Almaty or Astana or all those days, maybe go to Kyrgyzstan and re-enter (no Visa needed based on my passport) and get 30- days to get to/rom Altai to spend in Altai.
No point to go large distances North prior to getting the Border Permit, because need to come back to collect it, and then would just be going North again to Altai.
Process rather not-helping tourism.

Re: Altai - border permit

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:00 am
by steven
Hi 3times around,

0. Local company does not need to accompany
1. No, its ok.
2. 1 month - if you can only enter on sep 20th then write sep 20 as start date.
3. 20 euros
4. Gotta ask what the procedure is here, not sure. I think you can apply before you are in KAZ, just gotta check, this is also very new to me, that's why there is no article on it yet, I just got back last week from Altai. You will pick up the border permit in Oskemen when its ready.
5. Rather not helping're telling me :-)

Since there is no automated solution yet for at least a couple more weeks while I iron out the details, if you want to apply, just send [email protected] an e-mail with your dates, and we will get started on it asap.

Re: Kazakhstan Altai border permit Q&A

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:10 pm
by steven
Good news! I have just heard the border permit for Altai is cancelled. Only if you are going very close to the border (to Belukha) do you still need a permit.

Of course, there might still be issues. I am thinking of border guards or park rangers who say you need to pay something or who won't let you in because they are in a bad mood. But it's a first step.

Your experiences are welcome.

Re: Kazakhstan Altai border permit Q&A

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:10 am
by Speresie
Hello! Thank you for the update. Are you saying you can travel the Austrian Road from Zaysan to Katon Karagay without a permit? Do you know if the Austrian Road is currently passable on a motorbike (BMW R1200GS?)