Dzhungar Alatau permit

All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
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steven
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Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by steven »

Got this question by e-mail.

Hello,
in the june i july we (my bride and me) want to go to the south-east
of Kazakhstan and visit the canyon of Charyn, drive from Jarkend to
Tekely by the mountain - this is our route: http://bit.ly/2Hxw6NC

The mountains of Джунгарский Алатау lie in the border zone with China,
so we will need a permit in this place (and to Charyn Cnayon too?).

Can you tell me how long it takes to get a permit? What is the cost,
what data is needed (copy of passport or something like that)? Can you
do this for us?

One more question: in Poland you can buy only a few accurate maps of
Kazakhstan, are there any more accurate maps available in Almaty? I
have Soviet military maps, but I could use newer ones.

********Answer*******

For your route, no permits are needed.

Re maps: No more accurate maps are available for sale in Kazakhstan. You need to use the Soviet military maps, there are no newer maps.

https://caravanistan.com/map
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mazeno
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Re: Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by mazeno »

there is military area in dzungar alatau, including active military compound (really active - last september i've seen there a lot of military stuff including jet-fighters).
so, huh - could be some problems in getting any permit.
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mazeno

Shepi
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Re: Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by Shepi »

Hi, we're planning multi-day trek to Dzugar Alatau, north of Zharkent. What is the situation up there? Do we need border permits - I suppose we do - and can we get them independently? We would very much appreciate any tips on somebody who could help us arrange that since online information is scarce.
thanks for this great website&community:)
M.
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Julia
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Re: Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by Julia »

Shepi wrote:Hi, we're planning multi-day trek to Dzugar Alatau, north of Zharkent. What is the situation up there? Do we need border permits - I suppose we do - and can we get them independently? We would very much appreciate any tips on somebody who could help us arrange that since online information is scarce.
thanks for this great website&community:)
M.
Hi.
I won't be able to help you with your question.
I haven't been there yet.
But where exactly is your trek going? Could you share your trek?

I only read about trekking in Zhungar Alatau around Lepsy village. Seems like people needed permit for the National park and didn't need a border permit (if don't hike further than Zhasylkol lake). I guess further trekking is not possible and nodody will give a permit.
But it's another part of Zhungar Alatau, not where you're going.

I've never heard about trekking near Zharkent. I thought it's mostly for the historical sights not for nature.
Going to check Zhungar Alatau this summer, the other part around Zhasyl kol.
And I'm curious what's interesting for trekking around Zharkent?
Would be great if you share what hiking routes you found there.
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Shepi
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Re: Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by Shepi »

Hi,
I used Zharkent just for easy orientation, in practice we're basically relying on satellite imagery and locals when trekking. The plan is to follow Koksu River from Tekeli to the east as far as possible (to some point north of Zharkent) - there is a jeep road up until pereval Tyuyemoynak where it splits in two. One continues east, the other one goes north. The aim is to go deep into Dzungarian and trek in the mountains based on the locals recommendation. So far it seems you can't get border permit unless accompanied by local guide arranged via registered tour agency. Strange that in Altai region it's not an issue so we're still looking into it in Dzungarians, maybe there is a way. If you had any contact in Kazahstan which might help or have some more info, we'd really appreciate it. Even if it's the office issuing the permits. Thanks,
M.
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Julia
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Re: Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by Julia »

I see.
I found that the law about border permits was changed in 2015. The areas of the national parks even in the border zone was allowed to visit without a border permit.
So don't need a border permit in Zhungar Alatau national park if you follow allowed routes.
Some parts of the park are still closed and not allowed to visit. But popular treks are open.
Anyway, need a permit to enter the park. It's not a border permit. It's a permit to travel inside the park area and can get it in the park office in Sarkand city on arrival.

If you're trekking out of Zhungar Alatau national park than you need a border permit. Info about the places where to get is unclear. Some say in Ministry of internal affairs, others say in Committee of national security.

The thing is also complicated because I'm not sure if the park area has clear borders. If you're stopped by the border guards somewhere in the mountains how will you prove that you're inside the park area and didn't break any laws. There are no park border lines or sings there. 
There is a danger of mistreating by guards if hiking out of popular treks as you see. Especially in Kazakhstan. Be careful with authorities there.

First, I'd visit the park office and clarify with them the area of the park and your route. Maybe you won't need any border permit. If need a permit maybe they advise how to get it. Or maybe check the departments I mentioned above.

Also, there is a difficulty with authorities in Kazakhstan.
2 years ago we hiked upper from Big Almaty lake. And we were stopped by a border guard who didn't let us go further to one peak saying that it's a closed border zone.
But I knew that it was allowed and even showed him a printed law. He insisted that it's not allowed. It was stressful arguing with a guy with a gun but at the end he let us go.
It's just to show you how hard the hiking near the border can be even if you follow the law.
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Shepi
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Re: Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by Shepi »

Thanks a lot for such detailed info, it seems that indeed parts of Zhongar Alatau are accessible, at least in the Sarkand district according to the resolution of the Kazakh government. And yes, unfortunately there is no exact information about the NP borders and where the restricted area starts. So we will check on the spot:)

According to that government resolution it is also obligatory to have Kazakh national accompanying you to get the border permit, so that is why companies are offering package tours only it seems. And thanks for the warning, I've been through similar situation - we were stopped by border patrol in Narynkol because we missed the checkpoint on the road 50kms back and I would rather not repeat that experience, although everyone from the higher ranks was really polite, but it still took a day to process the fine and convince everyone we aren't spies. But all very strictly legal, I was surprised since I've heard about the bad reputation police and army has.
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Shepi
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Re: Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by Shepi »

And actually they also told me that some girls in 2017 illegaly crossed the border to Kyrgyzstan and it was a big scandal so that is why the tightened security on the Kyrgyzstan border in Almaty region...including the big almaty lake:)
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Julia
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Re: Dzhungar Alatau permit

Post by Julia »

Good luck!
Will be great if you update what you'll find out about Dzhungar Alatau.
It seems interesting and less explored destination.
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