Altyn Emel Q&A

All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
Julia
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby Julia » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:30 pm

Hi

Both motor vehicles and cyclists are allowed in the park.

The park has a huge area and long distances between spots of attraction. Spots are located in different parts of the park and no good roads between them, no public transportation.
It's just too difficult to move between spots in this park if you don't have your own transport.
That's why travellers have to hire a driver.

There is a thread on this forum from cyclists who cycled to the Singing dune 2 years ago. But they mentioned they weren't allowed to go further.
It's not allowed to cross through the park from one side of it to another as central part is reserved.
But touristic routes with attractions are available.

If you travel individually visit the park office in Basshi first to get permits and info about rules. The park has special rules and restrictions where to camp, time allowed to move around, etc.
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meg2
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby meg2 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:57 pm

thanks for these useful informations. I found this thread posted by 2 cyclists who actually cycled from Basshiy to the Singing Dune, and camped inside the park. Too bad that it is apparently forbidden to exit south-west of the park : returning to the north entrance is much longer by bike, at least on the map.

I will do something like that ; I am even thinking of spending a whole night at the dune. By the way, is there any statistics about how often it sings ?
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Julia
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby Julia » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:40 am

I didn't find any statistics about that.
As I understood from the guides the dune doesn't make sound by itself often.
But you can help the dune))
If you quickly run from top of it down than the dune makes sound of humming.
More people run together louder the sound gets.
Been there 3 times and heard that type of humming twice.
Once there were people with sandboards and they made the dune humming very clearly.

Also the sand should be dry. If it's wet after rain it doesn't make much sound.
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby Julia » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:05 am

And additional note. Take enough water with you.
There are very few sources of drinking water and long distances between them.
I don't remember any near the dune.
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meg2
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby meg2 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:57 am

thanks again. Is it possible to buy a detailed map of the park, showing points of interest and water sources, at the entrance in Basshiy ?
If not, I will fill my water bottle and water bags, I can carry up to 9 liters !
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Cycling along Silk Road http://blog.khushomaded.fr
or further north in Siberia and Caucasus http://blog.zamir.fr

Julia
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby Julia » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:37 am

I wouldn't rely on the park office for maps.
Read in some reports that they have printed maps there. But when I was there they didn't have any.
I found there is a spring of Chokan Valikhanov with drinking water. Should be about 1 km somewhere around the dune.
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mazeno
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby mazeno » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:29 am

i suppose cycling in altyn emel is not a good idea:
the permit is only for 2 days/one night stay,
the night camp is strictly restricted (there are only two places*, the fines for illegal camping are high, rangers patrolling are common),
there is almost 300km of the tracks at all (kalinino->dunes 45km one way, kalinino->aktau 90km one way - and you have to go back nearly to kalinino to get from the dunes to aktau),
mostly the road surface is terrible "tralka" (i don't know english word for it - does anybody know? it is hardly shaking gravel, with transverse minislots, which destroys every kind of vehicle by vibrations),
no water, no shadow on the way.

---
* - camping:
https://goo.gl/maps/6zgaMxcGESJHHcAB7
https://goo.gl/maps/wKaN33qFiDXrVK8G9
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mazeno

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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby meg2 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:55 pm

About rough "road" and so on : I am used to cycle through places where car drivers think cycling is not a good idea, and I definitely enjoy it more than sitting in a car , or than cycling on good roads with heavy traffic.

mazeno wrote:the permit is only for 2 days/one night stay

OK, but if it is not expensive, and if one needs to come back almost to Basshiy when going from Singing Dune to Aktau, I may consider buying a second 2 days permit.

mazeno wrote:the night camp is strictly restricted (there are only two places)

thanks for this precise information ! The first spot, about 10 km north of the dunes, is the one I was thinking about for water refill. About fines, is there any risk if one exits the park elsewhere than at Kalinino/Basshiy entrance ?
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Cycling along Silk Road http://blog.khushomaded.fr
or further north in Siberia and Caucasus http://blog.zamir.fr

mazeno
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby mazeno » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:41 am

> if it is not expensive
not too much - 800 kzt/person/day + vehicle 200/night (bicycle/tricycle maybe free?) + some small fee for ecology or smtg like this.

> I am used to cycle through places where car drivers think cycling is not a good idea
everyone is tough untill... ;)
see below.

> from Singing Dune to Aktau, I may consider buying a second 2 days permit
really, no way to cycle from basshi to aktau in one day, not mentioning two ways (there is no camping there, rangers will not give the permit for cycling that part). i was cycling for some years, also. once made more than 200km in a day in the mountains with bags. so i know what i'm taking about.
it is easier to take a hitch-hike with a tourist group from the office in basshi.

you wrote (i don't speak french, google translate):
"Après le col de Khargush on rejoint la route M41 par une piste qui nous donne une belle occasion de méditer longuement sur l'efficacité des phénomènes de résonance responsables de la formation de la "tôle ondulée", puis du fait qu'à vélo, on ne peut pas descendre sur cette fichue "tôle ondulée à plus de 8 ou 9 km/h"

and "tralka" is "tole ondulee". this 90km is mostly "tralka", somewhere sands. i was driving my car (which is not a soft passenger car and i don't really handle gently with it, ask steven) from the nightcamp north of dunes to aktau, via katutau, and back to basshi, almost all the day - from the early morning to the late afternoon (9-10 hours, including 2 hours of walking in aktau).
and the temperatures are not so pleasant as in pamir.
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meg2
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby meg2 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:59 pm

OK, I will see. Maybe cycle only to the dunes, and then share a car.

But one more question : according to
https://caravanistan.com/kazakhstan/alm ... ommodation
we can camp for free almost anywhere in the parc, except the central reserve.

And according to 2 messages in this discussion, it is forbidden to camp everywehre except near the ranger's house north of the Singing Dune.

Does anyone know which version is obsolete ?
Or is it like in many french natural parcs, where CAMPING is forbidden, but BIVOUAC is allowed ?
Or ???
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Cycling along Silk Road http://blog.khushomaded.fr
or further north in Siberia and Caucasus http://blog.zamir.fr


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