Altyn Emel Q&A

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

Postby Julia » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:35 pm

Difficult question.
From what I heard it's not allowed to drive or park a car out of touristic roads and campsites (or hotels).
As for hikers and cyclists there is even less info. As almost all people drive around the park.
But I didn't find official information about that.
Only found on Altyn Emel official web site that camping spots are:
- Shygan (near Basshi)
- Mynbulak (next one)
- Kosbastau (700 years old willow)
- Aktau mountains (near the rest area)

Either Shygan or Mynbulak is referred as a ranger house. Not sure which one?
Other travellers mentioned that they needed to drive to one of those spots for a night camp. And do that before 6 or 7 pm. As driving after that time is not allowed.

Interesting, Caravanistan article says it's allowed to camp anywhere. Strange that no other travellers mentioned that they camped anywhere out of official campsites.

Would be great to talk to the rangers in Basshi and clarify all details with them.
Or hopefully someone can share latest updates on the rules.

Btw, although camping in Aktau is allowed, there is no water at all.
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mazeno
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby mazeno » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:04 am

probably (because of growing amount of tourists, i guess) park has set these two places additionally.

ad:
- Shygan (near Basshi) - the first pinpoint in my previous post, there is a rangers' farm,
- Mynbulak (next one) - the second pin, rangers' farm,
- Kosbastau (700 years old willow) - last time i was there in 2017 - there was only rangers' farm, no campsite,
- Aktau mountains (near the rest area) - in 2017 there was no campsite, only parking place and a small rangers' booth (there is no water source in the area, so campsite may be difficult to set).

camping, bivouac, sleepeing, even staying in your campervan or rooftop tent - the name doesn't matter.
you can stay for the night only in these fixed places.
i was (long)taking to rangers (also about places for nightstops) twice (2012, 2017) - no other possibility. in 2012 i was asked to drive out of the park to the oposite side of the road a353 to camp and come back in the next morning, as i came to the park about 8pm (afterwork hours). and i can understand it.

guys, it is a national park.
maybe let's not change the rules for our conveniences.
anyway, there is already too much move there, and really random tourists are coming*, including wise and silly - i saw even young people spraying graffiti on the walls of aktau george.
and altyn emel is one of the not many places where species of en-risk of the red list live (e.g. jayran - blacktail antelope, kulan - wild donkey).

---
* - tourists in 2018:
8,5 mln in kzh
1,4 mln in kgz
0,9 mln in tjk
4,4 mln in uzb (january-september)
for comparition:
1,2 mln in nepal, whih is very popular destination for years.
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trikolka
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Re: Altyn Emel Q&A

Postby trikolka » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:21 am

as I am late compared to my optimistic initial shedule, I am considering visiting Altyn Emel on my way without going back to Almaty ( I am now in Zharkent ). How easy or difficult is it to get permits and share a tour starting from Basshiy, and then find a taxi (shared or not) back to Almaty or Kapchagay ?
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trikolka
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Re: Altyn Emel National Park Tour Share

Postby trikolka » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:13 am

mazeno wrote:- Kosbastau (700 years old willow) - last time i was there in 2017 - there was only rangers' farm, no campsite,


Kosbastau is a possible bivouac spot, with water. There were more than 10 tents when I was there last week, including a small bus of russian backpackers

Unfortunately I could not go to Aktau because of rain : a mud river had temporarily cut the road about 6 km before Aktau.

By the way I was lucky when I arrived in Basshy, I met a german backpacker who also just arrived without having booked anything.

We shared a room in the guesthouse Zhanna, next to the rangers' office : 6000 KZT per person including breakfast and diner, the house is clean, they are building extra toilets and showers (so far 2 for 6 rooms), and the family (kazakh and russian speaking) is very friendly. There was not yet a sign.showing it is a guesthouse (it opened recently), but the neighbours know and it is mentioned on OSM and maps.me. I saw another probably cheap "hostel" near the entrance of the village but did not ask more information.

A ranger appointed a driver for us, he asked 55000 KZT for 2 drives (dunes, and next day Kakutau + Aktau).The park entrance fee itself was 1053 KZT per person, valid 2 days (1 € = about 430 KZT)
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krolik
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Re: Altyn Emel Q&A

Postby krolik » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:04 pm

Hi! I just spoke to some friends from kazakhstan and they told me I can get a permit for Altyn Emel NP directly at the park office in Basshi (as I'm not passing through Almaty so that would make my life easier). Anybody that can confirm that? Thank you!
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