A 2-Day adventure tour to Aral Sea, located at the boundary of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. As far back as half a century it was a closed salt-water lake, the Aral Sea was in 4th place on the area among the lakes of the world. Nearly 60,000 tons of fish were harvested annually in the Aral Sea. The region’s life was flourishing. In 1960s “Cotton race” required a large amount of water. From feeding the Aral Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers a huge number of channels were dug for cotton fields irrigation. As a result, from 1961 to 1995, the sea level has dropped by 17 meters and the shoreline has receded by 100-150 km. Now the area became a desert, covered with alkali soils and dried seaweeds, abandoned fishing settlements. The Martian landscape with a graveyard of ships is a silent witness to the terrible ecologic tragedy. Along the way we will experience the nomadic lifestyle and stay in a traditional felt yurt.
- Yurt stay – Sample nomadic life with an overnight in a traditional felt tent
- Ustyurt Plateau – Discover the Ustyurt Plateau that is the most mysterious and least researched destination in Uzbekistan
- Sudochie Lakes – stop at It is one of the most ecologically intact zones of the Amudariya river delta and a key location for the preservation and maintenance of the biodiversity of the region. The lakes support many breeding waterbird species including rare and disappearing species, all using the Western-Asian migratory route.
- Aral Sea – witness contrasting landscapes of extinct sea and miracles of nature, that has become a victim of the human madness and breathtaking scenery of new Aral Kum desert
- Ships cemetery – you will drive on the dried seabed of the Aral that once was the 4th largest sea and visit the “ships cemetery”
- Moynaq – wander around Moynaq ship graveyard that is literally a ghost town in the middle of the desert.
*Please note that this is the sample of itinerary and we can tailor it based on your request.
Day 1. Nukus – Mizdakhan – Gaur kala – Usturt Plateau – Barsa kelmes – Sudochie Lake – Aral Sea
Departure from Nukus at 8 o’clock in the morning to discover the Ustyurt Plateau and Aral Sea life. Stops at Mizdakhan architectural complex of the XIV century and Gaur-Kala fortress that was destroyed by Genghiskhan.
Continue to Khojeli and Kungrad districts, which were the trading centers during the Silk Road period. On the way we pass the Soda Plant and Uzbekistan-Korea Gas Chemical Plant. Arrive at Barsakelmes Natural Saltpit, its huge Salt Lake, where the Soda Plant taking its main resource.
After we go to the Sudochie lake. Upon arrival at the lake we stop at the ancient Light House hill. Then you can visit the abandoned settlement of the Russian and Polish people who were repressed during the Stalin regimen. You can see the ruins of the hospital, cane houses and old Fish Factory. As well you can talk with fishermen, who currently do the fishing and observe the different kinds of birds. Drive to Aral Sea yurt camp. Arrive to the camp side late in the evening. Dinner. Stay overnight at the yurt.
Day 2. Aral Sea – Komsomolsk settlement – Moynaq – Nukus
Breakfast. Departure to Moynaq. On the way we stop at the cemetery of Nomads, visit the settlement “Kubla Ustyurt” on the Plateau. Meet the local people. Taste the camel’s milk. Drive on the abandoned airport plane way. Then continue our way via the bottom of the dried Aral Sea. Arrive in Moynaq town. Lunch at the guest house. Visit the cemetery of Ships, local museum and watch the short documentary film about Moynaq life in the past (Currently the Museum is closed for reconstruction). On the way to Nukus stop at Mizdakhan architectural complex of the XIV century and Gyaur-Kala fortress that was destroyed by Genghiskhan. Transfer to Nukus. End of the tour.
290 USD per person for a group of 2 travellers
215 USD per person in a group of 3
190 USD per person in a group of 4
- 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser
- accommodation in yurts
- 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 l water per day.
- Guide (110 USD) per group.
Please note that the tour starts and ends in Nukus, with no more services, such as accommodation in Nukus or airtickets. We can provide those services as well, if you wish.