Destinations: Astana city – Korgalzhyn village – lake Sholak – Korgalzhyn village – Maliy Tengiz lake – the Karazhar cordon – Korgalzhyn village – Astana city.
The total length of the route is about 500 km.
Birdwatching is a popular hobby for a lot of people all over the world. More than 60 millions people are fond of it. They travel solely for the purpose of watching new species of birds. And the Korgalzhyn State Nature reserve is considered the best place for birdwatching in Kazakhstan.
Korgalzhyn State Nature reserve is the biggest reserve of Kazakhstan, included in the UNESCO World heritage list. It is situated 130 km to the south-west from Astana city and comprises huge steppes and lakes. Korgalzhyn is a real paradise for bird-fanciers.
On the territory of the Korgalzhyn nature reserve the unique sites of wetlands, providing home for the biggest and the most northern population of greater flamingo, are protected (flamingos inhabit this area from mid-April to September). In this period you can also watch “skillful fish hunters”: dalmatian pelicans and cormorants, graceful common herons and egrets as well as demoiselle cranes.
The best time for visiting the nature reserve is from mid-April to mid-June. Beginning of May is considered the most interesting period, since it is the time when Shrenk’s tulips begin to bloom and all steppe is covered with bright tints of these wonderful and rare flowers, included into Red book.
Leaving Astana at 10 a.m. Journey from Astana to Korgalzhyn village (135 km, 1,5-2 hours). Arriving to the village. Visiting the visitors center, where tourists can learn all the information about the unique natural object – Korgalzhyn nature reserve (1 hour). Accommodation in the guest-houses. Lunch (13.00-14.30). Journey from Korgalzhyn village to Sholak lake (30 km, 40 min). Birdwatching: Whooper Swan, Great Egret, Gray and Purple Herons, Red-billed Shelduck, cormorants and other interesting water fowl species. Visiting the fishermen, boat trip and swimming. If you want, you can try freshly cooked fish soup or fried fish. Journey from Sholak lake to Korgalzhyn village (30 km, 40 min). Dinner.
Early wakening. Breakfast (8 a.m.). Excursion to lake Maliy Tengiz. Journey from Korgalzhyn village to lake Maliy Tengiz (70 km, 1 hour). Excursion to the northern shore of lake Maliy Tengiz. Watching Greater Flamingos, photo session. Journey from lake Maliy Tengiz to the Karazhar cordon (25 km, 30 min). Dinner alone with nature in the Karazhar cordon. If desired: walking tour or trip by car to the observation station “Hide” (1,5 km, 20 min), where you can come closer to the birds and watch them nearer without disturbing them. Way back from the Karazhar to Korgalzhyn village (50 km, 50 min), followed by journey to Astana city (135 km, 1,5-2 hours). Approximate arrival time- 20.00.
Cost per person, Kazakh tenge
1 person – 229 835p/p ~ 690 USD
group of 2 – 126 773 p/p ~ 380 USD
group of 3 – 92 419 p/p ~ 277 USD
group of 4 – 75 242 p/p ~ 225 USD
group of 5 – 64 935 p/p ~ 194 USD
The above mentioned prices do not include: visa expenses and consular fees, insurance, the price of getting to the starting point of the route (Astana city) and back.The above mentioned prices include: all the journeys by off-highway minibus according to the programme of the tour, services of a driver and an English-speaking guide-interpreter, accommodation in guesthouses in Korgalzhyn village (double and triple rooms available), three meals a day (in a guesthouses or in the field), visiting the visitors center, entrance to the area of reserve, local ranger escort.
* If required the tour can be adapted according to the schedule of arrival and departure flights of the participants. In this case the cost of the tour may slightly change.