We are very excited to finally be able to offer an interesting, affordable horse riding tour in Kazakhstan. Especially in this unique, un-touristy part of the country. You will be spending 5 days on horseback visiting one of the most beautiful nooks of Kazakh Altai: the West Altai Nature Reserve and its surroundings.
Seldom-visited due to the simple fact that no one knows about it, this is a place of spectacular natural treasures like the high-altitude wildflower heaven of Radon Lake, and the sculptural Stone Fairy Tale formations right on the border with Russia, a sight that even locals rarely get to visit. Accommodation will be in village homestays and hunting lodges en route.
Besides horsing around in the beautiful boundless nature, expect homemade meals served in mountainous portions, and chatty locals eager to tell you all about their life (everyone around them already heard all their stories).
Meeting and transfer to Ridder. Arrival and check-in at the hotel. Dinner (at your expense). Rest at the hotel.
08:00 Breakfast (at your expense).
09:00 First, we get to know the horses and ride them along the old horse trail in Poperechnoye village. The total length of the route is 30 km. Elevation range is from 802 to 860 meters.
Our route starts from a wooden dam forming the Maloubinsk reservoir, and will pass through fields and meadows along the dirt road. Soon we will go deep into the forest. At noon we will arange a halt and make a bonfire dinner.
Throughout the trip we will see the slopes of the Ivanovskiy Ridge with its show-white peaks on the right. By the evening we arrive in the Poperechnoye village and check-in at the guest houses
Poperechnoye is an ancient taiga village with a rich 250-year history. This cozy one-street village stands across the White Uba river, hence its name, and surrounded by picturesque landscapes – mountain ridges, hills covered with thick deciduous and coniferous forests, an abundance of fragrant herbs, and several sparkling rivers. The nature here is breathtakingly amazing…yeah it really is that good :-)
Upon arrival, be ready for the warm welcome and a hot homemade dinner at the guest house followed by a hot banya and a well-deserved rest
Breakfast from natural farm products. Hope you are hungry because it is going to be A LOT! Pancakes, other cakes, kasha, and a full-on hot meal, everything lathered in thick fresh cream…that’s a village breakfast. Then we take off for the route on the West-Altai Reserve. The total length of the route is 20 km. Elevation range is from 860 to 1021 meters.
The way goes through the old road and the horse trail. The route runs along the White Uba river through the meadows, forest, and marshy areas. Bonfire lunch.
Soon we step into the territory of the West-Altai Reserve. This is one of the pearls in the crown of East Kazakhstan. The West-Altai State Nature Reserve covers an area of more than 86 000 hectares. Even though it is not the largest one in Kazakhstan, it does have many interesting places and mysterious phenomena on its territory. It is going to amaze you with its beauty, enchant with furry firs and the singing of rare birds.
We find ourselves in a magical coniferous forest. Century cedars, spruces, firs, and larches hiding bushes and grasses ander their canopy. We will spend the night in the guest house of the reserve on the bank of the river Linechikha. Banya of course! Followed by dinner cooked by our guide.
Breakfast. Taking off on the route through the West-Altai Reserve to the cordon ‘Black Uba’. The total length of the route is 28 km. Elevation range is 1021 meters – 1600 meters – 1021 meters.
Today, we will get to conquer the Lineyskiy Ridge, the natural watershed between the rivers Black and White Uba. The pass is covered with dense cedar-spruce forests hiding noisy mountain rivers and marshy valleys. We will see the unique constrasts of natural landscapes. Then, from afar, we will see the amazing granite ensemble ‘Stone Fairy Tale’. With their quaint sculptural forms, the stone blocks of up to 35 meters resemble magical people and animals.
We go to out into the valley of the river Black Uba and approach the reserve inspector’s house. Now it is time to cook hot lunch, make some tea, and relax. Then, we will go back to the house on ‘White Uba» Cordon. This time, we will have our dinner cooked on the stove.
Breakfast. Taking off on the route in Poperechnoye village. The total length of the route is 25 km. The elevation range is 1200 meters – 1400 meters – 860 meters.
The road today should already be familiar, so now we descend along the White Uba river through the dirt road. Bonfire lunch.
The forest becomes less dense; the smoke is curling out of the hills, and it is already possible to see grazing cows. It seems we are already in the Poperechnoye village now welcoming us back with the warm beds in guest houses, hot homemade dinner, and hot Russian banya.
Breakfast made from natural farm products. Hope you got used to the portion size by now.
Setting off on the route to the Radon Lake. Total length of the route is 38 km. The elevation range is 860 meters – 1920 meters – 860 meters.
The group rises along the abandoned taiga road. The first part of the path requires going through 7 fords with a small set of heights. The water in the river Scheki is crystal clear, you can drink it while you are in the middle of the crossing. The river takes its beginning in glaciers and flows through the rocks rich in gold and silver. The second part of the way is even more interesting, since we get to climb up through the serpentines.
An exciting activity it is to count the number of turns! The whole way of this day lies in the taiga. The lower part is dedicuous forests, the upper one is covered with cedars and firs. This period is called Golden Fall, since the forest is filled with a large variety of colors and shades.
Many photographers are dreaming of coming here to take their amazing shots. The area offers the variety of herbs and alpine meadows. A gift for the participants will be an incredibly beautiful view of Radon lake (it is also sometimes called Dead lake, or Podbelkovoye lake)
Travelers will also be amazed by the two majestic peaks – the peak of SAVO and Voroshilov’s peak. Lunch-picnic and bonfire tea. Returning to the village. Russian Banya (Sauna). Dinner.
Breakfast. Getting ready for the road. Transfer to Ust-Kamenogorsk. Lunch (at your expense)
Transfer to the airport or train station. Departure.
Bye-bye! Come back soon! We will miss you!
Tour price per person:
- 2 pax – 991$
- 3 pax – 730$
- 4 pax – 667$
- 5 pax – 610$
- 6 pax – 564$
- 1 night at 3* Altai Hotel in Ridder (RO)
- 2 nights at a peasant house in Poperechnoye village (full board) (please note the bathroom facilities and banya are outdoors)
- daily banya (Russian sauna)
- accommodation in guest houses and hunting lodges on the route (please note the availability of minimum amenities; somewhere instead of beds there will be wooden flats and sleeping bags)
- horse rental
- meals on the program
- all transport and transfers to/from airport and to/from Ridder and Poperechnoye
- Permit to the border zone
- price of the tour may vary depending on the number of tourists;
- the time of departure from Ust-Kamenogorsk \ arrival in Ust-Kamenogorsk is indicative and can not be considered a mandatory item of the program;
- the time and procedure for providing tourist services declared in the program may vary with the preservation of their volume and quality;
- the company reserves the right to change the itinerary, as well as the time of tourists’ stay on the route under unfavorable weather conditions in order to ensure the safety of tourists
- Entering this region requires a pass, since this place is a border area. Registration process takes 14 days. Please consider this when submitting an application