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Experiences

Explore the Unexplored in Kazakhstan

For the ultimate ‘off-the-beaten-track’ destination, feast your eyes on Kazakhstan’s untamed wilderness. Step foot on unique landscapes rarely travelled and relish an abundance of arid plains, striking mountains, crumbling towns and azure lakes. Aptly translated as ‘Land of Wanderers’, this enormous country is itching to be discovered.

When to go:
April – May, September – October

Commence your journey in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. With a blissful backdrop of the snow-capped Tian Shan mountains, explore the sophisticated streets and green spaces of this remarkably cosmopolitan city. Embrace your inner adventurer as you take to the skies for a phenomenal paragliding flight and marvel at the wild Kazakhstani landscape below. Famously renowned as the birthplace of the apple, the foothills surrounding Almaty are peppered with wild apple-laden trees. Accompanied by an expert local guide, travel to these intriguing forests and learn the history and cultivation of these sacred fruits. Wind down your day in an excellent Central Asian restaurant, delight in a traditional feast and enjoy a local dance performance – a unique insight in Kazakhstani culture.

Embark on a 4×4 adventure over everchanging landscapes. Traverse vast areas of grassland, savanna and desert before reaching Djalyau Valley, a place of rolling pastures where nomadic herders reside. Wonderfully characterised by quaint yurts and wild horses, indulge in the phenomenal space and distant horizons of this breath-taking area. For an unforgettable cultural experience, meet Kazakhs in their authentic dress and learn the fascinating art of eagle hunting as they present their magnificent birds. From here, visit the Assy-Turgen Plateau where one of the world’s largest observatories stands tall, before returning to your remote campsite where a traditional evening awaits. As a campfire crackles, appreciate Kazakh songs and a hearty meal beneath a rooftop of twinkling stars.

In powerful 4×4 vehicles, continue cross country, cruising through rushing rivers and ice-cold water to enter territories seldom explored. Welcome to the ‘Grand Canyon’ of Asia, a seemingly endless landscape covering an incredible 80 kilometres. Mountain bike or hike through this spellbinding environment and marvel as orange hues radiate across the rich, red sandstone of Charyn.

Journey onwards to the shimmering blue waters of Kolsai Lakes to experience a horseback adventure alongside local guides. Learn about the symbolism of horses in modern-day Kazakhstan as you navigate woodland paths, cross flowing rivers and ride through some of the country’s most sensational mountainous scenery. Savour the sense of ultimate seclusion as you explore an area that’s extraordinarily undisturbed by humans.

Witness a sunken forest of birch trees standing purposefully amidst azure blue waters as you venture to Kaindy Lake for a spectacle that’s one of its kind. Intriguingly preserved, this otherworldly landscape is a byproduct of the Kebin earthquake that affected Kazakhstan in 1911. Board a helicopter and fly to the basecamp of the country’s highest, and arguably most spectacular mountain, Khan Tengri. With dramatic ridges and a largely inaccessible pyramidal summit, grab the opportunity to hike across challenging terrain and camp overnight overlooking the astonishing mountain range.