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Nomads of the Steppe

Top Experiences in Kazakhstan

Top Sights in Kazakhstan


Big Almaty lake

The Big Almaty Lake is a high-mountain reservoir in the Zailiyskiy Alatau at an altitude of 2510 meters above sea level, 15 kilometers south of the city of Alma-Ata.
The basin of the lake is of tectonic origin, complex shape, with a general slope to the north. The lake is 1.6 km long and 0.75 to 1 km wide.
The length of the coastline is 3 km, the depth is 30-40 m, the area of ​​the mirror is 0.9 square kilometers, the volume of the water mass is 14 million m³.
The maximum water level is in August, the minimum is in February. The level fluctuations reach 20 m. The shores of the lake are steep and steep. The Bolshaya Almatinka River flows into the lake from the south.
It is part of the Ile-Alatau National Park.
Like the vast majority of the Tien Shan lakes, it arose as a result of earthquakes.
Three main peaks rise above the lake, which can be seen from the northern end of the dam: Sovetov Peak (4317 m) - in the southeast, Ozerny Peak (4110 m) - in the south and Turist Peak (3954 m) - south-west of the lake ...
Access of tourists to the border zone of the border of Kazakhstan with the Kyrgyz Republic located above the lake is carried out without restrictions, a pass from the Ministry of Internal Affairs is not required. At a distance of 7-12 km from the border into the depths of the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the operation of the border regime is excluded. Foreign citizens and stateless persons can visit these border areas for tourism purposes.
Source: Wikipedia


Kolsay lakes

There are 3 mountain's lakes which are strung along the Kolsay river. The source of the river Kolsay start from the South at the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, in the Kungey Alatoo range :

  • The lower lake is about 1 km long, 400 meters wide, and 80 meters in depth. It is accessible by road and has guest-houses and campsites. (altitude: 1818 meters). 
  • The middle Kolsay Lake (Mynzholky - meaning "1000 years old"). Five kilometers upstream from the lower lake, the middle lake is the largest of the three, and reaches a depth of 50 meters. (altitude: 2,252 meters). It is considered the most scenic of the three Kolsay Lakes. In one day, you can hike from the lower lake to the middle lake and back. 
  • The upper lake is situated six kilometers above the middle lake, the upper lake is surrounded by spruce trees and alpine meadows. It is 6 km from the Sary-Bulak pass and Kyrgyzstan. (altitude: 2,850 meters). Today the access to the upper lake is restricted and you need a special permit.

All glacial lakes of the region are located at altitudes of 3200–3500 m closer to the central part of the Kungei Alatau range. Most of these lakes are not stable, the water level often change, appear and disappear. You may have in mind that in the hot summer months, the moraine dams of these lakes sometimes break through and form mudslides, which are dangerous for tourists. The main causes of mudflows are torrential rains, slipping of glaciers and moraines into moraine lakes, breakthrough of natural dams created by avalanches or debris on rivers.

In order to protect this unique environment, the State National Natural Park "Kolsay Lakes" was established in 2007.

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