The State National nature park Altyn-Yemel was created under the decision of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan from 10.04.1996. The area of it is 520 000 hectares. The State National nature park Altyn-Yemel is situated in the Ili hollow. In the north it is surrounded by mountains of Dzhungarian Alatau, in the south by the river Ili.
Singing barkhan is some kilometers from the river Ili between the mounts Bolshoy and Maly Kalkan. Its height is 120m, the length is about 3km. This sand hill consists of the smallest sand and wind gust make it sing. The sounds are similar to the sounds of organ. Sometimes the sounds are like drum strike. From the top of the Sandhill you can see river Ili, violet mounts Sagety and Boguty, behind them come Ketmen and Kungei Alatau. If the weather is dry and windy, the barkhan will sing its song that will be heard for many kilometers.
Big conic mountains Aktau (from Kazakh means White Mountains) resemble Egyptian pyramids. Cretaceous mountains are the world famous paleontological deposit of different animals and plants remains in the nature park Altyn-Yemel. The age of some animals is estimated up to 25-30 mln years. Among the finds there are remains of crocodiles, rhinoceros, tortoises, shell-fish and deer. Aktau Mountains impress with their various shapes and tints.
Katutau (Severe Mountains) are situated between river Ili and Altyn-Yemel gorge. There are volcanic mountains. In east and west parts of Katutau two paleovulcans are situated. Their eruption was powerful. Katutau Mountains are more waterless, they are notable for steep slopes and canyons. The mountains are inhabited by mount goats. The highest point of Katutau is 1720m.
In programme: driving off-road vehicle through steppe of National nature park Altyn-Yemel. Staying in a comfortable hotel, visiting the UNESCO heritage object – singing barkhan, Katutau Mountains, Aktau canyons. Meeting the relic Osier and bathing in hot spring. Open air lunch, national cuisine dishes.
A. Legend of the route by the hour:
8.30 transfer from the hotel
13.00 arrival to the State National nature park Altyn-Yemel, registration, lunch
14.00 driving to the singing barkhan
15.00 walking along the singing sand hill
17.00 driving to the hotel
19.00 checking-in, supper
9.00 driving to mountains Aktau
11.00 driving to Aktau
14.00 lunch in Aktau
15.00 driving to the relic Tree
16.30 meeting the history of the relic Tree
17.30 driving to Almaty city
21.30 returning to the hotel, supper