Great Silk Road

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Bird-watching

Riding

Heritage

Ornithology of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

 

Countries: Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

Tour duration: 16 days

The diversity of natural landscapes of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and intrusion into its territory of Middle East, South Asian, East Siberian and European species created the unique variety of fauna. Here you can find high mountain and plain, desert and forest, steppe and meadow bird species located at the relatively small territory.

The avifauna of Kyrgyzstan and South East Kazakhstan comprises about 350 species of birds. The program is not only intended for the specialists but also for people who would like to conduct a journey in touch with nature along with easy hiking and enjoy fascinating beautiful landscapes and get familiar with culture and lifestyle of the Kyrgyz and Kazakh people.

During this tour clients can observe approximately 170 bird species.

Bird-watching Tours

Ornithology of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

Customized tours on request

Day 1. Arrival in Bishkek, Ala-Archa Gorge

Arrival in Bishkek. Transfer to the hotel for a rest. Bishkek is the capital and the largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located at the foothill of magnificent Kyrgyz Ala-Tau mountain range. Bishkek is a city of many green parks and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks and thousands of smaller privately built houses. It is laid out on a grid pattern, with most streets flanked on both sides by narrow irrigation channels that water the innumerable trees which provide shade in the hot summers. The city is believed to be the greenest in Central Asia with more trees per head of population than any other. At 10 AM we go to the National Park Ala-Archa (2200m; 40 km), this national park is a home of many birds and mammals. During our excursion you will have a possibility to see Dipper, Whistling thrush, Tomtit, Coalmouse, Black-breasted Puffbird, Griffon, Bearded vulture. Return to Bishkek.

Accommodation: Hotel ***

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 2. Trip to Alamedin Gorge, 30 km

Today you will explore Alamedin Gorge (2100 m; 30 km). During a walk you will have a chance to see White-capped Bunting, Red-headed Bunting, Common Rock Thrush and other mountain bird species. Return to Bishkek.

Accommodation: Hotel ***

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 3. Transfer to Son-Kul Lake, 350 km

Transfer to alpine Son-Kul Lake over Kalmak-Ashuu pass (3360 m). It is the second largest lake after Issyk Kul Lake and the largest fresh water lake in Kyrgyzstan. The entire lake is a nature reserve because many water birds breed here. It is surrounded by broad summer pastures dotted with yurts, grazing cattle and mountains. These lands are used by shepherds of the neighboring regions as summer pastures for their flocks. Shepherds drive the livestock up in the mountains; set a yurt camp where they live during summer months. Here you will get acquainted with traditional lifestyle of Kyrgyz nomads. Horseback riding is available.

At stops and during the trip you will have a possibility to observe Roller, Bee Eater, Kestrel, Nutcracker and other birds.

Accommodation: Yurt camp

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 4. Son-Kul Lake

All day at the lake. Today you will be able to see: Mongolian Dotterel, Griffons, Snow Finch, Demoiselle Crane, Sandpiper and about 20 species of swimming birds. You can enjoy horseback riding, take an easy hike to the mountains to see an amazing panorama of the lake and surrounding mountains, play with children or participate in cooking of national meals.

Accommodation: Yurt camp

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 5. Transfer to Naryn, 140 km

Transfer to Naryn over “33 parrots” pass (3400 m). Today you may meet Red-billed Chough, Griffons, Wall Creeper, Brown Dipper, Rock Pipit and other species.

Accommodation: Hotel Celestial Mountains **

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 6. Trip to Kapchagai, 70 km

Day trip to Kapchagai Gorge located at Kichi-Naryn River. Here you will see birds of prey - Golden Eagles, Long-legged Buzzard and smaller birds: Blue-throated Robin, Pine Bunting, Red-headed Bunting and about 15 other species. Return to Naryn (70km)

Accommodation: Hotel Celestial Mountains **

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 7. Transfer to Jeti-Oguz, 350 km

Transfer to Jeti-Oguz Gorge located at the southern shore of the second largest lake in the world – Isssyk-Kul. The lake sits in a hollow surrounded by snowcapped peaks of Terskei and Kungei Ala-Tau Mountain ranges at the altitude of 1600m. Issyk-Kul Lake is 180 km long, 60 km wide and 700m deep. 134 streams and rivers flow into the lake but none flows out what is explained by underwater tectonic activity. Along the shore of Issyk-Kul Lake the following bird species may be met: Common Rosefinch, Cetti's Warbler, Sand Piper, Dorhawk and in the evening Long-eared Owl.

Accommodation: Yurt camp

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 8. Jeti-Oguz Gorge

Full day of bird watching: Oriental Turtle-dove, Laughing Dove, Rock Bunting, Brown Dipper, Gray Wagtail and other species.

Accommodation: Yurt Camp

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

 

Day 9. Transfer to Karkara, 150 km

Transfer to Karkara Gorge via Karakol. The atmosphere of Karakol town will bring you hundred years back and give you an impression of Tsarist Russia. Our city tour includes: Old Russian Style houses (1870 – 1910), Russian Orthodox Church (1886) and Dungan mosque (1899) that was made out of wood without nails. Also we will visit a museum for the famous Russian Asia explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky, whose grave is located at the shore of Issyk-Kul Lake. In Karkara Gorge we will try to find Cranes from South Africa, who use the area as a resting place.

Accommodation: Yurt camp

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 10. Transfer to Kol Say Lakes, 130 km

Today we cross a Kyrgyz Kazakh border at Kegen (Should not be Saturday or Sunday) and go further to outstandingly beautiful Kol Say Lakes. These lakes are located at heights 1800 and 2250 meters above sea level. They are distinguished by the unique mountain watershed consisting of three natural zones and amazing variety of rare plants and animals. Kolsay lakes are very deep: the deepest point of the first lake is 80 m and about 50 m of the second. You will never forget their magnificence and calmness around. When the water is smooth the surface is absolutely quiet, the sky and a bewitching panorama of a mountain landscape are reflected in it. Lakes are surrounded by rocks, woods, Alpine meadows and whole glades of gentle-olive mountain colors. The area is very interesting for ornithologists as it counts about 180 bird species. You will be impressed by Golden Eagles, Saker Falcons, Bearded Vultures and others.

Accommodation: Guesthouse “Jibek Jolu”

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 11. Transfer to Charyn Canyon, 120 km

Charyn Canyon has been described as the Grand Canyon’s younger brother. The dramatic erosion made by the river Charyn has created a dramatic and impressive landscape. The site is also known as a Valley of Castles. It has a peculiar bright red color and its rock formations resemble ancient thcastles. It’s spectacular during the day and at night, under a star-lit sky. This Canyon is a home land for Himalayan vulture, Griffon Vulture, Common Buzzard, Cinereous vulture.

Accommodation: Yurt Camp

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 12. Transfer to Relict Ash Grove, 50 km

Transfer to the unique grove at Charyn River - a forest of Relic Ash and Turanga Poplars remained here from the ice age and which have been preserved here only. During our walk in the shadow of trees you will have a chance to see Pheasant, Goshawk, Black Grouse, European Roller and Owls.

Accommodation: Simple Guesthouse

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 13. Transfer to Altyn-Emel, 120 km

Transfer to Altyn-Emel National Park,  UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the desert zone of South-East Kazakhstan. The site holds a combination of desert, including the famous "Singing Dunes" with surrounding sands, dry rocky mountains and wetland avifauna. Up to 280 bird species can be observed here, including up to 160 breeding species. The territory plays a great role in the conservation of ungulates. The territory of the National park abounds archeological monuments of a stone epoch, bronze, early and late iron century, ethnographic and historical cultural monuments. On the way you will see many reptiles and birds including: Saxaul Sparrow, Mongolian Finch, Pallas's Sandgrouse, Little Bustard and Larks.

Accommodation: Guesthouse Altyn-Emel

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 14. Transfer to Almaty, 250 km

Today we leave Altyn-Emel National park and head towards the former capital of Kazakhstan – Almaty. We make a break at the confluence of Ili River and Kapchagay water reservoir. Numerous waterfowls and waders can be met here: Ducks, Herons, Pelicans, Calidris.

Almaty is the biggest town in the region; it is a modern metropolis with a picturesque panorama of mountains and apple tree forests. Almaty is the Southern capital of Kazakhstan, and at the same time is the largest city of the country. Officially for more than 20 years it is not the capital of the country, but still an important cultural and business center. Our city sightseeing tours includes: 28 Panfilov’s guardsmen park and Zenkov-Cathedral.

Accommodation: Hotel Otrar ****

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 15. Trip to Big Almaty Lake, 20 km

Morning trip to Big Almaty Lake (2500m). Here you will enjoy magnificent mountain scenery and we will try to find Himalayan Snowcock and other interesting birds. Return to Almaty.

Accommodation: Hotel Otrar ****

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch Box/Dinner

Day 16. Departure

Transfer to the airport and departure. End of services.

 

Tour price and list of services - on request

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