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Giants of Kazakh Steppes

7 days

Thread of the route

Karaganda – the Kent mountains – Shabanbai Bi village – Akshkol village – Shabanbai Bi – Aksoran peak – Aulie place – Shabanbai Bi – Bektau-Ata mountains – Golfstream” recreation zone on the Balkhash lakeside – Balkhash town – Karaganda.

Program of the tour

Day 1
Journey from Karaganda to the Kent mountains (250 km, 5 hours). Arrival and camping. Lunch in the field. Half-day excursion to the Kyzylkenysh river valley (60 km), where the so-called Kent palace (Buddhist temple of the Kazakh-Zhungar wars period) is situated, as well as the site of the ancient settlement Kent, dating back to the Bronze age. Visiting the camp of archaeologists, who do the archaeological dig of the ancient settlement also nowadays. Coming back to the camp. Dinner.

Day 2
Breakfast. Trip to Kassym Amanzholov village (50 km, 1 hour). Visiting the 40 lakes district and the abandoned gem mine (10 km, 15-min-long drive, followed by a 2-hour-long walking tour). Coming back to Kassym Amanzholov village (10 km), dinner in the guest-house or the field. Excursion (15 km, 2 hours) to the excavations of the burial mounds of the Scythian times (burial ground Taldy 2), where two burial places of warriors in gold vestments were found in 2010. Coming back to Kassym Amanzholov village, camping, dinner.

Day 3

Early breakfast. Journey from Kassym Amanzholov village to Shabanbai Bi village (160 km, 4 hours, 85 km steppe road, 75 km asphalt). Accommodation in a guest-house. Dinner. Transfer by car
from Shabanbai Bi to Akshkol (18 km, 40 min). Pedestrian excursion around the Begazy – necropolis of the late Bronze age, being the most important archaeological discovery on the territory of Central Kazakhstan, as old as more than 3000 years. Trip from Akshkol to Shabanbai Bi, visiting Karatal winter hut on the way, whose hosts produce koumiss – a fermented dairy product made of mare’s milk. Show of milking the cows and koumiss tasting. Way back to Shabanbai Bi (18 km, 40 min). Dinner.

Day 4
Breakfast. Journey from Shabanbai Bi to
Shaban winter camp (40 km, 1.5 hours). Climbing Aksoran peak (3 hours, climb – about 600 metres) – the highest point of Sary Arka, its field of view reaches 120 kilometres. Field lunch on the top of the mountain. Descending from Aksoran peak to the glade by Auliye mountain (3 hours). Time of rest at the spring, picking mushrooms and berries. Observation of the sacred cave of Auliye. Journey from Auliye to Shabanbai Bi (7 km, 20 min). Dinner.

Day 5

Breakfast. Journey from Shabanbai Bi to the mountain range of Bektau-Ata (110 km, 3 hours) along earth road, twisting among picturesque hills. Pitching tents in the forest, at the foot of the Bektau-Ata pluton (plutons are unerupted volcanos). Lunch in the field. Walk along the mountain slope, visiting the sacred cave and ascent to the top (1214 metres above sea level, 5 hours there and back, about 600 metres ascent). Descending to the camp, dinner, overnight stop in tents.

Day 6
Breakfast. Journey from the Bektau-Ata to the “Golfstream” recreation zone (situated on one of the shores of fresh part of lake Balkhash, 100 km, 2 hours). Visiting town of Balkhash on the way. Accommodation. Lunch. Free time for swimming and sunbathing (pebble beach). Dinner.

Day 7
Breakfast. Trip from recreation zone «Golfstream» to Karaganda (400 km, 6 hours). Arrival. End of the tour.

Cost per person

Size of group







Price, KZT







The above-mentioned prices include: all the journeys by all-wheel drive minibus according to the programme of the tour, services of a driver and an English-speaking guide-interpreter, accommodation in guest-houses (Shabanbai Bi village), “Golfstream” recreation zone and tents, three meals a day (including in the field), visiting museums mentioned in the program, sleeping bag and sleeping pad rent, motor-launch rent.

The above-mentioned prices do not include: visa expenses and consular fees, insurance, the price of getting to the starting point of the route (Karaganda city) and back.

If required the tour can be adapted according to the schedule of arrival and departure flights of the participants. In this case the cost of the tour may slightly change.

The program of the tour might be changed due to the force majeure circumstances, including (but not limited to):
– official prohibitions on visiting specially protected areas (national parks, reserves, sanctuaries, etc.) due to epizootics or epidemics, fire-setting and other reasons;
– official prohibitions on visiting sites, located in the territory of the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and Kurchatov town, Saryshagan test site, Baikonur city and Cosmodrome site, and other areas with limited access;
– cancellation/postponement of plane, train and other transfers;
– extreme weather conditions (steppe fire, snowstorms, lasting rainstorms, etc.) and its consequences (washed out roads, snow drifts, damaged bridges, etc.);
– traffic restrictions (closures);
– other natural and administrative circumstances beyond the control of the company “Nomadic Travel Kazakhstan”.

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