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Saiga Photo Safari

Duration:
6 days
Category:
Sightseeing
Difficulty:
Medium

Program of the tour

Day 1
Arrival in Astana. Travel to Korgalzhyn. Tour in the Visitor Center of Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve (UNESCO natural World Heritage Site «Saryarka»). An Introduction to the wetlands and steppe ecosystems around Tengiz Lake are given. Lunch in one of the home stays in the village. Travel to the north Shore of Lake Tengiz with overnight stay in tents. Evening observation of the Bird fauna of the lake (Flamingo, Gulls, Waders, etc.).
Travel Distance: Astana — Korgalzhyn (120 Asphalt road, 1,5 hour drive ), Korgalzhyn — North- Shore of Lake Tengiz (120 km dirt road, 4 hour drive).

Day 2
Continuing bird watching while traveling along the north shore of Lake Tengiz. Stop on the shore in view of one of the nesting islands of Flamingos. Further travel to the Steppe ecosystems in the west of Tengiz Lake. This protected steppe is currently the only big protected area of steppe in Kazakhstan and a splendid example to learn about the ecology of an integer steppe ecosystem. Observation of one of the biggest Steppe Marmot colonies in the region, as well as typical steppe birds (Pallid Harrier, Long-Legged Buzzard, Steppe Eagles, Black Lark, White-Winged Lark, Bustards, etc. ) and introduction to the key species of steppe vegetation. First Saiga sightings will already be possible. Overnight stay in tents near a fresh water place west of lake Tengiz, where Saiga is possible to be observed during drinking.
Travel Distance: 100 km dirt road, 3-4 hours driving time.

Day 3
Observation in the early morning hours of the water whole. Travel though the steppes to the River Tersakan. The hilly area in the southwest of Lake Tengiz is harboring a non-migrating subpopulation of Saiga within the Betbak-Dala areal of the species. The area is also a habitat of the difficult to be observed Great Bustard, Little Bustard, and Houbara Bustard. The day will be serving to get close to this animals and observe them. Overnight stay in tents near a fresh water place at the Tersakan river, where Saiga is possible to be observed during drinking.
Travel Distance: about 80-100 km dirt road, 3-4 hours driving time.

Day 4
Observations in the hilly area and visit to the salt lake Kiptshak. The lake does serve the flamingos in some years as feeding ground if the conditions for their favorite food the Brine shrimp are good. The day will serve for further Saiga observations in the steppe, which are west of lake Kiptshak already in contact with domestic livestock from the village Zhanbobek. Overnight stay in tents at well in the southeast of lake Tengiz.
Travel Distance: about 80-100 km dirt road, 3-4 hours driving time.

Day 5
Travel via salt lake Kirey to village Zhanbobek. Travel along the south banks of lake Tengiz. Wetland and steppe bird sightings possible. Overnight stay in home stay in village Korgalzhyn.
Travel Distance: about 150 km dirt road, 5-6 hours driving time.

Day 6
Travel back to Astana, Visit of the City. Depending on itinerary overnight stay in hotel or travel back in the late evening.
Travel Distance: about 120 km, Asphalt road.

Cost per person

Size of group

1

2

3

Price, KZT

799142

425802

305135

The above-mentioned prices include: all travel by all-wheel-drive minibus, services of a driver and an English-speaking guide-interpreter, accompaniment and commentary by a wildlife expert, three meals a day (including in the field) and service of a cooker, and overnight stays in tents and hotels, camping gear rental fees.

The above-mentioned prices do not include: visa expenses and consular fees, insurance, the price of getting to Astana city and back.

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

DISCLAIMER
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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