Ornithological tourism — developing kind of tourism in Kazakhstan. This is one of the most popular destinations of ecological tourism. For Today, Kazakhstan inhabit to 500 species of birds, 57 of them are included in the Red Book of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Attractive landscapes of Central Asia — is the high mountains (Pamir, Tien Shan) and desert steppe.
Tourists-ornithologists are very interested of rare species and subspecies of birds that live on the territory of Kazakhstan. For example, in southern Kazakhstan during the May and June you can see about 260 species of birds. These birds generally inhabit in mountainous areas.
In Kazakhstan, there are a large number of nature reserves and national parks, which contribute to the development of ornithological tourism. On their territory, visitors can find a great variety of birds of Kazakhstan. On the territory of Almaty region is located the State National Park «Ile-Alatau», which has a large variety of natural conditions that contribute to species diversity of birds in this region. In total, in the national park, noted more than 178 bird species
Day 1. Birds of Almaty region
In the early morning arrival in the city of Almaty. After placement in the hotel, you will have plenty of time to rest. Our tour begins in the city of Almaty, the most beautiful city in Central Asia. We spend our first day in the Ile-Alatau National Park, namely in the Kaskelen Gorge, where you are acquainted with «simple» representatives of birds.
Among them: gray-headed goldfinch (Carduelis caniceps), Average Remez (Remiz pendulinus) и ordinary Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). In addition, you can find here, such representatives as Krasnouhov Bunting (Emberiza cioides), Bluebird (Myophonus caeruleus) and Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus).
Day 2. Almaty – Sorbulak Lake
After breakfast, we head to the lake Sorbulak, which is located in the north-west of Almaty. The road to the lake Sorbulak takes about 2 hours. On the territory of large and small lakes inhabits a large variety of waterfowl. Here we can meet the following representatives of birds: Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus,) Great Black-headed Gulls (Larus ichthyaetus), Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia), Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola), Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops), European Roller (Coracias garrulus,), European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster).
This places also inhabited by: Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), Garganey (Anas querquedula), Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus), Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) and others. Among the rare representatives, you can find here — Shikra (Accipiter badius) and Lesser Sandplover (Charadrius mongolus). After bird watching, we go to our base camp, which is located in Desert Taukum. After installation of the camp awaits you a dinner. Overnight in tents.
Day 3. Taukum Desert
Before breakfast, you expect a short walk through the countryside in search of amazing birds — Mac Queen’s Bustards (Chlamydotis macqueenii). After breakfast, we set off into the desert in search of the inhabitants of these areas: Greater Sandplovers (Charadrius leschenaultii), Greater Short-toed (Calandrella brachydactyla), Lesser Short-toed (Calandrella rufescens), Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra), Isabelline Wheatears (Oenanthe isabellina), Asian desert warbler (Sylvia nana), House sparrow (Passer domesticus).
On the artesian wells of the neighborhood, you can find a large variety of Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii) and Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus). After lunch, we head towards the famous petroglyphs, inhabited by — Eastern Rock Nuthatch (Sitta tephronota). On the way to the petroglyphs, we will meet representatives of the following birds: Bimaculated lark (Melanocorypha bimaculata), Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris), Pallid Harriers (Circus macrourus) and other species.
In the afternoon, we return to the camp, where you will find a delicious dinner. At this time of the day in this area can be found: Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis), Pallas’s Sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxus), Pin-tailed sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata,), Mongolian finch (Bucanetes mongolicus,) and Desert finch (Rhodospiza obsoleta,).
Day 4. Return to Almaty
After breakfast, we return to Almaty city (4-5 hours). Our road runs through the desert Saryesik. On the way, we will meet the representatives of the following birds: Isabelline Shrikes (Lanius isabellinus), Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis), Azure tit (Cyanistes cyanus), Eurasian Penduline-tit (Remiz pendulinus), Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti), Asian Desert Warblers (Sylvia nana), Reed-warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Paddy-field warbler (Acrocephalus agricola) and others.
Upon arrival in Almaty, we check into a comfortable hotel, which is located in the city center. After placing awaits you — dinner in a national restaurant.
Day 5. Almaty – Charyn Canyon
After breakfast we go to one of the most spectacular and popular place in Kazakhstan — Charyn Canyon. The road to the Canyon takes about 4 hours. Our route will pass through various villages and mountain passes. Avian world of Charyn Canyon and the surrounding area is amazing and diverse. On its territory inhabited by a large number of predators: Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus), Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus), Himalayan Griffon-vulture (Gyps himalayensis), Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) and Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni).
Also, there inhabited by other members, such as: Chukar (Alectoris chukar), Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris), Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris), Rufous-tailed (Amazilia tzacatl), Blue Rock-thrushes (Monticola solitarius), Hume’s Whitethroat (Sylvia althaea), Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia), Redheaded Buntings (Emberiza bruniceps), Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops), European roller (Coracias garrulus,) and others. After birding, we go in the guesthouse near the Charyn River, where we will have dinner in a traditional style, which will be held in the traditional dwelling of the Kazakhs — Yurt.
Day 6. Return to Almaty
After breakfast, at our disposal of about 4 hours to explore the world of birds of this area. We go in search of following representatives of birds: Saja (Syrrhaptes paradoxus), Black-whistling duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis), Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis), Warblers (Acrocephalus), and others. Then, we return to Almaty city. On the way, we go through the pass Kokpek where you can meet a large number of butterflies. Upon arrival to Almaty, you expect a delicious dinner and a nice shower in the hotel.
Day 7. Tien Shan Mountains
After breakfast, we are going towards the south direction to the Big Almaty Gorge, which is located 25 km from the city of Almaty. Once placed in the guesthouse we go for a walk to one of the most beautiful lakes in Kazakhstan — Big Almaty Lake. The lake is located at an altitude of 2511 meters in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau.
Depending on time of the day, month or year, Big Almaty Lake changes its colors and reflects the surrounding beauty on its surface. On the territory of the lake inhabits a large variety of birds, among them: Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Ibisbill (Ibidorhyncha struthersii), Blue-capped Redstart (Phoenicurus caeruleocephalus), Hume’s Warbler (Phylloscopus humei), Red-fronted Serin (Serinus pusillus), Siberian Rubythroat (Luscinia calliope), Archa lentil (Carpodacus rhodochlamys), Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii), Blue Whistling-thrush (Myophonus caeruleus,). After observing, we return to our guesthouse, where you will find a dinner.
Day 8. Tien Shan Mountains – return to Almaty.
We have the whole day for bird watching, surrounded by stunning views of this area. Early morning we go bird watching to Astronomical Observatory, which is located in the Tien Shan Mountains at an altitude of about 3000 meters above sea level.
Here we can meet the following representatives: Himalayan Rubythroat (Luscinia pectoralis), Black-throated Accentor (Prunella atrogularis), Sulphur-bellied Warbler (Phylloscopus griseolus), White-browed Tit-Warbler (Leptopoecile sophiae), Red-mantled Rosefinch (Carpodacus rhodochlamys), and White-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas carnipes).
Rising above to a height of 3300 meters, we will seek a meeting with Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), Himalayan Griffon-vulture (Gyps himalayensis), (Himalayan Snowcock Tetraogallus himalayensis), Altai Accentor (Prunella himalayana), Brown Accentor (Prunella fulvescens), White-winged Redstart (Phoenicurus erythrogastrus), Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus,). After observing, we return to Almaty city. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 9. Return to home
Transfer to Airport