Altyn-Emel National Park


Golden Saddle and Singing Dune

Dzhungarian Mountains


Petroglyphs and Necropolis 1000 BC

Jetysu Valley


Multicolored Mountains and Ancient Volcano Remains

Altyn-Emel National Park

On this website you will find the most interesting, detailed and up-to-date information about the Altyn-Emel State National Natural Park, as well as new and useful information for tourists and travel companies.

Welcome to Kazakhstan and enjoy your journey through the Altyn-Emel National Park!

The Altyn-Emel State National Natural Park is located in the south-east of Kazakhstan, in the center of the historical region of Semirechye (Jetysu), between the Ili river and the mountains of Dzhungarian Alatau, 250 km from the city of Almaty.

The area of the Altyn-Emel Park is 307,653.35 hectares. In terms of territory, it ranks 3rd among the national parks of the republic (13 in total), and 1st in the Almaty region.

The central office of the Altyn-Emel National Park and the main entrance to the park are located in the village of Basshi >>>

The Altyn-Emel National Park has been awarded the international status of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve under the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme to preserve the unique nature, rare animals and historical monuments >>>

Altyn-Emel is also being nominated for the status of a UNESCO geopark as a territory with unique geological objects.

Snow Leopard in Altyn-Emel
Oshaktas Monument in Altyn-Emel
Aktau Mountains

The Altyn-Emel National Park is, first of all, famous for its unique natural sites attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world.

The greatest natural sites, symbols of the Altyn-Emel park, are the Singing Dune and the Aktau Mountains.

Singing Dune

The Singing Dune, or Aigaikum ("singing sands"), is the main attraction of the Altyn-Emel National Park.

It is called a monument of nature of republican significance. The Singing Dune is considered one of the 7 natural wonders of Kazakhstan and entered the list of nominees for the world competition "7 new wonders of nature", held in 2007-2011 >>>

Aktau Mountains

The cretaceous mountains of Aktau ("white mountains") are one of the main attractions of Altyn-Emel.

This is a unique open-air geological museum about 400 million years old. The Aktau mountains are massive sedimentary deposits of an ancient ocean in the form of ribbon rocks of various colors: green, red, blue and white >>>

Other interesting places in Altyn-Emel are the desert lava mountains of Katutau ("severe mountains"), the result of the most intense volcanic activity in the region, and the Kosbastau oasis with warm underground springs, thanks to which old-timer trees exist, such as the famous 700-year-old willow.

Katutau Mountains
700-Year-Old Willow in Altyn-Emel Park

Cultural sites in the Altyn-Emel National Park have the history which goes back millennia.

The most ancient historical artifacts in Altyn-Emel are the Besshatyr necropolis (Saka burial mounds) and the Tanbaly Tas petroglyphs dating back to the Bronze Age.

Besshatyr in Altyn-Emel

Besshatyr ("five pavilions") Saka Necropolis, dating back to the 1st millennium BC, is the main historical and cultural attraction of Altyn-Emel.

Large, medium and small tombs were erected for the leaders and nobility of the powerful Saka Tigrahaud nomadic tribe which lived on the territory of Semirechye about 2500 years ago. Besshatyr also served as a place for religious ceremonies >>>

Tanbaly Tas Petroglyphs

The petroglyphic complex Tanbaly Tas ("stone with signs") on the territory of Altyn-Emel is part of one of the world's largest centers of rock art which stretches along the Sayan and Altai to the Tien Shan and Pamir mountains.

Carved stone drawings of people, animals, sun-headed deities, etc., as well as Buddhist inscriptions date back to the Bronze, Iron and Middle Ages >>>

Due to its unique location and landscape diversity (from rivers, deserts and steppes to high mountains), the Altyn-Emel National Park is distinguished by its rich flora and fauna. There are 31 species of rare plants and 66 species of animals listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan and the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Particular attention in Altyn-Emel is paid to the conservation and increase in the number of kulans, gazelles, deer, argali, Przewalski's horse and snow leopard.

Tulipa Alberti in Altyn-Emel
Gazelle in Altyn-Emel

Wildlife lovers come to Altyn-Emel for photo hunting and birdwatching (there are about 300 species of birds here). In the sands of the Singing Dune and on the takyrs of the Aktau mountains, you can always find a variety of lizards.

The desert flora of Altyn-Emel is interesting and unusual, like, for example, the relict turanga poplar, which has adapted to life not only in oases and floodplain meadows of the Ili river, but also in the arid desert.

Altyn-Emel Park

The climate in Altyn-Emel is sharply continental, with cold dry winters and hot dry summers.

Dry windy weather prevails.

Average July temperature: +25°С.

Average January temperature: -4°С.

Road to Altyn-Emel

The Almaty-Kapchagai-Saryozek highway leads to the Altyn-Emel National Park, then turn towards the village of Basshi, where the central office of the national park is located >>>

Altyn-Emel National Park

The Altyn-Emel National Park is normally open year round, daily from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, unless otherwise provided by relevant regulations.

Altyn-Emel Park

The Altyn-Emel Park entrance fees are KZT 1145 per person per day, KZT 945 for higher school students, KZT 745 for high school students, KZT 200 per vehicle per day >>>

Altyn-Emel Hotels and Campsites

There are several lodging and dining facilities in the Altyn-Emel National Park, as well as camping places >>>

Altyn-Emel Places to See

Interesting places and tourist routes in Altyn-Emel: Singing Dune, Aktau Mountains, Besshatyr >>>

Altyn-Emel Tours

Camping, guided caravanning, photo tours and other types of green tourism in the Altyn-Emel National Park >>>

Singing Dune Tour

Singing Dune Aigaikum, Chokan Valikhanov's spring, Oshaktas steles >>>

Besshatyr Saka Mounds

Besshatyr Saka mounds, Tanbaly Tas petroglyphs, Ili river and Kapchagai >>>

Aktau Mountains Tour

Singing Dune, Aktau and Katutau mountains, Kosbastau oasis, 700-year-old willow >>>

Altyn-Emel: Transfer by 4WD Bus

Transfer from the village of Basshi to the Altyn-Emel National Park by off-road transport >>>

Altyn-Emel Camping Ground

Caravansarai with deluxe, standard and economy class caravans and an ethnic guest house >>>

Altyn-Emel Tour

Guided tours with a campervan to the beautiful places of the Altyn-Emel National Park >>>

Visit Altyn-Emel, the Wild Area of Kazakhstan
Arba Travel

Your Guide to Altyn-Emel National Park

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