Excursion to the Karatau Mountains

Aktau, Mountain Sherkala, medieval Kyzylkala, mountains Ajrakty and Ktayayrakti

Geographical location. Mangystau region includes the territory of the Mangyshlak peninsula, a major part of the Usturt plateau and the southern part of the Caspian depression - the Buzachi peninsula. That amounts to more than 16 million hectares of natural desert and semi-desert. There are several beautiful landscape areas here:
- shore of the Caspian Sea, including a large number of canyons and ravines;
- mountain massif of Karatau;
- chalky and limestone cliffs;
- sand dunes;
- clay and salty surfaces of dry lake beds;
- hollows.

Trees and shrubby vegetation are rare. The Earth is naked "to the bones" in Mangyshlak, which is what gives geologists such a superb possibility to investigate the ancient aquatic geology.

The climate of the region is extreme continental.Winters are harsh and windy, and snow is rare. Spring is short, dry and windy. Summer is hot, cloudless and long lasting. Autumn is warm and long as well. The Caspian Sea surrounds Mangyshlak from three sides but influences only the weather of the narrow seaside. The climate there is more humid, temperatures are lower in summer and higher in winter. Annual average temperature is about +10.5 + 11.5°C. Absolute annual minimum temperature is +26 + 34°C; maximum + 43 +45°C; surface heat reaches +60 +70°C. The hottest period is from the middle of July to mid-August. Autumn frosts start at the end of October, and the spring thaw begins in April.

Precipitation is poor. Annual average precipitation is from 140-160 mm in the north to 90-12mm in the south. Rain showers are common in spring and early summer. In mountainous areas they may cause mudslides.

Snow cover on Mangyshlak and Ustyurt is weak (3-7 cm) and short lived. Not all areas are covered with snow. As a result of the high temperatures, poor precipitation and windy weather, evaporation exceeds precipitation by 10-15 times and air humidity is only 40-60%.

The Program:

Duration: 1 day;
Season: March - November;
Size of group: no more than 3.

Travel itinerary: Aktau - Mountain Sherkala - medieval Kyzylkala city - mountains Ajrakty and Ktayayrakti - Aktau

Departure from Аktau city. Moving: Mountain Sherkala - unique natural object, from one of survey points looking as a huge yurta (Altitude-300). The Walking tour round the mountain (3 km) and an ascension to the top.

Moving: Sherkala - mountain valley Аkmishtau (20 km, asphalt, cart-road). On a route: survey of the rests of the medieval Kyzylkala city (10-13 centuries), rock paintings of nomads. The route passes on a picturesque intersection terrain along cretaceous ledges of mountains Ajrakty and Ktayayrakti.
Dinner in field conditions. (13.00-14.00) Food is not included into cost of the program (independently).
Moving to the valley of spheres. These are stone spheres of huge size, created by violent imagination of the nature. Returning to Aktau city.

We hope you like the program and assure you that we are absolutely open to any suggestions to increase the range of our services for the entire satisfaction of our clients and are happy to meet your special requirements.

You can alter the duration of your tour and places of visits by adding one of the extensions. Our tour operator will work closely with you or your travel agent to carefully prepare an itinerary based on your stated interests.


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