Arrival at the family of Eagle hunters
The family of real Eagle hunters will meet you at the village. From the first minutes of your arrival, you will be met by mischievous children in Kazakh traditional clothes. They usually wear traditional clothes during National holidays or for a celebration of birthday parties and upon the arrival of highly respected guests.
In this journey, you will immerse yourself in the life of truly traditional Kazakh family. You can now hardly meet such families in big cities like Almaty and Astana. Upon the entrance to Yurta (Kazakh traditional house), you will see women. One of whom will be cooking baursak (round fluffy kazakh pastry) and the other one rolling kurt (a salty snack made from cottage cheese). You can join both of these women and test your skills in cooking.
Kazakh traditional dish – beshbarmak
After testing your skills in cooking you will join our big and sometimes noisy (but good-natured) kazakh family in yurta for a homemade lunch (or dinner). The main dish that will be served to you is beshbarmak. It literally translates as “five fingers”. Because kazakh people used to and still eat it with their hands. You can also try eating beshbarmak with your hands and we must say that eating it the traditional way, it tastes even better. Kazakhs say that beshbarmak is Kazakh pasta as it mainly consists of boiled dough in square forms like lasagna and lots of horse meat (yes kazakhs eat horse meat:) and beef and onions. But before starting your main course you will need to drink shorpo – mutton broth served in bowls called kese. Drinking shorpo will help your digestion and it is simply delicious.
Typically, shorpo is served as a first course that is followed by beshbarmak and a drink called ak-serke – shorpo spiced with kumys ( fermented horse milk) or ayran.
After lunch head of the house will invite you to join him in element such as kazakh archery. If you don’t know an art of archery he will teach you it! Also, you will hear the enchanting sounds of dombra (kazakh traditional instrument). Dombra can truly be called the queen of Kazakh instruments.
During the visit, you have a unique opportunity to see a bird grand Berkuts also called Golden eagles.
Berkut is a very rare bird and is registered in the Red Book of Kazakhstan.
Hunting with a golden eagle is one of the most unique traditions of Kazakh people. Eagle hunters are called “kusbegi” or “berkutchi”. Currently, we can meet few people with that name. These masters have an inborn gift of teaching wild bird and our head of this family is also“kusbegi.
After digesting your lunch you can try your skills in horse riding and if you don’t know how to do it, this is a perfect opportunity to learn it from our kusbegi.
Price per person:
1 pax: 115$/pp
2 pax: 95$/pp
3 pax: 85$/pp
4 pax: 70$/pp
- Transfer Astana – Kazakh aul – Astana
- Meals: Kazakh traditional lunch/dinner
- Show with Golden Eagles – aka berkut
- Learning of making Kazakh salty snacks “kurt”
- Horse riding
- Learning of kazakh archery from the master of the house
- Domestic flight tickets or train tickets
- Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required
- All personal and other expenses
- English speaking guide – 70 USD
- Soft and alcohol drinks
- Telephone calls, personal expenses
Arrival from Astana to Aktau at 12.35 am. Flight schedule might be subject to change. On arrival transfer to the hotel. After leaving luggage at the hotel, starts sightseeing in Aktau city. Visiting: City Museum, Mosque, Orthodox Church, Republic Square, the Main city promenade, Monument (symbol) of the city, Nuclear Factory for Water Purification. Transfer back to the hotel. Overnight
Aktau – Shakpak Ata – Torysh valley – Airacty valley
Departure from Aktau to Shakpak Ata (approx.122 km) at 8:30 am. Visit Shakpak Ata Underground mosque and underlying necropolis.
Underground mosque Shakpak-Ata (10th-13th cc.) is located on the Tupkargan peninsula. Design of the mosque is unique in Kazakhstan when looking from above on it looks like a cross. The mosque has similarities with some early Persian mosques and with mausoleum-mosque of Shir-Kabir in Dehistan (Turkmenistan) also dated of approximately the same time.
From Shakpak-Ata we will move to visit a valley of huge globular fossil concretions called Torysh or Magic Balls.
Torysh starts with infinite fields and ridges of unusual spherical stone formations with a size of about 3 – 4 m in diameter. Time of formation of these unique stones started 180 – 120 million years ago.
Lunch in a small village
After lunch depart to Kokala valley. Kokkala are multicolored rocks and from kazakh language literally translates as “Blue city”
We continue our route to Araicty valley with a stopover at Sherkala Mountain. Sherkala, which from Kazakh language translates as Lion’s city, has the same importance for local people as Eiffel Tower for Paris or the Statue of Liberty for New York. This yurt shape mountain is a Symbol and a Landmark of Mangistau region. Photos of Sherkala Mountain you will find on every website dedicated to Mangistau.
Second name of Airacty is Valley of Castles. Mountains of Airacty look like fairy-tale castles with towers and fortress walls. In the spring in the valley among the rocks grow the Sogdiana tulips.
Dinner. Overnight in a tent camp.
Tuzbair – Beket Ata – Boszhira valley
After breakfast we will depart to Tuzbair lake. Tuzbair is a hardly noticeable place. From afar it draws the eye only by two residual table mountains, adjacent to the main massif of the plateau. Tuzbair lake which literally translates as “Salty Wall” takes its name after the White Salty mountains that surround it. Upon arrival to Tuzbair, we will walk on salty surface of the lake on top of the water. Then we will climb on one of the rocks to see an amazing panorama that is opening on Tuzbair lake. It allows us to take photos of blue – white salty lake. After trekking on various rocks, in order to find the most astonishing view on opening landscape, we will start preparation for departure to Beket ata underground mosque.
Underground mosque of Beket-Ata (18th century) is a spiritual, historical and architectural monument. The mosque is standing on top the rock. Throughout the year pilgrims around the world visit the mosque named after holy Suffi – Beket Ata. For Kazakhs, Beket-Ata is prophet like figure. He was familiar with the laws of physics, mathematics and astronomy. Scientists have put forward a bold hypothesis that the mosque used to be an observatory.
The final part of destination is Boszhira valley. On Boszhira we will trek to the first panoramic platform and see a beautiful sunset that descends on a whole valley. Boszhira valley – one of the site of Ustyurt plateau covers a huge area and takes more than one day to explore all of it.
Dinner. Overnight in a tent camp.
Boszhira – Bokty – Karagiye Depression
After breakfast we will do hiking to the Dreadnote Cliff. From top of the Cliff opens breathtaking view on whole Ustyrt Plateau reminding us of Martian surface, but we know that is a bottom of the former Tethys ocean. After trekking we will depart to see Bokty mountain. Bokty Mountain is table-flat clay, called shatt. The red colour of the chalk is what truly makes this Mount stand out. Our guide will show you strategic high spots from where you can see Bokty from all angles. After lunch we will get prepared to see Karagiye Depression with a stopover at Tuesu sand dunes. At Tuesu you will forget that you are in Kazakhstan but more like in Sahara. Sand dunes impress with their uniqueness and purity, its height in some place reach 50 – 60 meters.
Karagiya depression is the lowest points in Kazakhstan and one of the lowest in whole Central Asia. Karagiye Depression is 132 metres below the sea level and 40 km long stretching close to the Caspian sea.
Dinner prepared by our guide.
Departure to Aktau and transfer to the airport or to the hotel.