Korgalzhyn Reserve is called the “Pearl of the Land”. It is included in the UNESCO heritage list of Kazakhstan. Scientists and simply lovers of wildlife come here from all over the world to study rare species of water birds and enjoy the landscapes of the steppes and wild lakes.
It was founded in 1968 on the territory of the Teniz-Korgalzhyn lakes. The location is closely related to the migratory routes of birds. In the 1970s, the lakes became part of the Ramsar List of Lands of International Importance. And in 2007, the reserve was included in the IBA network. In the reserve you can see in the natural environment of flamingos, cranes, herons, pelicans, swans, ducks, eagles and a huge number of other birds. Scientists number more than 350 species. Thousands of birds migrate to the lake during the season. Of course, pink flamingos are most popular with tourists. The period from April to September, you can watch them from the shore with binoculars.
The water area includes two large lakes Teniz and Korgazhyn. If you translate the name from the Kazakh, the first means “sea”. They are unique due to the fact that the water in it is salty. Its composition in terms of salinity exceeds even the salinity of the ocean. The water surface is dotted with small islands on which migratory birds nest with pleasure.
Thus, the lake became a natural defender against land predators. Since 2000, Lake Teniz has been part of the Living Lakes international program, along with the world’s most unique reservoirs. In Central Asia, Teniz is the largest salt lake that has no connection with the seas.
Korgalzhyn lake on the contrary with fresh water. Its surface is divided by reed into large bays, forming separate lakes. They are called: Coca, Isa, Sultankeldy and Zhamankol.
Excursions to the Korgalzhinsky reserve
It is prohibited to be on the territory of this zone without a special permit and escort by the reserve employee, since the object is a protected area. Eco-routes for tourists begin to function in May and finish work in October.
Movement on them takes place on the personal transport of visitors, if it is an SUV or on vehicles of the reserve. The route takes place on a flat terrain. In rainy weather, it is better to postpone the visit to a more favorable time, as the road blurs.
The environmental fee for travel to the reserve zone is 240 tenge.
Guide services for a group of up to 10 people – 13,500 tenge.
Bird Paradise Visitor Center
The starting point and gathering place with the group was the Bird Paradise Visitor Center. There are guided tours of the thematic rooms, telling about the nature of the region and the Red Book dwellers. The central, water, and steppe halls are intended for telling guests about the fragility of the ecosystem and the uniqueness of the reserve. There is also a winter garden and a children’s room. Even own cinema for scientific films. Before visiting it is better to contact the staff by phone or e-mail and agree on the time of arrival.
The cost of the tour in the center for 1 hour:
adult ticket – 400 tenge;
Children’s ticket – 200 tenge;
for preschoolers – for free.
Eco route “Akku”
The first route is carried out for groups not exceeding twenty people. The total length is 90 kilometers. Approximate travel time – 7 hours. The distance is overcome on cars. There are areas for walking. Stops are made on the river Nura, lakes Sholak, Zharsuat and Shubasor.
Eco route “Flamingo”
The second route is also one-day, but its length is 150 kilometers. Duration time – up to 8 hours. Its main places are:
the river Nura near the mazar Kanykey;
Lake Sholak, Shubasor, Saumalkol;
Isei spit (walking tour).
On excursions you can meet and watch a variety of birds: flamingos, pelicans, swans, sandpipers, herons, gulls, cormorants, ducks, etc. If you come here in late April, the shores of the lakes will be covered with a carpet of Schrenk tulips, which are listed in Red Book. They were taken as the basis for breeding the first cultivated species of tulips. Their bloom lasts until early May.