Photo tour Taban Karagay 10 days

Description of the tour

Photo expedition to the "paradise under heaven" - Taban Karagai plateau, located in the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains, where the diversity of wildlife, purity and beauty, mesmerizing eyes of even the most discerning travelers.

More info

Taban Karagai Plateau is located in the south-eastern part of Trans-Ili Alatau ridge. The plateau separates the two river valleys - Chilik and Zhenishke. These places are often referred to as a "paradise under the heaven." The highest point of the plateau is located at an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level, and there can be clearly seen that a long time ago the upper part of the plateau was covered with eternal ice. The glaciers had melted and left behind a large number of huge boulders and rock debris, beautifully fitting into the overall landscape of soft curves of the hills on which large herds of horses peacefully roam and sheep graze. Open spaces for grazing are impressive - the length of the plateau is about 50 km and a width is up to 20 km. In summer, the plateau is covered by a continuous floral carpet. Edelweisses here grow up to half a meter, and the flower is about the size of a palm. At dusk the heat of the day gives way to the refreshing mountain coolness, and the starry sky is so close that it seems you can touch it by a hand. 

Route: Almaty Region (Kazakhstan)

Season: June – October

Best Period: June

Tour program

Day 1. Almaty - Taban Karagai Plateau
Group meeting and departure from Almaty at 07:00. Lunch in a cafe on the way. Arrival to overnight place at a fir forest. Setting a camp, walking until the sunset, photographing. Return to the camp, dinner. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp at a fir forest at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level.    
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 250 km

Day 2. Taban Karagai Plateau, Garden of Stones
Early wake up at 06:00 for photographing the dawn. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and departure to the Garden of Stones, the highest point of the plateau. Stops on the way for photographing, lunch (picnic). Arrival to the Garden of Stones, setting a camp. Walking around the neighborhood until sunset, photographing. Return to the camp, dinner. Free time. Optional - night photographing. Overnight in the tent camp at an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level.     
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 20 km

 Days 3-4. Taban Karagai Plateau, Garden of Stones 
Early wake up at 06:00 for photographing the dawn. Return to the camp, breakfast. Free time. Walking in the Garden of Stones, photographing. Lunch in the camp. In the afternoon, walking to the sunset shooting point. Return to the camp, dinner and preparation to the next day. Free time. Optional - photographing of the night sky. Overnight in the tent camp at an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level. 
Total daily walking distance approx. 5 km

Day 5. Garden of Stones - Akkya Pass  
Early wake up at 06:00 for photographing the dawn over Taban Karagai plateau. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and departure to Akkya pass. Arrival to the pass, setting a camp, lunch. In the afternoon, walking around the neighborhood, photographing the sunset over Chilik river valley. Return to the camp, dinner. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp at an altitude 2900 meters above sea level.   
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 10 km

 Day 6. Akkya Pass - Chilik River Valley   
Early wake up at 06:00 for photographing the dawn over Chilik river valley. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and transfer to Chilik river valley. Descent to the river valley and searching an overnight place upstream. Lunch (picnic) on the way. Arrival to an overnight place, setting a camp, dinner. Free time and preparation to the next day. Overnight in the tent camp on the bank of Chilik river at an altitude 2300 meters above sea level. 
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 25-50 km

Days 7-8. Chilik River Valley
Early wake up at 06:00 for photographing the dawn in the valley. Return to the camp, breakfast. After breakfast, trekking in the valley. Lunch (picnic) during the trekking. Return to the camp after the sunset, dinner. Free time. Overnight in the tent camp on the bank of Ili river at an altitude 2300 meters above sea level.  
Total daily walking distance approx. 14 km 

Day 9. Chilik River Valley - Taban Karagai Plateau
Early wake up at 06:00 for photographing the dawn in the valley. Return to the camp, breakfast. After breakfast, disassembling of the camp and transfer to Saty pass with shot stops for photographing. Lunch (picnic) on the way. Arrival to an overnight place, setting a camp, walking and photographing the sunset. Return to the camp, dinner. Free time. Optinal - photographing of the night sky. Overnight in the tent camp at an altitude 2300 meters above sea level.  
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 60 km

Day 10. Taban Karagai Plateau - Almaty
Early wake up at 06:00 for photographing the dawn at the plateau. Return to the camp, breakfast. Disassembling of the camp and departure to Almaty. Lunch in a cafe on the way. Arrival to Almaty approx. at 19:00.  
Total automobile mileage in this day approx. 220 km

TOUR FEATURES: The tour program is very intensive, almost all camp-to-camp transfers will be off-roads. You will need to get up very early and walk a lot in search of the best shots. All of this - in the mountains, where not accustomed person can feel a lack of oxygen. That is why, it is strongly recommended to refrain from the use of alcohol.

RECOMMENDATIONS on clothing and equipment:
Taking into account that in the evenings and at night can be quite cold, be sure to take with you:     
1. Waterproof membrane Gore-Tex jacket and pants     
2. Warm fleece jacket or Polartec jacket     
3. Windproof jacket     
4. Several sets of underwear, several pairs of socks and a pair of warm socks     
5. Several T-shirts with short sleeves, shorts     
6. Appropriate hiking boots, shoes for camp (lightweight sneakers)     
7. Sunglasses and sunscreen     
8. Head torch with adjustable brightness and beam distance, several sets of batteries     
9. Thermos for 1-1.5 liters, or other water container     
10. Personal hygiene items, personal first aid kit (for chronic diseases is obligatory)     
11. Camera, waterproof carrying case, a neutral filter with variable density, tripod, remote control, wide-angle and telephoto lenses    
12. Anti acarid remedy     
13. Tent, sleeping bag, caremat, utensils for personal use

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