Altyn Emel national park

Altyn Emel National Park is one of the largest and most beautiful national parks in Kazakhstan. It is located in the Ili River Valley in the southeast of the country and covers an area of approximately 4,600 square kilometers. The park is known for its stunning natural landscapes, unique geological formations, and diverse flora and fauna. 

Here are some of the key features and attractions of Altyn Emel National Park:

Landscape Diversity: Altyn Emel is celebrated for its diverse landscapes, including vast sand dunes, steppe grasslands, mountains, and the Ili River. The park offers a wide range of natural beauty, from the famous singing dunes to rocky canyons and lush river valleys.

Singing Dunes: The Singing Dunes (also known as the "Barkhan" dunes) are a prominent natural wonder in the park. These dunes emit a distinctive, melodious sound when the sand is disturbed, typically by the wind or people sliding down them. The dunes are known for their unique acoustic properties and the breathtaking views they offer.

Kazakh Village: Within the park, there is a traditional Kazakh village called Basshi. Visitors can experience the local culture and hospitality of the Kazakh people, learn about their customs and daily life, and enjoy traditional Kazakh cuisine.

Aktau Mountains: The Aktau Mountains are a geological phenomenon in the park. These colorful, sedimentary mountains feature striking red and white rock formations that have been carved by wind and water erosion over millions of years. Hiking in this area offers a unique and otherworldly experience.

Wildlife: Altyn Emel is home to a variety of wildlife, including the endangered Saiga antelope, wild boar, ibex, and various bird species. It's a great place for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers.

Charyn Canyon: While not within the park itself, the famous Charyn Canyon is located in close proximity. It's often included in tours of Altyn Emel National Park due to its proximity. Charyn Canyon is often referred to as the "mini-Grand Canyon" and features impressive rock formations and a winding river.

Tourism and Recreation: Altyn Emel National Park offers opportunities for activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and camping. The park's diverse landscapes make it a destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers.

Starry Skies: The park's remote location and low light pollution create ideal conditions for stargazing. The night sky in Altyn Emel is a stunning sight for astronomy enthusiasts.


Visiting Altyn Emel National Park provides a unique opportunity to explore the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and geological wonders of Kazakhstan's southeastern region. It's a place where you can immerse yourself in the natural world and experience the magic of the singing dunes, the Aktau Mountains, and the rich cultural traditions of the Kazakh people.