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Kazakhstan - The Tulip Tour

Tulipa greigi
Tulipa greigi Regel

Kazakhstan tulip tour overviewregister for kazakhstan tulip tour overviewTour to Ecuador

Preliminary Tour Itinerary

Itinerary:Almaty, Kapchagai, Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve, Kuyk Pass, Merke Gorge, Korday Pass, Shu,  Syugaty Valley, Ketmen Mountains, Kegen Pass, . Kaskelen Gorge, Zailiyskii Alatau,  Kaskelen Gorge, Almaty
Duration: 13 days

Day 1: Walks in Kapchagai reservoir
Arrival in Almaty. Meeting at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Accomodation and overnight. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the area of the Kapchagai reservoir (50 miles).Walks in the vicinity of a water reservoir. You will see a charming yellow form of Tulipa alberti Regel blooming among white blossomed Spiraea hypericifolia L. shrubs. The list of flowering plant species of this area includes Tulipa alberti Regel, Gagea filiformis Merckl. ex Herder, Iris tenuifolia Pall., Tulipa buhseana Boiss., Tulipa behmiana Regel, Gagea ova Stapf, Gagea minutiflora Regel, Gagea tenera Pasch. 

Tulipa kaufmanniana Regel
Tulipa kaufmanniana Regel
Back at Almaty and catch a 7.30 PM train to Tulkubas (385 miles). Dinner and overnight on the train.

Day 2: Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve 
Arrival at the Tulkubas train station at 7.30 AM. Meeting at the train station. Transfer to Zhabagly village (7 miles). Arrival in Zhabagly, accommodation in the guest house (B&B). Short rest.  Breakfast. Excursion in the vicinities of the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve. Overnight at the guest house.

Day 3 through 8: Tour the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve 

Allium karataviense Regel
Allium karataviense Regel

Breakfast at the guest house.  Nature excursions in the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve. See colorfulgoblets of the magnificent Greig's tulip (Tulipa greigi Regel) and elegant water-lily flowers of Tulipa kaufmanniana Regel. Multi-colored Tulipa ostrowskiana Regel and Tulipa kolpakowskiana Regel adorn the slops of Tien-Shan Mountains. Tulips of Southern Kazakhstan are truly one of the nature wonders. Just a few years ago a new species of tulip was discovered in this area. It is estimated that up to 75% of the famous Dutch tulip varieties come from just two Central Asia species Tulipa greigii and Tulipakaufmanniana.  Overnight at the guest house.

Day 9: Kuyk Pass, Merke Gorge 

Glaucium elegans
Glaucium elegans Fisch. & C.A.Mey.
Breakfast at the guest house.  Transfer at 8.00 AM to Merke Gorge (175 miles). Stop on the way at Kuyk Pass and at other locations with blossoming plants. We shall see among other flowering plants Eremurus hilariae Vved. & alii, Allium karataviense Regel, Tragopogon ruber S.G.Gmel., Glaucium elegans Fisch. & C.A.Mey., Tulipa zenaidae Vved., Tulipa ostrowskiana Regel Tulipa kolpakowskiana Regel, Tulipa binutans Vved..  Picnic lunch on the way. After a walking tour, transfer to “Ak-Niet” resort accommodation.  Dinner and overnight at the resort hotel.

Day 10: Korday Pass

Iridodictyum kolpakowskianum
Iridodictyum kolpakowskianum
(Regel) Rodion

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer at 8.00AM to Almaty through the settlement Shu (290 miles). Stop on the way at Kordayi Pass and at other locations with blooming plants (Tulipa ostrowskiana Regel, Tulipa kolpakowskiana Regel, Leontice ewersmannii Bunge). Lunch on the way. Arrive in Almaty, transfer to the hotel, accommodation, overnight.

Day 11: Syugaty Valley, Ketmen Mountains, Kegen Pass
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer: Almaty – Chilik village – Baiseit village – Aksy village - Ketmen Mountains - Kegen Pass (150 miles). Picnic lunch.  The Ketmen Mountains area is well known for tremendous displays of Tulipa iliensis Regel as well as miniature Primula algida Janka ex Boiss and the intense blue hues of Iris ruthenica Ker Gawl.. Tulipa tetraphylla Regel inhabits the stony slopes. In addition to the quite common Iris tianschanica (Maxim.) Vved. we hope to see the oddly-coloured Iris scariosa Willd. ex Link. The flowering plant species of this area also include Adonis chrysocyathus Hook.f. & Thomson ex Hook.f., Corydalis schanginii ( Pall. ) B.Fedtsch., Juno kuschakewiczii (B.Fedtsch.) Poljak, Tulipa buhseana Boiss., Tulipa tetraphylla Regel. Back to Almaty. Dinner at the hotel, overnight.

Day 12: Kaskelen Gorge, Zailiyskii Alatau range (Tien-Shan Mountains)

Tulipa zenaidae
Tulipa zenaidae Vved.

Breakfast at the hotel.  Transfer to Kaskelen Gorge (15 miles).  Snow-capped high peaks of Kaskelen Mountains serve as a perfect background for an exceptional flowering flora, with abundant tulips complemented by the lovely Iris alberti Regel and Primula kaufmanniana Regel blooming amid a carpet of Gagea and Corydalis species. The list of flowering plant species of this area includes Tulipa dasystemon Regel, Primula algida Janka ex Boiss., Corydalis glaucescens Regel and abundant Gagea emarginata Kar. & Kir. The species flowering at this time also include Tulipa ostrowskiana Regel, Tulipa dasystemon Regel, Crocus alatavicus Regel & Semenow, Euphorbia yaroslavii Poljakov. Picnic lunch.  Return to Almaty.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Conclusion of the tour: departure from Almaty 
Transfer to the airport. Departure from Almaty.

Tulipa alberti
Tulipa alberti Regel, Photo by Alexander Petrov

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