Open Qazaqstan. Markakol Nature Reserve

Markakol Nature reserve is located in the eastern parts of the country – between Azutau and Kurchum ranges of the Altai mountain. Date of creation is – 1976.

What do we know about Markakol Nature reserve?

The main sightseeing of the Markakol nature reserve is lake Markakol.

Markakol Nature reserve is not only the lake. The water of the lake is clear and clean, characterized by soft and fresh water.

The treasure of the lake is the salmon fish, which belongs to the rare salmon fish in the water. It should be noted, that this type of fish exists only in Markakol lake in Kazakhstan.

The reserve’s aquatic fauna and flora are not less rich and diverse.

Markakol is well known by its flora. The flora of the lake includes over 1000 species of plants. There are plants listed in the «Red book» of Kazakhstan: Altai Rouges, sweet alfalfa, plaun-baranets, tulip, field peon etc.

Several types of medical plants grow in the reserve. Interesting fact: the usefulness of herbaceous plants are grown here in medicine, which is used even in Chinese medicine since the early century.

The fauna of the reserve amounts to nearly 60 species of mammals, 4 species of reptiles, 2 species of amphibians and more than 250 birds. The «Red book» of Kazakhstan includes such animals as snow leopard, red wolf, lynx, wild cat.

Markakol Nature reserve has a special museum, which holds many exhibits.

Two ecological trails were developed in the reserve: «Small circle of Markakol» excursion route and «highway of Markakol» excursion highway in 2010. The first is a scientific and educational, tourist excursion route (length of 23 km: 19 km by car and 6 km on foot). The second is the environmental education trail (12 km long, South coast of the Markakol nature reserve).

The beauty of nature is described in the novel of the writer Zh. Aimauytov «Akbilek». 

In addition, there are several legends and stories written about Markakol nature reserve. One of them mentioned as: upon a time, the place of the lake was smooth and vegetative. Once one rich man (bay) was grazing his cattle on the valley. At that time water was erupted from the ground. All his sheep were frightened, and run away. From this time the name of this region was called «Markakol».

How to get there?

There are 1,250 kilometers between Nur-Sultan and the East Kazakhstan region. The distance from the regional center to the reserve is 500 km. If you go from the capital to Oskemen by train, it will take 17 hours to get there. The price for seats starts from 3000 to 4000 tenge. In addition, there another transport considered as plane, which duration takes only about 1 hour and 35 minutes. The price is quite flexible, depends on time. From regional center Oskemen to the village of Urankhay on Kurchum district, there is one possibility to order taxi, which drives about 6 hours and 30 minutes. Have a nice trip.

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