White water rafting is an up-and-coming sector of adventure tourism in Kazakhstan. Tour companies in Kazakhstan are offering a variety of white water tours that include day trips from Almaty as well as multi-day tours to different areas of the country. For people that are in Almaty, Kazakhstan for an extended period of time, or even for businessmen visiting Kazakhstan for a brief period of time, some of the shorter rafting tours are perfect for a breath of fresh air and dash of excitement outside the city. The following rivers are some of the best destinations for white water holidays in Kazakhstan. Take a look, decide which one is the most interesting to you, and sign up for your own rafting tour in Kazakhstan.
WHITE WATER DAY TRIPS IN KAZAKHSTAN FROM ALMATY
Easily reached from Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Chilik River is glacier-fed, extends from the Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains, is 240 kilometers long, and has a depth of up to 2 meters during rafting season. Water levels are highest from mid-June to mid-September and flow at a rate of up to 32 kph! Class 3 and 4 rapids are the norm for tours along this river. (The Chilik River also contains a class 5 rapid that has yet to be tackled by anyone.) This river is certainly not for the faint of heart, but is a dream come true for experienced rafters looking for adventure tourism in Kazakhstan.
The Charyn River is another river that is close to Almaty and offers a stunning setting for travelers. The Charyn River runs for a length of 255 kilometers; within that 255 kilometers, tours often take rafters through the Kerbulak Gorge, the Valley of Castles, and a canyon with 400-meter-high walls. Most rapids range from class 1-3 and since this river is not glacier-fed, its highest water levels are between May and June.
The Ili River provides one of the best day trips in Kazakhstan for beginner rafters. Its waters flow at a rate of about 5-6 kph, an ideal setting for those new to the rafting world. The Ili River stretches out for 1,001 kilometers and is home to several types of fish. If you would like to do a bit of fishing on the Ili River as well, the river contains pike, wild carp, perch, and some massive catfish. Other things to see in this area include a rock formation known as the Devil’s Thumb and some ancient Buddhist rock carvings from the 12th century.
The Turgen River near Almaty, Kazakhstan is another good river for beginners, though just a touch more challenging than the Ili River. The average water flow on the Turgen during rafting season is between 10-12 kph. This destination does offer a major plus in terms of scenery though. Rafting down the Turgen River takes you through the Turgen Gorge in the northern Tian Shan Mountains. This gorge is loaded with beautiful sights including 7 waterfalls, some hot springs, forests, and alpine meadows.
MULTI-DAY RAFTING TOURS FROM ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN
The Karkara River is located 280 kilometers outside of Almaty; as such, a white water tour down the Karkara will
most likely include a day of relaxed travel in order to reach the river. The Karkara emerges from the foothills of the
famous Tian Shan “Celestial” Mountains and is surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Expect to see forests of fir trees, rocky terrain, and alpine meadows. Rafting is best in July and August.
If you are visiting Kazakhstan for an extended period of time and want to join a multi-day white water tour, the Koksu River is the river for you. The Koksu is birthed in the western Dzunagarian Alatau Mountains on the border between Kazakhstan and China. Located 300 kilometers from Almaty, this river extends for a length of 205 kilometers. On some tours, you can raft down as much as 180 kilometers of the river over the course of several days. The river floods between March and September and has an average depth of between 0.5-1.5 meters.
WHITE WATER HOLIDAYS IN KAZAKHSTAN
White water rafting is the way to go if you are looking for some adventure as you travel Kazakhstan. Tours are available for novice and experienced rafters alike. If you are unsure about how much difficulty to take on, just contact a white water tour provider in Kazakhstan about which river would be the best fit for you. Whether you navigate class 1-2 rapids or fight your way through more challenging ones, a white water tour is sure to give you that taste of adventure that you are looking for in Kazakhstan.
Photos from source: static.panoramio.com, kazgeo.kz, unikaz.asia, geolocation.ws, forum.velomania.ru, kolesa.kz, voxpopuli.kz