The Altyn-Emel National Park was created to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Ili Intermontane Basin and their biodiversity, to protect geomorphological and paleontological sites, historical and cultural monuments in combination with the development of ecological tourism.
The main attraction is Ak Tau Mountains - from the Kazakh "White Mountains".
Ak Tau (White Mountains) mountains are the most unique with their beautiful landscapes in the National Park. Ak Tau Mountains is one of the world’s largest paleontological deposits. Ak Tau Mountains - the bottom of the ancient sea had filled the Elias Basin, millions of years ago. Scientists have discovered numerous remains of the ancient Animals of different Epochs. The mountains of Katu Tau,translated from the Kazakh as the "Stern Mountain" were formed as a result of the action of the Volcanoes. The lava after the eruption of the volcanoes froze and formed a plurality of fantastic forms and shapes of rocks and caves of dark red color.
Next, the Singing Barkhan, reaching a height of 120 meters and a length of about 3 kms, is a few kilometers from the Ili River between the Big and Small Kalkan mountains. This is also a sight to behold! This sandy mountain consists of the smallest pure sand, which with the gusts of wind begins to "sing", and it's sound resembles the sounds of an organ. Before the beginning of sandstorms, the Barkhan produces a sound similar to that of a drumbeat. From the top of the Barkhan, a grand panorama of the surrounding countryside opens. In the south, there is a thin strip of the Ili River, the purple mountains of Sogety and Boguty, beyond which the ridges of Ketmen look out over the white peaks. At their foot stretches a foothill valley, riddled with thin strips of dry channels of rainwater. If the weather is dry and windy, then the Barkhan will "sing" to you his song, which is spread over several kilometers.
If you ever stay in Almaty in Kazakhstan, as a local guide, I recommend visiting this unique place for it's Martian landscape and a rich fauna of the animal world.
You can visit this place all year round! In the warm season, April-October months are best
At night, it is better to stay in a tent! You will see the starry sky; it is simply breathtaking!
During winter, it is better to stay in a guest house in the nearest village with local residents! Residents are hospitable and for a small fee will even provide you with a comfortable room in your home and also prepare for you the most delicious food!