Senek Sand Dunes
Mangystau is known mostly for its salt pans, buttes and chalky canyons, but it also boasts golden sand dunes.
These sand dunes, chalk cliffs in the background, and grazing camels are an unforgettable sight to see. The dunes stretch for several kilometers, and the height of some of them exceeds 25 meters (82 ft). These sands are constantly migrating and expanding in size, causing trouble for nearby settlements. The government is currently taking measures to reverse the effects of desertification by planting trees and building barriers. Although the sands have a negative impact on the livelihoods of local people, they still look exotic and attract travelers.
Useful tips for 2020-2021
How to get there
We highly recommend going to Senek Sands with a guided tour that will also take you to other attractions located nearby. The sand dunes lie about 200 km (124 mi) away from the city of Aktau. First, drive 152 km (94 mi) to the town of Janaozen and then another 20 km (12 mi) to the village of Kyzylsay (in some maps you may see its former name – Uzen). At the fork in the road in Kyzylsay, turn right towards the village of Senek. The dunes are located at the entrance to the village. Mount Bokty and Bozjyra Tract, where you’ll see Mangystau’s most spectacular views, are just 20 km (12 mi) and 35 km (22 mi) away respectively, so be sure to visit them too.
Food and accommodation
The area is very remote, so gas up, take spare tires, food, water, medical supplies, and a tent.