Korgaljyn Nature Reserve
Flamingoes that nest in this reserve attract birdwatchers from all over the world.
The Korgaljyn Nature Reserve (also spelled as Korgalzhyn) is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its Visitor Center is both a museum and an educational center where anyone can get extensive information about the reserve and its inhabitants. The Visitor Center has rooms dedicated to various themes. For example, in the "Water Hall" you will find out how the Teniz-Korgaljyn lakes were formed, and in the "Hall of the Steppes" you will learn about amazing animals that live in the steppe. In addition, the Visitor Center includes a “magical” corridor of legends, a cinema and a children's zone -- a fun and interesting museum to keep children entertained as they learn.
Birdwatching tours are very popular in the reserve due to the fact that the northernmost flamingo population nests here. The best time to observe the birds is the spring – the nesting season – and in the autumn, when they gather in large flocks to migrate to warmer climes. In summer, flamingos are scattered across the lakes and you can see them, but in smaller numbers.
In winter, ice fishing is allowed on the territory of the reserve. Thanks to numerous fishermen, the fish have a chance to survive the winter. The oxygen level gradually declines when the lakes freeze and the fish are suddenly at risk of suffocating. By drilling holes in the ice, fishermen help the fish survive. Permission to fish can be obtained at the reserve’s office.
Video about Korgaljyn Nature Reserve
Useful tips for 2020-2021
How to get there
The Visitor Center of the Korgaljyn Nature Reserve is located in the village of the same name, 130 km (80 mi) away from Nur-Sultan (Astana). You can reach the village of Korgaljyn by public transport or by car.
Shuttle buses run daily from the bus stations of Nur-Sultan to Korgaljyn. If you want to go by car, you need to follow the P-2 and R-206 highways.
You can also visit the reserve with a tour. Tours are offered by several travel agencies in Nur-Sultan, and by the Kazakhstan Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity (who can offer a professional biologist to be your guide).
Food and accommodation
A visit to the reserve can be a one-day trip. Finding overnight accommodation in Nur-Sultan will not be a problem. But if you want to explore the reserve a bit longer, you can stay in one of the guest houses in the village of Korgaljyn. The staff of the Visitor Center will be glad to provide you with addresses. There are small shops in the village where you can buy drinks and food.