Rafting in Kazakhstan
Information about rafting in Kazakhstan
Ili – river
Ili river is 1001 km long. Summertime water quantity is 150 – 250 cube meters a second. Ili river is situated in Kazakhstan and China and flows into Balkhash lake. It is formed by two rivers – Tekes river (Kazakhstan) and Kunges (China) in Eastern Tien-Shan. Length of Ili is 1001 km, but if to count from the river-head of Tekes it is 1439 km. Length of river in Kazakhstan – 815 km. Square of river basin - 68,4 thousands sq. m. Big tributaries in Kazakhstan - Turgen, Talgar, Charyn, Kaskelen, Kurty, Usek and Chilik river. Ili river crosses different nature-landscape zones. In upper part, In China, – Ili is mountain river, in middle flow – flat river, in lower flow – deserted, crosses Taulum and Saryesik-Atyray deserts. Square of Ili river delta – 9000 sq. km.
Ili River, as water-bearing, is third river in Kazakhstan after Irtysh and Ural. River freezes in the end of November, drifting of ice in the beginning of April. Middle thickness- about 0,5 m. Fish – sazan, pike, sheat-fish and etc. Not far from Kapchagai town (70 km from Almaty) there is a Hydro-Electric Power station on Ili river and a water reservoir 70 km long and up to 5 km wide. Before falling into the water reservoir the water in the river is full of sand and other elements. After the reservoir water in the river becomes clear. After the reservoir Ili flows in a deep rocky canyon, up to 200 meters wide. River in this part is full-flowing with rapid current and clear water. The canyon is about 100 meters deep. When Ili leaves Kapchagai gorge, it flows on Near Balkhash plain and falling into Balkhash lake it forms. The river has no technical difficulties
iver flows at Almaty region and is left inflow of Karatal river. Length – 205 km, springs from foundation of Baskan Glacier at northwest slopes of Dzhungarsky Alatau, flows into Karatal river near Koksu railway station. Valley of Koksu river in upper part is rocky. River bed is gently meandering, banks are steep with height 0,2-0,8 m, in some places – up to 2 - 4 m. Flood-lands of river is wide up to 5-10 m. A feed of the river is snow and glacial. We can see flood in March – September. Average annual discharge rate near Koksu sovkhoz – 37 cubic meters per sec. Depth of river 0,5 –1,5 m.
Chilik – river
Chilik river is 240 km long. Average annual quantity of water is 32,7 cube meters a second. Chilik river is the biggest river in Zailiski Alatau range (northern Tien-Shan). The river-head is situated on the eastern slope of Chilik-Kemin mountain bulkhead at height of 3350, the river starts from Jangyrak, Bogatyr’, Korjenevskoi glaciers. Before the river enters Jalanash valley it flows under the name Tauchilik (Mountain Chilik). After the glacier valley, which is 40 km long the river enters a deep impassable canyon. At the entrance to Jalanash valley, the river abruptly turns to the north, here the depth of the canyon reaches 100 meters. In this part the river has several big tributaries: Jenishke river from the left, Saty and Kolsai rivers from the right. Totally there are about 45 small and big tributaries.
Chilik is a typical mountain river with stormy water. The width of the river-bed in the upper part is 5-6 meters, in the middle part it is 10 – 15 meters, maximum depth is 1,5 – 2 meters. The highest water level in Chilik is usually from the second part of June till middle of September. In hot periods April and May is the time for high water. Quantity of water in Chilik is 13,7 cube meters a second in April; 29,6 in May; 42,3 in June; 75,6 in July; 77,0 in August; 42,1 in September. From the obstacles point of view the river is divided into three main sections: Upper canyon; Blue canyon and Bartogai canyon. Right after the end of Blue canyon the river falls into the Bartogai water reservoir through the locks of Bartogai dam. The reservoir is 10 km long. After the reservoir the river enters another canyon, water in the river is clear.
Charyn river is 255 km long. Average annual quantity of water is 33,2 cube meters a second. In the upper part Charyn flows under the name Shalkydysu, in the middle part it flows under Kegen name. Just after Kegen river bends to north, it start to bear Charyn name. Charyn has many small tributaries and one big – which is called Temerlik. Charyn is a full flowing, stormy river. Charyn gets its water supply from the atmosphere precipitation. That is why it has its main water quantity in May and June, though most glacial rivers have their biggest water quantity in July and august.
In region of Kuluktai mountains, Charyn flows through a canyon, which is 400 meters deep. Water quantity in Charyn is 43,3 cube meters a second in April; 64,5 in May; 54,9 in june; 42,3 in July; 33,3 in August; 26,6 in September; 27,3 in October. The river can be divided in four sections of rapids: Muinakskie cascades in the upper part - the cascades of waterfall type; “Toothbrush” rapids; Tau-Teke rapids; “Saigak” and “Armadillo” I and II rapids on the section from the Castles glade to the border check point at Charyn river.
General information on the rafting programs in Kazakhstan
All the hotels provided on our tours have International standard of services and are rated from 2 to 5 stars. Necessary facilities like hot water, toilet, shower or bathrooms are in the room. Most rooms are equipped with air condition, telephone with international line, TV set, minibar and refrigerator. Breakfast is always included. Breakfast hours are from 07.30 to 10.30 am. As a rule most hotels are situated in the center on nearby. Hotel - airport transfer normally takes about 20 minutes, hotel – railway station transfer takes 5 – 10 minutes.
We provide qualitative and ecologically clean food for cooking. All vegetable and meat food are always within expiry dates and cooked in a proper way. At the camps during our trekking and safari programs we provide full board.
tea, coffee, jam, butter, one main dish (cereal or omelette or scrambled eggs), sugar, yogurt, bread, cheese, dried milk. In the morning a cup of hot tea or coffee may be served in your tent. You just should order it in the evening and tell the cook what time you’d like to get it in your tent in the morning.
Lunch in the base camp
One main dish is cooked for lunch. Salads of fresh vegetables, pies, coffee, tea, sugar, dried milk, bread, cheese, fruits are also provided.
Two main dishes are cooked for dinner. Soups, garnishes, salads, sauces, deserts, tea/coffee. Lunch during hiking to rafting start. After breakfast the cook gives out packed lunch-boxes for the clients. Every lunch-box includes: sandwiches with meat, sausage, cheese; coffee/tea, sugar, jam, canned fish, meat spreading. After breakfast guide, cook and interpreter start moving with the clients. Cook and guide carry kitchen equipment: gas stove, gas cartridges, tea pot, mugs, additional food.
Meals in the cities
Breakfast is provided by the hotels of your stay. As a rule it is a “help yourself” breakfast. Lunch and Dinner we provide at the clean city cafes with good food and services, not far from the hotels.
Lunch-boxes “on the road”
For road transfers we prepare lunch-boxes. Normally on the way we find a picturesque place for a picnic. We provide chairs and tables. Lunch-boxes include: bread, rolls, cookies, cheese, meat or sausage, vegetables, instant soup, fruits, yogurt, jam, chocolate, sweets, dried fruits, sugar, tea/coffee, bottled water 1,5l/person.
Tents for guests. 2-person tents with mosquito nets and ventilation windows, double layer, waterproof. Toilet. Field toilets in the camp. They are made of durable fabric.
Motorolla radio. Walkie-talkie radio is provided for those leaving the base camp for a long time and long distance. It covers 25 – 30 km.
Kitchen and dining tents. They are big waterproof tents with ventilation windows and two entries. Its size is 3x5x2 m. Tables and chairs are provided.
Our interpreters have good knowledge of the certain language. The students of the last year of the Foreign Language University may be hired as interpreters. Mainly they specialize in one language. Please, do not be angry if any of the interpreters takes a look in the dictionary to check an unfamiliar word.
We hire experienced cooks that are able to cook in fields conditions. Some of them speak English. Observation of the hygiene is always a must. They are able to cook vegetarian meal. Guides. We have only experienced and responsive guides in our staff. They do not have a special education, but have enough experience to solve emergent problems. As a rule they speak English. They know local conditions, local habits, weather conditions. They are always ready to help. One of their duties is to consult guests on different questions.
They perfectly know local conditions, roads, technical things of the vehicles. Some of them speak a little English.
It is difficult to use comfortable vehicles both: on asphalt and no asphalt roads. We will try to use comfortable vehicles for long distance transfers, but if impossible, we will use 4WD vehicles. For city sightseeings we use comfortable buses and vans (depending on group size).
We use the horses of native “Dzhabe” breed for transportation of luggage and equipment to rafting start. It is local breed of horses , the most adapted to local conditions. These horses are undemanding, enduring and strong with sturdy hoofs, inborn boldness to pass dangerous places - stone taluses, heaps of stones, to swim across violent rivers and to wade them on stony bottom
Using of helicopter is not included into the tour cost. If you wish you may request a helicopter trip for additional cost. You should let us know two days prior intended date of the trip. We provide MI-8 MTV helicopter type, Russian construction. Its capacity is 15 passengers with 40 kg of load per person.
You should have your own health insurance to cover all the expenses in case of an accident:
- works of the rescue party;
- emergency use of helicopter for the rescue works;
Recommended personal equipment and clothing for the rafting
Waterproof cape, sunglasses, several pair of socks, pair of warm socks, jacket/trousers made of Gore-tex type fabric, warm underwear, warm knitted cap, sunhat, trekking boots, light sport shoes, cream with SPF, head lamp, individual medicines, sleeping bag, mattress, life jacket, if it is necessary.
- We provide 1 guide for a group up to 1 raft.
- Your personal things and gear should be packed in durable plastic bags, tied up and signed with your name.
- Kazakh visa is obtained at any embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan on our invitation.
- In “Day by Day” programs we indicate:
- (H-1760) altitude above the sea level
- (7 km., 6 hrs) distance from the starting to terminal points. Distance may vary up to 500 m more or less. Time shown is indicated without time spent for rest and lunch.
Category of difficulty is indicated in the beginning of “Day by Day” program.
- A - Complexity - no technical difficulties (Ili river, for example).
- AA – Complexity - III with 1 rapids of IV category
- AAA – Complexity with some rapids of V and more category.