The ninth largest country in the world (it is twice the size of other four former Soviet Central Asian republics put together), Kazakhstan lies at the heart of the Eurasian steppe, at the cross-roads of some of the world’s most ancient civilisations. To its south lie monuments that tell of its long history with the great trading routes of the Silk Road, whilst its northern landscapes offer up vast sweeping steppes that cover one-third of the entire country. One of its most striking natural features, the mountains that run along its southern fringes, offer up a wealth of towering icy peaks, crystal lakes and dense, forested valleys.
A proud people, the Kazakhs can trace their ancestry back to the Mongolian hordes who ravaged Central Asia during the 12th century. Emerging as a distinct nationality in the 15th century, they remained largely nomadic until well into the 20th century, despite early colonisation by the tsars of neighbouring Russia.
Gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, today it sits on huge reserves of oil and mineral deposits, making it potentially one of the richest countries anywhere in Central Asia. It still retains much of its old frontier spirit though and its little visited landscapes provide the perfect setting for a truly intrepid adventure.
UK Passport holders require a visa to visit Kazakhstan.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip, and it must have at least one blank page for each visa required. Please ensure the passport details we hold for you are correct.
Please note it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa documentation when starting your trip. Country entry regulations can alter daily and it is always best to check with the relevant embassies for any changes.
You can use a visa company such as Travcour (UK)
The weather conditions can be extremely varied. In the mountains you will often be travelling at heights in excess of 3000 metres, and even in the middle of summer it can turn bitter with snow falling; at the same time mercury in the thermometers of Almaty can be nudging 40 degrees. All in all, British summertime is considered the best time to visit in terms of favourable conditions.
There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Kazakhstan, although you should be up-to-date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. We recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments.
We also recommend:
• A dental check-up prior to travelling.
• You inform us of any pre-existing medical conditions or medication.
To be on the safe side you can also check here.
• Make sure you have the right number of entrances on your visa - you can leave the country without meaning to.
• If taking the helicopter to Khan Tengri base camp and staying the night - be warned you might be staying two or three.
• If you want to horse ride, take a hard hat - you won't find any to borrow there.
• Discover the Tamgaly Petroglyphs, a UNESCO site made up of 5000 cave paintings
Make sure you have the right number of entrances on your visa - you can leave the country without meaning to.