Nature of Western Kazakhstan
Nature of Kazakhstan
Depression and Karakol Lake
Forty kilometers from Aktau is the 10-kilometre-wide, 40-kilometre-long Karagiye Depression, whose lowest point is 132 metres below sea level. It lies in the triangle of wilderness between the roads to Zhanaozen and Kuryk (on the south coast) and the shortcut that links them. The most impressive spot in the depression is on its eastern slope, where the terrain rises abruptly to 200 metres . An observation platform halfway from Aktau to Munayshy on the southeastern road towards Zhanaozen gives a magnificent view over the area in clear weather.
The Karagiye Depression (Black Hole) and Karakol lake (Black lake) together form the Karagiye-Karakol Nature Protection Territory . The lengthy Karakol Lake, bounded by a densebelt of reeds, and not to be confused with Koshkarkol Lake to the north of the town (which is used for water purification), is on the western edge of the Karagiye Depression, south of Aktau. It can be reached by driving 20 kilometers from Aktau along the road to Kuryk, and turning right towards the health resort (zona otdykha). The Lake is on the left of the road. The water in Karakol is extraordinarily clean and rich in fish. This attracts pelican, flamingo and other water birds, even in winter, since Karakol is a resting-place for a number of species of migrating birds on their journey from the north of Kazakhstan and Siberia.
The waters of the Caspian Sea on its east coast are still a clear, transparent turquoise, as yet unspoilt by the constantly increasing oil drilling at multiple locations in the region. North and south of Aktau there are several beautiful beaches with fine sand and small bays between mussel-chalk rocks, where you can find yourself completely alone outside the high season of late May to early September. The most beautiful beaches can be found by turning west onto one of the tracks off the road from Aktau to Fort Shevchenko.
Eighteen kilometers south of Aktau is the sophisticated beach resort of Stigl (see Aktau accommodation section), offering every imaginable water sport and other resort facilities. There is. However, an entry fee. The north shore of the Kazakh Gulf (Kazakhskiy zaliv), south of Kuryk on the way to the Turkmenistan border, also has several beautiful, wild beaches, but they are only accessible by 4 WD.
Along the western slope of hollow
Karagie there passes road
Caspian sea and beach
In the depression Karagie - Karakol
Road to depression of Karagie
The road goes down downwards in