Nomads of Kazakhstan – Ile Alatau Mountain Range

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Updated May 6, 2017 / Joรฃo Leitรฃo / 4 Comments / Filed in: / Reading time 3 minutes
Nomads of Kazakhstan - Ile Alatau Mountain Range

Nomads of Kazakhstan – Ile Alatau Mountain Range

Nomads of Kazakhstan

Central Asia is famous for its prevailing nomad lifestyle.

Meeting nomads around the world is always an excellent cultural experience as you interact with people having a completely different way of life.

โ€ข nomad

a. A member of a people or tribe who move from place to place to find pasture and food;
b. A person who continually moves from place to place; wanderer.

Kazakh nomad family

Kazakh nomad family – Ile-Alatau National Park

Back in 2004, during my first visit to Kazakhstan, I stayed with some Kazakh nomads on the mountains along the Ile-Alatau Mountain Range.

Nomad Camp in Ile-Alatau National Park

Nomad Camp in Ile-Alatau National Park

This was one of the best experiences during my journey.

Well, actually, I have a curious story to tell you…

I didn’t prepare or organize my trip to Kazakhstan.

Can you believe that?

In fact, I really didn’t think much about it before I actually got myself in the airplane.

Why?

Well, Kazakhstan was not in my travel plans โ€“ I just decided to go there a week before.

What happened was that I ended up changing an already planned trip to South America by this one to Central Asia.

I wanted to cross the Amazon river by boat, which I came up to do in 2014 – ten years after.

โ˜… Read the page: 543 hours on Amazon Boats – Brazil, Peru & Ecuador.

So, in one week time I got an express Kazakh visa at the Madrid embassy, and bought a one way ticket to Almaty, in the southern part of Kazakhstan, bordering Kyrgyzstan and China.

After Kazakhstan I traveled to Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkey and Morocco. This was an amazing summer traveling from June until late September.

Zailiysky Alatau Nomads – Ile-Alatau National Park

Kazakh nomad family

Kazakh nomad family

After I had arrived and met these friendly people, I ended up going inside their yurt where they offered me tea, blackberry jam, butter and cookies.

In the summer they have the oven outside the tent but during the winter the oven goes inside the yurt to warm up as the temperature outside goes below -35ยบ C / -31ยบ F.

Inside a yurt nomad tent in Kazakhstan

Inside a yurt nomad tent in Kazakhstan

Nomads in Central Asia live inside a specific type of tent called yurt. The local name for this tent in Kazakh language is รผi or kiz รผi.

Yurt nomad tent in Kazakhstan

Yurt nomad tent in Kazakhstan

Yurts are portable tents which are completely skin-covered, wooden framed and the structure itself can actually be very strong.

Nomad Camp in Ile-Alatau National Park

Nomad Camp in Ile-Alatau National Park

This nomad family had 3 horses and about 30 sheep, a riffle and lots of rice and flour to bake bread for the winter months. Their main protein intake comes from sheep meat and milk. Nomads also take the skin out of animals to make warm clothes for the winter.

Animals from Kazakh Nomads

Animals from Kazakh Nomads

When I first got to the camp, only the women and children were there. After a while, the nomad man came riding a horse holding a rifle. He quickly came down of the horse and gave me a strong welcoming handshake.

Nomadic lifestyle has changed little since the first nomad tribes moved to this part of Tian Shan range, along what is now the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Kazakh nomad family

Kazakh nomad family

The Ile-Alatau National Park is a magnificent wildlife and nature sanctuary, located at Karasai District just about 60 km / 37 mi from Almaty in southeast Kazakhstan.

Ile-Alatau Park is located on the northern slopes of the Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains from the Tien-Shan Mountain Range. The Ile-Alatau National Park stretches from Turgen Gorge until Chemolgan River.

Ile-Alatau National Park

Ile-Alatau National Park

The pristine valleys and white towering peaks of the Trans-Ili Alatau enchanted famous emperors such as Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan.

Ile-Alatau National Park main entrance is located about 100 km / 60 miles east of Almaty. This is an amazing place to visit while in southern Kazakhstan.

Beautiful landscape of Ile-Alatau National Park

Beautiful landscape of Ile-Alatau National Park

In terms of Wildlife, there are dozens of different types of animals in Ile-Alatau National Park such as the Central Asian Lynx, Black Stork, Red Dog, Golden Eagle, Rite Swallowtail, Snow Leopard, Siberian Ibex and Swallowtail.

Nomadic lifestyle in Central Asia

Nomadic lifestyle in Central Asia

The fertile valleys of Ile Alatau Range are the perfect environment for nomad lifestyle.

And how about you? Was this page useful? Please share and leave a comment below. Thanks.

Visual artist shares inspiring photos and exotic travel destinations. Adventure travel blogger with ideas and narratives to motivate independent travelers and audacious backpackers. Intense journeys into more than 126 countries around Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania since 1999. Expat in Morocco - North Africa since 2007, polyglot and proud Lonely Planet Pathfinders blogger.

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4 Comments. Leave new

I also want this! Maybe one day we talk about my trip to Kazakhstan. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Reply

Of course one day, I am sure we’ll see you with amazing pics of Kazakhstan!

Reply

Just look at that happy, contented little family. Such a beautiful reminder about how unnecessary all of the trappings we have in our everyday lives are. And to think that they invited you in for jam ๐Ÿ™‚ There is so much we can learn from these amazing people. Thanks so much for sharing – we look forward to reading more of your adventures!

Reply

Thank you so much for your friendly comment. I appreciate your feedback. Indeed we have to learn a lot from nomads. They life with what they really need. We buy so much junk. Please do keep in touch! Big hug all the way from Ouarzazate to all your family!

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