Aral Sea in Kyzylorda region, Kazakhstan.
Tour to Aral Sea in Kazakhstan.
Aral Sea is alive. He does not give up, despite the natural cyclical nature, human activity and changes in the global climate. None of the attractions are able to hit so much. A salty, snow-white desert with a shell-strewn bottom. Neither mobile communications, nor the Internet, nor people within a radius of tens of kilometers. The real sea, in which it is impossible to drown, and sandy beaches complement the picture.
Information about Aral Sea.
The Aral Sea in Central Asia is a salt-free drainage lake. It is called the sea solely because of the large size that it had before the start of the shallowing process. By its size, the reservoir was one of the four largest lakes on the planet. However, this fact and not even the beautiful and enchanting expanse of water made him famous all over the world. The sad fame of the Aral Sea is associated with the action of man, whose activity in the early 60s of the last century led the natural oasis to almost extinction.
In fairness, it is worth noting that the lake once dried up for natural reasons. At the bottom, archaeologists have found cemeteries and ruins dating back to the 13th century. The current state of the Aral Sea undoubtedly gives it a special appeal. Many landscapes of a lifeless desert are similar to Martian ones. What happened to the Aral Sea? Observation of the reservoir began in the 19th century and until the middle of the last century, the water level here remained unchanged.
Aral Sea in Soviet period.
In the 30s, the construction of an irrigation system designed to provide cotton fields with water in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan began on the territory of the Aral Sea. The diversion of the rivers that fed the lake led to irreversible consequences. The Aral Sea began to chalk, and already in 1989, it actually turned into 2 bodies of water. In 2003, the volume of water in the Aral Sea amounted to about 10 percent of the previous indicators, and the area decreased by three fourths. Today, the authorities of Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan are developing projects to revive the lake. But in practice, most of them have not yet been implemented.
The shallowing of the Aral Sea contributed to the appearance of a large number of islands on the surface. Many of them are very impressive in size. For example, the island of Barsakelmes is a nature reserve, and the island of Kokaral is a land isthmus between two large parts of the sea. Previously, verdure was rampant on the Aral coast, now only individual bunches of plants can be found here. They managed to adapt to highly saline and dry soil. The population of local mammals and birds has decreased by more than half.
Where is the Aral Sea situated.
The Aral Sea is a unique natural lake. It is located on the Turan plate and much younger than the Caspian Sea. A hollow beneath a body of water formed in the Neogene, and it filled with water in the anthropogen. According to preliminary calculations, the age of the Aral Sea does not exceed 10 thousand years.
Where is the Aral Sea? It spreads over two countries:
o Kazakhstan - Aktobe and Kyzylorda regions;
o Uzbekistan - East Ustyurt.
The Uzbek part is a dead desert. On the territory of Kazakhstan, a section of the Aral Sea that is still fighting for life is concentrated. Thanks to the constructed dam, the pond even adds a little in water level.
How to get to the Aral Sea.
If the trip is planned only for visiting the Aral Sea region, then the best and fastest option would be to fly by plane to the city of Nukus. Jeep tours start here, both from local travel agencies and Moscow companies. However, most tours are limited to a few days and do not allow you to completely plunge into the features of Uzbekistan. Many of them do not include a visit to the ancient city of Samarkand.
The most optimal way to get to the Aral Sea is to fly to Samarkand, and from there go by train to Nukus. It is important to choose a coupe with an air conditioning system, since in summer the temperature here can rise up to 55 degrees Celsius.
o Aralsk (Kazakhstan);
o Kungrad (Uzbekistan);
o Nukus (Uzbekistan).
When to visit Aral Sea.
Subtropics are common in the Aral Sea. Weather conditions are also influenced by surrounding deserts and atmospheric changes. North-west winds contribute to a significant decrease in temperature in winter, which lasts here about 160 days. At the beginning of spring, dry and cloudless weather is maintained. The duration of this season is 60 days.
If you are looking for a beach holiday, we advise you to pay attention to the Black Sea, which, on a par with the Sea of Azov, is very popular among Russians. Or, if you are not afraid of flights, check out the Red Sea, whose underwater world attracts a huge number of divers from around the world.
In the summer, the weather on the Aral Sea is very hot. At the same time, for Central Asia in this region there are quite high humidity indicators - up to 60 percent. The best time to visit the Aral is September-October. During this period, very comfortable weather is observed. Also a good time to travel is the beginning of March or the end of May.
Features of Aral Sea.
Traveling to the Aral Sea is not an easy task. Before shallowing, there were port cities and other settlements near the reservoir. After the lake fell into decline, people moved to more favorable regions. Today there are no hotels and other benefits of civilization. You can only stay in a tent, and to get to the Aral Sea, you need an SUV. The nearest city where you can rent a hotel is Nukus.
In Nukus, you can also book a jeep tour with a professional guide. Similar offers are provided by Russian travel companies. The most budget options involve delivery to the Aral Sea and back. More interesting are tours involving visits to other attractions of Uzbekistan, as well as hotel accommodation and meals.
Going to the Aral, one should soberly assess one’s capabilities. Despite the fact that most tours are very well organized, the load on the body will be significantly higher than in ordinary life. When choosing a jeep tour, you should pay attention to ensuring safety, nutrition and a sufficient amount of water. Also do not forget about hats. Mobile communication in the vicinity of the reservoir does not catch, so it is advisable to warn your relatives about this.
What to see on Aral Sea.
What attracts tourists to the Aral Sea? The consequences of environmental disaster. The lake itself has an unearthly turquoise color. The sandy-solonchak desert, formed at the bottom of a dry section of the reservoir, is called Aralkum. The road to the Aral Sea itself lies through the endless Kyzylkum desert and the vast Ustyurt plateau, which offers an amazing panorama. Also on the way there is a freshwater lake Sudochye and an abandoned fishing village.
Muynak port on Aral Sea.
Muynak is a must-have place that all guidebooks recommend visiting. This is a former port. During the flood years of the Aral Sea, it was the haven of a large number of ships. Indifference of local authorities and shallowing of the reservoir led to the fact that many have forgotten them. So ships stand in the middle of an educated desert. The landscapes here are truly apocalyptic and more like scenery for films.
In Nukus, where almost all excursions depart, the main attraction is the art museum. It exhibits collections of the Russian avant-garde and samples of applied art from the cultures of Central Asia. In the village of Khojeyli near Nukus, there are mausoleums of Shamun Nabi, Nazlumkhan Sulu and the ancient fortress of the times of Genghis Khan.