Kazakhstan is the world’s ninth biggest country, and it’s got a lot more going for it than oil and Borat. Thanks to natural resources (and sheer size) Kazakhstan is probably the best developed of the –stans. You’re more likely to get a good coffee on the leafy avenues of Almaty than anywhere else on the Asian steppe, and the country’s capital, Asatana, is a 21st-century showcase of modern architecture and futuristic design. Not what you’d expect from a country where the horse and cart is still a pretty big deal. Whatever your expectations are, leave them in the arrivals lounge. Kazakhstan defies them all.
Kazakhstan Tours & Travel
All our Kazakhstan trips
Articles on Kazakhstan
The sea that turned to dust in Kazakhstan
Posted on Sun, 22 Jun 2014
Some places in the world are stunning in their starkness and too emotional to fully comprehend, as Intrepid's Masha Rogozhina discovered in Kazakhstan.Read more
At a glance
|Time zone:||(GMT+06:00) Astana, Dhaka|
|Electricity:||Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)|
Best time to visit Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has a continental climate, which lends itself to extreme temperatures. In summer (June to August) it can climb above 36 degrees C (96°F) and in winter (December to February) you can expect temperatures to be as low as -26 degrees C (-10°F). Snow stays on the ground for almost half the year. The best time to travel is during spring (May to June) and autumn (September to November) when temperatures are mild. While it can rain at any time of year, the amount varies across the country. In the desert you’ll get very little, while in the mountains it’s best not to leave home without a rain jacket... and perhaps a small boat.
Top 5 Tastes of Kazakhstan
This is Kazakhstan’s national dish and a meat lover’s delight. Chunks of boiled mutton served on flat squares of pasta.
Get ready for sausage, Kazakh-style. Made with horsemeat, the sausage is cooked for two hours before being served with generous servings of onion.
Wash down your main course with a glass of fermented mare’s milk. It’s mildly alcoholic and has a fizzy sensation. Shubat is another version made with camel’s milk.
Try these fried, doughy balls of goodness alongside soup.
Make new friends wherever you go by sitting down and sharing a cup of shay. This black or green tea is a Kazakh staple.
FAQs on Kazakhstan
Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Japan: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Not required
USA: Not required
From 15 July 2014 to 15 July 2015 nationals of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the UAE, and Japan can travel in Kazakhstan visa free for up to 15 days.
Please check with the Embassy for up to date information and requirements.
Please complete the Central Asia & China visa form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating where you will be obtaining your visa.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions change regularly. Please check at your nearest Embassy or Consulate for up to date information on obtaining a visa or contact a visa agency such as Travcour UK.
Visa processing time:
- Applications for visas submitted in person will be processed within 3 working days.
SINGLE ENTRY TOURIST VISA.
In order to apply for a Kazakhstan 30 day single entry tourist visa, you will need to provide your embassy with the following documents:
1. A letter with a request to issue a visa addressed to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Kazakhstan (supplied by Dragoman). Please, indicate the purpose of your trip, your contact in Kazakhstan, the dates of your planned trip, and places to be visited.
2. Printed hotel booking confirmation (Supplied by Dragoman)
3. A completed visa application form (one per person). All fields must be completed; otherwise your application can be refused.
4. A valid passport (a photocopy will not be accepted) which should have at least one blank page for a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months longer than the validity of the requested visa.
5. One passport size photo of the applicant which should be stapled to the marked space in the upper right hand corner of the application form.
6. Payment should be done by card, cheque/ postal order payable to the Embassy of Kazakhstan (no cash) - This costs approximately 35 GBP.
All nationalities should check with their respective embassies for more information and costs.
- On some trips you used to be able to obtain your visa en route in either Bishkek or Tashkent. This is no longer possible and you must now obtain your visa in advance.
NAME OF HOST - for the application form:
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 400 KZT
Simple lunch = 800 KZT
Three-course meal = 3500 KZT
Short taxi ride = 500 KZT
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 7 Russian Orthodox Christmas Day
Mar 8 International Women’s Day
Mar 21 Nauryz Meyrami (Persian New Year)
May 1 People’s Unity Day
May 9 Victory Day
Aug 30 Constitution Day
Oct 15 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
Dec 16 Independence Day
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to:
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Kazakhstan Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Kazakhstan
1. Be considerate of Kazakhstan’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully.
5. Smoking is banned in public places.
6. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
7. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
8. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
9. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
10. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
11. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
|Apples Are From Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared||Christopher Robbins|
|Once in Kazakhstan: The Snow Leopard Emerges||Keith Rosten|
|Kazakhstan: Surprises and Stereotypes After 20 Years of Independence||Jonathan Aitken|
|Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise||Martha Brill Olcott|