The beauty of Kazakhstan isn’t just in its varied landscape - although its mountains, glaciers and deserts are truly spectacular. The real surprise is the welcome you’ll receive. With very few tourists here, the locals will open their arms and their homes to you. Add in canyon hikes, curious horse dishes and more camels than you can poke a hump at for a truly unique destination.
Kazakhstan Tours & Travel
All our Kazakhstan trips
18 days from
Travel along the Silk Road from Uzbekistan to Russia via Kazakhstan. Visit the trading towns of yesteryear, including...View trip details
At a glance
- Trips Available:
- Capital city:
- Astana (population 700,000)
- 17.5 million
- Kazakh, Russian
- Time zone:
- (GMT+06:00) Astana, Dhaka
- Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)
- Dialing code:
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 chay. This spiced tea is a Kazakh staple.
FAQs on Kazakhstan
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:
ALL visitors to Kazakhstan require a visa. An authorisation letter is not required to obtain a visa for Kazakhstan. However, depending on your nationality you may require what we call a letter of guarantee and hotel confirmation that will be supplied to you by Dragoman.
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:
Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany: Yes - in advance
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Netherlands: Yes - in advance
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
USA: Yes - in advance
Most nationalities require a visa to visit Kazakhstan.
LETTERS OF INVITATION (LOI):
A Letter of Invitation (LOI), sometimes referred to as an Authorisation or Visa Support Letter is very rarely required to apply for a Kazakhstan visa. Most nationals can apply direct to an embassy without supporting documents, including all EU countries, Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA.
Should you be from one of the few countries that does require an LOI, you will need to use a visa support service to contact a Kazakhstan travel agent such as this one: www.caravanistan.com/visa/kazakhstan/visa-support-letter-of-invitation/.
Intrepid books services directly (home stays, train tickets etc) in Kazakhstan and so are not able to provide visa support. Please note that it may take up to 21 days for the LOI to be issued and fees for this service may vary, including need to make minimal tour bookings to cover your length of stay.
VISA ON ARRIVAL:
It is not possible to obtain a visa on arrival at any land borders into Kazakhstan.
While we strongly advise to apply for your visa in advance, it may be possible to apply for your Kazakhstan visa in Beijing if you are travelling there before your trip. Please plan carefully to ensure that you have enough time for your application and check embassy requirements. The following website may have useful information and traveller reports about applying for visas at this embassy: www.caravanistan.com
You need to have your Kazakhstan visa before beginning your trip. There is no Kazakhstan representation in Australia or New Zealand so nationals of those countries are advised to apply to the embassy in Singapore.
INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:
You will need to apply for a Single Entry Tourist Visa for this trip.
Temporary addresses in Kazakhstan:
36 Abai Street
10-12, Makhstaev street
Aralsk, Kyzyl-Orda Region, 120100
10-12, Makhstaev street
Aralsk, Kyzyl-Orda Region, 120100
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:
* A letter addressed to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Kazakhstan indicating the purpose of your trip, your contact in Kazakhstan, the dates of your planned trip, and places to be visited (Aksu Dhzabagly, Aralsk, Turkistan)
* Photocopy of the personal details page of your passport
* Passport size photo (up to 4)
* Receipt of inward remittance/telegraphic transfer of visa payment (if applying by post)
* Please check with the embassy for any other specific requirements such as hotel confirmations etc and contact us if required.
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|