Kazakhstan 2014

overland kazakhstan


  • Days: 16 days 
  • Period: end of July - beginning of August
  • Weather:  Warm and on some days quite hot (expecially around Almaty). We only had a few drops of rain and some days were clouded


General information:

  • Currency: Tenge

  • Internet: Available. You might have to look around in the smaller villages but in Almaty almost every restaurant has Wi-Fi.

  • ATM's: ATM's for Visa in every city or village. Also many supermarkts have an ATM.

  • Creditcards: Are accepted in quite a lot of fuel stations, restaurants and supermarkets

  • Safety: We felt very safe travelling in Kazakstan. We bushcamped every night even in Almaty were we just stayed on a parking near a mall. We never had any issues.


Prices (July 2014)

  • Value Money: €1 = 240 Tenge 

  • Fuel: Diesel is 115 Tenge (about € 0,47 per liter). Price was stabil throughout the whole country.

  • Camping: We only bushcamped for free so no data on this.

  • Prices: As it come to restaurants and groceries Kazakhstan was the most expensive "stan" of all and also more expensive than Russia. So no need to stock up here. Assortment on the other hand is huge. In the large supermarkets you can find everything you need.

  • Insurance: On the streets of Almaty you will be able to find may shops that sell  third party car insurances. We got one here. The price was 2000 Tenge for 1 month.   

Visa & registration

  • Some countries do not need a visa for Kazakhstan and from the 15th of July 2014 10 new countries have been added to the visa free regime. For these 10 countries  the visa free period will last until the 15th July 2015. After this trial period of one year these countries might be added permanently. As Holland is one of the 10 countries we entered without a visa. The entry stamp that was for free allowed us to stay for maximum 15 days. As we wanted to stay longer we just crossed the border with Kyrgyzstan and returned a few days later. The new stamp that we got on entry again allowed us to stay another 15 days.  

  • Registration: When you enter the country without a visa you also do not have to register. 


Border crossing

  • Entry: At Qorday (coming from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan). This border was very crowded and most of the time we just waited for our turn. As we could enter without a visa we just got a stamp on the border which was free of charge. Another challange is to get your custom declaration form. The form which we had to fill in was only in Russian. In the end one custom officer helped us out.  This form is very important and must be handed over to the officials when leaving the custom Union of Kazakhstan, Russia or Belarus. The car check at this border crossing can be a hassle as they have special places where the cars, which they random select, must be unloaded completely and checked. We had bad luck and were selected. Luckily we could talk our way out of it. In our case the car control was fast and easy in the end.
    Exit: At the Karkara valley (going to Kyrgyzstan). The very small border post is easy going and the officials are relaxed. The checked were quickly done and the custom officer even kept our declaration form when we told him we would be back in a few days.

  • Entry: At the Karkara valley (coming from Kyrgyzstan). It was the same border post where we left the country a few days before. Getting is here was as easy as getting out. The entry stamp was given fast and the custom officer, who kept our previous custom declaration form, quickly made a new one for us. Car check was not diffcult and fast here.

  • Exit: At Semey (going to Russia). Leaving the country is a fast and easy procedure here. Just not that before you enter the border area they try to sell you a Russian Insurance. Just refuse if you do not need or want one. The immigration, customs and car control is just routine here. Important: do not hand over you custom declaration form here which you received on entry. As Kazakhstan forms an union with Russia and Belarus you must keep it. They probably will not ask for it, but when they do just make sure you get it back. You need it when leaving the union.



  • General: Many roads in the country are tarmac, but despite the fact that Kazakhstan is the richest country in Central Asia the roads are quite bad. Most of the tarmac roads are bumpy and full of potholes. In many places they are working on new roads.
  • Border in the Karkara Valley: The last 10 km before the border with Kyrgyzstan is offroad.


Fees for Toll roads, briges, tunnels and ferries

  • No toll or fees paid


Highlights or not

  • Almaty: very modern but expensive city. After a very basic lifetyle for quite some time we really liked the city with its modern restaurants and bars. 

  • Alatau NP: nice park to camp for a few night. The big lake far up in the mountains is beautiful but if you go walking here make sure the police does not see you. Officially it is forbidden. We had big problems when the caught us. Costs = 770 Tenge per car (regardless the number of days you want to stay).
  • Eagle Farm located next to the gate of Alatau NP: Costs = 1400 Tenge per person for the Eagle show (daily at 5 pm except on Mondays). Although very touristic we liked it.
  • Singing Dunes: to see the dunes you must enter the NP with a guide that will be going with you in your car. As we have no extra seat we skipped this trip. Going with a local jeep is also an option. 
  • Naryn Canyon: Beautiful canyon. Nice place to visit.




Grid: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm"

KZ-ATM1 - N43°01.000 E79°13.798
ATM for Visa in Kegen

KZ-BANDEN - N43°12.638 E76°51.558
Tire shop. They sell BF Goodrich

KZ-BOUW - N43°16.470 E76°56.809
Construction market

KZ-CAMP01 - N43°11.972 E76°53.537
Bushcamp in the street near the huge Mega Mall. Not a nice spot but safe, quiet at night and near the mall. Mall closes very late in the evening.

KZ-CAMP02 - N43°11.734 E76°52.032
Bushcamp in the street near the Mongolian Embassy in Almaty, no facilities

KZ-CAMP03 - N43°33.293 E78°26.011
Bushcamp on the way near soy field near Nura. Quiet but no facilities

KZ-CAMP04 - N42°50.519 E79°13.762
Bushcamp in a field 6km for the border. Very nice and quiet but no facilities

KZ-CAMP05 - N43°26.822 E78°53.472
Bushcamp in the field close to the A352, no facilities

KZ-CAMP06 - N44°27.446 E78°14.878
Bushcamp in a field near Qospan, quiet but no facilities

KZ-CAMP07 - N43°03.402 E76°58.733
Bushcamp in the mountains with nice views on Lake Alatau, no facilities. We stayed here, but lots of military control and not sure if it is allowd. Do not walk down the lake that is forbidden.

KZ-CAMP08 - N43°05.637 E76°57.304
Bushcamp in Alatau NP, near the river. Nice spot, no facilities. Can be crowded on weekends

KZ-CAMP09 - N44°54.781 E78°14.121
Bushcamp on a nice quiet spot close to the river near Balpyk. No facilities, but we showered in the river.

KZ-CAMP10 - N45°45.023 E80°17.151
Bushcamp in a field near a river. No facilities but we showered in the river. Nice view and clean water.

KZ-CAMP11 - N48°11.872 E80°27.776
Bushcamp on the steppe, close to the road and no facilities. Nice view.

KZ-CAMP12 - N50°35.892 E80°23.762
Bushcamp near the forest 30km for Semey. Far enough for the road not to be seen. We were told bushcamping in Semey city was not safe. No facilities

KZ-CARCITY - N43°14.302 E76°49.418
Carcity. Huge place with everything for the car. Also genuine parts.

KZ-CASTLE - N43°21.250 E79°04.225
Castle valley in Charyn Canyon

KZ-CHARYN - N43°16.143 E78°58.370
Charyn Canyon viewpoint. We walked down to the river where we had a shower

KZ-CHARYN1 - N43°15.399 E78°59.760
Beautiful picknick spot in Charyn Canyon

KZ-CHURCH - N43°15.631 E76°57.246
Public park with a nice church

KZ-DOUCHE1 - N43°20.036 E76°55.923
Public well near Almaty where we had a shower.

KZ-EAGLE - N43°07.725 E76°54.382
Eagle farm next to the Entrance of Alatau NP. Predator birds show was nice.

KZ-EMBASSY - N43°11.747 E76°52.054
Mongolian Embassy in Almaty

KZ-GATENP - N43°07.710 E76°54.382
Gate Alatau NP

KZ-GORKY - N43°15.625 E76°57.886
Parking Gorky Park

KZ-IJSBAAN - N43°09.534 E77°03.475
Medeo outdoor speedskating stadium

KZ-INSURAN - N43°15.819 E76°51.667
Car insurance

KZ-JUNCT01 - N43°33.129 E77°53.201
Junction to good water well and the lake

KZ-KG - N42°48.001 E79°10.793
Border between Kazakhstand and Kyrgyzstan

KZ-LANDROV - N43°16.364 E76°57.013
Landrover dealer Almaty

KZ-MALL - N43°16.842 E76°54.679
Mall and 4x4 parts Toyota

KZ-MEGAMAL - N43°12.000 E76°53.639
Mega Mall shopping center

KZ-MONUMEN - N50°23.546 E80°15.551
Monument victums of Nucleair tests

KZ-NPOFFIC - N44°09.355 E78°45.151
Office for Permits to National Parks with singing dunes

KZ-OBSERVA - N43°03.446 E76°58.282
Alatau NP, observatory. We were not allowed in

KZ-RESTAUR - N50°24.790 E80°15.320
Good Italian restaurant

KZ-RU - N51°12.459 E81°06.890
Border Kazakhstan - Russia

KZ-SHOP1 - N44°09.565 E78°44.959
Small market

KZ-SUPER - N43°16.470 E76°56.809
Green, big supermarket

KZ-SUPER2 - N45°01.010 E78°24.113
City Supermarket, good shop

KZ-TIRES - N43°14.235 E76°49.455
F7 Tire shop. Very good service.

KZ-TOYOTA1 - N43°17.177 E76°56.985
Toyota garage, good service

KZ-TOYOTA2 - N43°14.576 E76°49.572
Toyota garage, no experiences with this dealer

KZ-WELL - N43°37.623 E77°52.410
Well where you can tap very good water. Also had a shower here.

KZ-ZWEMBAD - N43°12.069 E76°50.317
Medina Sport, big swimmingpool here. Very expensive.