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Kaindy lake


Where is it

What to do

Kaindy lake is located in the Kolsai National Park: there are 15 km from Saty village to the South by Kaindy gorge. The Park is 330km far to the East from Almaty (5 hours).
Kaindy lake: 42.98443, 78.46577

- hiking and trekking 
- camping at a lakeshore, enjoy the wildlife
- diving (30m deep max)

How to get there

By A351 highway via Chilik town, and then by P16 to Saty village (281km). There are 15km more up in south direction by Kaindy gorge. There is a bus connection between Almaty and Chilik town. There is a chance to take a minibus-taxi to Saty, but this way of connection is irregular. From Saty to Kaindy there is only dirt road available for private 4-wheel cars only.

The best season to visit Kungei Alatau area is mid April through end of September. In winter season the roads can be dangerous. May and June are the wet months: it is raining almost every day in the afternoon. Normal day temperature in Kolsay and Kaindy area in July is +15..+20C, night +5…+12C.

What's interesting

Famous Kaindy lake that appeared here in 1911 after a earthquake. The natural dam stopped the flow of Kaindy river so it flooded the forest in the depth of the gorge and became a highland lake. The tallest pine trees are still there inside a lake: their tops look like a strange paling above the turquoise water surface.

- guest houses in Saty village (homestay)

- tent camping in Kaindy gorge 



Kaindy gorge, called after a small spring river that runs through in the depth, is located in the east of the village Saty (Kolsai National Park). If you drive along the gorge for 15 km, you will get to the lake Kaindy. This unique basin (length is 400m) lies at a height of about 1800m above sea level, in the zone of dense spruce forest. A dirt road leads to the western shore where you can camp, as it is flat. The eastern shore of the lake is a steep cliff of about 40 meters. 

Kaindy lake

The lake was formed in 1911 after a huge earthquake that resulted in a big landslide from the eastern slope. The rockslide “place of origin” can still be seen today, because it has not been overgrown yet. The uniqueness of the lake is that after the rise of natural dam that blocked the gorge, water that filled a basin has formed a lake but has not destroyed the spruce that had been growing in this place along the river. The upper parts of the trees sticking out of the water lost lateral branches and bark, and the wood became white. Such a pattern will delight even the experienced travelers. The lower part of the “drowned” pines retained branches that were overgrown with algae under the water, thus created fantastic underwater landscape. Thus, the lake Kaindy is known as one of the best places for divers in North Tien Shan.

Kazakhstan wildlife kazakhstan wildlife

Kaindy river falls into the lake, passing through the two-way rock clamp, which height is approximately 20 meters. From this point, the surface of the lake with pine trees jutting looks particularly fabulous.
Besides the “spiny” lake, the Kaindy area is also famous for its flora and wildlife: many rare and beautiful plants grow here untouched. Rhadiola (relative of a famous “golden root” or Rhadiola rosae), endemic Highland blueberry (Cupido buddhista), berries of stone bramble (Rubus saxatile) and spectacular decoration of vertical rocks – Paraquilegia – are found at a lakeshore and inside the rowan bush around. Wild animals, especially rodents enjoy the silence of this place: in sunny days an attentive naturalist can see the marmots (Marmota baibacina) and ermines (Mustela ermine) sitting on the stones. 

     Kolsai lakes    Hiking in Kazakhtan    Kazakhstan wildlife


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