Bayanaul National Park

One of Kazakhstan's protected areas and the country's first national park, this stunning area of natural beauty lies in the northeast of the country, in Pavlodar Province. Enjoying a continental climate, temperatures soar to nearly 90 degrees fahrenheit in the summer and while they drop well below freezing in winter, the park is something of an oasis, without the dust storms common in the rest of the province.

Bayanaul National Park was opened to maintain the natural vegetation and animal species of the surrounding mountainous region. There are more than 450 species of tree to be found in the park, including indigenous species such as Black Alder and Bayanaul Pine. In the meadows, strawberries grow in abundance when they're in season, meanwhile the forests are full of mushrooms. What's more, the park is inhabited by a myriad of birds and animals, delighting the visiting nature enthusiasts. With four lakes, watersports are popular, while geologists and climbers flock to Bayanaul National Park to gaze at its interesting rock formations.


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Animal and bird watching

Nature lovers are spoiled for choice among the flora and fauna in Bayanaul. In the forests are roe deer, squirrels and badgers not to mention its protected herd of endangered argali. The park, with its lakes, trees and skies, is also home to eagles, kestrels, herons and cranes among many others.


Lake Toraygir was named for the Kazakh poet Sultanmahmut Toraygir and it attracts many fishermen with its ample stocks of carp in particular. The banks of Byrzhankol, the park’s smallest lake, are home to a small fishing village and many spend the day here, angling for a distinct species of carp.

Holy Cave

One of Bayanaul’s most popular destinations is the Holy Cave. Accessed by a hike including a steep wooden staircase, visitors flock to take part in the cave’s legendary rituals. These include a rite performed by parents who wish to conceive and a superstition that asks visitors to make wishes with their hands on the walls of the cave.

Rock climbing

Climbers flock to the park to take on the park’s three mountains, Naizatas, Bold Peak and Akbet, the latter of which is the highest point in Bayanaul. At the top lie several seasonal lakes that dry out during the warm summer months.


Centuries of water and wind erosion have created rock formations with fascinating shapes, and people come from all over to photograph and give the shapes their own designations. Among the most famous are a rock that resembles an old lady’s head and one that has been euphemistically named ‘masculine dignity’.

Water recreation

Visitors flock to the park’s two biggest lakes to enjoy the waters. Bayanaul Village is located on the banks of Lake Sabyndykol with its legendary soft waters, said to feel almost soapy to the touch. The smaller Jasybay boasts a beach lapped by clear, clean waters - perfect for swimming.

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