Lake Borovoe

There is a Kazakh legend that when God created the world, he gave the area now known as Kazakhstan only arid steppe. The people were disappointed and implored God to bestow some natural beauty on their land. Answering their prayers, God gave them the beautiful oasis that is the Borovoe region. Sometimes known as Borovoye or Burabay, the area is in the northwest of Kazakhstan, near the Russian border.

Nicknamed the Switzerland of Kazakhstan, Borovoe is blanketed with lush green meadows and verdant forests, home to hundreds of animals and birds and crystal blue lakes which are well stocked with myriad species of fish. Visitors flock for the clean air, picturesque views and to participate in invigorating activities such as hiking and swimming. The region has a continental climate with hot summers and very cold, snowy winters, perfect for skiers. The cliffs and mountains are moulded by the weather into fascinating shapes, each of which has its own legend.


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With its varied terrains, from birch forests to verdant meadows to lakeside beaches, the Borovoye region has something for all manner of wild campers. What better way to truly experience the natural wonder of the area than by pitching a tent under the stars?


Fresh air and accessible mountain paths leading to grassy meadows and panoramic viewpoints make Borovoye a popular destination for hikers, trekkers, the more extreme of whom come in the winter. Meanwhile, rock climbers come to scale the ‘elephant’, the ‘cow’, and the ‘sleeping knight’.

Nature Museum

In the small and charming village of Burabuy, on the edge of the park, visitors will find a pleasant little museum celebrating the nature and wildlife of the area. It features a zoo with a pair of Przewalski’s horses, some Maral deer as well as one or two native bears and wolves.

Rock formations

Popular with geology enthusiasts, Borovoye is home to many weird and wonderful rock formations, each with its own story. Perhaps most famous is Okzhetpes, at which suitors for a princess shot their arrows. Only her true love hit the mark and the other suitors killed him so the princess threw herself off the peak to form Zhumbaktas, the sphinx-shaped formation in front of it.


Soon to be a ski jumping destination with a stadium being built at present, Borovoye’s extremely cold winters make it an ideal destination for snowy pursuits. Many of the resorts and guesthouses within the area offer ski gear hire for guests to head out and enjoy the slopes.

Water recreation

Borovoye’s many lakes are a massive draw for water enthusiasts. In summer, bathers take refreshing dips in the crystal blue waters after a long day of hiking. Meanwhile, the less active can hire row boats for a lazy day, sailing on the glassy waters, surrounded by alpine peaks.

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