Bird watching in the Pamir-Alai (South of Kyrgyzstan)

During this trip we will be able to observe birds living in different climatic and altitude areas. We will be able to see and understand how different species of birds have adapted to the same conditions, or vice versa, how the same species of birds live in completely different climatic conditions.

The south of Kyrgyzstan is place of natural contrasts, Asian vibes and a multicultural region. Many species of birds live and nest here. Here, on a compact territory, one can see absolutely opposite natural landscapes, from glacial valleys to semi-desert badlands. For each landscape, its own fauna and the way of life of local residents are inherent, as well as birds have adapted their lives to different natural conditions. The large valleys are mostly populated by the long-settled farmers who cultivate the land. In the highlands, live the nomads. But people’s life in the valleys, like the shape of landscapes, directly depends on water. Therefore, here you can see a combination of hot and dry semi-deserts with green fertile oases. In the mountainous valleys are located green floodplains of the rivers, which are combined with agricultural areas.

Description of the route. The duration of the tour is 11 days. During the trip we will watch birds in one of the beautiful mountain gorges Itagar (right tributary of the river Chychkan). Here is a small lake surrounded by forests and shrubs. Further, the route will continue to the city of Osh, from where we will continue the route deep into the Alai range along the Ak-Bura River. Almost at the source of the river, there is a unique natural landscape – Kozhe-Kelen. This is a combination of red conglomerate and limestone gray rocks that form the outstanding geological heritage of Kyrgyzstan. Then we return to Osh, where after a short break we will head south towards the Pamir. The route goes through three high passes (more than 3000 m) and descends into the wide Alay valley (about 2500 m. above sea level), which forms the geographical border between the greatest mountain systems of the world, the Tian-Shan and the Pamir. Our further journey lies along the Alai Valley and further south into the valley of the Achik-Tash River. Here we will stay in tents in a base camp for climbers climbing the Lenin Peak (7134 m). Here we will observe birds at Tulpar-Kul Lake. Next, return to Osh. From the airport of Osh, you can leave Kyrgyzstan or return to Bishkek. In order to see the spring and autumn mass migration flight of various birds that temporarily rest in the lakes of Kyrgyzstan, the most favorable time is April and October. Useful tips for birdwatchers 


Day 1. Arrival in Bishkek.

Briefing presentation, acquaintance with the guide ornithologist and the program. Lecture about birds of Kyrgyzstan. Overnight in hotel.

Day 2. Bishkek – Itagar gorge. (Western Tien-Shan)

The Itagar gorge and the lake located here, become a place for the life of local nomads in the summer period. Local people establish yurts, graze cattle and make dairy products here. Many people collect wild berries, which are abundant here. Here is a beautiful and almost wild place for field camps and birdwatching. In addition to ornithologists, this gorge attracts biologists, lovers of flora and fauna. The mountain collapse that occurred here several thousand years ago blocked the gorge, creating the conditions for the formation of the Itagar Lake. Birdwatching, Location 1. Overnight in tents.

Day 3. Itagar gorge

Excursion in the gorge and birdwatching, Location 2. Today we will reach a wide valley up the gorge. Here you can see various birds, at the confluence of the rivers. Return to the camp. Overnight in tents.

Day 4. Itagar – Osh

On the way to the Osh City, we plan to stop for lunch on the shore of the Toktogul reservoir – the largest artificial reservoir in Central Asia, which was built for the hydroelectric station located there. Further, the route continues to the city of Uzgen, where we will have a small excursion to the historical and architectural complex – IX-X centuries (the era of Karakhanids). Overnight in hotel in the Osh City. Dinner at the national Uzbek restaurant.

Day 5. Osh – Kozho-Kelen (Alai Range)

The route continues south into the Alai mountain system. Along the Ak-Bura River we will almost reach to its sources and find ourselves in Kozhe-Kelen, a very attractive place. Kozhe-Kelen represents a geological heritage of Kyrgyzstan, where the Mesozoic and Paleozoic formations create spectacular geological forms. Kozhe-Kelen is a place with an abundance of flora and fauna. There is a fairly large amount of precipitation, which contributes to the formation of many springs. “The Blue Grotto” is a local landmark and a place of worship for local pagans. It is a karst cavity 20 m long formed in a limestone rock. 10 meters from the entrance, from the ceiling of the grotto water flows forming a lake, filling almost the entire width of the grotto. Birdwatching, Location 3. Overnight in the field camp.

Day 6. Vecinity of Kozho-Kelen

In the vicinity of Kozho-Kelen there are many quiet places where you can watch birds, Location 4. This area is distinguished by its wild nature. There are large amounts of medicinal types of herbs. The combination of red conglomerates and sandstone with gray limestone creates a magnificent landscape. Here are some beautiful waterfalls. This is a place to relax and explore the surrounding nature. Overnight in tents.

Day 7. Kozho-Kelen – Osh

On the way to Osh, we will see how the landscapes change, turning from moderate high-altitude landscapes, into valleys and steppes. In Osh, we will have dinner at a national restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8. Osh – Achik-Tash

Achik-Tash is located in the foothills of the Pamir. Our route crosses the Alai Range and descends into the Alai Valley. The Alay valley is the geographical and geological border between the Pamir and Tien-Shan. The Achik-Tash Valley is the result of glacier activity. There are about 45 high mountainous lakes that were formed between green hills. Green hills were formed during the last glaciation in the Tien-Shan, which previously represented a moraine. Today, the hills are beautiful pastures covered with lots of grass. Some rare species of birds fly into these places. Overnight in tents

Day 9. Vicinity of Achik-Tash (3600 m)

In this high-altitude zone in the vicinity of numerous lakes and swamps we will try to see different birds, Location 5. Black Stork (Ciconia nigra); Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier) (Gypaetus barbatus); Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis); Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus); Snow Pigeon (Columba leuconota). Overnight in tents.

Day 10. Achik-Tash – Osh

The way back is way different, different lighting for photographing, a different perception and a different mood. The Alai Range, combines a variety of landscapes, from nival to semi-desert. Evening tour of the Osh City. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11. Departure home

Transfer to Osh airport.

- Meeting and seeing off at the airport
- Accommodation in hotels 3 * according to the program (double occupancy)

- Flight from Osh to Bishkek
- Tents for accommodation
- Large tent for the kitchen and dining room
- Three meals a day for the whole program,
- Transport according to the program,
- Guide-expert,
- Cook,
- Entrance fees to reserves
- Rent equipment

- International airfare to Bishkek and back
- Equipment rental
- Surcharge for single occupancy
- Cost of visa and consular services
- Personal expenses in a hotel: bar, international calls, etc.
- Insurance
- Any changes to the program

Price on request

According to the request and interest, we can negotiate the optimal price for your budget.

Price depends on the number of participants

Optimal group – 2-7 persons

Accommodation in hotels:
– Bishkek – 1 nights
– Osh – 3 nights,

Total – 4 nights

Accommodation in the field camp:
– Itagar – 2 nights
– Kojo-Kelen – 2 nights
– Achik-Tash – 2 nights

Total – 6 nights


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