Young entrepreneur combines guided hiking tours with culinary experience

ASTANA – Quality service and customer satisfaction are essential in all fields, especially tourism management. In starting her own business,, Zhansaya Menlibayeva is devoted to following these principles.

Zhansaya Menlibayeva Photo credit

Zhansaya Menlibayeva. Photo credit: Altynbek Kalmenov

“The main idea of developing our project is to meet the needs of visitors and local residents with a pleasant holiday and a pleasant time,” she said in an interview for this story.

The Almaty-based company offers more than 230 trips around the city and Almaty region by providing experienced instructors and the essentials for camping and hiking.

“The idea existed since my teacher Kairat Omarov gave an interview about the project to the local radio seven years ago. Then I decided to start the business, as I had a great desire to develop domestic tourism. This project was perfect to make my dreams come true,” said Menlibayeva.

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She launched the endeavour with the support of the Damu Fund and the Almaty akimat (city administration). The team currently has four members, two of whom are professional guides.

“We’ve won a grant providing support for young entrepreneurs. We developed the hiking routes across Almaty and the Almaty region in cooperation with our main instructor Omarov. He has 25 years of experience as a mountain instructor and the certificates for the mountain trekking organisation. We widely promote our services through our website and in social networks,” she explained.

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Menlibayeva graduated from Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences as part of the Erasmus programme. She also works as a teacher at the State College for Services and Technology.

In the first six months, 20 percent of the adventurers have been from France, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Spain.

“The main advantage of our tours is the quality and individual approach to each client. The Almaty region is in the main focus for us now. Our team participated in the My Kazakhstan expedition this summer, and we opened new unexplored places and held the first negotiations for joint work,” she said.

This year, the company started talks with a French travel agency to attract tourists from France to Kazakhstan.

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“The lack of infrastructure and illegal tourism groups are the main difficulties we face during our work. Our country is unique and beautiful. There are many interesting places in each region and they are visited mostly in summer. There is a need to develop tourism and tourist sites all year round. We intend to organise tourism events in the near future. We also have opportunities to develop mountain tourism, mountaineering and winter activities. I think that we need to start working on this idea,” she said.

The group tour package costs approximately US$40 and individual trips start from US$100.

“I cannot single out only one place; each time I discover something new in the same places,” said Menlibayeva about her favourite destinations. “I advise everyone to visit Yessik Lake, the Turgen waterfall, the Assy Plateau, Kolsai Lake, Kayindy Lake in the Almaty region on the weekend and Borovoe and Zerendy in Astana,” she added.

Preparing authentic Kazakh food is also a part of the adventure tour.

“We aim to contribute to the development of domestic tourism and to attract more tourists. Also, the participants of the trip are given an opportunity to make unique national dishes. For example, tourists can cook a Karyn Birtpe unique dish in Bakanas village after a safari tour. Tourists get accustomed to the preparation of national dishes during the tour at each stage. They can also see the Saksaul plant – the black Saksaul and the white Saksaul which grows only in these places,” she said.

Tours can be booked online at or by phone at +7 747 546 66 69.


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