Bird watchers migrate to Almaty for Wings of Alakol festival

NUR-SULTAN – The Wings of Alakol bird watching festival will take place May 9-11 at the Pelikan Family Recreation Centre on Alakol Lake in the Almaty Region. Festival will offer bird watching opportunities as well as art and cultural activities and performances.

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The recreation centre and Veter Stranstvii (Wind of Travels) magazine are organising the festival with the support of the regional akimat (administration) tourism administration.

“The festival is the only bird watching festival in Kazakhstan, which takes place at the natural and climatic Pelikan Family Recreation Centre resort, (which is located in) an amazing place where the steppe, mountain landscapes and the surface of the most mysterious Alakol Lake join,” noted the magazine’s website.

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The festival includes excursions to various nearby coast, steppe and mountain biotopes for watching different species in their specific habitats. Excursions include visiting the city of Usharal and Alakol Nature Reserve museum.

The festival will also offer art and cultural programmes. Participants will be able to paint with artist and Italy Educational Centre Director Carmine Barbaro, cook Italian food with his spouse Sharbat Barbaro and try on hats, earrings, bracelets, rings and glasses made by Almaty artist Vsevolod Demidov at the Ptichii Bazar (bird market) local artists and artisans’ handmade fair. Demidov will also host a master class.

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“We will create masterpieces from oil on real canvases at the shore of Alakol Lake… Then, we will arrange an exhibition of your creations right on the shore. There will be gifts from the Italy Educational Centre and workshops of Italian language. Carmine’s spouse, Sharbat Barbaro, will teach us to cook real Italian dishes,” noted the website.

In the evenings, festival goers will be invited to listen to the Severnyi Veter and Aquafon bands, watch the film “Pelikadry” about Alakol and attend an event organised by XS Company. On the last day, participants will attend a training session by Almaty psychologist Natalia Imtosimi.

“Every time Natalia improves it, making it even richer and more interesting. The trainings help their participants to find answers to questions that concern them, teach constructive communication with unfamiliar people, find non-standard solutions to the posed issues and much more,” said the website.

And for those in the tourism industry, organisers are also arranging a free two-day training seminar this year for administrators and employees of Alakol coast recreation centres and guesthouse owners in Akshi and Koktum villages. The sessions will focus on updating regional tourism workers and demonstrating possible recreation centre activities beyond beach season, such as bird watching, excursions to the surrounding area and sightseeing. Kazakh and Russian ornithologists, experienced tourist guides and hotel industry representatives, such as Novosibirsk bird watcher and ornithologist Konstantin Romanov and Tomsk ornithologist and biologist Andrew Bazdyrev, will be among the speakers.

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Participants can choose three types of three-day accommodation services at the Pelikan Family Recreation Centre – 19,500 tenge (US$51.40), 22,500 tenge (US$59.30) or 25,500 tenge (US$67.20) per guest. Organisers will provide bus transportation for 6,000 tenge (US$15.80). For more information, one can visit

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