Mangystau, Famous for Martian Landscapes, a Top Draw for Local Tourism in Kazakhstan (Video)

NUR-SULTAN – While tourism continues to be one of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, local tourism is helping to soften the blow. The pandemic has spurred the demand for local tourism in Kazakhstan, said Kazakh Minister of Culture and Sports Aktoty Raimkulova at a Feb. 4 meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Akorda press service reported. 

Bozjyra tract. Photo credits: Anna Bashkir.

The Mangystau region is included in the top ten promising tourist zones of Kazakhstan. In 2021, there is a plan to attract more than 400 billion tenge (US$946 million) of investments for the development of the tourist infrastructure in the Mangistau region, which was stated during the recent working visit of Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin to Mangystau in primeminister.kz.

The Mangystau region, located in the southwest of the country, has Aktau, a seaport, as a capital. Aktau’s main attraction is the new embankment. The city also has an open-air amphitheater. 

The embankment has a 102 meters long and 24 meters wide staircase, a bicycle lane and the mythos square with recently installed mythical characters. In July of 2020, the Kazakh government in cooperation with the private sector completed the construction as well as launching the Rixos Water World Aktau five-star resort hotel.

After Aktau, one can safely go deeper into the Mangystau peninsula. 

The territory of the Mangystau region includes varied landscapes and desert lands: lowland, plateaus, mountains, cavities, desert, mountains and mountain ridges.

One of the main symbols of the Mangystau region is the Bozjyra (also spelled as Boszhira, Bozzhyra). The Bozjyra is a magnificent creation of weathering and erosion, located on the territory of the Ustyurt Plateau. 

Bozjyra tract. Photo credits: travel.kazakhstan.

Bozjyra has two sharp peaks, frequently called the fangs, from the base of which one can admire the quaint castle wall. 

Tourists can see vast clay deserts, limestone mountains, buttes more than 200 meters (650 feet) high. In the Mesozoic Era this area was covered by the Tethys ocean, so now visitors can find fossilized shells and teeth of prehistoric sharks.

Bozjyra is the must-see attraction of the Mangystau province, that will definitely leave an impression on visitors.

Tourists who have ever had a chance to explore the Mangystau province, unanimously confirm that this peninsula with its breathtaking landscapes is very unique. 

“I visited Mangystau in August of 2019. It felt absolutely amazing and otherworldly. The moment I remember the best was when it was night and I was sitting on the cliff alone, watching the moon set on the horizon and the milky way above the Bozjyra rock formations,” shared Juuso Hamalanainen, a tourist from Helsinki, Finland. 

It has its own special energy, most landscapes seem to be intended for shooting space movies with aliens and other planets. Therefore, it is popular to say that trip to Mangystau is like visiting another planet. 

Besides Bozjyra, tourists can explore no less fascinating places in the Mangystau region such as Sherkala mount, Kapamsay canyon, the Torysh valley of balls as well as historical and sacred places such as Beket Ata, Shakpak Ata, and the Sultan Epe underground mosques.

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