Burabay National Park

About Burabay National park

The Burabay National Park  is a natural park located in the Burabay District, in Aqmola Region, Kazakhstan, near Nur-Sultan.

The park was selected as one of the top 10 tourist destinations in Kazakhstan.

The park is under the direct jurisdiction of the President of Kazakhstan.

In the protected area of the national park, economic and leisure activities are prohibited, as the park is under the regulation of nature reserves.

In the north of Akmola region the SNNP Burabay is located. This resort pearl of Kazakhstan is a fantastic mountain land harboring mysterious wonders. Gorgeous pine forests, cliffs formed of neat gigantic natural bricks, and fantastical shapes of peaks resembling sometimes exotic, sometimes Egyptian pointed pyramids separated by serene lakes. The SNNP Burabay was established in August, 2000 and it is under the supervision of the Administration of Presidential Affairs. The territory of SNNP Burabai is a part of the Kokshetau steppe, a mixed steppe and forest and hilly upland. The climate is extreme continental here, with hot summers and severe winters. The topography of the territory consists of lowlands, hills and plains.

Although Burabay Park does not have any artifacts on its territory, every rock here has its own legend.

Nature has generously scattered precious gifts from its mineral treasury around the Burabay area. Among them is Okzhetpes cliff (Inaccessible even to Arrows) with a peak resembling an elephant calf, and the creek of the Bun with Zhumbaktas cliff (Riddle-stone) resembling a mysterious sphinx with severe fearless features.

There are 14 lakes on the territory of the park, each of which has an area of more than 1 km, and there are a great many smaller lakes. The river network is sparse and consists only of small rivers, springs and temporary channels. The largest lakes are Bolshoye Chebachyeand Maloye Chebachye, Shchuchye and Borovoye.

Plant life on park territory is represented by forest, steppe, meadow, marsh and salt marsh species. The flora comprises about 800 species. There are 305 vertebrate animal species.

On the territory of SNNP Burabay are 35 permanent recreation facilities. The current landscape of the park is represented by steppe, lake, forest and forest and steppe and lowlands. Borovoye (Burabay) Lake is situated in the territory of the Shuchinsky district of Kokshetau oblast in the eastern foothills of Kokshe Mountain. Its territory is 10.5 sq. km, length is 4.5 km, width is 3.9 km; average depth is 4.5 m, and maximum depth is 7 m. The shore line is 13.6 km and water area is 164 sq. km. The bowl of the lake is almost round, and its bottom level; the southern shores are rocky, and the eastern shores are sandy. The water in the lake is soft and still, and one can see to the deepest bottom of the lake. Borovoye Lake is separated by mountain ranges from the closest lakes (Big and Small Chebiache, Shuche, Kotyrkol, Zhukei, etc.). The island Zhumbaktas is situated in the northwestern part of the lake at a height of 20 m above the water. The cliffs and capes of the northwestern and southern coasts (Kyzyltas, Gorky, etc.) create a unique landscape. The shores are overgrown with pine and birch forests.
The combination of mountains, pine forests and lakes creates special climate conditions in the natural boundary. Medicinal health resort complexes (sanatoriums Borovoye and Okzhetpes; rest house Blue Gulf, etc.) are some of the best in the country and built on the eastern coast between the Sarybulak and Gromotukha rivers. There are medicinal mud and mineral springs. The beauty of the nature of Borovoye is proclaimed in Seifulin’s poem Kokshetau and in Mukanov’s novel Botagoz

The legend of Borovoye

There are many legends and stories about Borovoye. When God was creating the world, one of the nations received the lands rich of forests, another got fertile fields with large rivers, and the third got the beautiful mountains and blue lakes. But the Kazakh ended up with only feather-grass steppe… This offended him and he asked God to endow him with some natural beauty. God took the mountains, rocks, beautiful pine and deciduous forests, blue lakes with pure water, and emerald fields covered with grasses and flowers from his korzhyn and spread them with a bountiful hand into the boundless steppes. It was the appearance of Borovoye of one of the most picturesque places in Kazakhstan, which for its beauty and rare harmonic combination of mountains, forests, lakes, and unique flora and fauna received the poetic name The pearl of Kazakhstan. Borovoye is also the name of a health resort, which is situated in the Shuchinsky district of Kokshetau Region, 20 km from the station of Borovoye Resort (in the town of Shuchinsk). From the north it is surrounded by the Kokshetau Mountains at a height of 974m above sea level, covered with birch forests. In the neighboring of the resort are such interesting rocks and cliffs as: Okzhetpes, Sphinx, Cow, Sleeping knight, and Knight. The first private health resort was opened here in 1910. Average temperature in January is -16’C, in July is +19’C. Atmospheric precipitation is up to 400 mm, with about 2000 sunny hours per year. The main medicinal remedies here are fresh air and picturesque views.

Borovoye Lake is the beauty and pride of this area, featuring a variety of sanitariums, camping sites and resorts, with crowded shores and all the attributes of resort life: restaurants, beaches, stores and dance halls. Across the small mountain isthmus you can get from Borovoye Lake to Bolshoe Chebach Lake. It is perfect for lovers of unhurried and wild recreation, who prefer camping and contact with nature. From the top of Mt. Sinyukha (Kokchetau, 961 m), the highest in the vicinity, opens a panoramic view of the lake, as big as a sea, stretching almost to the end of the horizon. The Burabai National Park system also contains the big Lake Shchuchye and many smaller lakes.

One can not be help but mention the lakes of Borovoye. There are many. Lakes Shychie, Borovoye, Big and Small Chebachie, and Koturkul glitter on the green atlas of the forest.

The small lakes Svetloye, Karasye, Gornoye, Lebedinoye can be seen from the Kokchetau Cliffs. The visiting card of Borovoye is the Blue Bay on the lake of the same name. Right out of the waters of the bay, Mount Zhumbaktas (Mystery, Sphinx) soars.

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The climate of Burabay is Humid continental climate, warm summer (Köppen climate classification (Dfb)). This climate is characterized by large seasonal temperature differentials and a warm summer (at least four months averaging over 10 °C (50 °F), but no month averaging over 22 °C (72 °F). The average temperature in the park in January is -16 °C, and +19 °C in July. Precipitation average is around 300 mm yearly. In winter, snow cover is around 25–35 cm thick, and lasts from mid-November to April.

Many legends evoke Burabay. One of them explains that the Creator only left arid steppes to the nomads of Kazakhstan. Feeling aggrieved, Kazakh people prayed God, who gathered all the remaining mountains, forests, lakes and rivers, and threw them towards the steppes. And in this way Burabay was born, and it has been called up to nowadays the «Kazakhstan’s pearl».

Kenesary Cave: The Kenesary Cave is a popular tourist destination and photo spot in Burabay. The cave is named after the grandson of the famous Khan Abylai, Kenesary Khan. It is believed that Kenesary Khan spent childhood here.

The first step towards the protection of this natural space has been the establishment of the State Forest in 1898. In 1920, Burabay has been nationalized and declared spa town of national importance. In 1935, the National Nature Reserve of Burabay has been organized. In 1951, the nature reserve was dissolved, and in place of it, the Burabay Forest has been established. The governmental motion N° 787 of May 6 of 1997 transformed the Forest of Burabay into the Natural and Well-being Complex of the Forest of Burabay, managed by the State. In 2000, the motion N°1246 of August 12 created the National nature park of Burabay, which includes a supremacy of 83 511 ha, of which 47 600 ha of forests. In 2010, the supremacy of the park has been expanded to 129 935 ha. In 2012, 370 ha have been converted in spare lands.

The park counts 757 sorts of plants, of which 119 should be protected, and 12 are registered in the Red Book. The forest has 65% of pines, 31% of birches, 3% of aspens and 1% of shrubs. Many species of edible mushrooms can be found.

Due to the diversity of the flora, the fauna is very abundant: 305 species of animals can be found, which represents 36% of the fauna diversity of Kazakhstan. 40% of them live at the border of their habitat, and 13 species are registered in the Red Book.

The wildlife of Burabay is much richer than that of the surrounding steppes. There species from steppes, forests and mountains mix. Some Europe-wide species are found as well as Siberian, Southern and Northern ones.

Currently, Burabay’s forests host a variety of deer including roe deer, moose, wild boar, squirrels, stoats, weasel and marten. Amongst the predators, wolves and lynx might be encountered. In the steppes and wooded areas, fox species, weasels and European and mountain hares might be met with, as well as badgers in the forests.

There are a variety of birds, particularly ducks and waders which include common goldeneye, mallard, gadwall, northern pintail, ruddy shelducks, plovers, northern lapwings, common sandpipers, green sandpipers. Ducks numbers rise massively during Autumn and during migration periods.

In the dry stony pine forests, and along the forests, the birch wooden steppes, the grey partridge and the capercaillie can be found.

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