Passports and Visas
Please make sure that your passport is still valid for at least six months at the end of the tour and that you have at least two blank visa pages available. For 40 nationalities a visa is not required for visitors staying up to 30 days when you travel to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Visa-free visits are available to the citizens of Australia, Canada, EU countries, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA. For a full list of visa-free countries, look here
. If you are staying longer in Kazakhstan or for nationalities that do require a visa we will provide you with instructions on how to apply for the visas as you will need a supporting letter.
The only compulsory vaccination is for yellow fever and proof of vaccination will only be required if you’ve visited a country in the yellow-fever zone within six days prior to entering Kazakhstan. However, we strongly recommend that you are vaccinated against Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, tetanus and polio. Please speak to your doctor/physician for the most recent information.
Kazakhstan has hot summers and very cold winters. Temperatures and climate also vary according to the altitude. The summer days are warm with brilliant blue skies (max. 25°C/77°F to min. 10°C/50°F), but the weather in mountainous areas can be very unpredictable. Come prepared for cold evenings, rain, hail and possibly even snow. Early morning starts and descents at altitude will be more comfortable with proper gear on.
Travellers to the Tien Shan mountain range may suffer breathlessness and headaches before becoming acclimatized. It is important to take things lightly at first and to drink plenty of water. When climbing high passes, you may experience headaches, mild nausea or lack of appetite until your body adjusts to the elevation. These symptoms generally disappear after a few days.
In Almaty we will stay in the comfortable Kazzhol Hotel. We camp for 10 nights. Ground pads and tents are provided, however, a sleeping bag is not provided. You may rent a sleeping bag for US$70 but we highly recommend you bring your own. A 3-season sleeping bag would be best. A mess tent, toilet tent and shower tents are also provided. Three of the nights will be at Base Camp Karkara and hot showers and a sauna are available. All accommodation described in the itinerary are included in the tour cost.
Meals are included in the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, and D = dinner. While camping meals will be prepared by the cooking team on the support staff and feature Russian and Western-style cuisine. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water and energy-restoring drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer and alcohol are available in Kazakhstan.
SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars a day for incidentals. Included entrance fees are those for the listed sites and national parks that are part of the itinerary. Any other site fees are not included.
The currency in Kazakhstan is the tenge (KZT). The currency in Kyrgyzstan is the som (KGS).There are ATMs in Almaty that take international cards. There will be no other places to access ATMs, but then there will be very little opportunity to make purchases along the way. We recommend that you not rely on ATMs as your sole source of cash and suggest carrying cash or travellers cheques as backup in case the ATM is out of order, or you lose or break your plastic.