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Kolsai Natural Park

Almaty Region, Kazakhstan

The State National Natural Park «Kolsai» is the youngest of the specially protected areas in the Tien-Shan Mountains in Kazakhstan. The total area of the park is 161,045 ha.
The park is located in north-eastern part of the Tien-Shan Mountains which includes the northern slopes of the eastern Kungei Ala-Tau. The park is situated at the altitude of 1800-3500 m above the sea level and has the unique landscapes with a cascade of lakes, rich flora and fauna and still conserves some huge parts of wild and untouched nature. The main attraction of this natural park is a cascade of the three great Kolsai lakes located in a beautiful valley surrounded by very high mountain peaks. All the three unique mountain lakes are of the tectonic origin - Upper, Middle and Lower Kolsai lakes are located respectively at 1870, 2250 and 2650 meters above the sea level. All of the Kolsai lakes are very deep. The deepest place is 80 meters.

In the next valley there is one more incredibly beautiful mountain lake called Kaindy situated at the altitude of 1,867 meters above the sea level and surrounded by mountain peaks. The lake was formed only 100 years ago and it's also of the tectonic origin. The lake is very interesting and mysterious because of a plenty of Tien-Shan spruces growing right inside of it. It's understandable that such a natural paradise attracts people from all over the world.

The flora of the park is very rich and presented with the majestic Tien-Shan fir-trees or scientifically Schrenk’s spruce which is one of the most beautiful in the world among all the existent fir-trees. In the early age (20-40 years) the spruce grows slowly, the intensive growth is observed when it is 40-60 years old. The most common age is at least 200-250 years; sometimes single trees reach 350-450 years or even 550 years.

The plant community is presented with more than 700 species. There are 12 species of plants listed in the Red Book. There is also an abundance of the most beautiful birds and animals in the park. There are more than 200 types of animals, 4 species of fish, 2 species of amphibians, 197 species of birds and 29 species of mammals. Among them are the ones listed in the Red Book: blue bird, golden eagle, bearded vulture, falcon Balaban, Kumai, ibex, argali, Tien-Shan white-clawed bear, snow leopard, Turkistan lynx, Central Asian otter, Marco polo mountain goat, red wolf, etc.

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