Altyn-Emel State National Nature Park is sprawled in the heart of Central Asia, in the valley of the Ili River, about 150 kilometres away from Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. The park was established in 1996 to preserve the unique natural complex of this region.
Tamgaly Tas, translated as “ written rocks, stones with signs”, is located in Kazakhstan, 170 kilometers to the north -west from Almaty, on the right bank of the Ili River, which is 20 km north-west from the Kapchagay dam. The natural boundary consists of huge cliffs (up to 60 m).
Issyk (or Isik- another name for the lake, translated as “a door” from Kazakh) is a picturesque, alpine lake surrounded by unusually beautiful nature of thick forests and spacious flower fields. The lake is located at an altitude of 1760 meters above sea level, in the Issyk gorge of Trans-Ili Alatau, about 70 km east of Almaty.
The region is located in the southwest of the country, and includes Mangyshlak Peninsula. It has much of Kazakhstan's Caspian Shore. It also borders neighboring countries Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Mangystau also borders two other Kazakh regions (counter-clockwise), Aktobe Region and Atyrau Region. The area of the region is 165,600 square kilometers. Engineers discovered petroleum in the area in the days of the Soviet Union, drilling commenced, and much of the area was built up around the industry.