Botanical tour

Botanical tour

15-day tour, in small groups, since 2011

On this botanical tour around Kyrgyzstan you will get to know some of the fine and unusual flora of Central Asia

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People are often surprised by the variety if our landscapes, but these give us such an amazing variety of flora – and fauna

Arslanbob, certainly the biggest, and probably the oldest, walnut forest in the world is a place of legends.  When you visit you can decide which ones are true.

About tour

Kyrgyzstan has a very rich flora. There are a greater variety of plants here than in the whole of Europe. Several specimens are unique to this country. Ecotour has organized a 15-day botanical tour in different parts of the country. This year we are offering a botanical tour which covers the central and south part of Kyrgyzstan. A Kyrgyz guide/interpreter is an expert on alpine plants, and will lead the tour. Up until now very little research has been done on the Kyrgyz flora. Thus each tour also has something of the spirit of a voyage of discovery.

More detailed description on request

Day By Day Programme

Here you can find a detailed description of the tour with routes and locations

  Day 1Departure from your local airport.
  Day 2Arrival at Manas Airport where we will meet you and take you to your hotel. After a short rest and brunch, we visit to the Alamedin Valley located 30 km south of Bishkek. Hike in the picturesque valley with juniper, birch groves and with numerous bushes of black currant, barberry, rose hips and sea buckthorn. Here we can see Salvia Sclarea, Eremurus Tianschanicus and Astragalus Schanginianus. Picnic lunch. In the evening back to the hotel in Bishkek.
  Day 3Day trip to Ala-Archa National Park with a hike to the Ak-Say waterfall higher up the gorge. This National Park is an alpine park in the Tien-Shan Mountains. It was given National Park Status in 1976 and is located approximately 40 km south of the city of Bishkek. The park comprises the gorge of the Ala-Archa River and the mountains surrounding it. It covers about 200 square kilometers and its altitude ranges from about 1.500 meters at the entrance to a maximum of 4.895 meters at Peak Semenov Tien-Shanski, the highest peak in the Kyrgyz Ala-Too range of the Tien-Shan. The flora in this park is very rich and many species typical of an Alpine habitat can be found. In the evening, we return to Bishkek and stay in the hotel.
  Day 4From Bishkek to Chon-Kemin, a valley bordering Kazakhstan (1.800 m). In 1997 a national park was established with total area of 5.000 ha within the valley. The national park includes all the forests of the Kemin District. The park is under the protection of the state as its territory is inhabited with unique species of flora and fauna such as the Tolai hare and pheasants, as well as the Ephedra Intermedia and Equisitana. On the way we will see Goniolimon Cuspidatum, Onobrychis Arenaria and Astragalus Kronenburgii. Picnic lunch. Stay in a B&B.
  Day 5Botanizing in the mountains near the guesthouse or a daytrip to Jashyl-Kol (Green Lake) located 35 km to the east of the village. Stay in a B&B.
  Day 6From Chon Kemin over the Dolon Pass to Naryn, a major town on the road to the Chinese border (a branch of the ancient Silk Road). The altitude ranges from 1.700 up to 3.010 m at Dolon Pass. In the semi-desert areas we will see Peganum Harmala, Nitraria Sibirica, whereas at the pass we will look for Androsace Lechmanniana and Androsace Dasyphylla. In Naryn we stay in a guesthouse.
  Day 7Day trip to the National Park Salkyn-Tor, occupying an area of 10.448 hectares. Hike in the territory of the national park with many plants, birds, insects and animals that are listed in the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan. In the evening back to the guesthouse in Naryn.
  Day 8After breakfast we head to the South shore of Lake Son-Kul over Moldo-Ashuu Pass (3.201 m). The slopes of Moldo-Ashuu are overgrown with Picea Schrenkiana and are rich in flora. Son-Kul Lake is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, located at the altitude of 3.100 m (warm clothes are absolutely necessary). Here we find the flora of the high mountains such Trollius Komarovii, Smelovskia Calycina, Trollius Lilacinus and carpets of edelweiss. It is also possible to spot Tulipa Dasystemon and Tulipa Heterophylla. Stay in a yurt.
  Day 9We continue over the Kara-Keche Pass (3.384 m) and down to a coalmine, and then drive through the gorge along the Kokomeren River. On the way we stop for the dry slopes of the gorge to look for Dianthus Kuschakevich and some interesting species of Alliums. In the afternoon, walk in the dry hills of Kyzyl-Oi village. Stay in a B&B.
  Day 10A spectacular drive through a glen to the wide green valley of Suusamyr, then up to Ala-Bel Pass (3.175 m). Here we stop in a valley with some snow to look for Chrosispora Sibirica and Oxygraphis Glacialis. We will reach the southern shore of Toktogul water-reservoir and stay in a holiday complex by the shore.
  Day 11Following the road to Osh, we drive past large turquoise-coloured parts of the water reservoir to Arslanbob Village, surrounded by the most famous walnut forest in the world. We will stop at the beginning of the Ferghana Valley. Stay in a B&B in Arslanbob village.
  Day 12Day walking through the largest natural walnut forest in the world covering 11.000 hectares situated between the Fergana Valley and the Chatkal Mountains. Various wild forms of other fruit-bearing species including Malus Siversiana, Pyrus Korshinsky, Prunus Sogdiana, but the main treasure of these southern forests is the walnut tree. The walnut forest is located at altitudes varying between 1.500 metres and 2.000 metres. Hiking to the waterfalls and a small cave, or grotto known as the “Cave of Forty Angels”, where a holy woman used to live and people would come to her and make petitions. Stay in a B&B.
  Day 13Drive back to the Chychkan Gorge. On the way we will have botanizing stops in the semi-desert areas of the Tash-Komur coal mining area, and now and then stop to see Capparis Spinosa and wild cherries, and the endemic species of Convolvulus. Arriving in the Chichkan Gorge late afternoon and then botanizing in the forest zone with a big variety of plants such as Aquilegia Atrovinosa and several genus of Pedicularis. Stay in the Oson Motel.
  Day 14Around many switch-backs we climb up the Too-Ashuu Pass (3.180 m), the only pass with a tunnel (2,6 km). Botanizing before and after the pass on the slopes covered with meadows of Ligularia Alpigena, Pholomoides Oreophylla, Trollius Dzungaricus. In the afternoon we arrive in Bishkek and visit the Osh Bazaar, if wanted, with vegetables, fruits and Kyrgyz traditional clothes. There is also a part, where they sell medicinal plants. Stay in hotel and farewell dinner.
  Day 15Transfer to Manas Airport and departure.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, it might be necessary to make small changes in the program.
We ask for your understanding.

Tour specifics

Our tours can be organized for individual travelers or groups of up to 10 people (and sometimes more) and for families with (young) children. For the majority of our tours you can specify the start date and length of the tour.

Date
May 28 June 11
Group
6 to 8 persons
For six and more persons
Price € 1.250 p.p. 

For bookings of 4, or more, persons we offer a 5% discount. In case there are less participants than required, if you pay an additional fee, the trip will go on as planned.

Terms of payment

Your booking will be confirmed upon receipt of a deposit of euros 250 per person.  The outstanding balance must be paid either 8 weeks before departure or in cash upon arrival.  We do not accept debit or credit cards.

•  Transportation by minibus
•  Transfer from and to the airport
•  All meals, breakfast, lunch and supper
•  Stay in hotel, B&B, guesthouse, yurt and homestay
•  Programme as described
•  English/German (as required) speaking guide/interpreter

•  Flight
•  Insurances
•  Personal expenses
•  Entrance charges if applicable
•  Tips
•  Alcoholic and other bottled beverages
•  Activities not mentioned in the programme

If you have to cancel a tour you already booked, we have to charge you cancellation fee.
If Ecotour cancels the tour, of course you will get back the full amount you paid.
If you cancel your trip, depending on the time your message reaches us, you owe Ecotour the following amount:

till 42 days before departureone pays the deposit
day 42- till day 2835 %
day 28- till day 2140 %
day 21- till day 1450 %
day 14- till day 575 %
day 5 – till day 290 %
on the last day before and the day of departure100%

A trip with Ecotour means an unusual and unforgettable vacation.
Our trips are suitable for those who do not insist on luxury, love the mountains,
appreciate the silence and do not want to travel in large groups.

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU

Kyrgyzstan is a land full of beautiful experiences and wonders unique…
click the link below

Mountain passes, bad tracks, off-road, and firm climbs over 3000 m characterize this route.
Not all slopes are steep, but some are very long and on dirt roads.
But it is worth the effort.