Katon-Karagai Nature Park and Ustyurt Plateau
East Kazakhstan is a unique region, which includes 24 national reserves. It is home to beautiful nature sites Katon-Karagai Nature Park and Ustyurt Plateau.
Katon-Karagay National Park territory is included in the Kazakhstan part of Altai-Sayan ecological region. It is the largest national park in Kazakhstan.Rich diversity of flora and fauna, as well as preserved species, included in the Kazakhstan Red Book, is concentrated here. According to preliminary information there are over 1000 species of vascular plants in the park. 30 species are listed as endangered: they are Rhodiola rosea, rapontikum carthamoides, Altaic rhubarb, Altaic anthrax, and others.
The Ustyurt Plateau occupies a huge area between the Aral and Caspian Seas, and has a characteristic feature: the escarpment, a steep inaccessible slope with the height of about 150 m (the East Escarpment facing towards the Aral Sea, reaches 190 m). According to scientists, Ustyurt is the bottom of a dried-up sea, which existed here in the early and middle Cenozoic Era (21 million years ago). The Ustyurt Plateau is especially beautiful during sunrises and sunsets. The chalk rocks are an impressive picture at sunrise and sunset, when the white rocks are painted in purple colors.