Trans Eurasia travel

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The Great Lakes

Zharsor LakeFive huge lakes-both freshwater and salt-occur in the Tofcol River basin: Kulykol, Zharsor, Babatkul, Kusmuryn and Tyuntyugur. Given the most common type of trip advertised by local travel companies is for hunting, it seems the people in this area seem to think that foreign tourists are happiest when shooting wolves or flocks of water birds. Of course that may be understandable for those whose history and tradition revolves around hunting on the steppe, but for less bloodthirsty visitors there are many possibilities to stalk wildlife in a more peaceful manner.

The lakes have an immensely rich bird life, with Dalmatian pelican, whooper swan, two kinds of crane and several kinds of heron, as well as many marsh and other water birds making this region home. The largest lake, Kusmuryn, is 460 square kilometres of salty, shallow water, whose level fluctuates considerably through the seasons. The lakes can be reached from Kostanay-a tent and a few bottles of mosquito repellent are definitely recommended.