Kazakhstan holiday, Back in the USSR

Description of Kazakhstan holiday, Back in the USSR

Discover remote Kazakhstan on this exclusive and unusual small-group tour. The north-eastern corner of Kazakhstan is one of the lesser-visited areas of Central Asia and in the mid-20th century the reason would have been obvious as it was home to the Soviet nuclear testing programme. Today it remains quiet but the region has opened up to visitors and you can now visit the laboratories of Igor Kurchatov, the director of the Soviet atomic bomb project and head into the Semipalatinsk Test Site where the experiments were carried out. You can see the concrete towers which housed the test instruments, and sites such as the re-constructed Moscow metro station.

This tour also visits the ghost town of Chagan, the town of Semey where Dostoevsky was exiled, as well as the former gulags at Alzhir and Karaganda, starting and finishing in the fascinating capital of Astana with its futuristic architecture.

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01 Jun 2019
including UK flights
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kazakhstan holiday, Back in the USSR


Kazakhstan is a country where 'green' policies and principles are only slowly making inroads into the country so it's all about the little things adding up to slowly start to make a difference. The very nature of this tour as a shared transport, group tour helps to minimise the environmental impact of visitors compared to many individual travellers using separate vehicles. Many of the hotels used on the tour are locally owned and staffed and, while some of them may be larger properties, all are important employers of local people from hospitality staff right up to management level. Many of the smaller, more remote hotels make use of solar energy panels for electricity and our ground agents also try to use LPG as opposed to petrol in their vehicles where possible.

We are always talking to our local ground agents about the need to stress to clients the importance of basic responsible principles such as appropriate waste disposal, not to waste water, turning off lights on leaving the room in hotels, not replacing towels and bedding daily etc.

As a company we have introduced responsible practices in our UK office including paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic recycling. We also support local UK charities including the RNIB and various charities around the world. 50% of our office staff use public transport (bus and train) and cycle to work. Management encourages this with their introduction of the cycle to work scheme which offers subsidised cycle ownership.


On our Kazakhstan holidays all services are provided by local Kazakh people which includes your local English-speaking group guides, the drivers, local guides at various monuments/sites and hotel staff. All staff are paid a fair wage for Kazakhstan and all wages are kept within the local communities thereby supporting local people. Furthermore, by visiting these hotels and sites additional income is brought into the region, further helping to develop the local area. All meals are included on the itinerary and food is sourced locally whether it is served in the hotels or a locally owned and managed restaurant.

Every year at the start of the busy tourist season our ground agents provide training to local villagers involved in the CBT (community based tourism) initiatives on how to interact with and welcome visitors into their communities. The local agents also sponsor local communities to collect rubbish and plant local plant life in their region.

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