Kokshetau National Park
Kokshetau City is not the most inspiring in the country, but from here you can get to the Kokshetau National Park, about 60km to the south-west, which is itself a gateway to some outstanding natural beauty. This region is possibly the birthplace of the domesticated horse, and is home to mountains, hills, forests and rocky peaks broken up by small crystal clear lakes. It is possible to organise homestays in three of the villages deeper into the park. This is a perfect way to enjoy the unique mix of Siberian and Central Asian landscape and wildlife. A trip to Kokshetau is a good way to spend a healthy and relaxing weekend. Tours can sometimes be planned independently, and hotels can usually provide help with drivers and hotel bookings. However, tours can also be organised by many of the bigger travel agents including those based in Almaty (see Almaty Play). In Astana however, Akmola Tourist is your best bet.