by Sophie Ibbotson and Stephanie Adams
Karakalpakstan travel guide. Holiday advice and travel information to this autonomous Central Asian republic, featuring heritage attractions (museums, desert fortresses, mausolea, ancient settlements), ecotourism, wildlife, festivals, accommodation, restaurants and transport. Thorough coverage includes Nukus, Ancient Khorezm, Ustyurt, Aral Sea, the Aralkum Desert, Chilpik Dakhma and Amu Darya.
Size: 135 X 216 mm
Number of pages: 200
About this book
Bradt’s Karakalpakstan is the longest, most detailed and most up-to-date travel guidebook to this autonomous republic – Central Asia’s best-kept secret. With detailed information on what to see and do, listings for accommodation and restaurants, and guidance on getting around, this guide provides all the practical advice adventurous tourists need to visit or explore this exciting destination.
Roughly the size of Sweden, Karakalpakstan borders Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and was, until recently, dominated by the Aral Sea. As the sea water has retreated, the Aralkum – the world’s newest desert – and numerous lakes have formed in its place. Ecotourism is developing rapidly here, as local people recognise the need to protect and restore fragile ecosystems while creating meaningful employment opportunities.
Amid Karakalpakstan’s remote wildernesses, the intrepid traveller will find unique geology (such as the Ustyurt Plateau), rare wildlife (including a substantial population of the critically endangered saiga antelope, whose peculiarly bulbous nose helps filter desert dust and regulate the animal’s temperature), and fabulous star gazing.
The region also boasts a long history and rich culture. Scattered through the Kyzylkum, the ruins of the 50-plus desert fortresses of Ancient Khorezm (some proposed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites) attest to the region’s former strategic importance. You can explore ancient settlements (such as the necropolis of Mizdakhan, said to include the grave of Adam), and see caravanserais, mausolea and even Chilpik Dakhma, a Zoroastrian ‘tower of silence’.
Alternatively, celebrate Russian Avant Garde art alongside the superb archaeological and ethnographic collections of Savitsky Museum in Nukus, justifiably known as the ‘Louvre of the Steppe’. For something entirely different, why not explore Muynak’s ship graveyard on the remains of the Aral Sea, visit the notorious Soviet bioweapons lab Aralsk 7 on Vozrozhdeniya (Resurrection Island), raise your binoculars at the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area of Sudochye Lakes (where 230 types of birds have been recorded) or dance the night away at the annual Stihia festival of electronic music.
Written by two Central Asian experts, Bradt’s Karakalpakstan is an indispensable practical companion to visiting this excitingly varied republic.
About the Author
Sophie Ibbotson (www.maximumexposure.co) read Oriental Studies at Clare College, Cambridge, and has a particular interest in Central Asia and Afghanistan, where she has worked since 2008. She has travelled extensively in Karakalpakstan, establishing strong relationships with local government figures, international organisations and tourism businesses. An experienced travel writer, Ibbotson is the author or co-author of six Bradt guides, including two others to Central Asia (Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), and has also written for publications such as The Financial Times, The Economist and The Telegraph. As well as being the Uzbekistan government’s Tourism Ambassador to the UK, Ibbotson is the founder of Maximum Exposure Ltd (a tourism and culture development consultancy focused on emerging destinations), the Director of the Silk Road Literary Festival, a consultant for the World Bank, and Chairman of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.
Stephanie Adams is a bilingual (English and Russian) writer and researcher who has lived and studied in Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Having graduated from Plymouth University with a degree in English and Publishing, she works for Maximum Exposure, a tourism development consultancy and PR firm specialising in Central Asia. Her travel writing has been published in outlets including Asian Geographic, TNT Magazine, and The Travel Magazine, and she also contributed to two Bradt guidebooks to Central Asian countries: Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Additional InformationTable of Contents
PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography and climate, Natural history and conservation, History and archaeology, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Arts and crafts, Architecture, Theatre and cinema, Music, Literature
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, LGBTQIA+ travellers, Travelling with a disability, Travelling with kids, What to take, Money and budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Photography, Media and communications, Business, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Nukus
History, Getting there and away, Orientation, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Around Nukus
Chapter 4 Ustyurt Plateau and the Saigachy Reserve
Kungrad and around, Jaslyk, Kubla Ustyurt, Saigachy Reserve, Karakalpakiya and Tejen
Chapter 5 Muynak and the Aral Sea
Muynak , South of Muynak, Sudochye-Akpetki State Reserve, Aralkum National Nature Park, Southeast of Muynak
Chapter 6 Central Karakalpakstan
Kanlikul District, Shumanay District, Kegeyli District, Chimbay District, Karauzyak District, Takhtakopir District
Chapter 7 Along the Amu Darya
Khujayli District, Amu Darya District
Chapter 8 Southeast Karakalpakstan
Beruni, Buston, Tortkul
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Further information