Tour MTHC 17. Botanic Excursion on the Kizilkum desert

MTHC 17 FW 1: Flower watching in Uzbekistan: Fairyland Journey. Flower watching tour around Western Tien-Shan - 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS

Itinerary: Tashkent – Tashkent Botanical Garden – Chimgan mountaim range (Beldersay tract, Chatkal mountain ridge) – Charvak reservoir – Kizil-Su river gorge (Karjantau and Ugam mountain ridges) – Pskem mountain ridge – Paltau mountain foot (Keksujsky mountain ridge) – Tashkent – Samarqand – Zaraphshan reserve – Zaamin reserve (Turkestan mountain ridge) – Tashkent – Abjazsay river gorge (Kuramin mountain ridge).
Duration: 8 days/ 7 nights 
Best period: from April 10 to June 30
Accommodation: in double rooms in hotels 2, 3, 4 *, gueust house
Specialty Categories: Nature
Highlights of the trip

This program gives travellers the unique chance to watch flora of several mountain ridges of the Western Tien-Shan: Chatkal ridge, Ugam and Karjantau ridges, Pskem ridge, Keksu ridge, Kuramin ridge, Turkestan ridge. Members will see famous Charvak reservoir – artificial lake in mountains. The group will visit Ugam – Chatkal National Park, Zaraphshan reserve, Zaamin reserve. Flora of the Tien-Shan mountain range is manifold. There are not less then 2200 species of plants dwell here – from the Turan desert flora to high-mountain flora of the Pamiro-Alay. Majority of all these plants covers the angiospermous – 2150 species. As traveler approaches mountains he crosses 5 plant girdles (levels): 700m – 1200m – Ephemeridae flora (Lat.), 1200m – 1500m – deciduous – woody – shrubby flora, 1500m – 2300m – “archa” trees (kind of juniper), 2300m – 2800m – Acantholimon Boiss species(Lat.) and mountain steppes, above 2800m – Alpine plants. About 650 species of plants are used in medi- cine and 400 are used as food plants.
Enjoy the diverse nature of Uzbekistan full of wonders and discoveries!

Detailed program
DAY 1: Tashkent
Arrival in Tashkent airport. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation. Transfer to the Tashkent Botanical Garden. Excursion in the Tashkent. Botanical Garden with professional botanist. Return to the hotel. Lunch in hotel restaurant. Sightseeing around evening Tashkent. Return to the hotel. Dinner.

DAY 2: Tashkent – Chimgan Mountains
Early breakfast. Transfer to the Ugam-Chatkal National Park to Chimgan mountain range (Beldersay tract) to the down station of the Beldersay chair-lift (rope-way). Rope-way tour to the up station (Kumbel mountain). Beldersay tract is located on western exposure slopes of Chatkal ridge. Altitude of this mountain range in this area is from 1500m to 3300m above sea level. This place attracts with luxuriant vegetation of shrubby species, the majority of which are precinctive for the Western Tien-Shan and the Pamiro-Alay. In up level of Beldersay tract several species of the spring flora are met – Colchicum luteum, Crocus alatavicus, Tulipa tshimganica, Tulipa bifloriformis, Arum korolkovii, Echinops karatavicus, different species of Eremurus and Ferula, Polygonium coriarum, Rosa divina, Junipe-rus seravschanica, Iris locyii, Rheum maximovicii, Prunus etc. Flower watching walk around Kumbel summit (2200m) to the saddle (2150m) and then – along the crest leading to Maygashkan summit (2310m). Lunch en route. Rope-way tour back to the down station of the Beldersay chair-lift. Transfer to “Charvak Orromgokhy” hotel placed on a bank of Charvak reservoir. Accommodation. Charvak reservoir is huge artificial lake with 2 milliard capacity of fresh water. It’s very popular summer resort as well as source of pure and fresh water for population of Chirchik valley. Rest. Walks. Dinner in hotel restaurant.

DAY 3: Chimgan Mountains
Breakfast. Transfer around Charvak reservoir to the gorge of Kizil-Su river. Flower watching walk up along the river by ground road towards the uppers. It’s possible to reach the waterfall (according group’s desire). Lunch en route. Kizil-Su river comes from junction of Ugam and Karjantau mountain ridges – Mingbulak summit (2824m). The gorge of this river is placed on the southern exposure of these ridges. Walk back. Transfer back to the hotel. Rest. Dinner in hotel restaurant.

DAY 4: Chimgan Mountains
Breakfast in hotel restaurant. Transfer to far territory of Ugam – Chatkal National Park to Pskem river and then up along Pskem river gorge to Semisazsay river gorge. Flower watching walk. Lunch en route. The valley of Pskem river is formed by two highest ridges of the Central Asia – Ugam and Pskem ridges. High ridges altitudes (up to 4000m), insularity or area, latitudinal extension macro slopes, abundance of atmospheric precipitates, farness from densely populated settlements and other factors are the reason of forming of the unique flora composition here. Pskem river basin is center of the Western Tien-Shan in whole, where more then 1500 species of plants exist. Besides, more then 50 endemic species are spred here. Transfer to the to Badaksay river gorge. Flower watching walk around the downs of Badaksay river. Transfer to hotel. Rest. Dinner in hotel restaurant.

DAY 5: Chimgan Mountains - Tashkent
Breakfast in hotel restaurant. Transfer to Paltau mountain foot (Keksu mountain ridge). Flower watching walk by good ground road across the birch groves to the waterfall. Lunch en route. Transfer to Tashkent. Accommodation at hotel. Dinner in hotel restaurant.

DAY 6: Tashkent – Samarkand region
Early breakfast in hotel restaurant. Transfer to Samarkand. Lunch en route in wayside tea-house. Accommodation at hotel. Rest. Transfer to Zarafshan reserve (vicinities of Samarkand). Excursion in Zarafshan reserve. Zaraphshan reserve was founded in 1975. It’s located on the right side of Zaraphshan river in its middle stream. The length of Zaraphshan reserve is 47km, and width is 1500m (somewhere is 300m). Area is 2320 hectares, 30% of it is covered with forest. Transfer back to the hotel. Dinner is in hotel restaurant.

DAY 7: Samarkand region - Tashkent
Early breakfast in hotel restaurant. Transfer to Zaamin reserve. Flower watching walk in Zaamin reserve. Lunch en route. Zaamin reserve was founded in 1960-1976 on Turkestan ridge spurs with altitude from 1760 to 3500m above sea level. Area of it is 10.5 thousands hectares and 4161 hectares of it is covered with forest. Transfer to Tashkent. Accommodation at hotel. Dinner in hotel restaurant.

DAY 8: Tashkent – Angren - Tashkent
Breakfast in hotel restaurant. Transfer in direction of Angren town to Abjazsay river gorge. Flower watching walk in “archa” (kind of juniper) forest. Lunch en route. Abjazsay river is situated in northern spurs of Kuramin ridge, altitude of which is from 1600 to 300m above sea level. The territory of Abjazsay river basin is unique botanical museum where realm of several species of “archa” (local name of junipers) dwells. At 16:00 – transfer back in Tashkent. Rest. Dinner in restaurant. Transfer to the Tashkent airport. Departure according to the schedule of the international flight.

Tour price per person :

10-14 +1 FOC*
Single room Supplement 
Option A ( Hotels 3 - 4*)
Option B  ( Hotels 2-3*)

*1 free of charge in double room for trip leader:

The price includes:
• Transportation on comfortable air-conditioned transportation, including all airport transfers;
• Accommodation based on double room sharing at the hotels 2,3 4*, full board lunches and dinners;
• Entry permits to National reserves mentioned;
• Service of professional botanist scientist;
• Service of professional mountain guide;
• English speaking guide;
• Visa support to Uzbekistan.

The price doesn’t include:
• International  flight;
• Additional services in the hotels;
• Camera and Video charges during the sightseeing;
• Luggage in excess of 20 +5 kg;
• Airport taxes;
• Insurance;
• Additional room payment Single;
• Visa consular fees;

Payment: The cost of the tour can be paid via bank transfer or using other options which can be discussed through communication with us.

Cancellation fees:
• Cancellation prior 30 days – no charges apply
• Cancellation prior 15 days – 50% charge of the tour price
• Cancellation prior 7 days – 100% charge of the tour price

A few words of caution
Depending on the month of the year the above mentioned plant species may vary.
To make your tour a success, don’t forget to take the following:
Comfortable clothes and footwear (for cool weather and for hot days while in desert)
Sunglasses and headwear to protect you from sun

MTHC 17 – FW 2 “Botanic Excursion on the Kizilkum desert” — 14 days/13 nights

When water does not just happen - Over the Silk Roads
Itinerary: Tashkent— Nukus – Baday Tugay reserve - Khiva — Bukhara - Nurata – Aydarkul – Sentob - Uhum — Samarkand —Tashkent -  Chimgan —Tashkent
Duration: 14 days/13 nights 
Season: The best time for this trip is the month of April (mid April)
Accommodation: in double rooms in hotels 2, 3, 4 *
Description: The trip to Uzbekistan. The circuit consists of the discovery of history, architecture and varied landscape of the country

Highlights of the trip
Uzbekistan has a special place in Central Asia for its biodiversity. The flora of Uzbekistan includes approximately 4500 species of wild plants. More than 1500 species of plants grow in desert areas. There is also a wide variety of endemic plants more than 500 species in nature reserves, national parks or botanical gardens. The main part of the deserts of Uzbekistan is placed on open spaces of the desert of Kyzylkum. Areas of particular interest in the desert of Kizilkum are the remains of mountains (maximum altitude: no more than 750 meters) and said Tugay vegetation (the local name of the vegetation of the dry river). Much of the flora of the remains of mountain ranges are endemic plants of Central Asia. In any desert vegetation of Uzbekistan according to highly specific changes, similar to the flora of the Irano-Turanian plateau.

Day 1 Departure for Tashkent

Day 2 Tashkent - Nukus.
Visit the city of Tashkent, the Botanical Garden in Tashkent, meet its flora. Plants to discover: Take the flight afternoon to Nukus. Overnight at hotel in Nukus.

Day 3- Nukus  - Reserve Baday Tugay
Directions to the reserve Baday - Tugay in Karakalpakstan in the lower Amu Darya River, on its right bank. The reserve was founded in 1975 to protect the Bukhara deer and vegetation species of trees at the edge of Tugay in the lower Amu Darya, as Populus pruinosa, Salix, Tamarix, Eleagnus orientalis, E . Angustifolius and others. The variety of flora with more 300-350 species. Plants to discover: Tulipa buhseana, T. Sogdiana, Eremurus korolkovii, Allium sabulosum, A. borsczcovii. Overnight at hotel in Nukus.

Day 4 Nukus - Khiva (200 km)

Departure to Khiva. Visit the city of Khiva, Khiva the mysterious, situated in the heart of the Khorezm oasis. It was a major slave markets of Central Asia. Overnight at the hotel in Khiva.

Day 5 Khiva - Chingeldi (botanical station under the supervision of Botanical Institut of Academy of Sciences ) - Bukhara
(The station is located at the foot of mountains Kuljuktau, in the desert Kizilkum. Plants to discover: Artemisia turanica, A. diffusa, Eremurus korolkovii, Tulipa buhseana, T. Lehmanniana, T. borszczovii, Allium caspium, Rhinopetalum karelinii, Iris tenuifolia, I. longiscapa, Anemone petiululosa, Arnebia decumbens, Delphinium, Astragalus kysylkumii, Acanthophyllum borszczowii. The road through the dunes of the Kyzyl Kum desert of, we reach Boukara. Overnight at hotel in Bukhara.

Day 6 Bukhara
Bukhara ... charming and authentic historic or you can stroll through the narrow streets, squares, madrasas, cupolas small craft shops. Overnight at hotel in Bukhara.

Day 7 Bukhara - Nurata - Aydarkul (Lake Aydarkul)
After a trip in the desert steppe, the time of night in a yurt, an evening by the fireplace with a troubadour Kazakhstan. Plants to discover: Ferula foetida, songarica Iris, Tulipa affinis, Tulipa korolkovii, Night in a yurt.

Day 8 Aydarkul - Sentob - Uhum Nuratinski-reserve)
Sintab and Uhum: These picturesque villages of stone house is nestled in a canyon green real contrast with the barren mountain slopes, which gives all its charm and mystery instead. Life has Sintob is very simple, and we find that sense of calm and relaxation often lost in the City! The setting is enchanting, and contact with the local population, mainly composed of Tajiks, is very easy. Relatively easy trekking. Reserve Nuratinsky is based in the western region Jizzak on the north slope of the ridge Nuratou in order to maintain the population of rare animals and 600 species of plants. Night and breakfast in Uhum.
Plants to discover:

Day 9 Uhum – Samarkand
We go to Samarkand, we discover its mosaics and gardens. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand

Day 10 Samarkand - reserve of Zeravshan – Samarkand
The reserve was founded in 1975 in the region of Samarkand. It is located in the districts and Bulungur Jomboy in the land of the river submersile Zeravshan. Plants to discover: Hippophae rhamnoides, Elaeagnus angustifolius, and songarica babilonica Salix, Tamarix etc.. Grass cover IS Formed by Glycirisa glabra Erianthus, Galium, Equisetum arvense. Overnight at hotel in Samarkand

Day 11 Samarkand – Tashkent
Depart by train TGV is comfortable to Uzbek Tashkent (320 km-3h 40 min). Night in hotel in Tashkent

Day 12 Tashkent – Chimgan
Morning departure Chimgan a 90 km northeast of Tashkent in the foothills of Tien Shan. Trekking in the valleys of Koksu, and Chatkal Pskem that give the lake. Pik-nik. Back. Dinner in hotel restaurant. Overnight at the mountain hotel Nebesa 4 * or equivalent in Chimgan. Plants to discover: Tragopogon turkestanicus Tulipa kaufmanniana, Crocus korolkovii Tulipa bifloriformis, Tulipa tschimganica Allium tschimganicum

Day 13 Chimgan– Tashkent
Back in Tashkent. Continuation of the visit. Night at the opera Navoi. Overnight at hotel in Tashkent

Day 14 Tashkent - Departure
Transfer to the airport and fly home. End of services

NOTE: The program of tours will be specified in accordance with the schedule of the international flights of arrival and departure.

Tour price per person :

10-14 +1 FOC*
Single room Supplement 
Option A ( Hotels 3 - 4*)
Option B  ( Hotels 2-3*)

*1 free of charge in double room for trip leader:

The price of the tour includes:
• Accommodation at the private hotels 2, 3, 4*/yurt, guest houses  full board lunches or dinners;
• Local air flights Tashkent—Nukus;
• Train tickets Samarkand—Tashkent;
• Transportation for the whole period of the tour on comfortable air-conditioned transportation, including all airport transfers;
• Sightseeing tours in all cities;
• Foreign speaking guide who will accompany the group for the whole period of the tour (from one group of 4 persons) and local guides;
• Support of Uzbek English speaking botanist scientific
•  Services of a mountain guide
• Visa support for Uzbekistan;
• Entrance tickets to the museums, mausoleums and other sights;
• Full board lunches or dinners including soft drinks (from one group of 10 persons);
• Porter charges at airports and hotels.

The price of the tour excludes:
• International flight;
• Meals (lunch, dinner for the group less 10 persons);
• Additional services in the hotels;
• Video/Camera fees of museums, monuments;
• Special cultural programs including concerts, performances, etc.;
• Insurance;
• Additional room payment Single.

Payment: The cost of the tour can be paid via bank transfer or using other options which can be discussed through communication with us.

Cancellation fees:
• Cancellation prior 30 days – no charges apply
• Cancellation prior 15 days – 50% charge of the tour price
• Cancellation prior 7 days – 100% charge of the tour price

Transportation Services
We offer a variety of ground transportation services to travel across Uzbekistan, including the following vehicles:
AC sedans for individual tourists. Cars — standard type — CHEVROLET NEXIA, LACETTI (Air-conditioned, 1 to 3 seats)
Minibus - standard type – “HYUNDAY STAREX ” (Air-conditioned, 1 to 6 seats)
Minibuses — standard type —  ISTANA SSANG YONG (Air-conditioned, 12 seats without luggage, if luggage 7 seats at most)
Minibuses — standard type — TOYOTA HIACE (Air-conditioned, 14 seats without luggage, if luggage 9 seats at most)
Middle-size buses — standard type — TOYOTA COASTER (Air-conditioned, 22 seats without luggage, if luggage 14 seats at most)
Tourist class bus — HIGER BUS (Air-conditioned, 45 seats with luggage)
All drivers we employ are well-experienced ones, with special safety training and focused to provide amicable and dutiful treatment of our clients.

Train. The new high speed train between Tashkent and Samarkand provides a comfortable trip, in cars cleanliness is supported.
Meals. Most of the meals have to be arranged by your own, due to difference of cuisine preferences and individual leisure time spending of the group. Good lunch and dinner at the good café - restaurants will cost you around 8-10 USD per person per Lunch/dinner.  We also recommend that you look through the variety of additions that you can add to the main tour program in your free time based upon your wishes and preferences.

Note: The order of visits may be modified according to local requirements. On arrival you will be provided the map of Uzbekistan, a few postcards of historic sites and evaluation form to our agency for the assessment of our service

FOOD - Meals: Meals in hotels and local restaurants or private houses in towns and hiking, sometimes picnic lunch. Uzbek cuisine is very diverse: vegetables, meat kebabs, pilaf rice, fish, stews, fruits .... Attention at the start of travel, eat fruits and vegetables in moderation to let your body adjust.

- The clothes, from head to toe:
Uzbekistan has a continental climate, it is very hot in summer but cool (see cold in the mountains and the desert steppe) in-season, we advise you to tailor your equipment based on the month to start!
- Light walking shoes
- Light shoes (tennis) or sandals to put on stage in cities, villages or the evening at the camp.
- Walking socks
- Pants trek
- Cotton underwear
- Warm underwear March April October and November.
- Fleece jacket (more or less hot depending on season)
- Mountain jacket (in March and early April and late October and November)
- Rain cape
- Hat, scarf or hat against sun
- Good sunglasses

- A toilet kit and towel
- Sunscreen (face and lips)
- Headlamp with batteries and spare bulbs
- 1 liter bottle minimum, light and isothermal
- Pocket knife, multi-use preference
- Toilet paper + lighter

HEALTH- Pharmacy
You are asked to bring your personal medication (in sufficient numbers): aspirin, elastoplasts, iodized alcohol, intestinal antiseptic, scissors, Tricosteril, sunscreen face and lips, repellent lotions or cream ...
You can find bottles of mineral water throughout the trip but you can also take tablets for purifying water.

Clothing: No strict restrictions, especially in Tashkent and other large cities where the youth has a more western look. The skin should be covered in the holy places (mosque, mausoleum, cemetery) where women must wear a head scarf and have a dress code-that is covered. For summer travel plan clothing colored cotton that protect against sunburn. Do not forget the sun lotion anti
Note: The program sequence is given as an indication. The steps can be changed for reasons of organization, flight times etc.      

Overview of the country
The Republic of Uzbekistan occupies the great outdoors right in the middle of Central Asia, mainly between the two great rivers: the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Uzbekistan has common borders with five neighboring countries: Kyrgyzstan in the northeast, Kazakhstan in the north and northwest, Turkmenistan to the southwest, Tajikistan in the southeast, and Afghanistan, in a small area in the south. The territory of Uzbekistan is 448,400 km ². It stretches from north to south 930 kilometers and from west to east, kilometers 1425. The total length of its borders is 6221 kilometers. The extremely points of the borders are the Ustyurt plateau (west coast of the Aral Sea) in the north in the region of Termez Sourkhan Darya in the south, the Ferghana Valley in the east, and again on Ustyurt plateau in the west. The territory of the country is considered the northwest to the southeast. Uzbekistan surprises with its natural contrasts. The monotonous gray deserts and snowy mountains. The abundant water and the great outdoors without water. Much of the land is situated on the plain of Turan and only differing in height contrasts. The Touran craton whose land has become, then, the mountains of Tien Shan and Alai-Pamiro, was formed during the Paleozoic progeny. Later this craton has long been covered by the Sea Mountains were formed in the final phase of the Alpine Progeny. The products of the destruction of new mountains were brought over the plains and were stacked on top of the marine deposits. The mountains and foothills represent approximately one fifth of the territory of the country. The highest peak is 4643 meters. To the east, the prevailing medium and high mountains: Here are the sides and ends of the ridges of Western Tien Shan (ridges of Ougam of Pskem of Chatkal of Kourama) and Pamiro-Alai ( Zeravshan peaks of Ghissar of Kouitangtaou of Baïsouptaou). Nurata Ridge is a bit isolated. The contrasts are typical of montgnes the peaks and foothills of the band "Adyr" peaks with sheer walls with narrow necks and sharp crests picturesque watershed. But there are mountains that are not very high (Aktau, Karaktchitaou the western end of the crest of Zeravshan). The saddles big enough to Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya of Zeravshan, Samarkand are extended between the mountains. The largest saddle between the mountains is the Fergana basin, or the Ferghana Valley. It is 370 kilometers long and 190 km in width. On three sides it is surrounded by mountain ridges and is open only to the west. Another large bowl, the Pre-Amudarya lies on the border with Afghanistan. The natural mineral resources are related to geological and achitecture relief. In the plains, with their sedimentary rocks, there are deposits of oil, gas (Gazli, Shakh-Pakht etc..), Rock salt (Barsakelmes), building materials etc.. The deposits of coal (Angren, Chargoun, Baïsoun etc.) as well as rare metals, precious and non-serous, fluorite, building materials are related to the older rocks.
The specific character of the natural conditions of Uzbekistan is the seismic high. Just in the twentieth century, this land has experienced several destructive earthquakes, including Ferghana (in 1823), in Andijan (in 1889 and 1902.), Tashkent (in 1866, in 1868 and 1966). In the mountains, seismic activities are more intensive than on the plains. It has developed technologies for scientific civil and industrial construction in seismic areas.
National parks of Uzbekistan In Uzbekistan, there are 13 nature reserves, protected by the state. Their total area is 252,500 hectares. The largest reserves are those of Mirak and Chatkal. Reserves mountains are Chatkal, Nurata, Kizilsou, Mirak, Zaamin. Reserves are deserts: Kara Kul, Arnas, Vardanzin. Forest reserves are Païgambar-Aral, Kyzylkum, Badaïtougaï, Zaravchan, Abdousamat. In areas of Jizak and Bukhara, there is unique reserve in the world of jeirans - antelopes of the desert. Administratively, now Uzbekistan is composed of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, 12 regions (oblast) of 163 districts (tumans) and 119 cities.

The climate
The climate in Uzbekistan is sharp-continental, hot and dry. The average temperature in winter of up to three C-8 C in the mountain areas can drop to-16 C. In summer the temperature in the northern regions of the country is 26-32 C for the south rises to 41-42 С
Of precipitation falling close to 80 mm per year in the northern regions of the country, up to 200-300 mm in western and up to 1000 mm in the mountains. In addition, the relative humidity of the air is almost everywhere low (60-65%) throughout the year, and the maximum rainfall occurs during the autumn-winter period. In mountain regions the large amount of snow falls in winter, which can stand on the slopes up in April and some peaks are covered throughout the year.