Full report on the 2018 Zhetysu Expedition

As promised, I am posting a link to my 28-page report of our recent expedition to the Zhetysu region of Eastern Kazakhstan. You can find a copy of the full report by clicking this link: The 2018 Zhetysu Expedition-full.

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This expedition, made with the support and assistance of the Kazakh Geographic Society, retraced part of the journey made by Thomas and Lucy Atkinson during the spring and summer of 1849, as they headed north on their way back to southern Siberia. They had spent the winter in the remote Cossack outpost of Kopal, where Lucy had given birth to their son, Alatau.

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After leaving Kopal on 4 June, the couple, their eight-month-old baby, two Cossack guards and their Kazakh guides – together with horses, camels and oxen – decided to visit the valleys and gorges of the seven rivers that flow through the Zhetysu region towards Lake Balkash. Our intention on this trip was to visit three of these rivers: the various branches of the Bascan, the Sarcan and the Lepsy. This we achieved and all of us will remember this event forever.


I have no doubt that I will return to this wonderful region to continue exploring the routes followed by the Atkinsons and to marvel and the wonders of nature.

One thought on “Full report on the 2018 Zhetysu Expedition

  1. Dear Nick i have at last had an uninterrupted moment to read your full report. Wow what a fantastic expedition. I am in awe of the sheer amount of physical effort this must have been. Though you gloss over this, I can also appreciate through your writing and the fabulous photo’s, the jaw dropping fear and wonder that mother nature threw at you. It is a great report Nick. I was transported there with you and at times, particularly in your closing remarks, moved to tears by just what an amazing experience this would have been for Thomas, Lucy and Alateau and also for you. Thank you for sharing this.


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