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.

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