Altyn-Emel State National Nature Park
Altyn-Emel National Park is located in the Ili River Valley, Kazakhstan. It comprises various landscapes, including sand desert, mountains, and flora. The park was founded on April 10, 1996, with the objective to preserve a natural park complex, as well as archaeological and historical monuments. It is the largest reserve in Kazakhstan and part of UNESCO's world heritage. Located within the park, the Bes-Shatir is a historical monument of Saco mounds. The burial mounds date back to the Iron Age (the VII-VI centuries BC), and were built by the nomads of Central Asian steppes. Another prominent feature of the area are the Aktay mountains. The Aktay mountains are also referred to as the "lunar mountains" on account of their particular colors. The area is referred to as The "Singing Dunes" on account of the rumbling sound emitting from the sand. The Singing Barchan dune which is 1.5 km long and 120m high. The barchan is a crescent in form, which fact makes it beauty unique. When the wind is blowing from the West dispersing the sands, one has a feeling that the pipe organ is playing in the heart of the desert.