Kazakhstan has many possibilities for ecotourism development, due to its size and extreme diversity of landscapes. But, as in a majority of other countries, the potential sites for ecotourism development are located within natural territories with increased protection, or areas which have experienced little human visitation because of their inaccessibility. From a practical point of view, natural territories with the highest potential for ecotourism development are located near Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan. There is an international airport and a large railway station in this city. Foreign embassies and consulates also are located there, as are representative offices of international and transnational companies and corporations. A sufficient number of large and small hotels, restaurants and entertainment create possibilities for accommodating leisure tourists. A belt of sand deserts begins within a one hour drive to the north from Almaty; whilst in a southern direction, there are diverse mountain landscapes. In the south, the city borders Ile- Alatausky National Park, whilst 20 km from eastern border of the city there is Almaty Reserve. Each of the numerous mountain gorges within 200 km of the city represents separate locations for the development of ecotourism. Included in this 200 km zone is the Altyn-Emel National Park, located northeast of the city, and the proposed Charyn National Park in the south.
For the rafting on the Ili River you'll be provided with safety equipment, and Guides will give you safety instruction. The Ili River is rated category 1 by international standards, which means that it is very calm.
The Republic of Kazakhstan has unique mountaineering resources, among which are the Northern Tien Shan Mountains, located in Almaty Region. Another name for this place is Zhetysu or Semirechie, meaning "Land of Seven Rivers" and it drains into Lake Balkhash. Zhetysu is Kazakhstan's pearl, a beautiful and unique place. Striking secrets are held here, where theroutes and historic fates of many tribes and nations crossed in the distant past.