Kapamsay is a beautiful gorge located in the heart of the colorful Mangistau, stretching for 4 kilometers from south to north. Its white and pale-yellow chalk walls reach heights of up to 70 meters. To the northeast, there is Mount Kapam, which stands 200 meters above sea level. Mulberry and hawthorn grow here, adding a special beauty to this ravine.
Scientists suggest that in the distant past, a narrow but deep river flowed at the foot of the chalk cliffs. Today, there is no river here, but a grotto with an opening in the ceiling remains, creating a green oasis in this harsh place. The water collected under the vault takes care of this small grove.
There is a belief that in ancient times, people lived in caves here, and there were workshops for making tools from flint and silicon. Even today, travelers enjoy collecting quartz stones that can be used not only as jewelry but also for purifying drinking water.
In addition to caves, there is a small cave house carved into the rock at a height of 3 meters. In its inner wall, there are small recesses about 1 meter wide, smaller than a person’s height. We do not know who created it, for what purpose, or who lived here. However, this dwelling is now equipped with kitchen equipment, and the floor is covered with mats, designed to be suitable for living.
Various species of birds used to inhabit the tops of the cliffs, while at the bottom of the gorge, many burrows can be seen. Rodents and lizards that inhabit this area serve as the main prey for predatory birds. In the past, argali sheep grazed in this valley, but today, only domestic animals like horses and camels can be found here.
According to folk legend, this place was named after Kapam Ata. He lived here, and locals claim that the multitude of stones piled on top of the gorge are the tomb of Saint Kapam. Legends describe that he possessed the ability to be invulnerable to swords, bullets, and clubs as long as his heel touched the ground. If his heel was lifted from the earth, he would turn into an ordinary man. His wife revealed this secret to enemies, and they beheaded the saint, observing the moment when his forehead touched the ground during prayer. Kapam Ata fell near the cliff, where he was later buried. Since then, this precipice has been called Kapamsay.
To reach this gorge, which is approximately 135 kilometers from the city of Aktau, you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle and a local guide. If you arrive early in the morning, you can enjoy the beauty and mystery of this place. Additionally, you can easily visit other well-known places in the region, such as the underground mosque and tomb of ‘Shakpak Ata,’ located 7.5 kilometers northeast of the gorge, and the spherical concretions valley known as ‘Torish,’ situated 30 kilometers away. And if you gaze into the horizon above the precipice, you will be able to see the Caspian Sea.