Tamshaly tract is an invaluable gift of nature. This amazing tourist site is located in Mangystau, 35 kilometers east of the city of Fort Shevchenko.
The tract, 12 kilometers long, starts from the shores of the Caspian Sea on one side and is surrounded by steep cliffs on the other. It is believed that there used to be a river flowing through this gorge, which fell from a cliff, but such a large current no longer exists. Today, only drops flow from the edges of the cliff and form a small freshwater lake at the foot.
3 kilometers from Tamshaly there is a small village – Karagan, which was once an important point on the sea trade route.
A distinctive feature of Tamshala from other tourist sites in Mangistau is that it can be visited both in winter and summer. Tourist life is in full swing here all year round. The canyon looks completely different at different times of the year. For example, if in summer everything blooms and turns green here, then in autumn the landscape is filled with bright yellow colors. In winter, the water that flows from the rock freezes and takes on a unique shape; in addition, the frost decorates everything with snow patterns. However, the flow does not stop completely. Thanks to this, in cold weather here you can enjoy not only fresh air, but also the beautiful creation of nature itself.
The area around the oasis itself includes plants such as hawthorn, mint, wormwood, mulberry, nettle and raspberry. And in the animal world, birds stand out, giving a special “sound” to the area seasonally – in winter-in summer. The reason for this is the abundance of the main food sources, such as frogs, snakes and spiders.
Crested larks, house sparrows, horned and steppe larks live here in the winter months. Songbirds are more common in spring and autumn. As well as several species of common and pink starlings, skates, buntings and more than a dozen species of wagtails have chosen this territory as their main habitat. From birds of prey, large and small winged birds are distinguished, such as the steppe eagle, the barrow, the kestrel, the sparrowhawk, the turf, in the summer months you can notice quails, partridges and cuckoos. Three species of reed warblers, white heron, crane and mallard also arrive in the lake, where water accumulates in summer.
There are various legends about Tamshaly among the local population. One of them is about the Meret ravine, the source of the Tamshaly rock. According to legend, a very rich man lived here. Despite the fact that he himself has not been preserved in the memory of the people, the residents of Mangistau remember with gratitude his beautiful wife, Meret. After the death of her husband, a misfortune happened in the summer, a severe drought took people by surprise. Livestock began to die and the people despaired. Despite the fact that Meret herself was widowed, having seen the great grief of her people, she began to look for a way out of the situation. She was sure that where the wormwood and hawthorn grew, there must be a source of water. The girl gathered all the men in the village and went in search. They say that it was she who found a small lake at the foot of the Tamshaly cliff and saved its inhabitants. Since then, this place began to be called Meret Ravine.
If you want to visit the Tamshaly tract, it is best to go by SUV. You can get from the city of Aktau to your destination in about 2.5 hours.