The Akkergeshen Plateau is an area of chalk upland 55 km east of Kulsary town (pop. 51k). It measures approximately 12 x 8 km and is 50 km west of the larger Aktolagay Plateau.
The plateau has numerous wind-sculpted chalk formations. The most impressive ones are centred on a viewpoint in the north and have names such as the “Three Heroes”, “Camel”, “Aurora”, and “Elephant”. Look closely and you’ll see signs of the ancient Paratethys Sea. It once covered the area during the Jurassic and Cretaceous Era, leaving behind fossilised shells, ammonites, belemnites, shark teeth, and other extinct marine animals embedded in the chalk.
Heads-up: The chalk is fragile and slippery when wet, so avoid climbing on any rock features during or after rainfall.
From Atyrau it’s a 220 km+, three to four-hour drive to Kulsary on the A-27 and R-110 roads. The drive from Aktau, on the A-33, is 670 km+ and takes over eight hours.
The KE-10 is the final stretch of road leading to the plateau and the turn-off is less than 15 km north of Kulsary. Although it’s an official thru-road to Mukur town, it’s not an easy drive as there are long stretches of mud and heavily worn asphalt. Kulsary is the last point to stock up on food, petrol and water.
Magnet Camping, in the southern end of Kulsary, has several rooms. Half a kilometre to the east is Shankay Hotel. There’s also Kulsary Hotel in the northern end. You can camp anywhere on or around the plateau area, and there are ample parking spots at the foot of the buttes.