Akkergeshen Plateau

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.

Satellite overview of the Akkergeshen Plateau in western Kazakhstan, including the Kazakh section of the Caspian Sea.
Map Data: Google, © 2022 Landsat / Copernicus
Satellite view of the Akkergeshen Plateau's white cliffs.
Map Data: Google, © 2022 Maxar Technologies and CNES / Airbus.

How to get there

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.

Where to stay

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.


  • Akkergeshen Plateau viewpoint (RUS—Плато Аккергешен): 47.3200, 54.4090
  • Mukur town (KAZ—Мұқыр): 48.0460, 54.4912
  • Kulsary town (KAZ—Құлсары): 46.9616, 54.0126
  • KE-10 road: 47.0879, 54.0456


  • Extensive illustrated Russian report for a multi-week road trip in western Kazakhstan, including photos of the Akkergeshen Plateau and the challenging KE-10 road.
  • Lyudmila Sultanova’s richly illustrated Akkergeshen Plateau trip report, which includes photographs of fossilised sea urchin shells and quills, as well as petrified sea lily trunks.
  • A short documentary about visiting the Akkergeshen Plateau with quad bikes, as well as the Aktolagay Plateau.
  • Drone videos of the plateau’s rock features and the popular viewpoint and camping spot in the north.
  • Russian overlander Edward Prima’s Akkergeshen video.
  • Alexey Ignatkovich’s illustrated trip report of a 2016 road trip around western Kazakhstan, including the Akkergeshen and Aktolagay Plateaus.
  • 1:500k Soviet map of the Akkergeshen Plateau, shown in the top-left quarter, in the raised area just south of “200 г. Иманкара” (Mount Imankara). Further east, near the right side of the top-left quarter, is the Aktolagay Plateau which is marked as “Гряда Актолагай”.