At 30 km north-east of Shymkent is a place of high natural value: Mashat Canyon.
Mashat Canyon has many visitors during the nice season. Rest areas and dachas, many buildings were constructed along the river to welcome tourists for a day or more.
The waters of Mashat River are relatively unpolluted. However, many tourists still let their garbage on the spot when they leave.
The canyon has a significant natural and geological interest. On rocks, many caves provide to wildlife or livestock on pasture a shelter against hard weather conditions.
The land overhanging offers many hiking opportunities and beautiful panoramic views of the canyon.
This place is more remarkable in spring, when wild tulips flower. At least, 4 varieties can be seen there, including the very rare Tulipa lemmersii, which can be found only in rocky areas of the western Tien-Shan, and in Mashat Canyon.
During your visit, remember that wild tulips are endangered flowers seriously threatened by seasonal pickings. So, admire them and photograph them, but leave them where they are and we will all enjoy them for a long time!
Photo: Gaëlle Bal
On the same topic: Lemmers tulip