Visa Not Required
If you are a citizen of one of these Visa free countries, you can enter Kazakhstan for a 30-day visit:
Australia, USA, Austria, Kingdom of Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, United Arab Emirates, Vatican, Vietnam, Germany, Greece, Denmark, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Indonesia, Italy, Canada, Qatar, Cyprus, Colombia, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco , Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, Great Britain, Philippines, Finland, France, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Chile, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia.
Citizens of Iran, China and India can enter Kazakhstan without visas for 14 calendar days after crossing the border.
When you cross the border, you will need 2 empty pages for stamps and the expiration date of your passport must be at least 6 months after you cross the border.
The migration laws may change, so be sure to check the official website:
Hotels in Astana
There are several hotels near Nazarbayev University. The Officers and Keynoters will stay at the Wyndam Garden Astana, which is within walking distance of the University. We believe it has an excellent location and a good value for the price of the rooms. Our conference will be held in the main building of Nazarbayev University (pictured on our 2023 Conference page) directly across from Mega Silk Way Mall. A couple of blocks south of the Wyndham Garden Hotel is the Grand Mosque.
In our Whova Conference website, be sure to use the "Ride Share" feature to find out who is arriving in Astana at the same time you are and might share a ride from the airport to the hotel. It is a short ride, but it might be fun to meet another attendee on your way.
Virtual or In-person - Your Choice
Is This a Virtual Conference?
Yes - Virtual Registration includes 3 hours (or more) of Content Sessions on May 17, 18, 22, 24, and 26. All Content Sessions offered at our conference will be available online to Virtual Attendees. In case you miss some, they will be recorded and available for 3 months. This includes 68 presentations from experts in our field throughout the world, both famous experts and practitioners like you sharing valuable tips and insights. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to take a “New Look at Careers in a Rapidly Changing World.” You will learn so much with such a small investment. These sessions begin at the time our webinars normally begin. Please see our Time Zone Schedules to better understand the timing of the events in your location and the exact events on each day.
The first week includes the Opening Session, Keynotes, Awards Ceremony, Panel Discussions, and the Closing Session. The first event which is included in Virtual Registration is the Opening Session on Wednesday, which is Tuesday evening for those living in the Americas.
The Professional Development Institutes are “optional extras.” We hope you will choose to attend these enriching events because they provide valuable learning opportunities offered by global experts in our field: Dr. Tristram Hooley and Ms. Marie Zimenoff. The PDI presenter will be addressing a small group in Kazakhstan, but will be accepting questions via our conference App, so both in-person and virtual attendees will have an equal opportunity to ask questions.
The second week all activities will be virtual. This part of the conference is no less important than the first week, but is offered virtually so that we can include presentations from those who cannot afford to travel. These 3 days each offer 3 hours of content sessions. Inn addition, special topics will presented an hour before and after (so 5 hours total). There is a free day between them so that you can carve out the time from your busy schedule. Can’t fit in all the presentations you want to attend? No problem. All content sessions will be recorded and available for 3 months after the conference.
Be sure to find the schedule for your time zone.
Why Should I Go to Kazakhstan?
Registering for the In-Person conference includes all of the Content Sessions offered virtually, plus the Meetup Dinner, Reception and Cultural Performance. We also offer three cultural tours as Optional Extras. Many people from Kazakhstan are attending, eager to talk with you about career development practices in other parts of the Asia Pacific region. Notice that the first event which is included in registration is the Meetup Dinner on Tuesday evening -- your opportunity to get acquainted with others attending the conference and to find lunch partners for the rest of the conference. The keynote speakers during the two main days of the conference, Wednesday and Thursday, will be in person and available to talk with you about their presentations, but some of the panel discussants will be virtual.
While attending the conference in-person, keep in touch with both virtual and in-person attendees using the Mobile App. Translation to Russian and Kazakh is available via the App, so bring your ear-buds. Feedback and questions to the presenters can also be submitted via the App.
The Professional Development Institutes and Tours are “optional extras.” These events are enriching opportunities that we hope you will choose to join. The tours provide low-cost opportunities to explore Kazakhstan. The PDIs provide valuable learning opportunities and the PDI presenters will be in-person in Kazakhstan for the full conference, so you will have plenty of opportunities for follow-up questions.
The second week all activities will be virtual and these activities are included in your registration. This part of the conference is no less important than the first week but is offered virtually so that we can invite presentations from those who cannot afford to travel. These 3 days are each 5 hours in length and there is a free day between each of them so that you can carve out the time from your busy schedule to attend. We hope that the relationships created in Kazakhstan will help to make these virtual events more personal for you.
We recommend that you locate the schedule for the In-Person conference in Kazakhstan for the first week. For the second week, the schedule depends on when you plan to arrive home. Pick the right schedule for your location, and remember that sessions will be recorded in case you are still traveling when they are offered.
Contests at the 2023 APCDA Hybrid Conference
By Grace Koamesah
We have two kinds of contests at this year’s conference, the Leaderboard and the Fun Fact Contest. For each contest, we will pick 3 winners to receive valuable prizes. Every winner has the liberty to choose one prize from the list as their reward.
About Fun Fact Contest
The Fun Fact contest is called a Photo Contest in Whova – you can access this contest in Win a Prize, or under the Photos feature. The purpose of this contest is to give you an opportunity to think of and share with us something interesting that could make you a person that others remember after the conference is over. Your Fun Fact could be related to your life, career experience, local career services, APCDA, or about your country – any fact that you would like to share with others. Photos are encouraged.
Since you will be meeting other new or known fellow attendees during the conference, revealing some fun facts about yourself can be a great icebreaker. It may be when you share these interesting tidbits of information that you become more human. It doesn’t have to be funny, just interesting. Just share a good secret. We all have secret longings, fears, and dreams.
Here are a few examples,
All of the fun facts shared by attendees will be immediately available for other attendees to read and vote on. The top three winners will be announced and recognized on May 26, 2023 during the conference closing. Post your Fun Facts early to other attendees can vote on them – and can reach out to you if they are inspired by what you post.
To see more detailed instructions, click on View photo contest. To join in the competition, click on Upload Photo. Choose a picture you’d like to post, decorate it with a photo frame if you want, and write your description in the caption box. Click on “Post” once you’re ready for it.
Leaderboard is a scoreboard that bases your score on how active you are in using the Whova App. The more engaged you are in this conference, the more points you gain. To get to the top of the leaderboard is to collect as many points as you possibly can in Whova.
You can access this contest from the Win a Prize feature in Whova, then choose the Leaderboard. You will then see the current rankings, and also your own scores at the moment. There is also a list of things that you can do to get more points. Some examples are completing the session feedback survey, add a topic or social group in Community, share an article, add sessions to personal agenda, complete your profile, etc.
Using the APCDA Conference Software
This year, APCDA has contracted with Whova to provide the software for our conference. Because this conference is Hybrid, we need a really good Mobile App so that in-person attendees can participate equally with virtual attendees. ALL questions for presenters, whether you are in the room or remote, should be submitted by typing them into Whova. Whova provides both a Web App and a Mobile App to make this easy. We expect In-person Attendees to use the Mobile App and Virtual Attendees to use the Web App, although they may want to use both so they can easily submit questions to the presenter while watching the session in full screen mode.
Translation will be provided via Zoom. So In-person Attendees who wish to hear the presentation in Kazakh or Russian will need to use earphones and listen on their Whova Mobile App.
Here are instructions for using this new software.
Video Instructions in English:
Video Instructions with Kazakh Captions
Video Instructions with Russian Captions
Written Instructions in English:
Kazakhstan is located at the center of Eurasia and is famous for its endless southern steppes, mountains and lakes, Baikonur Cosmodrome, and the heritage of the Great Silk Road.
It might come as a surprise that Kazakhstan, not the Netherlands, is the home of tulips! Moreover, unlike in the Netherlands, the country where thousands of tourists come every year to watch the blossoming of the delicate flora, in Kazakhstan tulips grow and bloom in the wild, without any human intervention, and cover vast areas! Here you can meet about forty of the 65 existing wild flower species in Central Asia, and 18 of them are in the Red Book. And among them will be the famous Schrenk and Greig tulips.
From April to May the vast fields and foothills of Zhambyl, Turkestan and Almaty regions burst with scarlet-orange-yellow flowers. Moreover, one can contemplate this beauty when moving from the south of Shymkent to Almaty by intercity highways. But there are also hard-to-reach places, where in search of rare specimens you can be accompanied by experienced guides. For example, such species of tulips, as Dasistemon Tarda and Tulipa multifoliata grow in the mountains and at the very top edge of life, on the alpine meadows. And the endemic Kaufman's tulip grows in the green glades of the Western Tien Shan among the juniper forest. You can't pick tulips in our country, but you can admire the extraordinary and fragrant show of nature infinitely!
Many pilgrims and tourists know and with interest visit the city of Turkestan, where one of the most majestic medieval buildings - the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is located. But many people will also be surprised that very near Turkestan, on the way to him, if you drive from Shymkent, you can discover for yourself a completely stunning place - the ancient settlement of Otrar.
Otrar is still studied by scientists and archaeologists. Today most of the structures of the ancient city are restored and preserved. This is one of the few historical places in the country where you can literally walk around the ancient streets of the settlement, and therefore make spectacular photo shoots and selfies.
To get acquainted with the site it is desirable to prepare in advance - read the information on the Internet, watch the movie "The ruin of Otrar", or order a tour with a professional guide on the spot.
If you have already become accustomed to the golden sandy beaches, then it's time to get acquainted with the coast of black siliceous pebbles! Lake Alakol in the southeast of Kazakhstan has not only an unusual shoreline but also healing properties. The black beach beckons people with colds and skin diseases, nervous disorders, and all those who like to meditate in nature. Even astronauts undergo rehabilitation courses here after their flights! Alakol reserve was created for the protection of rare birds, and the famous silver perch lives in the waters of the lake.
If you come to the lake in early May, you can join the bird watchers who come to the Wings of Alakol festival. This event attracts to the Flint Banks not only birdwatchers, but also journalists, people from creative professions, yoga practitioners, and musicians. This is how the season begins on the Alakol. Next is summer, the time of sun, swimming, and water activities, and in the fall, the first weekend in September, another festival - "Okunkol", where amateur fishermen catch the lake's famous silver perch.
You might be surprised to learn that the world's first and largest cosmodrome, Baikonur, is located in the Kyzylorda region of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Until 2050 the spaceport is leased by the Russian Federation, but legally it belongs to Kazakhstan with all its infrastructure. Kazakhstani travel agencies can arrange tours to rocket and satellite launches. Isn't it interesting to visit the place where the first flight into space took place? Yes, this space town is worth visiting!
And of course, it is impossible to ignore the gastronomic delights of Kazakhstan cuisine. For many, they can be both unexpectedly pleasant to the taste as well as filled with new information about what we eat. And the Kazakhs have healthy food, natural products, and a lot of dairy products.
Today the country is rapidly developing gastronomic tourism. Nowhere else in the world will you find such a variety of national cuisines and the most diverse flavors. This can be explained by the fact that there are people of more than 135 nations living in Kazakhstan. But the main "highlight" will always be the dishes of Kazakh cuisine, based on the traditions of nomads of the Great Steppe. The tasty, healthy, smart food of nomads is becoming very popular among guests of the country and tourists.
Such famous Kazakh dishes as beshbarmak, bauyrsaki, kazy, irimshik can be tasted in many city cafes and restaurants. But it will be even more interesting to taste the national dishes.Welcome to beautiful and hospitable Kazakhstan, the country that is modern, but has kept its ancient traditions!
The east-west trade routes between Greece and China began to open during the first and second centuries B.C. Routes connected to the Persian Gulf, where goods were then transported up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and to the Mediterranean Sea, from which goods were shipped to cities throughout the Roman Empire and into Europe. Historians now prefer the term “Silk Routes,” which more accurately reflects the fact that there was more than one thoroughfare. Many of these routes passed through Kazakhstan, as shown in this map.
One place to see the remnants of the Silk Road is in Turkestan, where the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi is one of the best-preserved examples of Timurid constructions. Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi was the 12th-century head of a regional school of Sufism, a mystic movement in Islam which began in the 9th century. Born in Kazakhstan in 1093, he died in 1166, and is interred in a small mausoleum near Turkestan. The theological school he created turned this area into the most important medieval enlightening center of the area. He was also an outstanding poet, philosopher and statesman. The mausoleum was begun in 1389 on the order of Timur (generally known to Europeans as Tamerlane the Great) but never finished since construction stopped on Timur's death in 1405.
Why visit Astana, Kazakhstan?
Astana, the Heart of Kazakhstan
Astana is the capital city of Kazakhstan and is located almost exactly in the center of the country, making the city the center for transitions. Astana looks like a magical oasis in the middle of the endless Kazakh steppes. The city was rebuilt almost from scratch a couple of decades ago after a decision the capital here from the city of Alma-Ata (Almaty). Many cultural buildings were constructed under the direction of President N. Nazarbayev.
The Astana-Baiterek monument was erected on the central square in 2002. The impressive 97-meter stele, topped with a gilded ball 22 meters in diameter, represents the tree of life and symbolizes a new stage in the life of the Kazakh people which began when Astana became the capital of Kazakhstan. On one side is a Singing Fountain that changes shape to the sound of music and shimmers with bright colors during the evening. In the evenings, townspeople and tourists like to stroll here, admiring the bewitching dance performed by numerous jets of water.
The Palace of Peace and Accord, shaped like a pyramid, expresses the spirit of Kazakhstan, where cultures, traditions and representatives of various nationalities coexist in peace, harmony and accord. It is located across the river from Baiterek. It was erected in 2006 for meetings of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The building also has an opera hall and Montserrat Caballe herself sang at the opening event. Today the palace is used for art exhibits, conferences, and concerts.
Shopping in a Tent
The Khan Shatyr shopping and entertainment center was built in 2010, designed to resemble a huge tent spread out among the endless Kazakh steppes. Inside there are shops, restaurants, office space, a family amusement park, a water park, and a beach resort.
Sky Beach Club, under the roof of the Khan Shatyr shopping center, contains sea sand brought from the Maldives. Kazakh people especially appreciate this beach during the extremely cold and windy winters of Astana.
History and Wildlife
The National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan houses an extensive collection in an area of 75,000 m². It covers the time period from antiquity to the present day and consists of archaeological, cultural, and ethnographic artifacts. The museum is divided into several halls: Astana, independent Kazakhstan, history, ethnography, contemporary art, gold. A virtual tour in English is available.
Bring the whole family to the Duman Entertainment Complex. It contains an Oceanarium, an Exotarium (reptiles and robotic dinosaurs), a children's playground, a 5D cinema, a museum, as well as numerous recreation areas and restaurants.
Locals call the Oceanarium in the Duman “the ocean in the middle of the steppe.” The Guinness Book of Records states that it is the farthest oceanarium from the ocean in the world. Your children will enjoy seeing ocean creatures up close.
Where Will the Conference be Held?
Our conference will be held at Nazarbayev University, a modern, English-speaking research university in Astana. Founded by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in 2010, it now has almost 7000students and offers 22 undergraduate majors, 30 master’s degree programs, 18 doctoral programs, 1 Foundation and Residency Programs. The architecture is modern and the academic programs focus on research into current global issues. Click here for more information about the university. The campus of the University has a deli (shops), outpatient hospital, pharmacy, coffee shops, laundry services, cinema hall, reading and coworking spaces, a music hall, gym and sport center, pool, yoga room and all are interconnected with skywalks so there is no need to go out in nasty weather.
Built on land that was formerly open space south of Astana, the university lies between a highway and an avenue that links the city center to the airport. Across that avenue is the Mega Silk Way Mall, a large retail complex containing a variety of stores and restaurants, food courts, banks, cinemas, ice rink, and other business establishments.
Exiting the mall on the other side brings you to the Sphere - Museum of the Future, the largest spherical building in the world, which was built as the central pavilion of the World Exhibition "EXPO-2017".
Is It Safe to Visit Kazakhstan? (by Dr. Marilyn Maze)
When I tell American friends and APCDA members that our 2023 conference will be held in Kazakhstan, one of the most common responses is “Isn’t it dangerous to go there?” This has been puzzling me because I have seen no evidence that Kazakhstan is dangerous. From my American friends, I believe their fear is because it borders on Russia, which Americans consider to be a violent aggressor toward its neighbor, Ukraine. But the distance between the Russian dictator and our host city, Astana, is 2800 kilometers, and there is no evidence that Mr. Putin intends to expand his war to include Kazakhstan.
Some of us heard that Russian men fled to Kazakhstan in October to avoid fighting in Ukraine. Few of us heard that 75% had left Kazakhstan a month later.
Many people trust the Global Peace Index (GPI) to measure peacefulness. GPI is the product of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an international research group which believes that data and fact-based research are the first steps in creating a more peaceful future. The GPI ranges from 1.107 for Iceland (the world’s most peaceful nation) to 3.554 for Afghanistan. The global average on the GPI in 2022 was 2.07. Kazakhstan scored 2.071, falling right in the middle. Other countries also falling in the middle zone include Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. Out of the 163 countries rated, Kazakhstan was #97 and the United States was #129 (much less peaceful).
The US Department of State provides warnings for American citizens traveling in other countries. It rates Kazakhstan as a Level 2, which means that demonstrations, protests, and strikes could turn violent. Denmark, France, Germany and are also Level 2 countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also rates Kazakhstan at Level 2 for health concerns, specifically for danger of encountering Monkeypox, and recommends avoiding contact with sick people or dead animals.
One way that Kazakhstan does stand out is in population density. In terms of area, Kazakhstan is the third largest country in Asia (after China and India), and the ninth largest in the world. With 7.0 inhabitants per km² it is one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth. Known for its steeps and wildlife, visit Kazakhstan to see the beauty of nature in spring and enjoy a little extra space.
Watch this video posted on Instgram by a PhD student from Germany attending Nazarbayev University.
Interesting Facts about Kazakhstan
Nazarbayev Univesity provides these interesting facts about Kazakhstan and its capital Astana:
More to See in Almaty, Kazakhstan
The largest city in Kazakhstan, Almaty is the scientific, cultural, historical, industrial and financial center of the country. Located in southeastern Kazakhstan, it was the former capital of Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (1929–91) and of independent Kazakhstan (1991–97). It lies in the northern foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau at an elevation of 700–900 metres, where the Bolshaya and Malaya Almaatinka rivers emerge onto the plains. Originally called Alma-Ata, one theory is that the name meant “full of apples.” The surrounding region is holds great genetic diversity among the wild apples and is thought to be the apple's ancestral home.
Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Kazakhstan, Almaty has wide tree-lined streets, numerous parks and orchards against a backdrop of mountains. On the streets of Alma-Ata, you can also easily find evidence of different eras. Fountains play a special role in the urban structure. They are not only objects of decor, but also parts of a complex irrigation system. In especially dry periods, 125 fountains keep the green spaces alive.
Starting your journey with the favorites, stroll around the city and you will feel this cultural heartbeat of Kazakhstan thriving on nothing but vibrancy. The list of attractions below feature the best of food scenes, nomadic architecture, soviet structures, the most modern buildings, wooden cathedrals and plenty of lakes, canyons and waterfalls.
Mountainous areas are the visiting card of Almaty. You can begin your acquaintance with them on a ride by cable car to the city's highest point, Kok-Tobe (Blue Hill), 1130 m above sea level. From here you can view a splendid panorama of the mountain ranges and the city. It is especially beautiful at night when Almaty is illuminated by glimmering lights. The cableway soars over the old part of the city, buried in gardens called Compote by locals. This area is so called because of the fruit names of streets located here: Cherry, Pear, Grape, etc. While riding the cablecar up the hill you can watch the lifestyle of local people almost as in an ethnographic museum.
Medeo Skating Rink is the highest mountainous sport complex in the world. This fabled palace fits into the gorge panorama at an altitude of 1961 meters above the sea level. The mild climate of the natural boundary, an optimum level of the solar radiation, the lowered atmospheric pressure, calm, pure mountain water from which the skating rink ice is prepared, have provided an excellent quality and have created fine conditions for achievement of high sports results. It was named after the Maloalmatinsky volost Medeu Pusurmanov. He began the development of the tract in the foothills and became a well-known entrepreneur, patron of educational institutions, and participated in the planning of the city.
Construction of the skating rink began in the fall of 1949 and was meant to prepare athletes for competitions in the highlands. On the opening day of the skating rink (February 5, 1951), two world and six all-Soviet Union records were established. The other attraction at Medeu is the dam across the valley. The dam was built to protect Almaty from potential stone and mudflows precipitated by rains and thawing of snow. The dam was called into action in 1973, when some 4.5 million cubic meters of water and debris, flooding down the gorge, were stopped short here.
The Medeu ice rink was fully renovated in 2011 for the Asian Winter Games, the largest competition ever to take place in Kazakhstan. While a large portion of the events took place in Astana, Almaty hosted a number of the events, including ski jumps, cross-country skiing, and others. Medeu remains an important center for the training of winter sports athletes from Kazakhstan and other regions. Over 120 World Records have been documented there in numerous sports, including speed skating and others.
The Medeu stadium and Dam remain the location for Almaty's annual International Medeu Marathon. During this event, competitors run up from Almaty to Medeu, climbing almost 1000 vertical meters before returning to Almaty to finish. On June 1, 2022, Medeu opened its summer roller skating rink and the stadium switched to a year-round format. 450 Square meters were allocated for an indoor ice court, the rest of the space was taken by a rollerdrome.
If you take a ride across the dam on the comfortable road, you will reach another pearl of Almaty, the Chimbulak ski resort, situated at a height of 2230 m.
Near the resort hotel there is a 1500-m cableway which takes skiers to the Talgar Pass (3,163 m above sea level). From here begins a 3000 m downhill ski run. From Chimbulak the road continues up to spots popular with mountain climbers and hikers, due to their technical alpine routes and the beauty of majestic views.
A distinctive architectural building of Zenkov Cathedral (Ascension Cathedral) is located in a green Panfilov Park of Almaty. The historical monument is one of the main sights of the city. Particular feature of this wooden building is that it was erected according to a unique ancient technology, practically without any nails. This five-domed and three-aisled cathedral with a built-in bell tower has been included in the top 8 highest buildings of the world constructed entirely from wood.
Arbat Street or the Zhybek Zholy Street is Almaty’s main shopping street, which spreads from Abylaikhan Avenue to Furmanov Street and is best explored on foot. While walking down, one can see the diversity of shopping in the area. While the street boasts of high branded shops like Mango and Zara, you can also find small and quaint shops.
Be sure to hike up to Big Almaty Lake at a height of 2510 m (30-40 m deep and 1.6 km across) just in 15 km from Almaty. Fresh alpine air, the constantly changing color of the lake and a splendid mountain vista attract hundreds of travelers on weekends.
Kolsay Lakes – one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan. These lakes are located at heights 1800, 2250 and 2700 metres above sea level. They are distinguished by the unique mountain watershed consisting of three natural zones and amazing variety of rare plants and animals. Kolsay Lakes are considered a pearl of Northern Tien-Shan located in 300 km from Almaty city.
Located 11 km east of the Kolsay Lakes, Kaindy Lake is located by the Chilik River. The lake is known for its mirror-smooth reflection and stands of dead spruce trunks rising from the water. It was formed in 1911 (when an earthquake caused a landslide that blocked one end of the gorge).
The Charyn Canyon is located in the Charyn National Park about 215 km east of Almaty. The Canyon was formed about 3 million years ago as the land around the canyon started to rise. A very large lake existed in the area around the top of the canyon and it started to dry. Over the next million years the canyon was formed by the Charyn river. Approximately 2 million years ago a large earthquake disturbed the flow of the river by blocking it with a landslide. Compared to the Grand Canyon in the USA, the Charyn Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world.
The length of the canyon is 150 km, and the height is up to 300 meters. Researchers believe that it is over 12 million years old. Among the natural features, one can single out a relic ash grove and a large number of birds nesting here - about 100 species.