Bartogai reservoir is located 186 km East from Almaty in the gorge of the same name at the Chilik River. It is a water basin placed in natural boundary Bartogai at a height of 1010 meters above sea level dammed from its Northern end from where the mountains begin.
The reservoir was built to store water in winter, and to provide the water for irrigating the fields in the summer along the channel of 160 km length. The release of water through the dam at the Chilik River occurs from June to September. During that time the spillway volume reaches 100 cubic meters per second, due to which the water level in the reservoir can decrease for more than 100m revealing the reddish shores.
Surrounded by the dry steppe land and the sky-blue color of the reservoir makes the area exceptionally beautiful. Bartogay is known to birdwatchers as a top point, especially during migrations. The surroundings of the reservoir are popular among water sports enthusiasts where they can try their skills at rafting or kayaking.
HOW TO GET TO Bartogay reservoir
You can reach the reservoir from Almaty by the A351 highway towards East and turning right towards South straight after passing the Chilik River and taking another turn right towards Southwest before reaching the Kokpek village. After about 14-15 kilometers, the asphalt road will end at the coast of the large artificial lake of Bartogai.
Remember that it is forbidden to swim in the wonderful turquoise waters of the reservoir. Take a walk around the reservoir, go fishing, have a picnic and grill the caught fish and observe the birds and the quietness of the area. Protected from the wind, the Toraigyr area is a perfect spot for camping.