Song Kul I – Lake, Yurts and Animals

15. + 16. August 2023



We set off for Song Kul in the early morning. To do this, you first drive along a beautiful road, get closer and closer to the mountains and then turn off.


nice road


turn off


The road then continues roughly on a dust track, first over a small pass with a beautiful view up the valley.








And then it happened again: a flat tyre. What I find funny is that in Russian, tyre means balloon. So balloon no. 2 was replaced and, as far as we understood it, we now had no spare tyre, much more exhausting road ahead and just hope.


flat tyre


The route was great. It went down a bit, through a village and then up and up with individual farmsteads in the landscape. The wind was picking up.


farmstead I


farmstead II


farmstead III






I was thrilled by mountain scenery and very joyful!




Then you pass a 3,440 m pass without a great view and drive down to Song Kul Lake. More and more animals and yurts can be seen to the left and right of the road.


lake view


Song Kul is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, measuring 29 x 18 km at 3,016 metres. The plateau around it is even bigger and there is good grass so that many people can set up their summer yurts here and graze massive numbers of animals. Animal No. 1, the horse, gets its own blog post. Besides the private yurts, there are also yurt camps for tourists – and we stayed in one of these for 2 nights. Pleasantly, there are soft mattresses, thick blankets and a stove heated with dried animal dung. When the wind blows, it is quite cold at Song Kul. But we didn’t really freeze. Our yurt camp also included horses and turkeys. I forgot to take a photo of the turkeys – stupid me! And they had little cats! Two mother cats had 10 babies together within a few days and they were lying in a box and were super cute. Electricity was provided by solar panels for the light bulb in the yurt, but it was regulated centrally and switched off at 21:00. Quasi forced sleep.


yurt camp


camp yurt










Mum and baby








After lunch we started for a walk to the lake. It was quite windy, but OK with the cold.






no swimming temperature


You can photograph the lake again and again – it always looks different at different times of the day with different foregrounds and from different perspectives. Here are a few pictures:


















On the way up, we almost bet wether there would be cycling tourists here. The route didn’t really invite cycling, but I suspected that there would be some anyway and I was right. They are simply everywhere!


But I found the mountain direction almost more beautiful and got some pictures with cows on them. There were also large flocks of sheep, but not directly within walking distance. But there were cows.




cow or better said ox or bull


big herd


Herd and yurts


without cow


also without cow


On the way here, I was not so enthusiastic about this tourist destination, which is located far up the mountain, it was a bit too wide and far for me to look around. But then I find that 2 nights are good and you still have plenty of time to take in the life up here.


Overnight stays in yurts are nice because they are as close to nature as a camping tent, but much more comfortable because of the stove and space even for standing.


So that this post doesn’t get too cluttered, I’ve left out the horses, which will be covered in the next blog post!