How to preserve the wildlife while traveling in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan has the chance of having a pure, wild nature, rich water resources and many rare animals living on its territory. It attracts more and more travelers for its steppes and endless mountains, its colorful, carved and diverse landscapes.
Traveling is great, but traveling responsibly is even better. Simple things can ensure that you preserve the nature while discovering Kyrgyzstan. Here’s a little guide to help you plan a “zero waste” trip in Kyrgyzstan.
Pack an eco-responsible bag
You should take the time to properly pack your bag before leaving, especially if you want to have an ecologically responsible trip in Kyrgyzstan. Try to pack a minimal bag, as light as possible to ensure you leave no waste behind. Here’s a list of what to take in your backpack to Kyrgyzstan (adapt it depending on the season and length of your stay):
A backpack adapted to your travel plans
The best type of bag to carry all of the necessary things you may need for your trip in Kyrgyzstan is a backpack of around 50L. Some are adapted for outdoor activities with a comfortable system for your back. Choose a bag that has a lot of different pockets in order to stay organized during your trip. Make sure you’ll be able to carry your backpack during your treks and excursions.
Containers and bottles
When packing for Kyrgyzstan, take a few containers and bottles to avoid using disposable plastic.
- A thermos for warm drinks
- A reusable water bottle, to always take water with you
- A bottle with a filter
- Reusable containers for lunch boxes and food
- Forks, spoons and knives
- Fabric bags for your shopping. Refuse any plastic bags given at the shops
- Fabric to store goods, dry dishes etc.
Depending on the season of your stay and your itinerary, take only the necessary from this list:
- Light clothes to protect yourself from the heat
- Warm, technical clothes to protect yourself from cold and snow
- Comfortable hiking shoes
- A hat and sun glasses
- A hat, gloves and a scarf in case it gets cold
- A swimming suit and a towel
Other things to pack
You’ll also need:
- Beauty necessities. Consider using solid soap and shampoo to avoid polluting
- A first aid kit with your medication
Set the example
When you’re at your hotel:
- Don’t use their towel if you can use your own
- Use your reusable water bottle instead of plastic or paper cups
- Throw away your waste before leaving the room
- Refuse straws in your drinks
- Don’t use paper napkins, use your own fabric napkin
During your trip in Kyrgyzstan, you’ll probably have the chance to discover unexplored and wild areas of the country. When taking a picnic or spending the night in a tent, make sure not to leave any waste. Take a bag with you to keep all of your waste, and pick up waste left behind by other travelers. You can then throw the bag away once you’re back in town.
Avoid having a picnic or going to the toilet next to running water. This is usually the only source of water for animals but also for the local population. Don’t leave behind toilet paper.
During your treks in Kyrgyzstan, you’ll probably come across many animals. Don’t go too close: let them live their life, and don’t separate families. It’s forbidden to give any food to the animals, this might get them used to men and put them in danger. Don’t forget that wild animals are unpredictable!
Your local guide will always advice you on how to protect nature and adopt your behavior to stay green.