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The fortress, healing mud and the eggs of crustaceans. What is unique about the saltiest lake in the North Kazakhstan region Minkeser

18 February 2021

There are more than three and a half thousand different lakes in the North Kazakhstan region. Of them stands out Benkeser with healing properties. Scientists compare it to the Dead Sea. In this article, we will tell you why travelers go there.

The unique lake is an hour’s drive from Petropavlovsk. Its area is 33.6 square kilometers, which is larger than the states of Tuvalu, Nauru and the Principality of Monaco.

The maximum depth is about 60 centimeters. There is almost no aquatic vegetation, and most of the living inhabitants are Artemia salina crustaceans. According to the North Kazakhstan University named after Manash Kozybayev, the mineralization of water in this lake is 548 milligrams per liter. At the same time, as it is emphasized, in the literature, the maximum salinity of the lakes in which artemia lives is 311 grams per liter. These crustaceans are of commercial importance, their eggs are used for feeding fish.


In addition, eggs are used as a dietary supplement for feeding poultry, because of the unique content of live protein in it. Even in the media, information often appears about the use of this crustacean for the treatment of impotence and cancer. This product is especially popular allegedly in China. At the same time, eggs can be stored for years without losing their useful properties. It is not surprising that there are a large number of criminal stories and conflicts around the production of this crustacean. They are not included in the Red Book of Kazakhstan, but their range is very limited.

It is believed that the therapeutic mud from the bottom of the Minkeser helps with diseases of the skin and musculoskeletal system, with impaired metabolism, as well as gynecological and nervous ailments. The composition of the mud is hydrogen sulfide, and the water is a strong sodium chloride water containing a therapeutic concentration of iodine and bromine. Such water for balneological purposes can be used in the form of baths, and diluted with fresh water – for cavity washings. Moreover, experts recommend taking this water in the form of therapeutic baths, even in hospitals of medical institutions.

At the same time, experts note that in order to get a therapeutic effect, it is necessary to correctly approach the reception of water procedures. For example, swim in a salty pond for no more than 30 minutes, as water and mud strongly affect the cardiovascular system.

Doctor of medical Sciences Ganbaatar sartayev gave such an expert opinion on the healing properties North lakes:

“Therapeutic mineral waters and mud of the bitter-salty lakes of the North Kazakhstan region are powerful natural biologically active therapeutic substrates and can be used as the main tool in the treatment of a wide range of diseases, and in combination with other medicines and techniques. The local rich reserves of therapeutic waters and mud accumulated in the bitter-salty lakes can provide water and mud treatment procedures to the population of not only our region, but also neighboring regions for a long time.”

Interesting fact

Therapeutic baths are one of the most affordable treatments. The history of water-mud treatment goes back to ancient times, when people took water treatments, getting rid of various diseases and wounds. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans resorted to various baths because of the positive effect of hygienic, cosmetic, therapeutic, preventive, salt, aromatic and mud baths.

Фото @Shutterstock

The soft silt of the coastal mud, according to local residents, also has healing properties. And the mud at the bottom of the lake is black and when dried has a light gray color with the smell of hydrogen sulfide.

How to properly take mud and water treatments

Those who have been to the lake are advised to rub the body, face, places where it hurts, and wait for it to dry completely. After that, it is necessary to wash off the dirt in the bitter-salt lake. After the water treatment, try to go into a warm room and dry out without wiping. Such procedures are especially useful for skin diseases, such as psoriasis.

Before applying certain procedures, we recommend that you consult your doctor.

Plans for the development

It is worth noting that the area around the lake is wild and is not yet ennobled for tourists. The lake shore is very viscous in places. However, this year, the construction of the coast of the reservoir has begun.

Фото Оксана Ильяшенко

The investor has arranged umbrellas and sun beds on the lake, equipped a cafe, prepared showers and bathrooms. It is assumed that due to the restriction of travel abroad, visiting the lake will become more relevant for Kazakhstanis.

Interesting fact. It is worth noting that Minkeser is not the only lake that is compared to the Dead Sea. Near lake Alakol in the South-East of the country is lake Jalahalli. The mud of Zhalanshakol is also compared to the mud of the Dead Sea for its healing qualities. Thus, in contrast to Benkeser, the water in the lake Jalahalli fresh, with minor mineralization.

Фото Оксана Ильяшенко

The fortress that is visible from space

Lovers of history and ancient buildings on the way to Lake Minkeser can stop in the village of Stanovoe and see the fortress built more than 250 years ago. This large artificial structure, created in 1752, is made by hand, with wooden shovels. Now only ramparts and ditches remain of the fortress, which have preserved the outlines of the former citadel. A whimsical ornament 250 meters in diameter is visible from space.

How to get to the lake

Lake Mintzer is located three kilometers South of the village of the same name. From Petropavlovsk to the lake can be reached by car in a couple of hours. Not stopping in the village of Mancheser on the Elevator turn left and go straight down to the lake. In front of the lake you will be met by security and a barrier, the entrance with a car costs a thousand tenge.


Those who were there recommend leaving early in the morning, as there are many times more people for lunch.

“We left at 8 am and arrived at 10 on the lake, there were not many people just, and we managed to get a good place. The entrance to the lake with a car costs 1,000 tenge, there are cisterns, a free shower, where you can wash before leaving, or just in case, take five-liter bottles of water, there is a toilet, sun beds are paid – 1,000 tenge. There is a small playground, but it is occupied by those who come with overnight stays mostly, and it is far from the lake shore. There is also nowhere to hide or hide from the sun, so you need to take a tent or tent or pull a blanket between the cars, ” Ekaterina Makarova, who visited the lake, shares her advice.

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