What to See in Kazakhstan

By | July 18, 2022

According to Top-mba-universities, the capital of Kazakhstan is the city of Astana , this name is translated from Kazakh as “capital”. It is located in the north of the central part of Kazakhstan on the banks of the Ishim River (a tributary of the Irtysh River). The city has been performing the functions of the capital for a short time, since 1997, so the main attractions of Astana are the ultra-modern buildings erected in recent decades: the Baiterek tower 150 m high, the Ak-Orda Presidential Palace, which is decorated with gold and Italian marble, the Government House and Parliament. in Astana operates the first and only Oceanarium in the CIS and the only Oceanarium in the world, which is more than 3,000 km away from the ocean. It is located in the entertainment center “Duman”. If you want to get acquainted with all the sights of Kazakhstan and see them with your own eyes, then you should go to the Atameken ethnographic park, which is a relief map of the state with an area of 1.7 hectares, which shows all the cities and historical monuments of Kazakhstan in miniature.

Most often, tourists arrive in Astana in order to go on a trip. to the natural attractions surrounding the capital. Akmola region and Kostanay, Pavlodar and Kraganda regions adjacent to it from the east, west and south are located on the territory of the Kazakh uplands, whose name in Kazakh sounds like “Saryarka”. This area is occupied by steppes, forests, low mountains and protected lakes, along the banks of which rare birds settle. You can learn about the natural diversity of “Saryarka” by going from Astana to the National Park “Kokshetau”, which is located 60 km southwest of the administrative center of the Akmola region – the city of Kokshetau; to the nearby Burabay National Park, on the territory of which one of the most popular resort places in Kazakhstan is located – Lake Borovoe; in the Naurzum Reserve, located 190 km south of Kostanay; in the Korgalzhynsky reserve, located 130 km southwest of Astana on the border of the Akmola and Karaganda regions; and in the Karkaraly National Park, which is located east of Karaganda. In addition, the Ulytau mountains are interesting. (Great mountains), which are located in the western part of the Karaganda region. They are considered the historical center of the Kazakh people. The Ulytau mountains were the gathering place of the Tatar-Mongolian troops, from here such famous descendants of Genghis Khan as Zhoshy Khan, the khans Batu and Tokhtamysh and the emirs Edyge and Tamerlane made their campaigns. From Astana it is also worth going to the archaeological zones of the North Kazakhstan region, which is located north of the Akmola region on the border with Russia. Here in a place called Botai, Eneolithic settlements of the 3rd millennium BC were found, where there were thousands of horse bones, which became evidence that people tamed the horse 5,000 years ago. Also in the region are the remains of the Iron Age settlement “Ak Iriy”, where the steppe Saks lived, the burial mounds of the Bronze Age “Bekteniz” and the settlement of the 5th-3rd centuries BC. “Ak-Tau”.

At the eastern border of the Akmola region, in the Pavlodar region, 100 km from the city of Ekibastuz, Bayanaul State National Natural Park is located, where you can see many bizarre rocks formed as a result of wind and water erosion, and relax on the lakes Sabyndykol, Dzhasybai and Toraigyr. You can go further to the south-east of the Pavlodar region, where in 2003 a The state forest nature reserve “Ertys ormany”, protecting the unique ribbon forests of the Irtysh region.

In the central part of Kazakhstan, on the border of the Karaganda and Almaty regions, there is the largest of the lakes, completely located on the territory of Kazakhstan, Lake Balkhash (area – 18.2 thousand sq. Km). Its length reaches 614 km, its width is 44 km, and the maximum depth is 26 m. Balkhash is a drainless semi-fresh water lake: its eastern part is salty, and its western part is fresh. The waters of the western part of Balkhash are desalinated by the Ili River, which flows into it. Nature of Lake Balkhash is very diverse, it is it that annually attracts many tourists here, and most of them prefer “wild” recreation (rest in tent camps). The largest settlement located on the shores of the lake is the city of Balkhash. It is located 380 km from Karaganda in the Bertys Bay. 8 hotels have been built in the city to accommodate tourists. In the summer, the city offers excursions on the lake on boats and boats, there are also rentals of yachts, boats, catamarans and fishing equipment. Around the city of Balkhash stretched sandy beaches along which rest houses are located. But still, the most popular place for recreation on Balkhash is the city of Lepsy located on the southeast coast. Lepsy and its environs have a more developed infrastructure.

South of Balkhash is the “southern capital” of Kazakhstan – Alma-Ata . This is the largest city in the country, which was the capital of the state in the period from 1927 to 1997. Alma-Ata located at the foot of the Zailiyskiy Alatau. The ridges of the Trans-Ili Alatau border the city from the south, creating an excellent backdrop. These mountain ranges have unlimited tourism potential: here you can go hiking, horseback riding and biking, skiing and mountaineering, and the main tourist areas are located in close proximity to Alma-Ata, that is, easily accessible. 15 km from Alma-Ata, on the slopes of the Zailiysky Alatau, there are the most famous high-mountain resorts of Central Asia Medeo and Chimbulak. They are famous for their mild climate, which allows you to relax here all year round. The Medeo complex is the world’s highest winter sports complex with the largest open-air ice skating rink used for skating. The area of the artificial ice field is 10.5 thousand square meters. m. Tourists can ride here from November to March. The ski resort Chimbulak is located above Medeo. The skiing season in Chimbulak lasts from November to April. The slopes of the resort are suitable for skiers of any skill level.

On the northern slopes of the Zailiysky Alatau lies the Ile-Alatau National Park, where relic moss “Chinturgen spruce forests”, preserved from the era of the Great Glaciation, and the high-mountain lake Big Almaty are protected; in the central part of the Zailiysky Alatau is the Almaty Reserve. Also of interest will be the Kolsai Lakes National Park, which was created in 2007 around the alpine lakes Kolsai and Kaindy; a little to the north is Charyn National Park, where the relic Sogdian ash grows. Fans of extreme recreation will definitely like the ascent to the highest point of the country – Khan-Tengri Peak (7010 m). This is the northernmost seven-thousander in the world and the second highest point of the Tien Shan mountain system.. Khan Tengri is located in the southeastern part of the Almaty region on the border with Kyrgyzstan and China. It is considered one of the most beautiful peaks in the world, as it has the shape of a regular cone.

To the north of the Zailiysky Alatau, the spurs of the Dzungarian Alatau stretch. Here, on an area of 520 thousand hectares, the National Park “Altyn Emel” is spread. This is the largest national park in Kazakhstan. Here are such natural monuments as the “Singing Dune” and the Aktau mountains with a unique lunar landscape, and such archaeological monuments as the Besshatyr mounds, related to the culture of the ancient Saks.

Do not forget that the Almaty region, in addition to its unique nature, is famous for its historical monuments. This region has been known since ancient times under the name “Seven Rivers”. Tamgaly-Tas tract is located 120 km north of Alma-Ataon the Ili River, where ancient petroglyphs have been preserved on the rocks, among which images of Buddhas, domestic animals and inscriptions in ancient Tibetan and Kalmyk languages can be distinguished. 170 km northwest of Alma-Ata is the Tamgaly canyon with thousands of petroglyphs dating back to the Bronze Age. Also in the vicinity of Alma-Ata is the world-famous open-air museum “Saki Kurgans”, where the remains of the Saka warrior, called the “Golden Man”, were found.

In the extreme east of the region, on the border with the East Kazakhstan region, there is the Alakol State Nature Reserve, which was created to preserve the natural world of the Tentek River Delta and the unique populations of relict gulls, beauty bustards, duadak bustards, curly and pink pelicans and ducks. The East Kazakhstan region bordering Almaty, most of which is occupied by the spurs of the Altai Mountains, will be of interest to lovers of ecotourism, hiking and mountaineering. The administrative center of the region is the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk . Today Ust-Kamenogorsk is the starting point for travel in the Altai mountains. The best routes pass through the nature protection zones of the region: Katon-Karagay National Park, from where you can see the two-headed mountain Belukha (4506 m) – the highest peak of Altai and Siberia, located on the territory of Russia; West Altai Reserve, where the “black taiga” extends, consisting of dense fir-spruce forests, and Markakol Reserve, which was created to preserve and study the unique ecosystem of the mountain lake Markakol. In addition, in the East Kazakhstan region, in a vast tectonic intermountain depression, Lake Zaisan is located. area of 1800 sq. km. The mighty Siberian river Irtysh flows from this freshwater lake. The lake is surrounded by desert landscapes and small Kazakh villages. In its vicinity is one of the most mysterious sights of the country “City of Spirits” Kiin-Kerish. Here, in the middle of the desert, you can see red rocks and cliffs resembling castles, towers and yurts. North-west of Ust-Kamenogorsk is the city of Semipalatinsk . It is known for the fact that in the 20th century the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site was built here, where in 1949, for the first time in the USSR, a nuclear weapon was tested. The subsequent numerous nuclear tests caused horrific damage not only to nature, but also to the health of the local population.

From Alma-Ata you can go west to the ancient cities of Kazakhstan – Taraz, Turkestan and Shymkent, which were not only significant trade centers on the Great Silk Road, but also centers of education and culture. In Taraz, monuments of the Karakhanid era have been preserved, in the vicinity of Shymkent – the remains of the ancient trading city of Ispidzhab, in Turkestan – the mausoleum of the most revered Kazakh preacher Khoja Ahmed Yassawi, and in its vicinity – the remains of the ancient city of Otrar.

In addition, in this region it is worth visiting the Aksu-Dzhabagly state natural reserve, where the Aksu canyon is located.- one of the deepest canyons of Central Asia, which is often compared with the Grand Canyon in the USA, and where huge Greig’s tulips grow, the size of the petals of which reaches 15 cm.

In the east of the South Kazakhstan region, the center of which is the city of Shymkent, one of the largest rivers of the country – Syr Darya. On its shores there are such interesting cities as Kyzylorda , which, for two years, from 1925 to 1927, was the capital of Kazakhstan, and Baikonur , where in 1955 the first and largest Cosmodrome in the world with the same name was built. The Syr Darya flows into the Aral Sea-Lake, the northern part of which belongs to Kazakhstan. To date, the water area of the lake has been declared a zone of ecological disaster. Until 1960, the Aral Sea-Lake was the fourth largest lake in the world, its area was about 68 thousand square meters. km. In subsequent years, as a result of the intensive use of the waters of the rivers flowing into it for irrigation, the lake began to shallow. Nowadays, the lake has split into two reservoirs: the Small and Big Aral, the total area of which does not exceed 20 thousand square meters. km. The drying process has become irreversible, but scientists are still trying to solve this problem. On one of the islands of the Aral Sea – Barsakelmes – in 1953 the Barsakelmes State Nature Reserve was created.. This is one of the few world protected areas located in the zone of ecological catastrophe. But all the more important is its significance, because it is here that scientists are trying to understand the processes taking place with the Aral Sea-Lake. The tourist center of the Kazakh Aral is the city of Aralsk .

No less interesting is the western part of Kazakhstan, where the Ural River flows and the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea is located. Part of the Ural River to the south from the city of Uralsk up to the northern coast of the Caspian Sea, on which the city of Atyrau is located, is a protected area. There are many reserves here. In 2009, in the vicinity of Atyrau, in the delta of the Ural River, a State natural reserve “Akzhayik”. Here you can see such rare birds as loaf, spoonbill, little egret, Egyptian heron and sultan. During the migration period, thousands of flamingos, curly pelicans, black-headed gulls, swans and lesser white-fronted geese stop in the reserve. 50 km north of Atyrau, there is an interesting historical place called Saraichik. The shed was founded in the middle of the 13th century by Batu Khan. The city was a major trading center, the Great Silk Road ran through it, and an important political center, the Golden Horde ascended the khan’s throne here and such khans as Zhanibek and Berdibek were buried here.

To the south of the Atyrau region, on the Mangyshlak peninsula, the Mangistau region is located. On three sides, the peninsula is washed by the waters of the Caspian Sea, and from the east it is bordered by the Ustyut plateau. The administrative center of the region is the city of Aktau . Tourists come to Aktau to go on excursions to the famous landscapes of the Mangyshlak peninsula and the Ustyurt plateau, to see ancient settlements and legendary underground mosques, to get acquainted with the natural world of this region, to see rare birds, to fish and swim in the waters of the Caspian Sea.

What to See in Kazakhstan