Kazakhstan is located in the heart of Eurasia, to the south of the Ural Mountains. Ancient with modern history, and Eastern traditions with Western modern ways are intertwined here. Boundless southern steppes, mountains and lakes, the Great Silk Road, and the Baikonur Cosmodrome are all Kazakhstan. Today, the country offers visitors various travel options: sightseeing excursion itineraries around the country, cultural and eco-tours, as well as medical, hunting, fishing and climbing tours. The ancient culture and unique nature of Kazakhstan will certainly delight you.

The largest of the ex-soviet republics, Kazakhstan is also the world’s ninth largest country by area (after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, Brazil, Australia, India and Argentina) and is very rich in natural resources. Since its independence, the country has developed in leaps and bounds. One look at the modern Astana city will confirm this. And in remote regions, travelers can discover the untouched nature of Kazakhstan: deserts, ancient cities, beautiful, almost alpine views. 

General information 

Kazakhstan is located in the center of Central Asia. The territory is 2 million 724,9 thousand sq. km. The length of the territory from west to east is 3000 km, from north to south 1700 km. It has common borders with Russia (7548,1 km) from the north and west, with China (1782,8 km) from the east, with Kyrgyzstan (1241,6) , Turkmenistan (426 km) and Uzbekistan (2351,4 km) from the south. 

The highest point from sea level is the Khan Tengri mountain, 6995 m. 

The lowest point from sea level is a hollow at Karagie, 132m. 

The population is more than 17,5 million as of January 2015, 43 % of which is urban, and 57% rural. A normal density is 6,4 people per sq. km. It is a multinational country (there are representatives from more than 100 nationalities): Kazakhs 66,01 %. Russians 21,05 %, Uzbeks 3,07 %, Ukrainians 1,7%, Uyghurs 1, 44%, Tatars 1,17 % and others. 

Average life expectancy: 68 

Administrative-territorial division: Kazakhstan is divided into 12 regions, 3 of the 86 cities Astana, Almaty and Baykonur  are under republican rule. 

The capital is Astana with a population of 868,000. 

Religion: 70,2 % are Muslim, 26,2 are Christians, 2,8 % are atheists. 

The official language is a Kazakh language, but Russian is also used. 

National currency is called tenge: 100 tiyin. 

Time zone: Being such a huge territory, Kazakhstan is situated in two time zones. UTC/GMT +5, UTC/GMT +6. 

Climate: The average annual temperature in the northern  regions is +0,4 and in the south +13,7. The coldest period in Kazakhstan is in January,  -18,7 in the north , -1,5 in the south. Sometimes the frost can reach temperatures of -54 in the north and -30 in the south. The coldest place in Kazakhstan is the Atbasar region, where it can reach -57. The hottest month is July, the normal temperature in the north is 18,8 and the hottest is 41, in the south the normal temperature is 28,8 and the hottest is 47. 

Nature: Along its 1800 km from north to south, Kazakhstan has different landscape  zones: forest-steppe, steppe, half-deserted and deserted zones. From the north, Kazakhstan borders on the Caspian sea, from the east on Altay and from the south on the Tian-Shan mountains. Three big rivers, the Irtish, the Tobol and the Ishim flow into the Northern Ocean. Other small rivers fill the Caspian and Aral Seas and lake Balkhash. The western part of the country is covered with plains, the eastern part with mountains Tarbagatay, Saur, Kokshetau.

The flora is very varied, with more than 6 000 varieties of plants (515 are found only in Kazakhstan), amateurs of eco-nature tours can discover 550 varieties of birds, 178 varieties of animals, 49 varieties of reptiles and 107 varieties of fish. 

Natural resources: Kazakhstan is one of the richest countries of the world with its oil, gas, titanium, magnesium, tin, uranium, gold and other non-ferrous metal reserves. Kazakhstan is ranked first in the world for tungsten reserves, second with stocks of chrome ore and phosphate, fourth with lead and molybdenum, eighth on the general reserves of iron ore (16.6 billion tons).

In Kazakhstan currently, there are 14 known prospecting basins located across its territory, where they are exploring 160 oil and gas fields which have oil reserves of 2.7 billion tons.

A significant portion of the world’s reserves of copper and polymetallic ores, nickel, tungsten, molybdenum and many other rare metals are to be found in Kazakhstan. The deposits of iron, manganese and chromite ore reserves have extremely important global significance.

Today in Kazakhstan there are about 300 significant gold mines, 173 of them have been explored in detail, often providing diamonds of jewellery quality.

Over 100 coal mines have been explored, the largest one is the Ekibastuz mine with its rich brown coal seams, and the Karaganda coal basin, with reserves of over 50 billion tons of coke.

Kazakhstan is rich in raw materials and chemical stocks: there are rich mines of potash and other salts, borates, bromine compounds, sulfate, phosphate, various raw materials for the paint industry. Enormous reserves of pyrite allow the production of sulfuric acid and other chemicals – extremely important for the economy. 

Water resources: In Kazakhstan, there are large lakes and many rivers.  The west and south-west of Kazakhstan borders on the Caspian Sea. Within Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea is filled by streams of the Ural River with Ilek and Emba. To the east of the Caspian Sea lies the Aral Sea in a sandy desert. In the southern sands of Central Kazakhstan there is another lake – Balkhash, with a surface of 18.2 thousand sq. km. Other large lakes in Kazakhstan are Lake Zaysan (in the east), Alakol (in the southeast), Tengiz (in the center of the country). Generally, in Kazakhstan there are about 7000 natural lakes with a total water surface area of ​​more than 45 thousand sq. km.

The largest rivers of Kazakhstan are Irtysh. Its total length is 4248 km and 1,700 km falls on the territory of the republic, Ishim (2450 and 1400 km), Ural (2428 and 1082 km), Syr Darya (2,219 and 1,400 kilometers), Ili (1001 and 815 km), Chu (1186 and 800 km), Tobol (1191 and 800 km), Mura (all 978 km within Kazakhstan). 

Tourism: In recent years, the interest in Kazakhstan as a tourist destination has increased significantly worldwide, and the range of tourist services offered by local tour operators to attract more travelers has increased accordingly. Kazakhstan is visited mostly by tourists from Germany, England, Japan, Korea and China. Why don’t you follow their example!

Today Kazakhstan provides almost all existing types of tourism – exploring, leisure, cultural, ecotours and others. A large number of travel itineraries are offered across the territory of Kazakhstan. For example, South of Kazakhstan. How not to pass through  its golden ring? In the fertile oasis of the southern steppes, between the nomadic and sedentary civilizations, there were ancient cities. For centuries, this land was on the itinerary of ancient caravan roads leading from China to the Middle East and Europe.

Towns such as Otrar, Sairam, Sygnak, Sauran, Suzak, Turkestan were not only trade centers, but also scientific and cultural centers. 

National holidays in Kazakhstan

Holidays in the Republic of Kazakhstan are non-working days.

January 1-2 – New Year; 7 January – Orthodox Christmas;

March 8 – International Women’s Day;

March 22 – Nauryz;

May 1 – Feast of Unity of the People of Kazakhstan;

May 7 – the Day of Defender of the Homeland;

May 9 – Victory Day;

July 6 – Day of the Capital;

August 30 – Day of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

1 December – the Day of the first President of Kazakhstan;

December 16 – Independence Day;

The first day of Kurban Eid (day off) is celebrated according to the Muslim calendar.

National Symbols 

The National Flag of the Republic of Kazakhstan is a blue stripe with a golden sun and a soaring eagle in the center, with a strip of national ornament along the flagstaff.

The blue color of the flag represents a pure cloudless sky and, reflecting that the Kazakhstan people are part of the high and noble idea of ​​unity. A living picture of peace, tranquility and well-being.

The color blue in the language of heraldry means honesty, loyalty, love of life.

For all the Turkic-speaking people the color blue is perceived as heavenly, holy, pure and supreme.

The ornament is an original piece of handwriting of a bygone era and the standard of the artistic taste of the people. The most common Kazakh ornament is a zoomorphic pattern – “Koshkar muyiz” – “sheep horns.” Since ancient times the ornament has been used as magic to protect man from the effects of evil forces.

The golden sun bathed in its rays represents peace and wealth. Yellow is the color of a precious metal and at the same time the color of the sun – a symbol of the light scattered in the darkness of chaos, through which was created Space. It is the color of life, of birthright.

The sun is a symbol of movement, the process of development, sunrise and sunset, east and west. It is a symbol of time.

The eagle soars in the sky in splendid isolation. It is associated with concepts such as greatness, honor, love of freedom, independence, pride, sublime thoughts, majesty, vigilance, foresight.

The eagle spreading its wings is a symbol of power; great power. It represents the generosity and vigilance, the height of the thoughts of Kazakhstan. 

The National Emblem of the Republic of Kazakhstan is an image of shanyrak (the ceiling of a yurt) on a blue background, which stretches in all directions in the form of sunlight uyki (pillars) in the frame of wings of mythical horses. At the bottom there is an inscription “Kazakhstan”.

The National Emblem of the Republic of Kazakhstan is represented in the colors gold and blue.

The basis of the State Emblem shanyrak represents hearth, the integrity of the world. Shanyrak is a symbol of a fundamental principle of the state – the family. Shanyrak is a sun wheel. As the swastika which is a dynamic moving image of the sun wheels, the shanyrak is essentially hours – an indicator of the speed of motion of the sun, looking at the labels on Shanyrak Kazakhs used to determine the sunny time of day. Shanyrak (ceiling of tent) – is for a Turk nomad in essence the same as for a European, that is the personification of home, family, hearth, family.

A yurt is a warm, big felt tent, easy to carry from place to place. Yurts are as old as nomadism and in some meanings a figurative symbol. The yurt is a model of the universe in miniature according to the thoughts of the nomads – the floor of the yurt is the Earth. The walls and ceiling represent the heavens. The door of the yurt always looks to the east. The sun is the first guest of the nomad.

“Racehorse is wings of horseman” says Kazakh proverb. The horse is a symbol of the Sun, Motion, a symbol of constancy and stability. In our context, the horse is a symbol of the conservation of independence of Kazakhstan. A winged horse is the most popular image of Kazakh poetry. It is the personification of the dream cruise, a flight of imagination, perpetual motion, striving for the best. The flying horse combines time and space. It is the image of immortality, and it is intended to represent on the national emblem the endless development and spiritual wealth of Kazakhstan under one shanyrak. The five-pointed star crowns the emblem. 

Phone code of Kazakhstan: +7

Regional codes:

Astana: 7172; Almaty: 7272; Aktobe: 713 (2); Karaganda: 7212; Pavlodar: 718 (2); Semey: 7222; Taraz: 7262 (2); Ust-Kamenogorsk: 723 (2); Shimkent: 725 (2);