"Kazakhstan" Top 5 Page for this destination Kazakhstan by traveldave

Kazakhstan Travel Guide: 674 reviews and 1,504 photos

Kazakhstan, a huge country spanning from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Chinese border in the east, is the eighth-largest country in the world. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, it gained its independence in 1991 after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Many ethnic Russians remained, and currently make up about 34 percent of the population. The Kazakhs are the largest ethnic group in the country, making up 46 percent of the population. The rest of the people are Ukrainians, Turkmens, Uzbeks, and others. The official language is Kazakh, although most people speak Russian, especially in the cities.

I spent nine days in Kazakhstan in May 2005 when I traveled there on a birdwatching trip. I spent a very short period in Almaty, the country's largest city and former capital, and spent most of my time in wilderness areas in Kazakhstan's deserts, steppes, and mountains in search of as many bird species as possible. Kazakhstan is a beautiful country, offering spectacular vistas of deserts, steppes, and towering snow-capped mountains.

Since Kazakhstan is a country that few people visit (although eco-tourism is becoming increasingly popular), and since I spent most of my time in the countryside, I have included most of my tips under the "Off The Beaten Path" category.


  • Last visit to Kazakhstan: May 2005
  • Intro Updated Jun 21, 2012
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Reviews (19)

Comments (22)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    David, it's great that you went to Kazakhstan, saw some really out-of-the-way places and even found the birds you were looking for.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    That photo of the poppies is so fantastic. Such informative tips; I especially enjoyed the information about the influence [or lack of ] of the Muslim religion. A place I'll probably never see; it's grand to read your insights. Just wonderful stuff, Dave.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2007 at 7:34 AM

    Wow... what fantastic lanscapes of Kazakhstan. You have been to some less travelled places. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, SL :)

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2007 at 2:39 PM

    David KAZEKSTAN is a place I have only read about = sounds interesting!!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2007 at 4:55 AM

    The Bartogi Lake Camp is a novel idea to accommodate eco-tourists. Charyn Red Canyon looks awesome. Such versatility in Kazakhstan - desert - breathtaking mountain peaks - steppes - forests. Wonderful page Dave.

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2007 at 12:17 PM

    Excellent page, David! I'm envious you were in Tien Shan Mountains... That's something outstanding! I could visit them in Soviet times (a friend of mine went there every year), but... Now the Alps are closer. Thanks for sharing!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2007 at 4:52 PM

    Nice page - you paint a good picture of Khazakstan here with scenes of out of the way places. I only got to Almaty and Tamgaly, really enjoyed my stay though. leyle

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2007 at 4:49 AM

    Dave, what a fantastic page on some of the things little known Kazakhstan has to offer! Your photos of the landscape are excellent. Interesting re the 8 C temperature of Big Almaty Lake - same as our Bay of Fundy thanks to Arctic currents flowing south!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2007 at 3:52 PM

    David, fantastic page with interesting tips and brilliant photos. Kazakhstan is definitely on my must-visit list. Keep up the good work .... :-)

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2007 at 6:10 PM

    Very interesting tips. Big Almaty Lake looks fantastic, the steppe with blooming poppies as well. Interesting info on Cold War relics.

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