Nature

The nature of Kyrgyzstan

One of the main reasons to visit Kyrgyzstan is nature, the nature is very beautiful and pristine in this country. Around 94% of Kyrgyzstan is covered by mountains, which gives a lot of possibilities for the expedition, hiking, and camping. The traveler visiting this unique part of Central Asia will discover a fascinating variety of landscapes, from spacious valleys to high-altitude glaciers.

The territory of Kyrgyzstan is dominated by Tien Shan a large mountain range, which divides into northern and southern parts. Particularly, the densely populated parts of the country are wide valleys around the mountains, such as Chui valley in the north and Fergana valley in the south. The biggest cities of Kyrgyzstan, as Bishkek and Osh, are located in these regions. It is very easy to get to the beautiful natural places, such as mountains, natural reserves, lakes or canyons.

Kyrgyzstan is also famous for its biggest lake, Issyk Kul. It is the second-largest high-altitude lake in the world, called the pearl of Central Asia. There are a lot of resorts and local beaches on the northern coast of Issyk Kul, and the southern coast is known for its nature and gorges. Karakol is the biggest city of the Issyk Kul region, and this is a great starting point for hiking and camping. For example, from here you can start your trip to the famous gorge Jeti-Oguz, and for some famous glaciers and mountains.

Tien Shan is an entire ecosystem: deep gorges with rapid rivers, rocky peaks, small forests, and wide high-mountain pastures. In summer, these pastures are dotted with yurts of semi-nomads, who bring their animals to feed on with lush grasses. Some mountain lakes, depending on the descent of the glaciers, are seasonal. One of the most famous mountain lakes is Son Kul located at 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level and it is accessible only in summer. The highest peak of Tien Shan is Victory Peak located on the border with China and reaching 7,439 meters (24,406 feet) above sea level. Nearby is Khan Tengri with a height of about 7,000 meters (23,000 feet).

There are many species of animals in the high mountains. Also a lot of birds, including eagles, hawks and falcons can be seen there. Less frequently, it is possible to meet the sheep Marco Polo, with large curved horns and snow leopards, who hide in the mountains and do not like to be shown to someone’s eyes. Kyrgyzstan has recently started to take more extensive efforts to save unique ecosystems. Some environmental protection measures are conducted, such as the Global Forum on Snow Leopard, a symbol of the capital Bishkek.

 

In the southern part of the country, most people live in the lowlands of the Fergana Valley. The lowlands are known for  their fertility supporting large groups of population and farmers. Osh is the second largest city of Kyrgyzstan. The fields are filled with sunflowers in summer, which makes villages more beautiful. The largest natural walnut forest in the world is located in Arslanbob, the province of Jalal-Abad.

The large mountain range Pamir dominates in the southern part of Kyrgyzstan, which extends across Tajikistan and China. Right on the border with Tajikistan, at an altitude of 7134 meters (23,406 feet) above sea level, Lenin Peak is located  Lenin Peak is one of the easiest seven thousand meter peaks to conquer in the world, so it is very popular among climbers.