About Kyrgyzstan

The Kyrgyz have been nomads since times immemorial. They still follow flocks of sheep, yaks and horses to pasture lands as the seasons change and live in portable round tents called yurts. Their nomadic tradition makes them unusually hospitable.  They still welcome guests as warmly as they did in the days when visitors were the only source of news from the outside world.Independent, democratic Kyrgyz Republic was founded on 31 August 1991. It is located in Northeast part of Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a small attractive mountains country  (93 % covered by mountains) in Central Asia, situated at the same altitude as Italy, Spain and Japan. It bordered with Kazakhstan to the north, with China to east, with Uzbekistan to the west and Tadjikistan to the southwest.The main treasure of Kyrgyzstan is the nature: valleys, lakes, rivers, mountains, peaks and ranges of Tien-Shan Mountain system. Immense, regal and forbidding, the peaks of the Tien-Shan, or Celestial mountains, soar to heights of more than 7000 metes.

Kyrgyz Republic (or Kyrgyzstan) is one of the youngest republics in Central Asia and is located in the northeastern part of Central Asia. Over 90 % of the republic is mountainous, with the Tian-Shan mountain range covering the largest area. The Pamir-Alai mountains are located in the south-west.

The name Tian Shan is the Chinese name and it is translated as “Celestial Mountains”. The Kyrgyz name of these mountains is Ala-Too means "many-colored mountains». The country is crisscrossed by more 86 ridges. The highest peaks are Pobeda peak (7439 m), Lenin peak (7314 m) and Khan Tengri peak (6995 m).

Kyrgyzstan geological features changed frequently. Mountains rose up where ancient seas one stood. Under the influence of the elements, they than crumbled, leveled out, and again became seas. The Kyrgyzstan's relief is quite complex and made up of mountain ranges, the majority of which stretches from East to West. Of the numerous low areas, the Issyk-Kul Valley is the notable.

The Lake Issyk-Kul is located in the center of the huge depression. It is called the Kyrgyz Sea because of its size, depth and slightly salty water.

One other famous valley- Fergana- should be mentioned. It serves as a boundary between the Tian-Shan and Pamir-Alai ranges, and is the granary in Central Asia, a cradle of Asian culture, and agricultural and cotton-growing center. There are nearly 300 lakes in the republic.

The largest is Issyk-Kul (6,236 sq. km), the highest is Chatyr-Kul (3 500m above sea level) and the most beautiful is Sary-Chelek:

It is located in the Chatkal Mountains at an altitude of 1925 m. Its water is fresh and very clean. One of the few biospheric preserves in the world is located near the lake. The second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan is Son-Kul (275 sq. km.).

Kyrgyz Republic has more than 1000 rivers; the most of them are snow or glacier fed. The water such rivers is very clean and the rivers don't freeze winter due to their fast currents. The Naryn river is the biggest in Kyrgyzstan, flowing from east to west and join with the Kara-Darya River to form the Syr-Darya. The Naryn has a very steep grade, as do the majority of rivers in the republic.

One could talk at long length about Kyrgyzstan's climate. There aren't many places where, in a matter of few hours, you can swim and take sunbath in the hot sun, gather spring snowdrop flowers, get caught in an autumn-like drizzle, and be surrounded by a howling snowstorm. Only in Kyrgyzstan you can travel into the mountains by car or on horseback ad can experience all of this. The sun shines there almost 3 000 hours a year. The combination of sun and fresh mountain air creates a unique, transparent atmosphere Kyrgyzstan's natural surroundings are very beautiful. There are many breathtaking canyons, picturesque waterfalls, hidden cays, glacier lakes, and other natural wonders. There are very few forests in the republic, but while they cover a total of only 3% of its territory, they are unique. Fir, spruce and walnut are the most plentiful. There are also beautiful groves of the famous Tian Shan spruce, and the Semenov fir, which today is found only in Kygyzstan, grows on mountain slopes. The walnut could be ca lled the Kyrgyz nut since the republic has the largest number of natural plantation in the world. The amount of nut-bearing trees in Kyrgyzstan is a real natural wonder, and they are carefully protected. The average yield of wild nuts in the forests of southern Kyrgyzstan is 300 kilograms hectares. The shores of rivers and lakes are completely covered with bushes of wild sea buckthorn, which is frequently used to treat various illnesses. Barberries, black currants, buckthorn, blackberries, raspberries and sweet berries, nature storehouse of vitamins, grow wild. Kyrgyzstan is very rich in herbs, and the republic is like a natural pharmacy.

Animal life in Kyrgyzstan is also interesting and varied, with 68 different species of mammals and 335 species of birds. Snow leopards, mountain goats, griffon-vultures, heron pheasant and the rare red wolf roam the mountains, forests and meadows of the Kyrgyzstan.

The fascinating nature is everywhere – in the high rustling in the wind, in the sun rays…

Kyrgyzstan is a unique travel destination for adventurous and nature minded tourists with the travel opportunities that almost no one country can compete: experience of nomadic life, exciting landscape scenery of mountains, rivers and lakes – most suitable for trekking tours – and fascinating ancient monuments.