Explore Kazakhstan in Asia

Kazakhstan
Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

Kazakhstan with its capital Astana is located in Asia (Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural (Zhayyq) River in eastern-most Europe). It covers some 2,717,301 square kilometres (slightly less than four times the size of Texas) with 15,340,000 citizens. Kazakh and Russian are the the official languages used in Kazakhstan. Turkmenistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Russia are bordering countries.

Kazakhstan is by far the largest of the Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union. Since its cold and windy weather conditions visiting saunas with friends is very popular in Kazakhstan. Saunas (Russian banyas or Finnish steam rooms) are an excellent place to discuss business issues or just socialize with friends. Having parties (birthdays, New Year, etc) in saunas is a normal practice.

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Pictures from the Kazakhstani capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Astana is like. We have selected more pictures from Astana on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

The topography features vast flat steppe extending from the Volga in the west to the Altai Mountains in the east and from the plains of western Siberia in the north to oases and deserts of Central Asia in the south. The average density of population is about 6 per km². The climate in Kazakhstan can be described as continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid. Potential natural disasters are earthquakes in the south or mudslides around Almaty.

To reach someone in Kazakhstan dial +7 prior to a number. There are 3,763,000 installed telephones. And there are 14,995,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".kz". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 220V - 50Hz.

Learn more on our Kazakhstani Facts page.

Description of the flag of Kazakhstan

A gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle, both centered on a sky blue background; the hoist side displays a national ornamental pattern "koshkar-muiz" (the horns of the ram) in gold; the blue color is of religious significance to the Turkic peoples of the country, and so symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity; it also represents the endless sky as well as water; the sun, a source of life and energy, exemplifies wealth and plenitude; the sun's rays are shaped like grain, which is the basis of abundance and prosperity; the eagle has appeared on the flags of Kazakh tribes for centuries and represents freedom, power, and the flight to the future.

National administrative regions of Kazakhstan

Historical background information

Ethnic Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936. During the 1950s and 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-ethnic Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Non-Muslim ethnic minorities departed Kazakhstan in large numbers from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s and a national program has repatriated about a million ethnic Kazakhs thus far back to Kazakhstan. These trends have allowed Kazakhs to become the titular majority again. This dramatic demographic shift has also undermined the previous religious diversity and made the country more than 70 percent Muslim. Kazakhstan''s economy is larger than those of all the other Central Asian states largely due to the country''s vast natural resources. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; managing Islamic revivalism; expanding the development of the country''s vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; diversifying the economy outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; enhancing Kazakhstan''s economic competitiveness; developing a multiparty parliament and advancing political and social reform; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.

Learn more on our Kazakhstani Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.