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Water resources of Kazakhstan
Rivers, lakes and water reservoirs of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has 8,500 small and large rivers with the Ural, Emba, Syr Darya, Irtysh, Ischim and Tobol as the largest. 48,000 lakes complete this water paradise. Very impressive are the numerous fresh and salt water steppe lakes and the only inland sea in the world (2,340 km of Caspian Sea Coast). They make Kazakhstan unique as a water destination. Major lakes are the Aral, Balkhash, Saisan, Alakol, Tengiz and Seletengiz.

Alakol lake Kazakhstan Alakol Lake
At the moment, the only permit needed for the Alakol Area is permission from the local police in Usharal to enter the mountain area near the Chinese border. While there are still many open places to go hiking, one should first check with the local authorities to make sure the area you plan to visit is allowed. Also, arrangements need to be made with the local Zapovednik administration in Usharal before venturing into the Zapovednik conservation areas ...
Balkhash lake Kazakhstan Lake Balkhash
There is a legend saying that a rich man, Balkhash, had a beautiful daughter, Ili. Once, Balkhash held a feast and promised to give the winner of the contest his daughter as a wife. Ili loved the shepherd, Karatal. She helped Karatal win the contest of the grooms, but Balkhash didn't want to give Ili to him. And so the young lovers ran away. As the angry father could not catch the fugitives, he turned them into rivers and himself into a lake between them ...
Big Almaty lake Kazakhstan. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan Big Almaty Lake
Upon studying a map of the Zhungar Alatau foothills, you might think that if there is a Big Almaty Lake, then a small one should exist somewhere nearby. But this is not the case. Big Almaty Lake has no close relatives, so to speak. It is one of a kind. It is proudly referred to as the closest mountain lake to the outskirts of Almaty ...
Caspian Sea. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan The Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest closed reservoir in the world, which washes the western part of Kazakhstan. The name of the Sea is connected with the Caspii tribes who settled its shores from time immemorial. It has had such names as Girkanskoye, Khazarskoye, and Khvalynskoye. The earliest mention of the Caspian Sea and its tribes were in the works of Heroditus ...
Charyn River Canyon. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan Charyn River Canyon
Charyn Canyon is one of the most exotic places in the world to visit. The strange forms left by erosion and weathering have created an unreal fairyland of weird sandstone sculptures - the Valley of Castles, Witche's Gorge, and so on. The canyon extends for 154 km NE-SW along the Charyn River, one of the deepest rivers in the northern Tien-Shan (200 km east of Almaty) ...
Ili river. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan The Ili River
The Ili River is the artery of Semirechye tourism. The name of the river was taken from the Mongolian "Ilansu", which means flickering, sparkling. The Ili is formed by the confluence of the Kunges and Tekes Rivers, flowing from the Central Tien-Shan. It flows through an important valley within Kazakhstan; the valley is wide and flat ...
Irtysh River. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan The Irtysh River
The black Irtysh River flows into Zaisan Lake in the east, after coming from China. The river flows through exotic desert landscapes. Its right bank is steep and abrupt. The left is gently sloping with sandy beaches. River flood plains are overgrown with forests, consisting of great poplar trees and shrubs. This is the kingdom of boars, roe deer and pheasants ...
Kaindy river. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan Kaindy Lake
Kaindy Lake is set in the Kungei Alatau, near the more famous Kolsai Lakes. The unique nature of Kaindy Lake lies in the special charm and fresh beauty of this area. The gorge itself contains a man-made birch grove, harmoniously fitting in with the coniferous landscape. Kaindy Lake is set in a forest of conifers 2,000m above sea level, and was created as the result of an enormous limestone landslide ...
The Kapshagai Reservoir. Kazakhstan Rivers & Lakes Kapshagai Reservoir
Kapshagai is an Almaty satellite city, appearing in connection with the construction of the Kapshagai Hydroelectric power station on the Ili River. However, the majority of Almaty citizens associate Kapshagai, first of all, with the reservoir of the same name ...
Kolsay Lakes. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan Kolsay Lakes
The Kolsai Lakes are one of the treasures of the Northern Tien Shan. These three picturesque mountain lakes, set among steep pine-clad slopes, are nestled into a spur of the Kungei Alatau. This is a wonderful place for hiking, camping and mountain biking. The lowest lake, at 1818m, stretches for 1 km. It is accessible by road and there are comfortable guesthouses and campsites ...
Maloulbinskoye reservoir. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan Maloulbinskoye reservoir
20 km to the south of Ridder is the beautiful Maloulbinskoye reservoir, a part of the oldest hydroelectric complex in Kazakhstan, which was founded in 1938. It represents an engineering and technical historical monument ...
Shalkar lake Kazakhstan Shalkar Lake
Shalkar Lake is a historical and natural monument, tourist attraction, and recreation and rejuvenation destination.
Glorious nature left us a wonderful ancient monument - Shalkar Lake, which is situated in the Ural area. Shalkar Lake has unique ecological, scientific, cultural, recreational and aesthetic value ...
Sibinskie Lakes. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan Sibinskie Lakes
The site is located 85 km from Ust-Kamenogorsk, 2 hours' journey on paved roads. During the trip, travelers will enjoy the picturesque hilly landscape punctuated by granite massifs. There is a system of 5 splendid clean and transparent lakes surrounded by granite mountains, which have the collective name of Sibinskie (Ablaketskie)...
Zaisan Lake. Rivers & Lakes in Kazakhstan Zaisan Lake
Zaisan Lake is located 30 km from Kiin-Kirish on an unpaved road. Zaisan Lake ia a huge freshwater reservoir, where many fish can be found. Its length is approximately 100 km, it is 30 km in width, its area exceeds 1800 square kilometers, and its depth is 8 meters. When the stars come out at night, one may hear a tuneful jingle, resembling the humming of wires ...

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