LOCATION AND LANDSCAPE:
Kazakhstan is located in the centre of the Eurasian continent.
Its territory is as large as 2 million 724,9 thousand square kilometers and accordingly it occupies the
ninth place in the world by its size. In the North and West the republic has common borders with
Russia - 7 591 km (the longest continuous overland border in the world), in the East with China -
1 783 km, in the South with Kyrgyzstan - 1 242 km, with Uzbekistan - 2 351 km and with Turkmenistan
- 426 km. The total length of overland borders - 13 200 km. Besides that, there are two midland seas
in its territory – the Caspian and Aral. Kazakhstan is the largest country in the world that has no
direct access to the World ocean.
A large part of the country’s territory consists of deserts - 44 % and semi-deserts - 14 %. Steppes
cover 26 % of Kazakhstan’s territory, forests - 5,5 %. There are 8,5 thousand rivers In Kazakhstan.
The Northeastern part of the Caspian sea’s water area is situated within the country’s territory.
The Aral sea is shared between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. There are 48 000 big and small lakes in
Kazakhstan. The largest of them are Aral sea, Balkhash, Zaisan and Alakol.
Due to the remoteness from oceans the country has an extreme continental climate. The average temperature
in January is around −19 °C in the north and −2 °C in the south, the average temperature in July is
around +19 °C in the north and +28 °C in the south. Summer is hot and dry, winter is cold and snowy.
Astana (formerly called Akmola) is the official capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan since
December 10, 1997. It is located 1,300 km north of Almaty (the biggest Kazakhstan city and the former
capital), and has the population of 322,400 people (2000 est.). Kazakhstan is administratively composed
of 14 oblasts (regions), 84 cities, 160 rayons (districts), 241 urban type settlements, and 2,042 auls (villages).
LANGUAGES: The official state language is Kazakh, a Turkic language closely related to Uzbek, Kyrgyz,
Turkmen and Turkish. Russian is the language of inter-ethnic communication, widely spoken in urban
areas, whereas people from rural regions tend to speak more Kazakh. English is used by international
organizations and the foreign business community in Kazakhstan. Uygur, Korean and other ethnic
minorities speak their national regional languages and dialects.
MONETARY UNIT: tenge (KZT).