Lakes and seas of Kazakhstan offer unique opportunities for beach tourism and recreational activities. The largest lakes in the country are Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, Balkhash, Zaisan and Alakol. Meanwhile, the most popular lakes among tourists include lakes in Burabay Resort Area, Kapchagay Reservoir, Bukhtarma Reservoir and lakes in Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve.
Some facts about lakes and seas in Kazakhstan:
- There are 48,262 lakes in total in Kazakhstan.
- The largest lake in the world is Caspian Sea, located in the West of Kazakhstan. Aral Sea and Balkhash Lake are also included in the list of 20 biggest lakes of the world.
The Caspian Sea is the largest closed lake in the world. The main reason for considering Caspian Sea as a sea is that its base is composed of oceanic crust. The Caspian Sea is located on the border between Europe and Asia.
The total area of the reservoir is 371 thousand km ²,
the length of coastline - 7,000 km,
maximum depth - 1025 m.
The waters of the Caspian Sea wash shores of 5-states - Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan. Rivers Volga, Ural, Terek, Kura, Emba, Samur and Atrek flow in the sea.
In summer, the water in the Caspian Sea is warming up to 24 - 26, and in some places up to 32 ° C. In winter, this figure, depending on the region, varies from 0 to 10°C.
Balkhash is a semi-freshwater drainage lake. Location: the eastern part of Kazakhstan (Almaty, Zhambyl and Karaganda region). Balkhash is 13th among the largest lakes in the world. Lake area - 16,4 thousand km ², the length of coastline - 2,385 km, average depth - 5,8 m. Balkhash lies at an altitude of 340 m above sea level and has a crescent shape. Rivers Karatal, Aksu, Leps and Ayaguz flow into the lake. Peninsula Saryesik naturally divides Lake Balkhash into two almost equal parts - the western and eastern, which differ from each other in depth and water chemistry.
Alakol is a salt lake. Location: Balkhash-Alakol lowlands (the boundary of the Almaty and East Kazakhstan region). Area - 2,200 km ², The greatest depth - 45 m. The pond is fed by the Rivers Emel, Taste, Hatynsu and Yrgayty. The duration of the swimming season at Lake Alakol is 3,5 months. Such fishes as marinka, gubach, perch and carp inhabit the lake. About 40-a species of birds, including flamingos constantly nest along the shores and islands of the lake.
Lake Kurgaldzhyn located at the bottom of the Tengiz-Kurgaldzhyn cavity - the central part of Kazakhstan. The area of the lake is 330 km ², The length of coastline - 187 km, Average depth - 1,6 m. Lake Kurgaldzhyn is fed by water of River Nur. There are 40 islands on the territory of the lake, the largest of which are Aral-Tube, Kokpekty and Fire Tube. Lake Kurgaldzhyn is a habitat of such species as carp, mirror carp, pike, tench and perch. In addition, gulls, terns and ducks nest on the local islands and the coastal line. However, the main pride of place is pink flamingo.
Big Almaty Lake is located in the Ile-Alatau National Park (28.5 km south of Almaty). Lake area is 1.12 km ², average depth - 25 m. Interestingly, the pond is the result of an earthquake. River Big Almatinka flows into the lake. Big Almaty Lake is surrounded by mountains. Near the lake there are three major peaks belonging to the Kazakh part of the massif Tien Shan: the peak of Soviets (elevation 4,317 m), the peak Lake (4110 m), the peak Tourist (3,954 m). The Tien-Shan Astronomical Observatory and the cosmic ray research station are located nearby.
Lake Kaindy is located in the south of Kazakhstan, within Kolsai Lakes National Park. It is located 2,000 meters above sea level, and 129 kilometers east and south-east of the Almaty city in Kazakhstan.
The lake was formed as a result of major limestone landslide forming a natural dam. It blocked the gorge and was filled by mountain river water. This was triggered by the 1911 Kebin earthquake.
The track to Lake Kaindy has numerous scenic views to the Saty Gorge, the Chilik Valley, and the Kaindy Gorge. Lake Kaindy is about 400 meters long, reaching depths of nearly 30 meters at its deepest point. Altered by limestone deposits, the water maintains a bluish-green color.
In recent years, Lake Kaindy has become a popular international tourist destination. It is considered as a natural landmark of Kazakhstan. The lake is also known for Ice Diving and Trout Fishing during winter season.