Rivers of Kazakhstan have always played an important role in the life and history of Kazakhs. In fact, almost all main cities were founded on the banks of major rivers. Nowadays the rivers, especially in mountains, are attracting tourists for active holidays and recreation.
Some facts about rivers in Kazakhstan:
- There are about 7000 rivers with the length of more than 10 km.
- There are more than 39,000 permanent and temporary streams in total.
Yesil (Ishim) is the left and the longest tributary of the Irtysh. Its length is 2,450 km; basin area is 177 thousand km ². The river originates in the mountain range Niaz. The section from Petropavlovsk to Sergeevskiy Reservoir and the section between the village of Vikulovo and the mouth of the river are navigable. The main tributaries of Ishim are Rivers Koluton, Zhabay, Akkanburluk and Terisakkan. In the Kazakh part of the River Ishim there are two reservoirs - Vyacheslav and Sergeevskiy. Among the settlements located along the route of the river are: Kazakhstan's capital Astana, Atbasar, Yesil, Derzhavinsk, Sergeevka, Petropavlovsk and others.
Ili River: riverhead is located in the Chinese part of the mountain Tien Shan at an altitude of 3,540 m. The length of the reservoir is 1,439 km, 815 km of which runs through the territory of Kazakhstan. River Ili flows into Lake Balkhash, thus making it partly freshwater. Large inflows of Ili are Turgen Talgar, Kurt, Chilika, Charyn, truncating.
The river is navigable up to the border with China and further upstream. Carps and pikes are encountered in the waters of Ili. Muskrat, reed cats, Zhetysu pheasants, white-headed cranes are common along the shores and in the reeds.