Kazakhstan is a huge country, the 9th largest in the world and as big as Western Europe. This vast territory was ruled by nomadic tribes until the middle of the 19th century, when it was incorporated within the Russian Empire, later becoming a part of the Soviet Union. Following independence in 1991, Kazakh remains the official language, although Russian is commonly used for everyday communication. Much of Kazakhstan is dry 'steppe' or grassland, with 'Siberian' forest in the north and Central Asian desert and oases in the south. The capital Astana is in the north of the country, while the largest city is Almaty in the south-east. Almaty is the gateway to the Tien Shan Mountains, a region that includes lots of opportunities for trekking and for superb mountain biking, in sight of such dramatic peaks as Khan Tengri (7010m / 22,999ft) and Peak Pobeda (7439m / 24,406ft). The Tien Shan is one of the greatest ranges on earth, with the most northerly of all 7000 metre peaks.


Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia and is the heartland/geographic center of Eurasia. With a surface area of 2,724,900 sq km, Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world, after Russia, Canada, China, USA, Brasil, Australia, India and Argentina. Kazakhstan shares its borders with Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan,Turkmenistan and China.  The total extent of Kazakhstan borders is nearly 12.2 thousand kilometres, including 600 kilometres along the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan's surface is covered by 26% desert, 44% semi-desert, 6% forest and 24% steppe terrain, in addition to a few other landscapes. The South and East have great wild and mostly untouched mountain landscapes with the Tien Shan and Altai being the most prominent. The highest peak in the country is Khan Tengri at 7,013m above sea level.

Time Zone

The time in Kazakhstan is GMT +6 hours.