The territory of Central Kazakhstan extends over Karagandinskaya region. There is Balkhash Lake, one of the biggest lakes in the world located here; it is a unique Karkaraly mountain and forest oasis, picturesque mountains of Ulytau.
A lot of archaeological and ethnographic objects survived in the region. Last archaeological excavations show that steppes of Saryarka were included in trading and cultural areas of The Great Silk Road.
There is a wide steppe, which extends from scenic Karkaraly, Kent, Kyzylrai granite mountains in the east to Tengiz Lake and Ulytau mountains in the west, from Ishim River in the north, to Betpak-Dala desert in the south; the name of this steppe is “Saryarka”, which means “yellow ridge”.
The nature has generously presented this land. Its depths are rich in minerals. Besides Tengiz Lake there are more than two hundred lakes on the vast of Saryarka, where you can find cranes, swans, herons, ducks and geese.
Karkaraly national park
The name of Karkaraly Mountains came from “karkary”, the name of national headwear for Kazakh girls, which is skillfully embroidered with beads, silk, decorated with velvet, brocade and crowned with owl feathers.
Height of Karkaraly Mountains is relatively small: the highest point is the tricipital Komsomol peak, which height is 1,403 meters above sea level. Mountains are covered with pine, birch forest and diverse herbaceous vegetation.
Karasor Lake (or Tuzdygul) has an area of about 250 square kilometers. It is being replenished by 10 small rivers. Lake is reach in fish. The salt content in the water of Karasor exceeds the content of salt in sea water. There is also mud on the coast of the lake.
It is the biggest undrained reservoir after Caspian and Aral seas. The phenomenon of Balkhash is that it has different water mineralization in its western and eastern parts, connected with narrow strait. Western basin, which is fed from Ili river, is fresh, eastern basin is brackish. Nature of Balkhash is amazing and full of contrasts. Ichtiofauna of Balkhash consists of carp, white amur, barb fish, barbel fish, trout, marinka fish, asp fish, bream, catfish and other. 8-10 thousand tons of fish is got from the lake annually. Balkhash marinka and perch are recorded into The International Red Book. Only here barb fish and aral barbell fish survived, while they are extinct in Aral Sea.
Bektauata mountain massif
Bektauata massif is not big in its area (4,000 ha), but it comprises a great diversity of bizarre rocks and thorny gorges. In fair weather it can be seen for hundreds of kilometers; that is why it is being called the lighthouse of Balkhash. Daylight penetrates far into its caves, and this is the reason why speleologists or cavers call it “grottoes” or “crystal cellars”. It is a rare portal in its beauty: entrance into the cave is situated on the ground among the rocky cliffs.
Weathering processes have been demolishing granites for thousands of years, giving rock formations their fantastic forms. They are called “Mushroom”, “Chest”, “Turtle”, “Trezubka”. One of the massifs is called “Sarykuldzha”, which means Yellow argali.
Ancient monuments and barrows
Many of them have survived and perhaps still keep secrets of the past vibrant life of these places. 88 archaeological sites were taken under state protection. Among them are Aktasty barrow, Dermen stand, Aidargarly cave and Klysh barrow; group of barrows near Karasu wintering in Ken Dara gorge, Dongal stand and other.
Cities of Central Kazakhstan
Karaganda, Zhezkazgan, Balkhash.