General information

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Kazakhstan is located at the crossroads of two continents – Europe and Asia, between 45 and 87 degrees of east longitude, 40 and 55 degrees of north latitude. There are Caspian plain in the West and Mangyshlak Peninsula in the South-West (Karagiye Depression, 132 m below sea level).

The central part is represented by the Kazakh hills, southern part of West Siberian plain in the South, mountains of Altai, Tarbagatai, Dzungarian Alatau and Tian Shan in the East and South-East (altitude up to 4973 m).

Kazakhstan occupies the area of 2724,9 thousand square kilometers (1052,1 thousand square miles) and extends to the East from the Caspian Sea and Volga plains to the Altai mountains, from the Tian Shan foothills in the South and the South-East to the West Siberian plain in the South. Its territory from the West to the East exceeds 3,000 km (1,864 miles), from the South to the North – 1,700 kм (1,056 miles). Kazakhstan is the world’s ninth-largest nation, i.e. is in the top ten of the world’s largest countries – after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, Brazil, Australia, India, and Argentina.

In the East, North and North-West, Kazakhstan borders with Russia (length of border is 6,467 km), in the South – with Central Asian countries – Uzbekistan (2,300 km), Kyrgyzstan (980 km), and Turkmenistan (380 km), in the South-East – with China (1,460 km). The total length of borders is nearly 12.2 thousand km including 600 km at the Caspian Sea (in the West).

There are several large mountain ranges. The highest elevation, Khan Tengri (Saryzhaz range), is 6,995 meters above sea level. There are more than 48 thousand lakes, the largest of which are the Caspian (total area is 374 thousand square km) and Aral Seas, and Lake Balkhash. Main rivers are Irtysh, Ural, Chu, and Syrdarya. The longest river in Kazakhstan is Ertys (Irtysh). Its length within the country is 1,700 km (total length is 4,248 km).