Back to category Published: 12 january 2023 Author: Zhanna Mukhatzhanova

National Parks and Nature Reserves in Kazakhstan


In the nature protection zones of Kazakhstan, visitors can marvel at a diverse range of unique flora and fauna, including endemic and relict species, centuries-old trees, and endangered animals. Turquoise water reservoirs and striking rock formations add to the breathtaking scenery. Some bioreserves even boast historical and architectural wonders within their enclaves, such as the Berel burial ground and the Saka mounds of Besshatyr. These monuments offer a fascinating glimpse into the region's rich cultural and historical heritage, making a trip to the nature protection zones a truly unforgettable experience.

Here is the list of Kazakhstan’s national parks and nature reserves.

National parks

  1. Bayanaul National Park (Pavlodar region): Features bizarre rock formations, blue lakes, and pine forests.
  2. Ile-Alatau National Park (Almaty region): Focused on preserving the Tien Shan spruce, Sievers apple tree, and wild apricot. Includes attractions like the Medeu Skating Rink, Big Almaty Lake, and Big Almaty Peak.
  3. Altyn-Emel National Park (Jetysu region): Part of the UNESCO program and home to a diverse ecosystem, including healing springs and fabulous mountains.
  4. Kokshetau National Park (Akmola and North Kazakhstan regions): Not only conserves endangered species, but also restores and protects natural and historical monuments, including an ancient settlement belonging to the Botai culture.
  5. Karkaraly National Park (Karaganda region): Famous for its relic plants that survived the Ice Age and preservation of archaeological monuments from different eras.
  6. Burabay National Park (Akmola region): Boasts a therapeutic microclimate, clean lakes, a developed tourist area, and ancient legends.
  7. Katon-Karagai National Park (East Kazakhstan region): Home to the Kazakh part of the Belukha mountain, the Berel burial ground, and the Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi, among others.
  8. Charyn National Park (Almaty region): Features the strikingly beautiful Charyn Canyon and the relic grove of Sogdian ash.
  9. Sairam-Ugam National Park (Turkistan region): Home to the endemic Menzbier's marmot.
  10. Kolsay Lakes National Park (Almaty region): Works to preserve the area's most beautiful lakes, including Lake Kaindy with its emerald water and «sunken forest.»
  11. Zhongar-Alatau National Park (Jetysu region): Protects a diverse ecosystem, including the Sievers and Nedzwiecki apple trees.
  12. Buiratau National Park (Akmola and Karaganda regions): Focuses on preserving exceptional steppe biospheres and man-made objects dating from the early Turkic era.
  13. Tarbagatai National Park (Abay region): Opened in 2018, focuses on protecting the nature and endemics of Tarbagatai and adjacent mountains.
  14. Ulytau National Park (Ulytau region): The newest park in Kazakhstan, features a reserve-museum with historical and cultural monuments like stone structures, a mosque, necropolises, and petroglyphs.
  15. Merke National Park (Zhambyl region): Currently in the planning stage, with part of the Zhambyl region set to serve as its location.

Reserves of Kazakhstan

  1. Aksu-Jabagly Nature Reserve: Established in 1926, this reserve is the oldest and first in Kazakhstan. It is home to the rare and unique Greig's tulip, as well as the habitat of the elusive snow leopard. Aksu-Jabagly is situated in the Turkestan and Zhambyl regions.
  2. Almaty Natural Reserve: This reserve's main goal is to protect and study the natural complexes of the Northern Tien Shan. It is located in the Almaty region.
  3. Naurzum Nature Reserve: Located in the Kostanay region, this reserve includes a variety of habitats such as steppes, rivers, and lakes. It is particularly known for its abundance of waterfowl species.
  4. Barsakelmes Nature Reserve: This reserve is the only one in Kazakhstan and the CIS with extreme environmental conditions. It is situated in the zone of ecological catastrophe caused by the decrease and disappearance of the Aral Sea.
  5. Korgaljyn Nature Reserve: Founded in 1968 and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the Saryarka site – Steppes and lakes of Northern Kazakhstan. Korgaljyn is situated in the Akmola and Karaganda regions and plays a vital role in protecting the local ecosystem.
  6. Markakol Nature Reserve: This reserve is located in the East Kazakhstan region and is home to one of the most beautiful lakes in Kazakhstan – Markakol. The reserve is essential for the conservation of many endemic and rare species.
  7. Ustyurt Nature Reserve: Located in the Mangistau region, it encompasses limestone buttes, vast salt pans, paleontological sites, and ancient underground mosques.
  8. West Altai Nature Reserve: Established in 1992, this reserve is located in the East Kazakhstan region and aims to preserve the exclusive black taiga with cedar forests.
  9. Alakol Nature Reserve: This reserve is a nesting place for pelicans, cormorants, swans, and unique relic gulls. It is situated in the Jetysu and Abay regions.
  10. Karatau Nature Reserve: Founded in 2004 in the Turkestan region, this reserve's primary goal is to study and increase the number of Karatau argali and other rare representatives of the mountainous area's flora and fauna.


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