Traveling Luck for Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe.

Kazakhstan has borders with China for 1533km, Kyrgyzstan for 1051km, Russia for 6846km, Turkmenistan for 379km and Uzbekistan for 2203km.

Land in Kazakhstan is extends from the Volga to the Altai Mountains and from the plains in western Siberia to oases and desert in Central Asia.

Kazakhstani land covers an area of 2717300 square kilometers which is slightly less than four times the size of Texas

As for the Kazakhstani climate; continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid.

Kazakhstani(s) speak Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95% (2001 est.).

Kazakhstani National Map

Kazakhstani Map

Regions of Kazakhstan

Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936. During the 1950s and 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Independence in 1991 caused many of these newcomers to emigrate. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country's vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; achieving a sustainable economic growth outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.


Kazakhstan Country Profile

Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, excluding Russia, possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves and plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. Kazakhstan's industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of these natural resources and also on a growing machine-building sector specializing in construction equipment, tractors, agricultural machinery, and some defense items. The breakup of the USSR in December 1991 and the collapse in demand for Kazakhstan's traditional heavy industry products resulted in a short-term contraction of the economy, with the steepest annual decline occurring in 1994. In 1995-97, the pace of the government program of economic reform and privatization quickened, resulting in a substantial shifting of assets into the private sector. Kazakhstan enjoyed double-digit growth in 2000-01 - 9% or more per year in 2002-05 - thanks largely to its booming energy sector, but also to economic reform, good harvests, and foreign investment. The opening of the Caspian Consortium pipeline in 2001, from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz oilfield to the Black Sea, substantially raised export capacity. Kazakhstan also has begun work on an ambitious cooperative construction effort with China to build an oil pipeline that will extend from the country's Caspian coast eastward to the Chinese border. The country has embarked upon an industrial policy designed to diversify the economy away from overdependence on the oil sector by developing light industry. The policy aims to reduce the influence of foreign investment and foreign personnel. The government has engaged in several disputes with foreign oil companies over the terms of production agreements; tensions continue. Upward pressure on the local currency continued in 2005 due to massive oil-related foreign-exchange inflows.

Kazakhstani natural resources include major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium

landlocked; Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050

Kazakhstani religion is Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%.

Natural hazards in Kazakhstan include earthquakes in the south, mudslides around Almaty.

Travel Advice on Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

The advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Contact Details section (move of British Embassy to Astana).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • You should ensure that your inoculations are up to date.

  • You should obtain your visa in advance of your visit and ensure it covers the entire duration of your stay.

  • The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Kazakhstan is replacing lost or stolen passports.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
There were reports of outbreaks of bird flu around Northern Kazakhstan in July and August 2005 and in the Caspian Sea region in January 2006.  The Kazakh authorities believe that the situation is now under control and preventive measures are in place.  No human infections or deaths have been reported.
The risk to humans from Avian Influenza is believed to be very low.  As a precaution, you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.
You should read this advice in conjunction with:  Avian and Pandemic Influenza Factsheet, which gives more detailed advice and information.
NATURAL DISASTERS
Almaty is in an active seismic zone.  But the last major earthquake involving loss of life was in1927.  The risk of death or serious injury is low as long as Almaty continues to have only minor tremors.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas please see:  What We Can Do To Help

If you are staying longer than a couple of weeks, or intend to go off the beaten track, you should register with the Embassy on arrival.
Local regulations require you to carry photo ID at all times.
The British Embassy Office, 173 Furmanova, Almaty (Tele (00 7 3272 506191) does not issue full passports and, before setting off, you should ensure that your passport has sufficient validity and a good number of unused pages.  However the Embassy is able to accept applications for new passports, which will be forwarded to the British Embassy in Moscow for processing.  Please be aware that this may take up to 4 weeks.  Temporary passports, valid for one year, are available in Almaty and can usually be produced within 24 hours.
You should ensure that you have entered your next of kin details into the back of your passport.
If you lose your passport you must report this immediately to the police and obtain a police report.
Money
You should bring enough money for your trip.  Travellers' cheques are not normally accepted.  US$ are the most widely accepted foreign currency.