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Kazakhstan Geography

Kazakhstan is mountainous along its far eastern and southeastern borders, where much of the forested Altai and Tian Shan ranges remain snowcapped throughout the year and with many elevated peaks exceeding 6,500 meters.

Kazakhstan's highest peak is Khan Tengri, whose summit reaches 22,949 ft. (6,995 m).

Just over 70% of the country is a desert or semi-desert dry mix of eroded lowlands, grasslands and sandy areas.

The very dry Kirgiz (or Kaazakh) Steppe region at 308,881 sq miles (800,000 sq km) is the largest plain of its type in the world. Weather conditions on the steepe are frequently inhospitable, and it's a very windy stretch of land.

Along the edges of the landlocked Caspian Sea, the land dips way below sea level in some areas. In the west along its border with the Russian Federation, rolling prairies and forests dominate the landscape.

The most important rivers include the Ishim, Irtush, Syr Dayra, Tobol and Ural. The Caspian Sea and Aral Sea, and lakes Alakal, Balkhash, Tengiz and Zaysan are the largest bodies of water.

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This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.