I grew up in the steppes of Southern Kazakhstan. My childhood memories are of vast pastures and sand dunes, of tall mountains and hot deserts.
Allow me to share some of my love for Kazakhstan with you through my images.
Fell free to ask any question about Kazakhstan, life there, nature or even for travel tips, I'll be happy to answer.
More info: Instagram
Kazakhstan Is The Largest Landlocked Country In The World
But its population is less than 20 million people, which makes the density of its population very low - 6 people per sq km. In comparison, the most densely populated country is Macao with 21,339 people per sq km and the least densely populated is in Greenland - 0.03 p/sq km.
Keeping Nomadic Traditions Alive - Livestock On A Pasture
Except for a few settled farmers, most Kazakhs have traditionally lived by animal husbandry, migrating to look for pasturage as the seasons change. In spring, summer and autumn, they live in collapsible round yurts and in winter build flat-roofed earthen huts in the pastures.
More Than Three-Quarters Of Kazakhstan Is Either Semi-Dessert Or Dessert, Where No People Live
Which means that the animal kingdom representatives have plenty of space to thrive. The most typical reptiles here are Central Asian turtle, grey monitor lizard, sand - and toad -agama, many kinds of geckos, and 17 kinds of snakes.
There Are Over 500 Species Of Birds In Kazakhstan, Some Of Them Are Endangered And Very Hard To Spot
Not all of them have been properly documented, yet. But with help of amateur bird watchers, a hobby that is becoming largely popular in former Soviet Republics, 80% of the species have been photographed and even a few new species were discovered during that process.
Horses Is A Main Source Of Income For Many Nomads In Kazakhstan, Which Makes These Animals Vulnerable To Thievery
A horse thief is an ancient "profession" and is still being practiced. After a horse is stolen it can be moved a few hundred kilometers from its home before it is sold, often in Kyrgyzstan.
One Of Many Nature's Wonders - A Singing Sand Dune In The South Of Kazakhstan
Singing sand dunes produce a sound described as roaring, booming, squeaking, or the "Song of Dunes". This is a natural sound phenomenon of up to 105 decibels, lasting as long as several minutes. It occurs in 35 desert locations around the world.
A Local Ranger That I Stayed With During One Of My Trips Built This Swimming Pool For His Family In A Middle Of A Desert
The water for the pool comes from an underground natural spring and helps the family cope with the hot sunny Summer days, when the temperatures are as high as 50C (122F).
Aktau Mountains - One Of Many Unique Landscapes You Can Observe In Kazakhstan
Such unusual colors and shapes are the result of millions of years of erosion. Aktau (meaning "White Mountain" in Kazakh) is also one of the largest palaeontology sites in the world. Some of the there discoveries were rhinos, crocodiles, and turtles that inhabited the area 30 million years ago.
50c In The Summer? You Get Used To It!
South Kazakhstan has long hot summers with temperatures as high as 50C (122F). The area gets 100-200mm of rain per year, which means that the air is usually very dry and dusty.
Karatau Mountains In Altyn Emel National Park
As of 2017, Altyn Emel National park was included in UNESCO list of Biosphere Reserves. The site comprises deserts, riparian forests and floodplains of the Ili River, deciduous and spruce forests as well as salt marshes.