Aksu – Zhabagly State Nature Reserve 

   Tien Shan is the one of the biggest mountain systems in Central Asia. It spreads for 2,500 kilometer (1,500 miles) and consists of several unit of mountains. Aksu – Zhabagly reserve is situated in the north west of Talas, Alatau and Ogem mountains.

Aksu – Zhabagly state nature reserve was opened by the conference of Soviet-Kazakh National Commissioners on July 14, 1926. At the conference it was decided that the Aksu and Zhabagly’s rivers, trees, plants and animals living there be designated as a historical untouched nature preserve. The area of reserve changes from year to year but currently has a territory of approximately 131,934 hectare (326,015 acres).

Aksu – Zhabagly state nature reserve borders Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Reserve’s territory covers Tulkibas, Tolebi, Baidibek regions in South Kazakhstan oblast and the Juali region in Djambyl oblast.

The highest mountain in the reserve is Sairam peak with a height is 4238 meters (13,900 feet). The Kazakh people call this mountain the “Dead calm” as its appearance is like motionless calm.

There is notable high icy Bugilitur peak in the center of reserve. It’s called Bugili as a lot of red deer  live here.

Aksu and Zhabagly are the two main rivers that flow through the reserve. Aksu is the longest river, covering120 kilometers. In the spring the Aksu River is blue and in the summer months it turns to color of milk which is where it derives it’s name Ak – “white” su – “water” or “white water”. The place where Little Aksu joins Big Aksu is an amazing and beautiful place to visit.

ZhabaglyRiveris shorter and narrower than Aksu and the color is yellow because of clay which sometimes turns in red. The rivers form from movable thick ice and snow that begin to melt in the spring. In the reserve there are 114 icy mountains.

There are 27 lakes in the reserve which are all situated at the height where the snow doesn’t melt.

Aksu – Zhabagly state nature reserve is rich with rare and endangered species of animals. Since the last count there are 267 types of birds, 52 types of mammals, 11 types of vermin and 2124 types of insects.

Aksu – Zhabagly state nature reserve is rich with plants and trees. There 63 types of moss, 64 types of algae, 235 types of mushrooms, 62 types of  branches, 17 types of trees and 3 types of spruces. It contains 25% of allKazakhstan’s plants.