Kazakhstan Religion, Transport, Geography, Politics and Population

Religion in Kazakhstan

Most of the country’s population is Muslim, mostly Sunni Muslims. About 30% of the believing population are Christians, among which Orthodox believers predominate. Protestants account for 2% of the believing population.

Transport in Kazakhstan

Several flights are operated daily from Moscow to Alma-Ata and Astana. Flight time to Astana – 3.5 hours, to Alma-Ata – 4.5 hours. Several times a week, planes fly from Moscow to Chimkent, Karaganda, Atyrau, Kostanay and Aktau. Also from Moscow you can fly to other cities of Kazakhstan with a transfer in Alma-Ata or Astana. In addition, the cities of Kazakhstan are connected by airlines with St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. Trains runĀ from Moscow to Alma-Ata and Astana. Travel time to Almaty reaches 80 hours, to Astana – 60 hours. Russian trains following the Kurgan-Omsk line enter the territory of Kazakhstan and stop in Petropavlovsk. Also, the train Novosibirsk – Tashkentpasses through Alma-Ata. In addition to Russian cities, Kazakhstan is connected by rail with China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

There are two large seaports on the Caspian coast – Aktau and Bautino. Passenger ships come here from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran.

Buses run from Russian regions bordering Kazakhstan to Kazakh cities. Kazakhstan is also connected by bus routes with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Within the country, when traveling long distances, it is best to use rail and air transport. Regular air flights are carried out between Alma-Ata, Astana, Aktau, Petropavlovsk, Kostanay, Dzhezkazgan, Semipalatinsk, Taraz (Dzhambul), Chimkent, Pavlodar and Kokshetau. The main railway lines are: Petropavlovsk – Alma-Ata, Alma-Ata – Aktobe (Aktyubinsk), Kostanay – Astana and Astana – Pavlodar. Every day a branded comfortable express departs from Astana to Alma-Ata. Travel time is about 13 hours. The fare on this train is almost the same as the cost of an air ticket.

Long-distance bus routes connect Petropavlovsk and Alma-Ata, Astana and Chimkent, Alma-Ata and Kyzylorda. But still, buses are the best way to go on short trips, for example, from regional centers to the suburbs.

Inside the cities, the main mode of transport is buses and minibuses. The fare in minibuses is higher than in buses, however, they run much more often. The fare on the bus is paid through the driver or conductor. Also in the cities you can use the services of a taxi or private cabs, but tourists are not recommended to drive private cars. The fare in a taxi should be negotiated in advance, only in large cities the fares are fixed.

In major cities there are numerous car rentals. In order to rent a car, you must have an international driver’s license and be over 21 years old.

Plant and Animal World in Kazakhstan

The plain regions of Kazakhstan are occupied by steppe, semi-desert and desert vegetation: mainly forbs, cereals, wormwood and drought-resistant shrubs. In the southern part of the country there are the sandy deserts of Kyzylkum and Muyunkum and the clayey desert of Betpak-Dala. Forests account for only 3% of the state’s territory. They are common in the northern forest-steppe zone and the southern mountainous part of the country. Coniferous species predominate in the forests, sometimes there are birch, aspen, apple and juniper trees.

Camel, saiga, goitered gazelle, fox, wolf, jackal, hare and numerous rodents live in the steppes. In semi-deserts and deserts, reptiles and insects predominate. The forests are inhabited by brown bear, snow leopard, lynx, wolf, wolverine, deer, mountain goat and ram, squirrel and many birds. Geese, swans, ducks, gulls and flamingos live on the lakes.

Minerals in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has reserves of oil, coal, gas, iron and manganese ores, chromium, lead, zinc, uranium, molybdenum, bismuth, bauxite, copper, gold, silver and phosphates.

Banks in Kazakhstan

Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 18:00 with a lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00.

Money in Kazakhstan

The national currency of Kazakhstan is tenge. 1 tenge is equal to 100 tiyn. In circulation there are denominations of 10000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500 and 200 tenge and coins of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 tenge.

You can exchange foreign currency in banks and exchange offices. Exchange receipts should be kept until leaving the country. Cashless payment for services is developed in the cities of Astana and Alma-Ata. Credit cards are accepted in most major hotels, shops and restaurants. To avoid additional exchange costs, traveler’s checks are best taken in US dollars.

Rate: 100 Kazakhstan Tenge (KZT) = 0.24 USD

Political State in Kazakhstan

According to politicsezine, Kazakhstan is a unitary republic with a presidential form of government. The head of state is the president. He is elected by popular vote for a term of 5 years. Legislative power is exercised by a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate and the Majilis. Executive power is concentrated in the hands of the Government, headed by the Prime Minister, appointed by the President with the consent of Parliament.

Administratively, the country is divided into 14 regions and 3 cities of republican significance (Astana, Alma-Ata and Baikonur).

Population in Kazakhstan

About 30 different nationalities live in Kazakhstan, the most numerous of which are Kazakhs (56% of the population), Russians (28% of the population), Ukrainians (4% of the population), Uzbeks (3% of the population), Germans (2% of the population), Tatars (2 % of the population) and Uighurs (1% of the population).

The state language is Kazakh, belonging to the Turkic group of languages. In addition to the Kazakh language, almost every inhabitant of the country speaks Russian. In addition, the Russian language is widely spoken in the political sphere.

Cuisine in Kazakhstan

The basis of Kazakh cuisine is meat, and the preferred way of processing it is boiling. The main traditional dish of Kazakhstan is “besbarmak” (boiled horse meat or lamb with small pieces of dough boiled in broth, abundantly sprinkled with dill, parsley and cilantro). Besbarmak is served with special cakes “baursaki” and broth “sorpu”. Other popular meat dishes include “kuyrdak” (roast lamb liver, kidney, heart, lung and tail fat), manti (steamed lamb dumplings), lagman (noodles), shish kebab and sweet pilaf with dried apricots, raisins, prunes or apples.

It is worth noting that any meal in Kazakhstan, unlike European countries, begins with tea with milk or national fermented milk products – koumiss (fermented mare’s milk), shubat (fermented camel’s milk) or ayran (an oriental variety of kefir), which are served with cakes, “kurt” (dried salted curd balls), dried fruits (dried apricots, raisins, prunes, apricots) and nuts. This is followed by meat snacks, mainly various sausages made from horse meat: “kazy”, “shuzhyk”, “zhal” and “zhaya”. After that, hot dishes are served, followed by tea and sour-milk drinks served at the beginning of the meal.

From local alcoholic drinks, you can try a variety of wines.

Cuisine in Kazakhstan

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