Irtysh River

Irtysh River

Irtysh is a river that runs in three countries: Russia, China and Kazakhstan. Irtysh sources are in the Mongolian Altai, in Szhugaria and in the Northern part of Xinjiang in China close to the border with Mongolia. In the Eastern slopes of the Altai Mountains the river is called the Black Irtysh, where the elevation of the source above sea level is 2500 meters. 

Due to rapidly falling from such a height, Irtysh erodes its banks and perhaps that is why in translation from the Turkic, “Irtysh” means “earth-moving”. Then on the territory of Kazakhstan, the Black Irtysh flows into Lake Zaisan which is a rather large lake, but not very deep. 

Numerous smaller rivers also flow into the lake meaning that after the Zaysan lake, Irtysh becomes much stronger and lives up to its real name. From here the river flows to the northwest and in the mountainous landscape of the river. it is interrupted by a cascade of large hydropower plants. Coming out of the mountains, the river flows along the dry and boundless Kazakhstan steppe. In the north of the Omsk Region, the Irtysh is already flowing through the taiga, until near Khanty-Mansiysk, it flows into the Ob River. 

Sights & destinations along Irtysh River in Kazakhstan

Page updated 24.9.2022

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