Naurzum Nature Reserve

Naurzum Nature Reserve

Naurzum Nature Reserve is located in the central Kostonai region about 200 km south from Kostonai city and about 400 km west from Astana in Northern Kazakhstan between the rivers of Tobol and Turgai. The Naurzum Nature Reserve is truly so unique and distinctive due to its location in the far north steppes and it has no analogs in any other climatic steppe zone throughout Eurasia. Therefore it is considered a national treasure of the country, thanks to its unusual untouched nature. Along with the Korgalzhyn nature reserve the Naurzum was listed as part of the Saryarka-Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan facility on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The reserve was established in 1931 and covers more than 190 000 ha. The Naurzum Nature Reserve lies on the latitudinal watershed between the basins of the Tobol rivers in the north and Turgai in the south. The river network is presented here entirely by temporary watercourses with seasonal -spring runoff and largely latitudinal direction from the slopes of the plateau into the Turgai hollow.

The largest rivers in the eastern direction: Dana-Bike and Naurzum-Karasu, 58 and 85 km long, have pronounced basins and are developed in the upper reaches of the valley. During the spring flood, the channels of these rivers are filled with water, which, reaching the lakes, spreads widely in the pre-estuarine part, forming shallow estuaries. 

The Naurzum reserve is one of the most affluent in Kazakhstan in terms of the large rivers and numerous lakes with springs and small brooks flowing from the hills. A chain of freshwater lakes of Aksaut and saline lakes of Sarymoin are considered the reserve’s largest basins. 
The site contains the Naurzum lakes and is split into three groups (Tersek in the north, Sipsin in the south and Naurzum in the west). These clusters are connected by a boundary zone

The reserve’s vegetation includes 687 species of plants, a phenomenon rare enough for steppe and semi-steppe zones. There are also totally unique species of plants such as Shrenk tulip, which has been entered into the Red Book of Kazakhstan. In 2002 the Kazakh authorities recommended Naurzum National Nature Reserve for the inclusion in the List of Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites of UNESCO based on the unique landscape and biological diversity for the Eurasian steppe zone. And in 2008 eventually was officially listed. This is defined by the history of landscape formation and the complexity of the facade structure. 

Travel to Naurzum Nature Reserve

The reserve is focused more on the scientific researches rather than tourists and therefore there is no smooth system in place for the granting of permits to visit the reserve. The best way to get there by own car or by taxi. The reserve can be reached by car from Kostanay by following the Kostanay-Karamendy route. If you want to use public transport, take an intercity bus route number 101 (Kostanay-Karamendy). In Kostanay you can find taxi services such as Yandex taxi and other local taxi companies.

Other sights & destinations in Northern Kazakhstan

Page updated 17.12.2020

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