Lake Sarygamysh


Sarygamysh Lake is located in the central part of the Sarygamysh bowl and about a quarter of it is in Uzbekistan and the rest in Turkmenistan. The area of the lake changes constantly depending on the flow of the collector waters from the Khorezm oasis and the flow situation of the Amu Darya river. Sarygamysh is home for swans, flamingos, pelicans and a temporary home for other migratory birds. 

Sarygamysh is a wonderful place for birdwatching but according to the last report of the visitors, they have been turned back by the border guards as the lake sits on the border between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Lake Sarygamysh forms the northern limit of the large area under the protection of the Kaplankyr Nature Reserve and access therefore requires an appropriate permit from the Ministry of Nature Protection. Lake Sarygamysh is a natural depression, in which a lake has formed and disappeared on several occasions throughout the known history. 

Lake formation began again after a dry period in the early 1960s, collecting the run-off waters from the irrigated lands of the Khorezm Oasis. The lake is now of a considerable size and its waters seem almost magical after a long drive across the parched surrounding terrain but they are particularly salty and quite polluted. The lake does, however, support a flourishing migratory birdlife due to the large amount of nutrients entering the lake with the waters from the irrigated farmland areas.

Birds in Sarygamysh

Sights near Sarygamysh

Page updated 9.3.2021

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