Geography and Landscape
Kyrgyzstan is located in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan borders no sea and lies to the west of China. The other countries it borders are Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The surface area of Kyrgyzstan is 198,500 square kilometres.
Kyrgyzstan Satellite PhotoPhoto: Public domain
The variety of the landscape is great. From green alpine meadows with occasional coniferous and deciduous forests to lunar landscapes with colourful rocks. In the background are the high mountains up to 4700 metres with their ever-snowy peaks. Almost the entire country is covered with mountains, many of them above three thousand metres. Most of the mountains belong to the Tian Shan mountain range. There are many lakes in the mountains, including Lake Issyk Kul.
Apart from the spectacular mountain peaks, there are 'Kaska Suu' or silver rivers, quiet villages, green alpine meadows, carpets of edelweiss and red rocks.
Western side of the Tian Shan mountain range, KyrgyzstanPhoto: Chen Zhao CC BY 2.0 no changes made
Climate and Weather
Kyrgyzstan has a distinctive continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. In spring and autumn it can still snow in the mountains, but in summer it is pleasant at higher altitudes. The average January temperature in Bishkek is minus 5 degrees, in July the average is 24 degrees.
Plants and Animals
A large part of the mountains were covered with forests and alpine meadows. Nowadays, most of the mountain slopes are bare. In the valleys in the south, walnut trees (Kyrgyzstan has the largest natural walnut forest in the world in Arslan-Bob), pistachio trees, almond trees and currants grow.
Coniferous trees can be found around Lake Issyk Kul. The valleys throughout the country are covered with poppies in spring. In early spring, 40 kinds of wild tulips bloom and later in the year an abundance of edelweiss.
In the forests live, among others, bears, wolves and lynxes. Higher up in the mountains live ibexes, yaks and the rare snow leopards and Marco Polo sheep. More than 400 different birds can be found in Kyrgyzstan, including the ibis, eagle, vulture and crane.
CIA - World Factbook
BBC - Country Profiles
Copyright: Team The World of Info