uzbekistan nature

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Mountains and foothills make up about one fifth of the territory of Uzbekistan. The highest point is 4643 m. Mountains cover the east of the country. Uzbekistan embraces western parts of the Tian Shan and Pamir-Alai mountain ranges, respectively. The mountain ranges are very different: there is a sharp contrast of heights, foothills, canyons, and watersheds. There are also small mountains such as Aktau, Karakchitau, and western part of Zarafshan mountain range with their smooth shape. Rather big depressions stretch between the mountains: the largest depression is Fergana Valley - 370 km long and 190 km wide. It is surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides except on the western face.

Minerals. Uzbekistan is rich in various mineral resources. According to composition and application the natural resources are subdivided into those which are used as metals and non-metals, fuel and power, and for building purposes.
A number of mineral deposits have been found in the country: above a hundred deposits. By the stocks of copper, silver, gold, lead, zinc, tungsten and natural gas and some other minerals Uzbekistan are one of the leaders in the world.
It has big stocks of salts, raw aluminum, precious and semi-precious stones, some rare metals and building raw materials. The Gazgan deposit of marble is well-known. There are also deposits of field spar, coaling, ozocerite, corundum, and others.

Climate. Uzbekistan is double landlocked country - it has no direct access to the sea or ocean. This makes country's climate very dry, hot and sharply continental. Temperature climatic prevails in the north, while subtropical - in the far south.
The most part of the year is quite dry and hot. The daylight in the summer is 15 hours and in the winter it is not less than 9 hours. The winters are rather cold and summers are quite hot in Uzbekistan. The coldest month is January average temperature in the south 8 - 20 degrees Celsius below zero, in the extreme north - 2-10 below zero. However, there are enough warm days throughout the country in wintertime. The hottest summer month is July, average temperature - 30-35 degrees Celsius, in the South - more than 40 - 45. In the summer the ground surface temperature could go up to 60, in the desert areas - up to 70 degrees Celsius. In spring and autumn and part of winter the weather is very variable; the warm days may be followed by chilly and cold days.

Rivers. The country's rivers are fed by mountain snow. It is not a main source for mountain rivers though. During winter, underground waters usually fill the rivers.
Two big rivers flow across the country: Amu Darya and Syr Darya. The middle and lower reaches of the Amu Darya River (about 1437 km) and middle reaches of Syr Darya River (2235 km) run along the territory of Uzbekistan.

Lakes. There are 80 lakes on the territory of Uzbekistan. All of them are small in size. The biggest lake is the Aral Sea, whose southern part belongs to Uzbekistan. Over the last decades the lake has considerably shrunk with water receding hundreds of kilometers from its shores.
Uzbekistan also has much resource of underground water and also a variety of mineral water.

Flora. Due to its various relief features, Uzbekistan has quite diverse flora. More that 3700 types of plants have been recorded on the territory of Uzbekistan. Twenty percent of them grow in Uzbekistan only. Most of them grow in the mountains and only a few in a desert and steppe areas.

Fauna. As for the wildlife on the territory of Uzbekistan, it has formed in concordance with the flora. The fastest animals live in desert areas. Among the fast runners are ground beetles, phalanx, and, particularly, tarantula.
The list of animals and birds that inhabit different areas of the country includes green toad, bear, panther, wolf, Siberian goat, mountain sheep, pheasant, cuckoo, magpie, jackal, black crow, southern nightingale, rat, Bukhara deer, and many others.

Reserves. There are a number of reserves and national parks in the country. Now there are 11 protected natural zones and one ecological center in the country. The total area of reserves is two million hectares, which includes nine in Chatkal mountain ranges, Paighambar Islan, Nurata, Tugay, Zarafshan, Ghyssar, Vardanzy, Kitab, Kyzal Kum, Badai and Kughitan. There are also 10 reserves in the country.

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