Balkhash Lake

We will meet scientists, fight fires, experience first-hand the release of tugai deer – the Hanguls – into the wild by the staff of the Ile-Balkhash Nature Reserve, and will try reaching the mysterious natural boundary of Korzhin.

Balkhash ranks the 14th in the list of the world's largest lakes. On the Eurasian continent, it is second in size after the Caspian Sea. The western part of the lake is fresh and the eastern section is salty. They are divided by the narrow strait of Uzynaral behind which almost all the time storms rage.

From the south, 7 Zhetysu rivers fall into Balkhash. The lake’s northern coast goes along the Great steppe of Sary-Arka, and almost everywhere you can reach it by car. The Southern Balkhash area is a totally different pair of shoes, as it is a giant maze of channels and lakes amidst a boundless sea of reeds. There, you can move only by boat, and only in some parts of the area! The Ile-Balkhash Nature Reserve – a specially protected area -- occupies a large part of the Southern Balkhash Area. People call it “the tiger reserve” as it hosts a recently launched unique project to revive the Turan tiger.