Turkmenistan is located in three main natural landscape zones: deserts, oases and mountains. It includes thousands of species of plants, ranging from desert grasses and saksauls to mountain forests. Our nature calls tourists with its unique attractions: tremendous flora – forests of wild fruit and nut trees, juniper forests on mountain slopes, pistachio savanna forests, saxaul forests, flood-plain tugais; diverse fauna – Central Asian leopards, argalis, koulans, goitered gazelles; enchanting sceneries – from picturesque mountain ridges to lifeless desert sands, from green oases to multikilometer seacoast
Kopet-Dag has a Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and relatively cool damp winters. The slopes of the Kopet-Dag support desert vegetation at lower elevations, drought-tolerant grasslands at middle elevations, and juniper and cypress forests on the highest slopes. The isolation of these mountains by deserts on both sides has produced a large variety of flora and fauna that are found nowhere else, a fact that has led the local Turkmen government to create the Syunt-Hasardag Nature Reserve—over 74,000 acres (30,000 hectares)—in the southwest portion of the range. Kopet Dag Woodlands are well studied and high endemism is exhibited among many groups of organisms, up to 18% in flowering plants. Key endangered fauna include leopard, wild sheep, bezoar (bearded) goat, hyena, Indian porcupine, and a number of other rare species of mammals, birds, snakes, and lizards. The reserve is home to the region’s most famous wildlife, its hunting birds, including the golden eagle, black griffin, and desert kestrel. Other animals include leopards, boars and desert hyenas. It represents the center of origin and genetic diversity for wild relatives of cultivated plants such as grapes, pomegranates, figs, almonds, walnuts, wheat, barley and many others. The city of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, lies in the foothills of the Kopet-Dag.
are fantastic threshold of Sumbar Valley where Magtumguly town spreads between parted high ridges of Kopetdag Mountains. If to look at suburbs of Magtumguly from the top of Karayelchy Ridge, one can see that all area is covered with hills. But, the most interesting view of this landscape is so called Lunar mountains. These are small hills from one to eight meters in height containing large amount of salt sediments and that is why lack of plantation. Unusual bright yellowish greenish tint heightens the impression of unreality. Such unusual, extra-terrestrial landscape can be met only in Turkmenistan. These mountains look strange: melted shapes, pinkish creamy or grey almost white colour changing after the rain and dependant on humidity, are iridescent… This picturesque area reminds of wonderful decorations created by nature for some play, which is known only to itself.
Koytendag: unique land for international tourism Richest world of flora and fauna of Koitendag, unrepeatable beauty of its natural landscapes and unique monuments of antiquity are main preconditions for turning this region into one of the largest international tourist centers.
The Karakum is a sand desert stretching for 350,000 km2 from the Caspian Sea to Pamir foothills and from Amu Darya to Kopet Dag ridge. Its name is translated as “black sands” (“kara” – black, “kum” – sand). The Karakum climate is very severe. Summer temperature can reach +50°С, while the soil can run hot as high as +80°С. Winter features strong frosts up to -30°С. Rainfall is very scanty, and precipitates mainly in November and April. Flora is represented by the sand sedge, acacia, saksaul, and in spring, by grasses and flowers which cover huge areas, except for dunes, and completely dry up by May. Fauna of the Karakum desert includes gazelles, foxes, wolves, various rodents, lizards, snakes and insects. Besides the wildlife, grassland farming to raise sheep and camels is also common there.
The Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake, separates Europe and Asia, and is, at the same time, the Turkmen western border with a coastline of 1,200 km. The Caspian is called a sea due to its size and geologic structure, which once was an ocean bottom. The total area of the Caspian, located at the height of 27 m below sea level, is about 371,000 km2, while its maximum depth reaches 1,025 m, which also makes it one of the deepest lakes in the world. The Caspian water is salt.