This 740 sq. km Aqsu-Zhabaghly Nature Reserve was founded in 1926 and is one of the first reserves founded in Kazakhstan. A real reserve's highlights are the unique Canyons of Aksu River, which stretch for 18 km, and are about 500-600 meters deep. The canyons' width in the upper part is 400-500 meters. In some places slopes form small terraces, turning to vertical walls.
Nature here is rich and various and the reserve includes about 1.200 species of plants, 42 kinds of animals, 238 kinds of birds. Aqsu-Zhabaghly Nature Reserve is a habitat for the rare snow leopard, though you stand a much better chance of seeing bears, ibex, and birds of prey. Most of the animals and birds in the nature reserve are in The Red Book, and depending on circumstances hunting is prohibited or limited by license.