Tajikistan, the smallest country of the Central Asia, is located in its southeast part. In the west and the north it borders on Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, in the south - with Afghanistan, and in the east, in its mountainous part, with China.
It is the country of mountains and rivers. In fact, almost entire territory of the republic (more than 90 %) is occupied by mountains which are parts if the highest ranges - the Pamir and the Tien Shan with absolute heights from 300 m to 7,495 m. The Pamir is the place where rough mountain rivers raging at bottoms of gorges and canyons are born. Tajikistan has 947 (!) rivers which are over 10 km long. The largest rivers are the Amu Darya, the Syr-Darya (in the north), the Zeravshan (inflow of Amu Darya) as well as the Vakhsh and the Panj.
There are lakes in Tajikistan too. The largest of them is Lake Karakul (the Eastern Pamir). The area of this salty closed lake is 380 square km. The deepest lake of Tajikistan is Lake Sarez (the Western Pamir). Its area is 86.5 sq. m, depth - 490 meters. The water in the lake is fresh.
The mountains of Tajikistan are famous for their glaciers which are considered the largest in Asia. Fedchenko Glacier (length 77 km, width 1,700 - 3,100 m), the Pamir's largest and Zeravshan Glacier are among them.
The central place on the territory of Tajikistan is occupied by the Hissar-Alay (Southern Tien Shan) ridges. A lot of mountains are higher than 5,000 m. The capital of Tajikistan - Dushanbe is located in the Hissar Valley at the foot of the Hissar Mountains.
The Pamirs is in the southeast of the country. The lowest pass there is Kamaloyak (4,340м) which lies almost as high as the Mont Blanc - the highest peak of the Alps. The highest peak of the Pamir - the Peak of Communism - has been renamed into the Peak of Usmaili Samani is 7,495 m high. Its several picturesquely hanging glaciers form an unforgettable sight.
In the northwest of Tajikistan there are even more mountain ridges. The Turkestani (its northern slope has a snow line at the height of 3,500-4,000), the Zeravshan and the Hissar are among them. In the same area are located the well-known picturesque Fan Mountains. They are known for their tremendously beautiful relief and enormous height (5,495).
The north of the republic is occupied by the Fergana Hollow. It is surrounded by the Kuramin Ridge, the Vakhsh and Hissar plains and Golodnaya (Hungry) steppe.
Since the territory of Tajikistan is similar to a pyramid the top of which is crowned by the mountains, its natural landscapes vary depending on the height: below are wildernesses and valleys, above lie forest-covered foothills, in the mountains stretch alpine meadows with permafrost further away.
Tajikistan Flora and fauna
The flora and the fauna there are diverse indeed. The rare kinds of animals and birds entered in the Red book inhabit the territory. There are several natural reserves on territory of the country - the Tiger Hollow, Ramit, Dashtidzhum, and Sarikhosor; in riparian forests, Asiatic poplar woods and tamarin thickets live goitered gazelles, Bukhara deer, tigers, pheasants, mountain partridges, cane cats, wild boars, and snow leopards. The flora is represented by various fruit-trees and vegetation characteristic for high mountain areas.
Tajikistan Natural Resources
More than 200 high on valuable formulas mineral water springs have been found on the territory of the republic - Shaambary, Khodzha-Obi-Garm, Garm-Chashma etc.
And finally, Tajikistan is the richest natural pantry of minerals. The republic is rich in deposits of coal, oil, gas; mercury, molubdenum, tin, antimonic, tin ores; gold, silver, phosphorites, table salt, marble, gypsum, clay, sand-gravel materials, precious stones.
Climate of Tajikistan
The climate of Tajikistan is moderate, sharp continental, and dry. Winter temperatures in valleys are from 0°C to +2°C, high in the mountains - to -27°C. In summer temperature in the valleys is from +23°C to +30, +35°C, in the mountains - from +4°C to +15°C. The most precipitation falls in winter and spring.