Turkmenistan is located in the south-western part of Central Asia. It is bordered with Kazakhstan in the north-west; Uzbekistan, in the north and north-east; Afghanistan, in the south-east; Iran, in the south and south-west, and the waters of the Caspian Sea serve as its western boundary. The country’s major portion is occupied by the plain desert of Karakum, while only small areas found in the south and east, consist of mountainous region. Rivers in Turkmenistan are very few and most of them almost run dry in summer.
Such conditions make the local climate very dry: winters are warm enough, while summers, very sultry.
Turkmenistan ranks the world’s 52-nd in total area. Its territory covers 491,000 km2. The country is located in the Turan lowland. Its lowest point is the Akchakaya depression - 81 m. Its few mountains range from 1,000 to 3,000 m: the highest point is Mount Ayrybaba (3139 m).
Turkmenistan largest river is the Amu Darya, which flows along the northern border of Uzbekistan. It gives rise to the huge Karakum Canal, which runs to the desert for 1,000 km. On the other side of the desert, in southern Turkmenistan, there are much smaller, but very important rivers: Murghab, Tedjen and Atrek. In addition, the country has lakes, but most of them are saline.
Turkmenistan flora includes thousands of species of plants, ranging from desert grasses and saksauls to mountain forests. The fauna is presented with the species of 91 mammals, 372 birds, 74 reptiles and 60 fishes. While flora and fauna are poorly represented in the desert, then the mountain river valleys are true wealth of Turkmen nature. All this wealth is protected by the Badkyz, Krasnodar and Repetek Reserves.
The Turkmenistan climate is strongly continental. Daytime temperatures are very different: the average temperature in July of +30-32°С lowers to -5°С in winter. The average annual rainfall varies from 80 mm in the deserts to 400 mm in the mountains. At the same time the plains feature frequent hot winds and dust storms.
Subsurface entrails of Turkmenistan consist of continental sedimentary rocks. The country's main wealth is deposits of natural gas: according to geologists they concentrate a third of its world’s reserves. Along with gas it has significant oil resources. In addition, the Gulf of Kara-Bogaz-Gol has one of the largest deposits of natural salts. Turkmenistan also produces gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead and other minerals.