Catlee Lowrey

Written by Catlee Lowrey

Modified & Updated: 29 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Lake Balkhash is one of the most fascinating natural wonders of the world. Located in southeastern Kazakhstan, this extraordinary lake boasts a rich history and a unique ecosystem that mesmerize both scientists and nature enthusiasts alike. Spanning over 16,400 square kilometers, Lake Balkhash is the 13th largest lake in the world and has a depth of approximately 26 meters.

What makes Lake Balkhash truly special are the various extraordinary facts associated with it. From its distinct dual nature to its abundance of diverse flora and fauna, this remarkable body of water holds numerous secrets waiting to be explored. In this article, we will delve into 9 extraordinary facts about Lake Balkhash that will leave you in awe of its magnificence.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lake Balkhash is the largest lake in Kazakhstan, home to diverse wildlife and a unique division into freshwater and saline parts. It’s a haven for birdwatchers and a vital water resource for the region.
  • Visitors to Lake Balkhash can enjoy its stunning landscapes, recreational activities, and cultural heritage. The lake plays a crucial role in the local fishing industry and provides essential water resources for nearby communities.
Table of Contents

The largest lake in Kazakhstan

Lake Balkhash is the largest lake in Kazakhstan and one of the largest in Asia. It covers an area of approximately 16,400 square kilometers, making it a significant geographical feature in the region.

A diverse ecosystem

The lake is home to a rich and diverse ecosystem, with over 170 species of birds, including the famous pink flamingos that migrate to the lake during the summer months. It also supports various species of fish, including the unique Balkhash perch, which is found only in this lake.

A tale of two parts

One of the most remarkable characteristics of Lake Balkhash is its division into two distinct parts. The western part is freshwater, while the eastern part is saline. This unique feature is due to the different sources of water feeding into the lake.

An ancient lake

Lake Balkhash has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. It is believed to have formed around 3.5 million years ago and has since witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations in its vicinity.

A haven for birdwatchers

The diverse bird species found around Lake Balkhash make it a paradise for birdwatchers. From migratory birds to resident species, the lake offers an incredible opportunity to observe and study different bird behaviors and habitats.

Changing water levels

One of the unique aspects of Lake Balkhash is its fluctuating water levels. Due to various factors such as climate change and human intervention, the water levels of the lake have been known to rise and fall significantly over the years.

An important source of fish

Lake Balkhash plays a crucial role in the local fishing industry. The abundance of fish species, particularly the highly prized Balkhash perch, provides employment and sustenance for many communities in the surrounding areas.

A popular tourist destination

With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and recreational activities such as boating and fishing, Lake Balkhash has become a popular destination for tourists. Visitors can explore the surrounding natural beauty and immerse themselves in the unique cultural heritage of the region.

A key water resource

Lake Balkhash serves as an essential water resource for the surrounding regions, providing irrigation and drinking water to nearby communities. Its preservation and sustainable management are crucial for both human and environmental well-being.


Lake Balkhash is truly an extraordinary natural wonder, brimming with fascinating facts that make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. From its unique dual nature to its diverse ecosystem, the lake offers a plethora of experiences for visitors. Whether you’re interested in exploring its crystal-clear waters, observing its abundant wildlife, or simply marveling at its beauty, Lake Balkhash has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and embark on an adventure to discover the wonders of this remarkable lake.


Q: What makes Lake Balkhash unique?

A: Lake Balkhash is renowned for its dual nature, with the eastern part being freshwater and the western part being saline. This phenomenon is rare and adds to the lake’s ecological diversity.

Q: Can I swim in Lake Balkhash?

A: Yes, swimming is allowed in Lake Balkhash. The eastern part of the lake has freshwater, making it suitable for swimming and other water activities.

Q: Is Lake Balkhash home to any unique wildlife?

A: Yes, Lake Balkhash is home to a rich variety of wildlife. It is particularly famous for its bird population, with over 200 bird species residing in or migrating through the area.

Q: Are there any recreational activities available at Lake Balkhash?

A: Absolutely! Visitors can enjoy a range of recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and camping along the shores of Lake Balkhash.

Q: Is Lake Balkhash accessible year-round?

A: Yes, Lake Balkhash is accessible throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities.

Q: Are there any accommodations near Lake Balkhash?

A: Yes, there are accommodations available near Lake Balkhash, including hotels, guesthouses, and campsites, catering to the varying needs and preferences of visitors.

Lake Balkhash's wonders never cease to amaze, but there's more to explore in this fascinating world. Uncover the rich tapestry of Central Asia, where history and culture intertwine. Dive into the depths of freshwater lakes like Lake Victoria, teeming with life and beauty. For a change of pace, embark on a journey to Assal Lake, where saltwater creates an otherworldly landscape. Each destination holds its own unique allure, waiting for curious minds to discover their secrets. So, which adventure will you choose next?

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.