Districts of Kazakhstan
Kyzylorda District is located in the southwest of Kazakhstan. Its administrative center is Kyzylorda.
The depths of the earth here are rich in mineral deposits, which is why the key branch of the regional economy is the mining industry. However, the territory of Kyzylorda District accommodates numerous architectural, archeological and cultural sites, such as: the Sauran-Kamal Fortress (12th-16th centuries), Sygnak settlement, the Korkyt-Ata Memorial Complex, the mosques of Aktas, Nogai, Nuraly and Okyshy-Ata, and the Sunak-ata and Aitkhozha-Iman Mausoleums.
But the key attraction of the district which draws many travelers from all over the world is the Baikonur space-center. Its total area is 6,717 sq. km. Here you can watch space launches and visit the Cosmonaut Museum, as well as the houses where Yuri Gagarin and Sergei Korolyov lived.
The district is located in a desert zone, downstream from the Syrdaria River. Here, tugai and reeds surround floodplains and lakes. You may chance upon wild boar, reed cat, pheasant, pike, perch, catfish and others.
The district accommodates the Barsa-Kelmes (translated from Kazakh as "If you go this way, you won't come back") National Preserve. Its main treasure is koulan (Asian wild donkey). Until recently herds of koulans were typical for this district.
At present, only some 140 koulans live in the preserve. On the verge of disappearance is the saiga, being exterminated by poachers for its horns, which purportedly have healing powers.
However, herds of the most ancient species of antelope can still be found here, especially in the areas adjacent to the Aral Sea. Lovers of exotic wildlife can often come across an aboriginal of this land - the two-humped camel (bactrian) and enjoy a ride on one!