In Kyrgyzstan there are more than 40 000 rivers and streams in Kyrgyzstan, with a combined length of roughly 150,000 km and draining some 47 cubic km of water a year
The main source of water for the rivers is melt water from the numerous glaciers and snowfields in the mountains. The contribution, of rainfall amounts.to less than one fifth of the water flow. That's why there is no wonder why tourists see so many rivers on their tours when they travel to Kyrgyzstan.
Most of the mountain streams are not really navigable due to the extreme drop in altitudes, the complicated relief of the riverbeds and the velocity of the river flow. Many of them, however, are suitable for white water rafting and similar activities. We can organize 1 hour white water rafting during your tour in Kyrgyzstan.
We sometimes get asked for detailed information about specific rivers - especially by people interested in rafting or canoeing expeditions. We cannot always provide the answers - for example, the rate of flow along the River Naryn at different stages along its 535 km.
The River Naryn is the longest river in Kyrgyzstan, (535 km in length) and is in fact a river famous from antiquity. Formed by the confluence of the Big and Little Naryn Rivers, just above the town of Naryn, it collects the waters of several large tributaries such as the At Bashi and Kekemeren until flows into the Toktogul Reservoir and the flows south breaking through the Fergana Range into the Fergana valley and then amasses yet more tributaries until eventually it flows as Syr Darya into the Aral Sea.
Nowadays, extensive cotton farming in Uzbekistan absorbs most of its waters, so that the Aral Sea is drying up. It is possible to travel from the town to the source of this once famous river. Downstream, in Kyrgyzstan, the river is used extensively for hydroelectric power generation and it flows into giant Toktogul Reservoir that you would see if you used the main Bishkek-Osh road during your tour in Kyrgyzstan.
The Talas - although a major river, it is perhaps best known because it was on the banks of the river in 751 that the Chinese suffered the defeat that marked the end of the Westwards expansion - and released the secrets of the manufacture of paper and silk to the wider world.
The Chui in the North which flows from the Naryn region, around the eastern edge of the Kyrgyz mountain range, through Book Gorge and then the Chu valley past Bishkek and finally dissipates into the deserts of Kazakhstan. It was once thought that the river flowed out of lake by several kilometers. In the Bishkek region the Southern flank of the valley is formed by the Kyrgyz mountain range - and the northern flank by the gentle Jalanash hill Kazakhstan. The valley is intensively irrigated.
The Sary Jaz which rises from the slopes of the Khan Tengri massif and flows past some impressive peaks swinging to China. In 2003 the suggestion was made that to build another road to cross the border through the valley. Although it is possible to trek in the region, the conditions are such that it is not for beginners - experience and fitness is a requirement.
The Chatkal is located in the Western Tian Shan mountain range, the River Chatkal flows through a remote valley in the extreme west of the country and into Uzbekistan. It is flanked by the 120 km long mountain range of the same name and the Chandalash range.
Rivers in Kyrgyzstan play important role not only in the economy of the country, but also add an immense charm to the landscape making tours in Kyrgyzstan the most picturesque that our company offers. Come and join us!