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KAZAKHSTAN TRAVEL BASICS

General Information
Official name Republic of Kazakhstan
Capital Astana (former Akmala), Population: 313,000
Area 2,717,300 sq km. ( 1,049,150 sq miles)
Administrative subdivisions 16 regiones.
Population 14.80 million (2001).
Population Density 5.5 per sq km.
Average annual growth rate of population 5%
Official language Kazakh
GDP annual growth 8.0%
Urban population 64.3%
Average family size 4
Major ethnic groups Kazakh (46%), Russian (35%), Ukranian (4,9%), German (3,1%), 11% other nationalities.
National currency Kazakh Tenge
Religion Islam, Russian Ortodox Christianity, and other confessions
Education: 11 years (high school), 2 years college, 4-5 years University
Transportation: Highways -128,000 km. Railways - 14,000 km.
Legal system: Based on constitution adopted on
The head of state and government President Narsultan Nazarbaev (since 1991)
Supreme legislative body Oliy Majlis- National Parliament
The highest juridical body Supreme Court
Ruling party Republican Party "Otan" since Oct 1999.
Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin continental plugs are standard.
Time: Kazakhstan has three time zones:
Main Zone: GMT + 6 (GMT + 7 from 28 March to 26 October).
Central Zone: GMT + 5 (GMT + 6 from 28 March to 26 October).
Western Zone: GMT + 4 (GMT + 5 from 28 March to 26 October).

Weather
  Mostly covered by desert and steppe Kazakhstan has continental fairly dry climate with cold winters and hot summers, but there are still different climactic zones. The hottest month is July. The best months to explore the mountainous areas and travel by the Great Silk Road are June, July, August, September and the first two weeks of October. The temperature in the north of the country ranges between -19°/-24°C (-2-11°F) in January to 22-28°C (72-82°F) in July. In the south, the temperatures range from -3°/-9°C (27°/-16°F) in January to 26-29°C (79-84°F) in July. There are snowfalls during winter.

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