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Deserts of Central Asia / Uzbekistan Tours and Tips

The deserts of Uzbekistan and Central Asia. Kyzilkum desert and Karakum desert facts, attractions.

Kizilkum Desert

Kyzylkum – Qyzylkum – Kizil Kum means the “Red Desert or Red Sand” in local Turkic languages. This vast desert occupies some 300.000 square kilometers (115.000 sq mi) and stretches to the territories of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in Central Asia.

 kyzyl kum desert animals kyzyl kum desert animals

All over our planet the deserts are the regions with the most violent climatic conditions. Kizilkum is cold in winter, deadly hot in summer like any other desert of the world. Even though the Kzilkum – Red Desert has some oases and small villages or settlements of nomadic people anyway most of it is covered with low and high sand dunes.

The fauna of the desert Kizilkum is diverse from small tortoises to Saiga Antelope and from variety of snakes to gazelle and wild boars.

The main activity of the local population in or around the desert is raising goats, sheep and camels.

Kyzylkum desert facts

The desert has a good number of small 922m (3,000f) high mountains;

Annual rainfall is about 140mm (5-6 inches);

The Qyzylkum desert possesses some of the riches gas and gold mines of the region;

Karakum Desert / Uzbekistan Desert Travel Guide

karakum door to hell derwaza karakum desert turkmenistan

Karakum is a desert which lies in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, in Central Asia. The word Karakum or Kara Kum means “Black Sand or Black Desert” in local Turkic languages. Most of Karakum desert lies in Turkmenistan and the Turkmens call is “Garagum” desert.

Karakum touches the borders of the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea, touches the Aral Sea on the north and stretches to the Amu Darya and Kyzylkum on the northeast.

Tourist Attractions in Karakum Desert / Derwaza – Door to Hell

The main tourist site of the Karakum and all Turkmenistan is the “Darvaza Gas Crater”. Derwaza so-called “Door to Hell”. About 40 years ago the scientists find a gas crater and set fire in it for preventing the gas from spreading around. But unexpectedly the gas is still burning all over these years. So, the 69 meter diameter (226ft), 30 meter deep (98ft) and big fire in it creates an amazingly spectacular view.

The Darwaza gas crater is now the #1 tourist attraction of all Turkmenistan. Dining next to this unique attraction, sleeping an tents beside it can really be an extraordinary experience to be added to anyone’s travel lists.

Interesting Facts about Karakum Desert

Karakum is the largest desert of Central Asia;

The area of the Karakum desert is over 350,000km2;

70% of Karakum covers the territory of Turkmenistan;

Karakum has biggest population of snakes in Central Asia;

Rainfall in Karakum is about 100mm per year which is nearly the half of the records of Kyzyl Kum Desert;

Due to complicated conditions of life the population of the desert is naturally sparse. The density of population in the desert is about 1 person for every 6.5 km (2.5 sq mi);


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