The center of bird watching, Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve is the oldest and best-known reserve in Central Asia. It was founded in 1926 and has since been expanded to cover over 132.6 thousand hectares (327,662 acres). It is located along Talassky Ala Tau, Ugram and Maydantal ridges in the western part of the Tian Shan Mountain range near Shymkent.
The name of the reserve combines the names of two of its biggest rivers – Aksu and Zhabagly. The reserve offers a variety flora and fauna and provides scientists with a unique opportunity to study the reserve in it’s natural state. Visitors may observe the primitive beauty and variety of landscapes of the western Tian Shan