Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Republic of Kazakhstan is in Central Asia and eastern-most Europe. Neighbouring countries include Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The population is about 15.5 million people.

The government of Kazakhstan is a republic. The president is chief of state and elected by popular vote. The president appoints a prime minister as head of government. Since independence, the power of this presidency has been expanded and now power rests almost entirely with the president.

Kazakhstan was under Russian domination for most of the 20th century. The country was a Soviet republic since 1936 and was the last Soviet republic to declare independence from the USSR in December 1991. During the rule of Stalin, many ethnic groups were deported to Kazakhstan, therefore, there are about 131 ethnic groups in this country.

Through its emphasis on economic development and vast natural resources, Kazakhstan has become a relatively modern, prosperous Eurasian country and is now considered to be the dominant state in Central Asia.

Currency KZT: Tenge
Language Official language is Russian; official state language is Kazakh.
Capital Nur-Sultan
Recent Alerts 4
Latest Alert February 20, 2020 - Protest Rally on 22 February in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Kazakhstan. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Kazakhstan through contaminated food or water. 

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Kazakhstan.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Kazakhstan, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to Kazakhstan are at risk for tuberculosis, including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs sporadically in southern rural Kazakhstan.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in this country. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis

There is a risk of tick-borne encephalitis in some areas of the country below 1,400 meters. The areas mainly affected are reported to be in the east of the country and the Almaty province. The transmission season varies, however, ticks are most active during early spring to late autumn (March to November).

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Kazakhstan.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccine

Travellers whose planned outdoor activities put them at risk ( i.e., exposure to ticks in areas of vegetation such as gardens, parks, forest fringes, meadows, and marshes) should consider this vaccine. This vaccine is only available in Europe.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Kazakhstan.

None required.

Safety and Security in Kazakhstan

Emergency Numbers

112 Rescue Service - See note below
102
103 Emergency medical assistance
101

Although there is no emergency dispatcher in Kazakhstan, travellers in need of emergency services may contact the Rescue Service at 112. The Rescue Service operator will determine the nature of your emergency and what service to contact. You may then need to call that service provider directly.

Personal Safety

Travellers to Kazakhstan usually do not have safety and security problems. However, always be aware of personal security and alert in your surroundings. Petty crime does occur particularly in parks, shopping areas, restaurants, and transportation hubs. Some violent crime does occur. Foreigners have been victims of muggings and theft. Travellers should avoid showing signs of affluence, like expensive clothing or jewelry, and ensure their personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times. Do not carry large sums of cash. Do not travel alone after dark.

Police may carry out identification checks and are able to arrest those who do not comply. Travellers should carry photo ID along with a certified copy of their visa and registration.

Travellers should note that they are restrictions on the import of certain prescription medications.

Never accept food or drink from strangers or new acquaintances and do not leave drinks unattended. There have been reports of drinks being drugged. Be wary of individuals posing as police officers in an effort to steal money. Ask to see police credentials. Also be wary of men at airports seeming to welcome tourists into cars and then demanding money.

Road travel can be hazardous due to poor road conditions. Drivers may not adhere to rules of the road. Automobiles may be poorly maintained. Avoid travelling after dark. Stay on main routes since some restricted and military areas are not clearly marked. Use only official taxis. Be aware of theft on trains. Avoid using public buses as safety standards may be poor.

Do not take photos of military or government installations.

Due to the religious and conservative nature of the country, travellers are advised to dress conservatively and behave discreetly.

Due to its location in an active seismic zone, Kazakhstan is at risk for earthquakes, landslides, and avalanches. Weather conditions in the winter months can be very severe. Heavy snow, very cold temperatures and strong winds sometimes cause roadways to be closed and can present a safety concern for the traveller. Dress appropriately for the weather and monitor local weather reports closely. Industrial pollution in some cities may also present a health and safety risk to the traveller.

Although same-sex behaviours are legal, same-sex marriage is not and same-sex relationships are not socially accepted. LGBTI travellers may face discrimination in Kazakhstan. Avoid public displays of affection.

Traveller should note that tourist infrastructure is limited outside the cities of Almaty and Nur-Sultan.

Areas To Avoid

Certain areas in Kazakhstan are deemed 'closed zones' by the Kazakh Government. They include, but are not limited to, areas within 25km from the Kazakh borders. Always seek permission from the Almaty Migration Police Department if choosing to visit these areas.

Political Unrest

Sitata reminds travellers to avoid any large public gathering and/or demonstration due to the unpredictability of these situations.

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