Kazakhstan, lying at the heart of Central Asia on the Great Silk Road, is a massive country spanning 2,717,300 square kilometers from the Caspian Sea to Western China; an area the size of the whole of western Europe! Yet, with a population of just 17 million, mostly living in the cities, this is a land of vast open and unpeopled spaces. Great stone and sand deserts, and wide grassy steeps occupy the majority of the country, interspersed with such great inland lakes as Lake Balkhash, Aral and Caspian Sea. In dramatic contrast, along its south - eastern borders stand the mighty Tien Shan Mountains, the 1,000-mile spine of Central Asia and northern extension of the Himalaya which waters flower-filled alpine meadows, lush forests of Tien Shan Spruce and lowland Turanga, and feeds the great lakes and inland deltas to the north. It is in these diverse habitats that you may hope to see such exciting avian specialties as Dalmatian Pelican, Saker Falcon, Himalayan Snowcock, Demoiselle Crane, Houbara Bustard, Ibisbill, Pallas's Sandgrouse, Eversmannn's Stock Dove, White-winged Woodpecker, Himalayan Rubythroat, Eversmann's and Guldenstads's Redstarts, Booted Warbler, Desert Warbler, Severtzov's Tit-warbler, Azure Tit, Turlestan Tit, Rose-colored Starling, Saxaul Sparrow, Red-mantled Rosefinch, White-winged Grosbeak.