Kyrgyzstan, which is almost 95% mountainous, is dominated by the Tian Shan system (Pobiiedy peak, 7,439 m) and the Pamir-Alai system (7,134 m in the Transalay Mountains), with huge glaciers (Inyltchek, 57 km long; Kainda, 25 km). Both chains border the Tchouisk and Fergana depressions in the southwest. The climate is more humid to the west (750 mm/year) and dry in the smaller eastern hollows (300 mm/year). Forests (15% of the territory) are mainly present in the west, while the east has especially a dry climate vegetation.

With an estimation of 4.8 million inhabitants, the population is made up of Kyrgyz, Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tartars, Kazaks, Uighurs, Tajiks, Customs, Koreans, in other words more than 80 nations in all. The population is very young and rural. It is especially present in the western depressions, around Lake Issyk-Kul and on the river valleys where the oases on a piedmont plain have grown and where there are the main towns : Osh (219 100 inhab.), Jalalabad (75 000 inhab.), Tokmok (71 000 inhab.), Krakol (or Prejevalsk, 65 000 inhab.). Only Bishkek which is the capital, is very far, located on the northern border, beyond the last mountain range.

Kyrgyzstan is a former republic of the USSR and gained its independence when the USSR collapsed in 1991.

We can consider that life in Kyrgyzstan is twice cheaper than in France. Here is a few examples :

Basic products Price in Euros / Som of Kirghizistan
1L of water (botel) 0,3 € / 23 KGS
1 meal (2 dishes) 4,3 € / 327 KGS
1 bus ticket 0,21 € / 16 KGS

Mutton is the basis of Kyrgyz cuisine. Try the shurpa, a mutton dish with vegetable soup. Or the bermak besh: mutton with broth and fresh pasta. But the national dish is plov, made up of rice, carrots, spices and mutton. Tea (“tchaï”) is served everywhere and at all times. Koumis, fermented mare’s milk, low in alcohol and very sour, is the national drink with, of course, vodka…

Vaccine and specific advice :

Find out what vaccines are recommended for the country and what are the diseases preventive and/or treatment measures on site.

Checklist :

Vaccine renewal, country-specific vaccinations: 1-3 months before leaving

Visit your doctor or specialist for any health problem, repeat of medical prescriptions, contraception, to have a sufficient initial stock of drugs, adjustment of dosages. Moreover, you will need to send your coordinator a certificate from your doctor certifying that you are well able to participate in an international volunteer project.

Dentist: a dental check-up can be useful before you leave !

We recommend you to visit the mentioned below websites to consult the travel advice.

Advice to travelers coming from the United Kingdom :

Advice to travelers coming from the USA :

Advice to travelers coming from the Canada :

Leadership is a nonprofit organization of young volunteers that aim to make youth aware in civil society through volunteerism, project design, and local and international cooperation.

Volunteers are exempt from the tourist visa requirement for stays of less than 60 days. However, they will have to ensure that the passport has been duly stamped when you enter the territory. For stays of more than 60 days, a visa (tourism) can be obtained with a payment in USD when you arrive at Manas Airport. Get in touch with the embassy or the consulate to confirm this information.

Kyrgyz mbassy to the USA & Canada

2360 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC, 20008
Telephone: (202) 449-98-22
Fax: (202) 449-82-75
E-mail: [email protected]

Consular Section:
Telephone: (202) 449-98-23
Email: [email protected]
Consular documents drop-off/pick up (ET):
10:00am-12:00pm (weekdays)
Phone calls on consular issues and admitting citizens by appointment :
2:00pm-5:00pm (weekdays).

  • Kyrgyz Embassy in the United KingdomAscot House
    119 Crawford Street
    London W1U 6BJ
    United Kingdom
  • (+44) 20 7935 1462
  • FAX
  • (+44) 20 7935 7449
  • [email protected]

List of projects available in Kyrgyzstan