Kitab Nature Reserve is located in Kitab region on the spurs of the Zarafshan range. This is one of the most unique natural monuments. The wild nature in the Kitab Reserve is rich and diverse, with a number of endemic genera and species forming the unique local mountain semi-steppe.
Established in 1979, this reserve serves as a natural research site for processing the fundamental foundations of geology - stratigraphy, paleontology, sedimentology and other branches. For common tourists, this is an amazing place that allows know the mysteries of the ancient world and how life was being gradually formed on the earth.
From ancient Samarkand the road to Kitab runs through the picturesque mountain pass Takhta-Koracha, where protected by law animals and birds live.
The path to the Kitab forest reserve passes through Shakhrisabz, the ancient city. The reserve’s office is located in Shakhrisabz.
Trails and viewing platforms are equipped here for the tourists. In the rocks you can find the oldest corals and other marine remains formed about 470 million years ago. It is amazing that about 140 million years ago a warm sea basin was located here.The main attraction of the reserve is the opportunity to look closely at the history of the formation of mountains and the preserved ancient life forms in them. The paleontological and the biological museums, the hotel, the hostel and cottages are located here.
The Kitab Reserve is the only one in Uzbekistan that is administered by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Geology and Mineral Resources. This reserve was organised with the special purpose of preserving unique stratigraphic successions and the fossil forms of marine animals and plants they contain. The Palaeozoic strata in the territory of the reserve contain most interesting formations providing information on a considerable period in the Earth’s geological history covering 130-170 million years. The reserve is also of great importance for the protection of contemporary animals and plants.
The Kitab Reserve is 3,938 ha in area.
The region lies in the subtropical climate belt of the northern hemisphere and is characterised by high average temperatures and a sharply continental climate. A short, warm spring is succeeded by a long dry and hot period which extends for the whole summer and far into the autumn. The weather in winter time is not stable and is characterised by great fluctuations of temperature. The coldest month is January, with an average and minimal temperatures of –5 °C and –20 °C respectively. The hottest is July, the average and maximal temperatures +18 °C and +30 °C. The warm period when the temperature does not fall below zero continues for 178 days. The average annual precipitation is 603 mm, with half of it falling in spring. The snow cover forms every year, remaining from December to March and reaching in places as much as 111 cm in thickness.
The main left tributaries of the Jindydarya, the brooks of Obi-Safid (Aksu), Hoja-Kurgan, Novobak and others, flow in the territory of the reserve. All these watercourses are fed by snow, rain and ground waters. There also are a number of seasonal streams flowing only for the short period of spring rainfalls.
The wild nature in the Kitab Reserve is rich and diverse, with a number of endemic genera and species forming the unique local mountain semi-steppe. The flora of the reserve includes 798 higher plant species, with Juniperus seravschanica Kom. being the main species forming the forests of the Kitab Reserve.
The fauna of the Kitab Reserve includes 168 species of vertebrates, of which 3 are fishes, 16 reptiles, 128 birds and 21 mammals.