The Repetek Nature Reserve, located about 540 km from Ashgahabt, is one of the most beautiful places in the Karakum desert. It is located in the Eastern Kara Kum about 70 km to the south west from the city of Turkmenabat (Chardjou) the centre of the Lebap region. The reserve was founded in 1927 on the basis of a scientific station from 1912. The main current activity of the reserve is preservation and study of unique flora and fauna of the 34,600 ha area it covers. In February 1979 the Repetek Reserve gained status of an International Biosphere Reserve.
The Repetek Reserve has a typical climate of the continental subtropical deserts. The region has big thermal resources. Annual amount of the solar radiation is 40 kkal/cm2. Average temperature of the air is +16 C.The hottest month is July with monthly average temperature +31 C and a maximum temperature +50 C. Precipitation is 113,6 mm per year. In spring,just for a short period of time the desert is covered by a colorful carpet of vegetation. Flora in the Reserve accounts about 120 different kinds of aboriginal flower plants, 8 kinds of soil mushrooms, 4 kinds of glues, 4 kinds of lichens, 18 kinds of soil alga and sonic kinds of epidemic plants.
The animal world of the Reserve is also rich. Here live 26 species of mammals. Among them different species of rodents, such as sanderling and jerboa and others. Here one can meet hares, porcupines, the so called blinders, hedgehogs, foxes, desert cats, caracals, Gazella subgutturosa(Latin name). There are 198 species of birds. Among them desert sparrow, pheasant. In the Reserve live 22 species of reptiles: middle Asian tortoise, desert crocodile (grey varan), 4 species of alsophylax (Latin name), 4 species of lizards and 9 species of snakes.
In the Reserve there is a big collection of herbarium – about 100 specimens of the plants, growing on the territory of the Reserve, about 1000 specimens of the plants, growing in the other regions of Turkmenistan, as well as in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. About 400 sheets of herbarium, representing the plants, growing in the deserts in the south of the USA. This herbarium collection is a gift of the National Museum of Herbarium of the USA.
In the Reserve there is a Nature Museum, displaying 13 kinds of stuffed animals, 62 species of stuffed birds and 21 species of reptiles.
From the ancient times Repetek was on the way of the Great Silk Route. In the IX-X c.c. this place was known under the name of AI-Aksha, later called Djubba-Khammad, in the XIX c as Rubshatah, then Rafatak and these days as Repetek. The word Repetek is translated from the Arabic language ” the confined place with insipid water”.