Aktobe is the fourth city by the population of 493,804 people and the largest administrative centre in Western Kazakhstan. It is sometimes called the city on the white hill because the name Aktobe translated from Turkish language means ‘white hill’. The city is situated in the second biggest province by the territory of 300,629 km2 in Kazakhstan. 76,3 % of the population is Kazakhs and 16,89 % - Russians, as well as the adopted religions in the city are Christianity and Islam.
The river Ilek with its tributaries of Zhinishke and Sazdy flows inside the city, which is one of the tributaries of the Ural River and lies in Orenburg Region of Russian Federation and Aktobe Region of Kazakhstan. According to the controversial fact, that Europe and Asia are separated by the river Ural, it means Aktobe city is located in Asia. On the other hand, if they are divided by the northern shore of the Caspian Sea along with Emba river and Mugodzhar Hills, Aktobe city is located in Europe.
Aktobe reservoir lies 10 kilometres far to the south-east from the city, as well as Sazdinsk reservoir – 8 kilometres to the south-west. Nonetheless, the most artificial reservoir Kargaly lies 60 kilometres far to the north-east from the city. The weather is deep continental in Aktobe, especially in summer which endures about 4 months (from mid-May to mid-September). However, winters in Aktobe are moderately cold and the highest snow cover could be about 31 cm in February. The rainiest days are in June (35 mm) and the least – in September (19 mm).
Despite, Aktobe city is one of the main transport and transit centres in Kazakhstan, as well as one of the largest railway and road nodes. In this city riding on bikes is becoming more and more popular every day, but special bike lanes are very few. That is why cyclists are forced to ride along the sidewalks next to pedestrians.