Uzbekistan is divided administratively into 12 provinces, the capital city of Tashkent, and the Karakalpak Autonomous Republic (Karakalpakstan). The 6 broad regions can be distinguished as follows:
- Starting in the east is Uzbekistan's section of the Fergana Valley, watered by the Syr Darya River.
- West from the Fergana Valley, is the central region around the capital Tashkent, also watered by the Syr Darya River.
- Further west, is the region of the Kyzyl Kum Desert, including much of Karakalpakistan.
- Next is the southwestern region along the border with Turkmenistan, watered by the Amu Darya River. This region includes part of Karakalpakistan. Together with the neighboring area across the border in Turkmenistan, it comprised the core area of the old Khivan Khanate.
- The south-central region comprises the areas around the ancient cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, which are on the River Zeravshan.
- Uzbekistan's mountainous far southeast is near the borders with Tajikistan and Afghanistan.