Top 5 parks and nature attractions in Belarus
Top 5 parks and nature attractions
Belarus is most often described as a country with a Soviet past, but few people know that Belarus is also called blue-eyed, a country under White wings, the lungs of Europe. This is all because of the Belarusian nature, which is incredibly rich and diverse. Despite the flat relief, absence of mountains and sea, Belarus is still able to surprise with its nature. Just imagine, 40 percent of the country is covered with forests, 12 percent is occupied by swamps. There are 10,000 lakes and 20,000 rivers in the country. If you are not interested in architecture, you like to spend time in solitude, watch the animals in the natural environment, Belarus is a country for you.If You have not had time to ask what wonders prirody a must-watch in Belarus, read our guide.
1. Belovezha Forest.
Belovezha Forest is one of the oldest relic forests in Europe, spread over 153,000 hectares on the border between Poland and Belarus. It became a National Park in 1991. The first mention of a huge forest was in 983. Since the XV century Forest was the hunting grounds of Polish kings and then Russian tsars. The oldest trees that grow here are about 600 years old. In 1992 UNESCO listed Forest as a world heritage site. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is divided into four zones: nature reserve, where all activities are prohibited (40% of the total territory), territory of regulated use, economic zone and recreational zone. The forest is home to more than 250 species of birds (this is a great place for birdwatching lovers) and 65% of all known plants in Belarus grows here, so that in one visit you will admire half of the entire flora of the country. Animals are more difficult to see, but to meet them, you can visit the enclosures. In the depths of the forest hides there is a wild swamp – one of the largest lowland swamps in Europe. If one day is not enough for you, you can stay overnight in one of the hotels located on the territory. But in Belovezha Forest there are a lot of interesting things, except the forest itself: for example, enclosures with wild animals, the residence of Santa Claus, the Museum of nature, the Museum of folk life and ancient technologies. There are several cycling trails available for those who like cycling, and bike hire is available.
2. Berezinski Biosphere reserve.
Belovezha Forest is a bit far from Minsk and if you do not have 4 hours to spend only for road, you can go to Berezinski Biosphere Reserve, it will take you 2 hours one way.
Berezinsky biosphere reserve is a pearl of the Belarusian lake district, one of the oldest protected areas of the highest rank in our country, which has gained worldwide fame as a standard of untouched nature not only in the CIS, but throughout Europe.
Today there are only two nature reserves in Belarus – Berezinsky biosphere reserve and Polessky radiation-ecological reserve. And if Polesskiy was created after man-caused environmental disaster, and is a place of rehabilitation of natural areas for scientific research and practically closed for tourists, the Berezinsky reserve is clean, with wonderful wildlife, which began to form here thousands of years ago after the melting of ancient glaciers. And everyone can see this beauty!
The peculiarity of the reserve is the proximity of 4 types of ecosystems: dense forests, rivers, meadows and marshes. At the same time, swamps cover about 60% of the reserve, being part of the priceless natural wealth of Belarus, thanks to which the country is called the "lungs of Europe". And this is not just an image: more than 2.5 million hectares of wetlands in Belarus (11.5% of the country's territory) play an exceptional role in maintaining the stable state of the biosphere and the formation of the microclimate of the region.
However, the treasures of the Berezinsky reserve are connected not only by wetlands. For example, today it is the only place not only in Belarus, but also in the whole continent, where the famous big European five large mammals – bison, bear, elk, wolf and lynx live, only here you can see all of them at the same time.
3. Braslav Lakes.
In the Braslav lakes are home to relict invertebrates that indicate water quality. There are more than 30 species of fish. About 35% of nesting birds in Belarus are concentrated on the territory of Braslav district.
Most of Braslav lakes complex form came after the glacial processes. The rugged coastline forms many peninsulas, bays and coves. Until the 40s of the twentieth century on the large Islands of Braslav lakes families of fishermen lived, but today there are only tourists. The glacier left on the territory of the region a lot of stones, including boulders of impressive size. The biggest boulder in Braslav district weighs over 40 tonnes. National Park "Braslav lakes" covers an area of about 70 thousand hectares. Its length from North to South is 55 km, from West to East from 9 to 29 km.
Within the boundaries of the National Park are 74 lakes with a total area of 12590 hectares, which is about 17% of its total area. There are more than 1900 species of plants. Forests cover about 67% of the area and are located in several large massifs
Someone lives with the dream of the hot beaches of the Maldives, someone would have long ago waved to Scandinavia to fjords, but the salary does not allow. And someone, imagine, can live with the dream of the swamp. First, it is necessary to realize that, compared to this swamp, our life is just dust, because it is about 9000 years old. Secondly, we must understand that Yelnya is 25,301 hectares of nature, the balance of which is almost not disturbed by people, it is a wild, ancient place, created in order to write about its legends and fairy tales. It is the largest upland swamp in Belarus and the fifth largest in Europe! Yelnya has 118 lakes and provides shelter for 130 species of birds, including such rare as black-throated Loon, white-tailed eagle and black stork (come here for birdwatching). And Yelnya is up to 6,000 gray cranes that feed here before each migration season. People who love extreme and individualists have the opportunity to go through Yelnya on their own and for free. The best time to travel through the swamp is from May to September. Winter swamp is also very attractive, when the snow falls on the spruce. Autumn, of course, the most beautiful season, because in September the swamp is dressed in a colorful "skin".
5. Polessky radiation and ecological reserve.
This reserve will be interesting for fans of abandoned territories and risk. The dose of radiation that a person receives during one flight by plane is greater than that which threatens him after one day in the exclusion zone, experts say.
The exclusion zone on the territory of Belarus, which was formed after the Chernobyl accident, is now open to tourists. The generated two routes, selected sites, roads with improved surface are at your disposal. Those doses that can get citizens were calculated, but if you turn off the route, the numbers on the dosimeter grow significantly and to be in such a place is obviously dangerous.
Unlike the Ukrainian part of the zone, where the cities of Pripyat and Chernobyl are located, there are no burial grounds of equipment and dead cities in Belarus. On our side there are the villages settled after the disaster, there are 95 of them. There are also fire towers, where you can see the territory of the Chernobyl station, but they are forbidden to climb.
The route includes the remains of the plant, which previously specialized in the production of animal feed. After the accident, the equipment was highly radioactive to remove it. To let tourists into the building, some white lines are put, which can not be crossed.
After the accident at the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986, the area with a radius of 30 kilometers from the station became an exclusion zone. It was particularly affected by radiation pollution and was forbidden to be in it. In total, the area of radiation pollution in Belarus was about 46.5 thousand square kilometers.