During the pandemic era, ecotourism is at the peak of its popularity. Perhaps, traveling in small tourist groups to the natural attractions of Belarus is the best way to maintain social distance and have a great rest. And if Belarusian national parks are still associated with you only with bison (although they are undoubtedly good), then it's time for VETLIVA to tell you about all the variety of recreation options that are offered here.
- Nature reserve, national park, or wildlife sanctuary?
- Swamp adventure
- Yes, there is a safari in Belarus!
- Horse rides
How are nature reserves different from national parks and wildlife sanctuaries?
There are several types of protected areas in Belarus:
Two nature reserves. The Berezinsky Biosphere and Polessky Radiation-Ecological Reserves are specially protected areas, where economic activity is completely prohibited. The access of unauthorized persons is also restricted. You can usually get into the reserves only as part of an excursion. For example, not so long ago they began to organize trips to the exclusion zone.
Four national parks. These include
- Belovezhskaya Pushcha,
- Pripyat National Park,
- Braslav lakes,
- Narochansky National Park.
National parks are created to protect certain landscapes, for example, relict forests, clean lakes, and swamps, etc. Despite the free visiting, economic activities are prohibited on their territory. Also, there are restrictions for hunters and fishermen.
527 wildlife sanctuaries, of which 99 are of national importance and 428 are of local importance. Only certain species of flora and fauna are protected here, and economic activities are also allowed.
When planning a trip to Belarus, you must definitely take into account the peculiarities of visiting each object. If, for example, you can get to the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve as part of an excursion, then you can go to the National Park on your own, having taken care of your accommodation. in advance. Well, we will tell you what to do there below.
Swamp excursions in Belarus
An excursion to a swamp in Belarus is not only interesting but also quite extreme in some places. Therefore, first of all, VETLIVA will tell you about 5 basic rules of behavior in a swampy area:
- Walking through the swamp should be accompanied by an experienced guide during daylight hours and only along a clearly marked trail.
- Before going out on the trail, it is best to first familiarize yourself with the route.
- Clothing should be comfortable and footwear must be waterproof. Also, you need to take with you everything you need for extreme tourism: a first-aid kit, remedies for blood-sucking insects, a compass, a communication device (it is desirable that it be protected from moisture and dust).
- A stick or pole is best for traversing swampy areas, but it is worth walking on the dry ground whenever possible.
- 5. It is strictly forbidden to make fires, so it is better to choose a warm season for visiting the swamps (from May to September).
5 best excursions in the swamps of Belarus
«Yelnya» Republican Landscape Reserve.. One of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in Belarus offers to get on a capercaillie current, see the crimson flashes of cranberries in the vast swamps and watch cranes from a tower. And for this, there are equipped eco-trails, but which you can walk on foot, wearing shoes for swamps exploring, or ride on special swamp vehicles.
An interesting fact from VETLIVA: there is also a capercaillie nursery in Nalibokskaya Pushcha, and besides watching magnificent birds, there is something to do here. For example, take a walk along animal paths or visit enclosures with bison.
- Olmanskie swamps Republican Landscape Reserve. A truly unique place, which is recognized as the largest complex of upland, transitional, and lowland bogs in Europe. There is an equipped eco-trail and observation towers, and if you wish, you can ride along the combined tourist route "Belarusian Amazon" on a pontoon boat.
- Wild Swamp. The complex is part of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, which means that everything is in order with the organization of excursions in picturesque areas. Go hiking or cycling in one of the three largest low-lying bogs in Belarus. You will find all the necessary equipment on the spot!
- Domzheritskoe Swamp. The largest swamp massif of the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve is waiting for you. Book your accommodation, choose a suitable route, and set off to conquer the picturesque swamp. Everything you need, as well as the services of an experienced guide, are available right on the spot.
- Zvanets Swamp. It is here that the Aquatic Warbler lives — the rarest songbird not only in Belarus but throughout Europe. And the special “Bird Secrets” route will allow you to see the endangered species in their natural habitat.
Beaver safari, or photo hunting in Belarus
Do you like to catch animals with a camera lens rather than a rifle scope? For this, special routes are organized in the style of the African safari. For example, a third of the entire population of brown bears lives in the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve, and you will be offered to observe the mighty beast in its natural habitat. Of course, the excursion is absolutely safe: you will be waiting for the animal in a special storage shed — a hunting platform, which is located high above the ground.
They offer to get acquainted with the builders of dams in the Braslav Lakes National Park. An exciting Beaver Safari tour is organized, which includes hiking and boat trips. Just look at this mustachioed muzzle: it just asks for a shot!
The Pripyatsky National Park also has its own safari park. On its vast territory, there are wild boars, roe deer, fallow deer, hares, black grouse, and other species of animals. Here you can combine a photo hunt with a walk through the Pripyat bogs, which amaze with their beauty and unusual landscapes.
Advice from VETLIVA: experts recommend visiting safari parks in winter. This is because in the cold season many, for example, red deer, bison, and other ungulates gather together at feeding grounds, but because you will have a much higher chance of seeing static arenas in their natural environment. Choose the route you like and go!
You can ride a horse during the city day, July the 3rd (Belarusian Independence Day), or other Belarusian holidays. But these trips cannot be compared with horseback riding in the Pushcha or the relict forest when you are surrounded only by century-old trees and beautiful Belarusian nature. You will enjoy not only the trip, but you will also be able to breathe deeply, enjoying the fresh air. Agree, this is exactly what the modern city dweller lacks so much!
VETLIVA will tell you where you can ride stately trotters. For example, horseback riding on Naroch is organized by the agro-tourism complex«Nanosy Otdyh», and in the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve you can ride a horse along the special route "Along the Green Edge".
VETLIVA recommends: are you crazy about extreme recreation and love not only horseback riding, but also ATV trips, cycling, and other activities? All this (and much more) is offered byBelarusian agricultural estates. By the way, many of them have their own mini-zoos and enclosures with animals, so while you dashingly dissect around the neighborhood, your children will have plenty of fun communicating with animals.
Still don't believe that, despite being landlocked, you can go diving in Belarus? It's time to debunk this myth! Our main diving centers are located where the largest concentration of lakes is located, for which our country received its poetic nickname "blue-eyed" — the Braslav and Naroch regions.
And here's an interesting fact from VETLIVA: diving in Braslav attracts even experienced divers. This is because the water in some lakes of the national park is visible to a depth of 5 meters!
On the Braslav Lakes you will be offered to take a diving course with an experienced specialist, they will show you the most interesting and beautiful places for diving. It is home to relict invertebrates, more than 30 fish species, and one-third of all bird species nesting in Belarus. And there are plenty of accommodation options here! Just remember that the region is wildly popular during the season, so book your accommodation in advance.
Diving on the Naroch brings no less pleasure than on the Braslav lakes. The purest and clear water with a high iodine content is what you need for a great pastime and getting indescribable emotions from being here. In season, here you can not only dive into the depths but also go yachting, ride water bicycles and inflatable rafts. There are plenty of accommodation options: choose and book the right one right now.
Even more outdoor activities
Of course, we have not listed all the possible options for outdoor recreation in Belarus. In national parks and reserves, you can go fishing and hunting, visit various museums and exhibitions and even meet with the main character of the New Year's celebration — Grandfather Frost, our local Santa Claus. After all, it is in Belovezhskaya Pushcha that his official residence. is located. There are more than enough options for spending time, the main thing is that you have time to see everything. And VETLIVA is always ready to provide you with such an opportunity and arrange your vacation at the top-notch level.