Ecological tourism in Belarus
Today, environmental tourism is beginning to gain popularity among people. This type of vacation is still quite new, but more and more tourists are beginning to become interested in it. Such curiosity can be easily explained - mankind began to prefer relaxation on the territory of nature, which was untouched by plants.
Spending more time in untouched corners of nature is now becoming not only useful, but also fashionable. Instead of traveling to hot countries, people are increasingly starting to choose a vacation with their family on the territory of some nature reserves, forest thickets or mountains. The advantages of this holiday are quite easy to highlight, because due to living conditions it is quite difficult for us to enjoy wildlife. A large number of people work in the office every day, after which, breathing in the smoke of plants and harmful gases from cars, he returns home. It is not surprising that many of them, after working days, will prefer to be alone with nature.
What is ecological tourism?
Who can relate to ecological tourism?
If you are interested in eco-tourism, then you should consider a number of principles that all travelers must follow. These rules were previously created by the International Union of Ecotourism.
The first and main rule for a novice eco-tourist should forever be a memo on the vulnerability of our planet. Only after fully understanding that the Earth requires care and a reverent attitude, you can afford to go on such a journey.
The second law says: “Leave only traces after you, and take away only photographs.” It would seem a funny phrase, but it contains a lot of meaning. Ecotourism is that you should visit only those places where previously there were no human traces, and in such areas you should behave carefully.
The third and fourth rule is considered respect for the culture, geography and rights of local residents of the area. Of course, these aspects should be taken into account by tourists from any industry, but here they play much more important. When visiting places where people live in a completely different environment for you, you need to take into account their opinions, attitudes and customs.
Also, one of the important rules is to travel only along those paths that someone has already walked. It's no secret that every tourist wants to be a pioneer, but in the case of wildlife and unexplored nature, you need to be very careful.
Pros and cons of ecological tourism
The main argument for eco-tourists will be that they will have the opportunity to radically improve their health. Being alone with nature, it is possible to escape from all the worldly bustle, tune in to pleasant thoughts and reflect on something eternal. Each of us agree that it’s much more sitting on the banks of the river than in a subway or tram of a smoky metropolis.
Another important factor that you will have after wandering around the unknown corners of the Earth is the huge baggage of new knowledge. After all, remaining face to face with nature, you begin to eat, think and act in a completely different way. There will also be a chance to discover new places, get acquainted with objects of art.
The last positive result on this list, but not in the ecotourism itself, is the cost savings. No matter how trite it may sound, but the cost of living in hotels in the resort countries is much higher than buying a comfortable and rather large tourist tent. This also applies to food, drink, clothing and hanging out. Here you will not need to pay for entry and viewing, all the beauty of nature is spread before your eyes completely free of charge.
Of course, eco-tourism is very good, but there is no kind of rest that does not include negative aspects. It is about the minuses of this type of travel that will be discussed later.
It should be mentioned that it is not advisable for people unprepared for life in nature to abruptly start trying to engage in ecotourism. Nature is good, but being in an open area for weeks, without hot water, the usual food and overnight is not a test for everyone. Your planned vacation can easily turn into a long-term torture.
Another serious drawback can be considered the inaccessibility of all the desired places to travel. On the territory of each country there are a huge number of reserves and parks that are located in large areas and people are not allowed to enter there. You need to be able to look for places where it is really safe to make a tourist approach. In this case, the best option would be to contact a special agency, which for a certain amount will make you a route and even find partners for the trip.
The final minus will be animals that live in wildlife. If you go on such a trip, you will need to be ready to meet the animals that live there. Animals living in the wild are not used to humans, and can react very aggressively. A solution to this problem can be a guide that is well versed in the habits of animals, as well as the area where they live.
Types of ecological tourism
Kayaking in Belarus is one of the most popular types of outdoor activities. What could be better than exciting water trips along the rivers of Belarus, which will be the best way to hide from the hustle and bustle of the capital and plunge into the atmosphere of sports, drive, energy and complete peace with the beauties of nature. Kayaking is carried out from the beginning of May to the end of September and is suitable for people of any age category and physical fitness, who are used to an active lifestyle, who challenge everyday life, and want to try their hand at outdoor activities.
Which rivers organize kayaking?
In Belarus, kayaking rafts are organized on the following rivers: the Yarshovka River, the Sula River, the Narochanka River, the Viliya River, the Neman River, the Gayna River.
It often happens that all usual entertainments bother us: nothing interesting in cinema, no longer pulls in your favorite restaurants and bowling alleys - and in general, you want something that will give you new unforgettable sensations.
Unfortunately, due to the fact that gradually all our entertainments become more and more complicated, we forget about those simple joys that life and nature can give us. It may seem to some that hiking is boring, and in ordinary life we go to shops and to work. Oh, do not rush to think so! Hiking is one of the best types of recreation for a person of any profession, any age and social status. Here you will not make up an “individual entertainment program” - you yourself will see what will please you the most. You can take part in a short-term hiking trip of the weekend and get as much rest as you do not get in a month at the resort.
Why are hiking so good? Firstly, this is knowledge of the beauties of nature, not burdened by commerce from all sides. Secondly, it makes it possible to find something different in each trip - perhaps the hardships of a real road, where you have to overcome all difficulties yourself; perhaps the beauty of forests and fields, which you had never known or forgot about before; perhaps just the uncomplicated romance of tourism, with guitar songs and mouth-watering barbecue. All this and something else you will find in every trip even to the closest distances. And hiking in the mountains - in the literal sense of the word - will allow you to look from a completely different point of view, not only at the world, but also at yourself.
In addition, hiking is a great activity for any time of the year.
The most marvelous places for hiking
It is better to start the walk from the castle settlement (locals often call it the “Tomb of Rogneda”), the place where once there was a small wooden castle in which Princess Rogneda lived with her son Izyaslav. Archaeological excavations in this place have brought many discoveries: they found weapons, scissors, locks and even crystal beads. After in the XVI century the city passed into the possession of the Glebovichi, a new castle appeared on its northern outskirts, and today this place is called the ancient settlement "Val" (Zamkova St.). It is a pity, but today from all the stone buildings of the Zaslavsky castle there was only a piece of the main gate and the former Calvinist gathering (today the Transfiguration Church), where, incidentally, Simon Budny preached.
In Zaslavl it is interesting to look at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Komsomolskaya St.) and the Museum of Mythology and Forest (Market, 8a).
Ahead of you is 10 km of track, so we recommend a snack at this stage. The next stop is the village. A new field, the path to which lies through forests and fields. Having reached the goal, settle down on the outskirts of the forest, set up tents, prepare dinner, and take out the guitar.
The second day of the trip is best to start with a tour of the village. First, the New Field belonged to the Sangushki, and in the second half of the XVIII century. it passed to the Lithuanian prince Mikhail Aginsky. In the XIX century. The new field was in the possession of the noble family known in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland - the Drutskys-Lyubetskys - and belonged to them until 1921. The remains of the Drutskys-Lyubetskys estate and park ensemble can still be seen today in the very center of the village. The palace in the style of Sarmatian classicism is still preserved from the ensemble (pay attention to asymmetric decorations!). After the Second World War, there was a children's shelter in the estate, in the 60s of the XX century the agrarian Lyceum was built here, now the estate is in his property. We also advise you to find the Bungenov estate (in the 1990s, it began to be used as a church building) in the New Field, an abandoned sanatorium and an old cottage at the beginning of the village.
After the Soviet power came to the New Field in 1921, the Drutsky-Lyubetskys were forced to leave their clan nest and move to Rakhiv. Well, it’s time for you to take a brisk step along the same route, the path is only 5 km away.
In the history of Rakov, there were Lithuanian, Russian, and Polish periods. In the interwar period, Rakov had the glory of the city of smugglers, more than a hundred shops, casinos and brothels worked here.
Among the main attractions of the agro-town is the Transfiguration Church con. XVIII century and the neo-Gothic Church of Mother of God of the Rosary and St. Dominica beg. XX century and pay attention to the Chapel of St. Anne (on the outskirts of the city, where the old cemetery is) and look at the old Jewish cemetery and graveyard, where the city once originated. There is a private museum on the main square of Rakov, which was organized by the Yanushkevich brothers. Among the exhibits of the museum there is “daўbeshki” (wooden sticks with which husbands beat their wives only on Thursdays and only for prevention), antique dishes and clothes. But in order to get to the museum, you need to agree on this with its owners in advance (call +375177252262 and +375295569627). In Rakov, take a bus or minibus to Minsk - perhaps for two days there are enough impressions.
As you know, birds and animals do not like to be photographed very much, but there are seasons when the probability of successful shooting is maximum, especially if you know where your potential photo models are concentrated. By far, the most popular natural object of our country is Belovezhskaya Pushcha. But there are many other places in Belarus where photographing of wild animals is much simpler and cheaper.
For the convenience of wildlife photographers, we briefly walk through the most interesting species of animals and birds.
The bison is a symbol of Belarus. The best place to photograph these rare animals is the Krasny Bor complex. Several years ago, the hunting farm of the same name bought fifty bison in the Brest and Grodno regions and released them on the territory of the Osveisky reserve.
In addition to Krasny Bor, successful photographs of bison can be made in the Naliboksky Reserves (ninety kilometers from Minsk) and Lakes (thirty kilometers from Grodno).
Deer are also best shot in September during the rut. At this time, morning and evening in places where there is a large concentration of animals, such a roar is heard that untrained photographers are even slightly afraid to go on a photo hunt. The best place for shooting deer in Belarus is the Krasny Bor hunting farm. This is where the online camera for feeding deer stands, and anyone can make sure that our words are true. You can also take pictures of deer in the Naliboksky wildlife sanctuary, the Teterino hunting farm, and the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. But animals behave much more cautiously there, and it is much more difficult to approach them.
Roe deers love open spaces, very often go out to feed on collective and state farm fields, and if they are not afraid of hunters, then it is not so difficult to approach a feeding group of roe deer. Here again we can recommend the Braslav and Verkhnedvinsk districts of the Vitebsk region.
Belarusian National Parks
Polessky State Radiation and Ecological Reserve
The largest reserve in Belarus is located in the south-eastern part of Belarus, not far from the border with Ukraine. The history of its creation is tragic. The Polessky Radiation-Ecological Reserve arose after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the territory of the three most affected areas of the accident in the Gomel region - Braginsky, Narovlyansky and Khoiniki.
Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve
The Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve was created for the protection and breeding of rare animals and birds. Despite a small area of 85.2 thousand hectares, the Berezinsky Reserve is distinguished by a variety of ecosystems: there you can see forests, swamps, rivers and meadows. Forests occupy most of the reserve, but it is there that one of the largest swamp massifs in Europe - the Karolinsky swamp - is located.
In addition, half of all plant species found in Belarus were found in the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve.
The most famous forest in Belarus, the “home” for bison, the European record holder for the number of plant and animal species, the oldest forest in Europe ... It's all about Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
Once upon a time in Europe there was a huge relict forest. Over time, it was almost completely cut down. Its remains are preserved on the Polish-Belarusian border and are now called Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
In the dense forests of the Bialowieza Forest there are still places where no man has gone before, and some trees remember the Lithuanian princes. More than 11,300 species of animals live here. But the most famous resident of the Pushcha is rightfully considered a European bison, or bison. The local bison population is the largest in the world.
Rest in agricultural estates
In addition to national parks, cottages, suburban complexes in Belarus there is also a rest in agricultural estates. The most popular of them:
On the picturesque shore of the Berezina River, 125 kilometers from Minsk, there is an amazing corner where the past and present are organically combined, where the memory is kept in modern details, where the history is treasured, reviving it with every little detail. Agriturismo Krasnoe is an old manor of the Nezabytovsky landowners restored in the style of a boutique hotel.
The estate “Mirskiy Krynitsy” invites you to plunge into the atmosphere of the national culture of our country. This complex consists of 3 houses built from environmental materials. It is located in Korelichi district, 2 km from the village of The world where the famous Mir Castle is located! Around secluded nature: nearby there is a forest, the Miranka river and even the ruins of an old water mill! "Pearl Land"
Manor "Pearl Land" is located on the first coastline of the cleanest lake Balduk, in the National Park "Narochansky" in the landscape reserve "Blue Lakes". It’s their own pier. Hire a catamaran and mountain bikes for free. It offers guests a choice of two houses.
The Pigasovo country complex is located 14 km from Minsk and offers visitors a vacation for every taste. The suburban complex near Minsk has a developed infrastructure and contains several objects at once, where you can both enjoy a relaxing holiday and spend time in a noisy company of cheerful friends.
The complex has 2 houses for a comfortable stay. This is the “White House” with a swimming pool and a sauna and a 2-level “House by the Pond”. An unusual banquet can be organized in the "Glass" - a glazed heated gazebo, and you should take a steam bath in the Russian bathhouse, which is also located on the territory of the suburban complex.
The main difficulties of ecotourism in Belarus
In Belarus, one of the areas of ecological tourism is actively developing - agroecotourism. The national tourism development program in the Republic of Belarus provides for the following areas of agritourism development:
1. Creation of tourist villages based on existing rural settlements with traditional folk wooden architecture located in a picturesque area;
2. Enhancing the use of reserves of the rural population through the organization of rural tours with accommodation and meals in village houses;
3. Creation of agrotourism complexes on the basis of agricultural production cooperatives.
The Republic of Belarus does not have special natural and historical resources that would contribute to the development of the tourism business. However, in our country there are a number of features that could potentially contribute to the development of agroecotourism:
- rich natural potential, including unique wetlands, relict forest (Belovezhskaya Pushcha, etc.).
- proximity to Western Europe, Scandinavia - a tourist market with a very high financial potential;
- Neighborhood with the Baltic countries, Russia, which is a serious resource for the development of cross-border tourism;
- ancient and rich history, original culture.
To solve the problem of successful development of agritourism in Belarus, it is necessary to analyze the factors affecting this process both positively and negatively.
The positive factors of the development of agroecotourism include:
the need for improvement in local climatic conditions recommended by the doctor.
How to order an ecotour in Belarus?
Touragents of Belarus
2) The list of tour operators in Minsk and Minsk region is available on the link.
Useful tips for tourists
Tip No. 1 - Write down everything you might need. Then look - and cross out everything that you can do without.
Tip No. 2 - Before checking in your baggage, take a picture of it: in wrapping film, if you use one, and without it. If it is lost, it will be much easier and faster to find a bag from the photo.
Tip No. 3 - You need coins, but you only have paper money? Exchange, say, 10 euros for a trifle in an unfamiliar place is quite problematic, but there is a solution: go to the coffee machine, lower the paper bill and press "cancel" - the machine will return the money, but in the form of ringing coins.
Tip No. 4 - Airlines often sell more tickets for long-haul flights with transfers than there are seats in the economy class plane. When you arrive last, you increase the chances of a business class ride. Just do not be late, otherwise the plane will fly away without you.
Tip № 5 - When you go on a trip together, it does not matter if you are married or not, write to the hotel that you have a honeymoon. In 70% of cases, you will get a better number, with champagne and fruits.
Tip No. 6 - If the flight is delayed for 2 hours or more, then you are entitled to 2 free phone calls or the ability to send 2 emails.
If the flight is delayed for 4 or more hours, the airline must take care of soft drinks and a hot lunch.
A flight delay of 6 hours or more guarantees you a paid hotel room and a transfer from and to the airport.
Tip No. 7 - A lot more things fit in a suitcase if you twist them with a tube.
Tip № 8 - Want to relax inexpensively and without crowds of tourists? Go on vacation two weeks before Catholic Christmas, at the very end of August or in the first few weeks of September.
Tip No. 9 - Afternoon is the most suitable for visiting crowded sights. You can probably do without elbow work.
Tip No. 10 - Check in at the hotel; do not be afraid to ask for a better room. The hotel services are flexible, they often meet, and the attempt is not torture.
Photo: avatars.mds.yandex.net, i.pinimg.com.