DATES & PRICES

Days = 9

17 Apr 2015 - 25 Apr 2015

London - London Price = £1995

Minsk - Minsk = £1695

Deposit = £200

Single Supplement = £175*

* does not apply if you are willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged.

TOUR SUMMARY

Day 1

Arrive in Minsk and transfer to Belowezhskaya

Days 2-4

Belowezhskaya Pushcha World Heritage Forest

Day 5

Sporovo Reserve

Days 6-8

Pripjatsky National Park

Day 9

Depart Minsk

BELARUS

UNTAMED EUROPE

Belarus Wildlife Holiday with Greentours Mammal & Birdwatching European Bison & Moose

The Belowezhskaya Pushcha ancient forest is a World Heritage Site and this extensive and largely pristine habitat is home to perhaps the most important large mammal fauna in Europe. We’ve a very good chance of finding a herd or two of majestic European Bison.

Walking through the forests, Yellow Anemones, Hepaticas and May Lilies at our feet, we’ll be impressed by the sheer size of many the old trees and the variety of species too. From time to time we’ll see Red Deer, Roe Deer and Wild Boar. With so much food available large predators such as Lynx and Wolf are found throughout this forest. Sightings of Lynx are rare but Wolves have been seen with reasonable regularity on wildlife tours in the area. All of the European woodpecker species are found here, their drumming a near constant companion on our walks. We’ll look for Pygmy Owl and Great Grey Owl, and there’s a chance of Tengmalm’s Owl as well. Large Tortoiseshells will be coming out of hibernation and sunning themselves on the forest tracks. We’ll see groups of Hawfinches, common here, as well as intricately-marked Hazelhens and if we are lucky a Pine Marten or two. Northern White-faced Darters and Downy Emeralds will already be on the wing around forest pools where we’ll see freshly arrived Bluethroats taking up their territories.

The Pripyat Marshes are almost unique in the continent of Europe for being a lowland feature marked on European-wide maps. Pripyatsky National Park protects vast floodplains through which wind meandering river channels lined with Bog Arums and home to European Beavers and White-tailed Eagles. The untamed Pripyaty River floods a vast area of meadow and forest each Spring. Perfect habitat for Great Snipe, and both Terek and Marsh Sandpiper. Azure Tit breeds in riparian willow forests along the rivers. Smew and Goldeneye will be seen on fishponds where the last of the winter’s Waxwings will be scouring bushes for any remaining berries. The Pripyaty also has ancient oak, spruce and birch forests where we’ll find plenty of signs of Moose, Bison and Wolf, and maybe see them too. Spring brood Map Butterflies and Swallowtails will distract us from Muskrat-watching or photographing Fire-bellied Toads. Evenings produce spectacular gatherings of hundreds of migrating Black-tailed Godwits and Ruffs including many colourful males of the latter.

We’ll see occasional colourfully painted wooden houses, in the main though the roads and landscapes are unpeopled, all the better for us to enjoy Belarus’s wondrous wild habitats.

INFORMATION

Focus

Mammals and Birds.

Leaders

Gabor Orban, Amanda Borrows,

Walking

Quite easy. Usually two to four miles in a day, sometimes up to six. Always at a relaxed pace.

Included in the Price

All flights. Accommodation, transport and meals in Belarus. Services of your leaders. Entrance fees. Please note; items of a personal nature including the Belarus Visa, travel insurance, drinks and tips are not included.

Group Size

The minimum is 4 and the maximum is 15. Only one leader will accompany a group of 6 or less.

Accommodation

We start with three nights in the Belaviezskaja Pushcha set amid wonderful forests. The rooms are comfortable and the restaurant serves good food. Next we’ve a night at the wonderfully named Beloozersk "Energy' Hotel (apparently it is actually quite a peaceful place!) from whence we can explore the Sporovo Reserve. In Pripyatsky National Park we have four nights in the Turov, a comfortable hotel located on the bank of the Pripyat River. Here our evening meals will be at an excellent private restaurant just a two minute walk away. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities. 

Flights

UK return flights are from London Gatwick direct to Minsk. Indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.

*These routes may incur a supplement.

Climate

Varying from cool to pleasantly warm. A mix of sunshine and cloud, with some rain likely.

How to Book

Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form (or contact us and we will send one to you) from the Booking Information section. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Bird and mammal checklists are available.

Design & production by Accent Design Group
www.greentours.co.uk