Region: Pripyatsky National Park
We speak: English, Русский
Location: Belarus represents Europe’s last great wilderness. It hosts the greatest tracts of primeval forests and 83% of its area is pristine. Pripyatsky NP, situated close to the Ukraine border, 3-hours drive from the capital Minsk, is an utterly unique ecological zone. Central to the region is the Pripyat River, appropriately described as Amazon of Europe. During spring, flooding vast areas of grassland and forest are submerged in water. These collective features inevitably accommodate an immensely rich fauna. Spring wader passage features 120,000 Ruffs pausing to lek on exposed meadows, with a back-up cast of almost all migrating Arctic waders. Doroshevichi Lodge is also within easy striking distance of sites outside the national park, including the adjoining Turov meadows, Sporovo fen mires and Beloe fish-ponds, where Azure Tit, Terek Sandpiper, Great Snipe, Great Grey Owl, Spotted Eagle, Smew, Citrine Wagtail and Aquatic Warbler are among species to be found. In addition to birds a notable range of mammals occurs.
Services: Infrastructure for ecotourism in the park is of a very high standard, including all manner of transport: buses for transfers, 4WD vehicles to access forests, comfortable outboard-powered boats for exploration of the floodplain and even a large river cruiser. These may all be hired together with the services of drivers and professional boatmen who are familiar with the interests of birders and naturalists. The services of bird guides, including local ringers, may also be recruited. Within the national park a suitable itinerary would include walks along forest tracks and designated trails for encounters with woodland birds and mammals, a boat excursion around the floodplain for close views of waterfowl, nesting terns and waders - and indeed to experience the habitat. Visits to rural villages often serve up our first Azure Tit sightings, while vast areas framed by forest are prime hunting territories of raptors. Transfers to and from Minsk International Airport may be arranged through Doroshevichi Lodge.
Guestrooms: Quietly located by a bend in the Pripyat River, Doroshevichi Lodge is the perfect accommodation for visiting birders and naturalists. Being of timber construction and incorporating traditional Belarusian carved-design it sits harmoniously within the surrounding environs. It contains ten exceedingly comfortable en-suite rooms plus two large apartments, and has a spacious dining area ... the cuisine is utterly superb! There is also a lounge where after-dinner drinks may be enjoyed while attending to checklists and reviewing the programme ahead.