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BELARUS

Friday 11th May - Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Nik Borrow

Great Grey Owl (Nik Borrow)

Great Grey Owl (Nik Borrow)

This incredible tour was our fourth visit to the well-kept secret that is Belarus. This land-locked country in eastern Europe nestles between Russia in the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest and was at least certainly ‘off the radar’ to many ecotourists until relatively recently. There are no words to really prepare the visitor for the apparent remoteness of the country; over 40% is covered in beautiful natural forests and the open areas are comprised of expansive marshes and rural countryside interspersed with the odd town. Even the huge Potassium mines we passed (Belarus is the world’s third largest producer) did little to dampen the impact of endless forest and wild open spaces. The population is sparse and decreasing (it has never fully recovered from losing one third of its people in WWII) so wildlife (although hunting is popular) is flourishing here. The terrain is remarkably flat with the highest point of the country only rising to a heady 345 metres and during our journey north we passed over these rolling ‘hills’ that mark the southernmost extent of glaciation during the last ice age 10,000 years ago.

Aquatic Warbler (Nik Borrow)

Aquatic Warbler (Nik Borrow)