In my previous post Ecotourism in Ukraine (Part 1), I described two beautiful eco places such as Carpathian Biosphere Reserve and Karadag Nature Reserve. So, here are some more the finest National Nature Reserves that may attract ecotourists in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Nature Steppe Reserve Kamennye Mohily (Kam’Yani Mohyly) or Stone Graves
Stone Graves ([Kamennye Mohily], Russian, literally: “stone tombs”) is a mountainous country in the middle of the plains. It is the last virgin section of the vast Azov steppes. A small picturesque valley with an unusual landscape lies among the weathered rocks. The very country charges visitors with the energy of fragrant steppe grasses. Many centuries this village served as a place of burial in various nomadic tribes, from the Scythians to the Polovtsians. Historians believe that a battle between Rusiches and Tatars troops, known as the “Battle of the Kalka”, took place exactly here.
Here, a huge variety of different steppe flowers bloom during the warm season. Thus, throughout the year, the steppe is transforming as if it is alive and, periodically, changes its “color”. Under blue skies, Scythian stone “women” have been frozen in the middle of feather-grass steppe. It is really a stunner!
Scythian Stone “Women” or Stone Graves
Shatsky National Nature Park
Volhynia is the extreme north-west of Ukraine. You can find forests and marshes, numerous lakes with relatively clean and clear waters there. The park territory encompasses one of the largest lake groups in Europe. In addition to the famous Svityaz, it consists of twenty-two lakes yet. You can see white swans on the mirror-like surface of the lake during the daytime and hear owls’ loud hoot in a nearby forest in the evening.
Kanevsky Nature Reserve
It is located on the right bank of the Dnieper River, in one of the most densely populated areas, near the major tourist center in Ukraine – Kanev. Tarasova gora (Taras hill) is visited annually by about 300 thousand tourists. The composition of the reserve consists of forested hills and ravines on the right bank of the Dnieper River, and the islands: Snakes, Kruglik, and Shelestov. The coastal part of the reserve lies in the strip of hornbeam forests.
Here, white-tailed sea eagles spend winter, several families of beavers live permanently, otter and mink are inhabited… On the Snakes Island, you will see preserved century-old oaks. Sleep grass, reeds, and lily of the valley grow here. It is not excluded that you can see such rare birds of prey like Short-toed Eagle and Saker. On the Kruglik Island, a large colony of herons lives. It has been developed so-called an ecological trail for visitors. Museum of Nature in the estate of the reserve is very popular.
Poleski Nature Reserve
It is a real Ukrainian "lost world". If you want a break from civilization, Polesie is the best choice. Typical landscape of Polesie is the endless reed thickets, lowland sedge marshes with small lakes, forests that stretched for hundreds of kilometers. Long and bizarre "beards" of moss are hanging down from the trunk and branches of the trees. Wolves feel themselves at ease in these places. Gradually, lynx is returning to the Ukrainian Polesie. The rivers are inhabited by otter and muskrat. Gray cranes settle down everywhere in the marshes ... Here, such rare birds as the Back Stork and Great Grey Owl nest. For visitors, daily life of local residents is a true exotic. Many cottages have retained the traditional Ukrainian furnace that is indispensable both in a cruel winter and at the height of the mushroom season. Soup made from dried porcini mushrooms is a typical dish in Polesie. And how many townspeople have heard of the old trading as apiculture (forest beekeeping)? You can also see a working water mill.