- We fly from London to Minsk and, depending on the scheduled arrival time of our flight, have dinner in a restaurant at the airport, then continue 280 kilometres south (around four hours drive) to Turov, so we can be in position to go birding first thing next morning. Alternatively, we may stay overnight in a hotel some 30 minutes drive south of the capital and continue to Turov early next morning.
- Accommodation: Turov, 3-nights on full board basis
- This morning we set off after breakfast to go birdwatching in the surroundings of the hotel, where we look for white stork, yellow wagtail, lapwing, serin, azure tit and many other species.
- In the afternoon we visit the fabled marshes of Pripyat National Park which host many breeding and migrant waders, including terek and marsh sandpipers. Other eastern species include the beautiful azure tit.
- We also visit the nearby Beloe Fishponds, home to breeding whooper swan, smew, bittern, white-tailed eagle, red-necked grebe and many wildfowl and waders on migration.
- Drive to our next base in the middle of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha ancient forest, a World Heritage Site and a wilder and larger counterpart to the adjoining Bialowieza in Poland. During our walks through the forest we should see a host of birds, such as red-breasted, collared, and pied flycatcher and black woodpecker. And there is the possibility of wild boar, red deer and even the European lynx or bison.
- Accommodation: Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2-nights on full board basis
- We continue to Sporavo Reserve, which protects a huge percentage of the world’s aquatic warbler population, the reserve’s fens provide one of the main breeding sites for this endangered species. Other bird species to look out for are great, grey shrike, yellowhammer and citrine wagtails.
- Accommodation: Bielaaziorsk, 2-nights on full board basis.
At the end of our week in Belarus, we drive back to Minsk, birding en route, and board our flight to London.
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
On this tour we stay off the beaten tourist trail and hotel standards are below those in Western Europe. However, we use hotels of reasonable quality, chosen for their proximity to the best birding sites. All rooms are en suite, but do not have hairdryers or coffee making facilities.
All main meals are included.
We visit one of Europe’s prime birdwatching destinations boasting a breathtaking range of species. Concentrating on three key areas we can expect to see a huge percentage of the world’s aquatic warbler population, breeding and migrant waders, including terek and marsh sandpipers, and woodland inhabitants of the ancient forests.
- Azure tit
- Great snipe
- Wryneck woodpecker
- Caspian tern
The abundance of birds will capture our attention, but we will stay alert for mammals, especially amongst the woodlands and meadows of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, where we hope to see the impressive, but elusive, European bison.
- European bison
- Eurasian lynx
Butterflies to be seen include:
- Map butterfly
- Camberwell beauty
We visit diverse habitats, from the banks of the Pripyat River, with its flood plains and willow forests, through huge marshes and on to discover the meadows and glades of the ancient oak, spruce and birch forests.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Minsk – London
Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.