In the northern part of Belarus the Belarusian Poozerye stretches – the edge of many glacial lakes surrounded by untouched forests. The southern part of the country is occupied by the Belarusian Polesye, where marsh communities predominate. Ridges stretch between Poozerye and Polesye, forming a fascinating hilly relief.
In the northwestern part of the Minsk region, there is the largest lake in the Belarusian Poozerye and the largest lake in the country – Naroch with an area of about 80 square meters. km. In 1999, the Narochansky National Park was founded around Lake Naroch on an area of 94 thousand hectares. The national park covers the northwestern part of the Minsk region, the western part of the Vitebsk region and the northern part of the Grodno region. The administrative center of the national park is located in the resort village Naroch, which is located on the northwestern coast of Lake Naroch. 17.1% of the park area is occupied by lakes, there are about 40 of them in total. The lakes are surrounded by untouched forests with rare species of animals.
In total, there are three groups of lakes on the territory of the National Park “Narochansky”: Narochanskaya, Myadelskaya and Boldunskaya. The main place in the Naroch group of lakes is occupied by Lake Naroch . The average depth of the lake is 9 m, length – 13 km, width 10 km. Two dozen streams and a small river flow into the lake, and the only river Naroch flows out. The water in the lake is very clean, which makes it possible to breed whitefish here. In total, 25 species of fish are found in the lake, including pike perch, bream, pike, roach, eel, bleak, tench, burbot, silver bream, Amur carp and Naroch vendace – selyava, which makes it one of the most popular places for fishing in the country.
On the shores of the lake you can see a wide variety of birds. Sandy beaches stretch along the shores of Lake Naroch, on which bases and rest houses and sanatoriums are located. Lake Naroch is also very popular among windsurfers and kitesurfers, and you can practice these sports both in summer and in winter. The Naroch group of lakes also includes the second largest lake in Belarus. – Miastro – and Lake Batorino. Between them is the resort village of Myadel. In addition to lakes and picturesque nature, an abundance of historical monuments is concentrated around Myadel. The Boldunsky group of lakes of the Narochansky National Park includes the Blue Lakes, which have the status of a landscape reserve. The most interesting ecological routes are laid along them. In general, the National Park “Narochansky” offers a variety of routes – bus and hiking routes, you can also go on a cruise on the lakes on a boat. There are guest houses and more than 25 tourist camps on the territory of the park. Tourists are invited not only to see the main attractions of the park, but also to relax on the shores of lakes, horseback riding, hunting and fishing.
In the northern part of the Minsk region and in the southern part of the Vitebsk region, 120 km northeast of Minsk, there is another protected area of the Belarusian Lakeland – the Berezinsky State Biosphere Reserve. The reserve was founded in 1925 as a state hunting reserve, the main purpose of which was to preserve the endangered animal – the river beaver. It received the current status of the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve state nature protection institution in 2001. The area of the reserve is 107.4 thousand hectares. Today, the reserve is designed to protect the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the upper reaches of the Berezina River. There are more than 800 species of higher plants on the territory of the Berezinsky Reserve. Most of it is covered with coniferous and deciduous forests, and there are also extensive swamp communities. The reserve is inhabited by such large animals as brown bear, wolf, lynx, bison and elk, and of course, the “culprit” of the creation of the reserve is the beaver. About 230 species of birds are found here, Belarus. The administrative and economic center of the reserve is located in the village of Domzheritsy, Vitebsk region. The center offers hiking, bus and water routes (some of them are part of the ancient route “from the Varangians to the Greeks”), photo safaris, multi-day ecological tours to observe wild animals and birds in their natural environment, botanical tours, hunting tours based on hunting farms ” Badgers” and “Berezina”, located outside the boundaries of the reserve, and fishing tours, because in the local reservoirs there are asp, bream, pike, tench and many other types of fish. The reserve has hotels and guest houses with restaurants, saunas, bike, boat and ski rentals.
In the western part of the Minsk region, south of Volozhin, there is a forest area Nalibokskaya Pushcha. The Pushcha is dominated by pine and spruce forests, and there are pockets of hornbeam forests. This is a wonderful place for recreation, where sanatoriums and rest houses are located.
In the Vitebsk region there are the famous Braslav Lakes, which are part of the National Park “Braslav Lakes” located on the border with Latvia. The park was created in 1995. Its area is about 700 sq. km, of which 183 sq. km falls on lakes. All the local lakes are of glacial origin, so in addition to reservoirs, here you can see a variety of glacial landscapes. The largest lakes in the park are Drivyaty, Snudy, Voiso, Severny Voloso, Nedrovo, Berezha, Daubli and Potekh. Half of the protected area is occupied by mixed forests, in which there are about 800 plant species, 20 of which are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus. The southern border of the range of relict invertebrates, such as limnokalyanus, mysida, pontoporea, Pallas amphipod, broad-toed crayfish, passes along the Braslav lakes. The presence of such ancient inhabitants indicates the purity of the water of the lakes. Also, several dozen species of fish live in the lakes: pike, bream, smelt, tench, vendace, carp, carp, silver bream, ide, chub, grass carp, silver carp, burbot, golden carp, silver carp, perch, dace, roach, rudd, bleak, verkhovka, gudgeon, loach, stickleback and eel.
According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, 35% of all birds nesting in Belarus are found on the territory of the park, 45 species of birds are listed in the Red Book of the republic. Of the animals in the forests, there are elk, bear, wild boar, roe deer, wolf, lynx, badgers and flying squirrels. The center of the Braslav Lakes National Park is the ancient city Braslav, where the remains of fortifications from the 11th century have been preserved. About 30 tourist camps have been built in the national park, the most famous tourist camps are “Slobodka”, “Drivyaty”, “Zolovo” and “Leoshki”. Braslav region offers hiking, horseback, car and water routes that can last from one to several days, tours to observe the animals of the park in their natural habitat, fishing tours, which include both spearfishing and hunting outside the park.
In the southwestern part of Belarus, north of Brest, on an area of 164.5 thousand hectares, the National Park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” is located, which protects the most extensive and oldest forest in Europe – Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The park covers the territories of the Brest and Grodno regions on the border with Poland. For the first time these places are mentioned in the Ipatiev Chronicle in 983. In the Middle Ages, Belovezhskaya Pushcha served as a place for royal hunting. This protected area received the status of a national park in 1991. The area of the forest massif Belovezhskaya Pushcha is 87.4 thousand hectares. Its uniqueness lies in its age, which is about a thousand years old. Some of the trees in the park are over 600 years old. There are about 55 species of large mammals, more than 200 species of birds in the park, 40 of which are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus, and about 120 species of trees. The territory of the Pushcha is dominated by coniferous forests, but there are also pockets of broad-leaved forests and swamps. Of the predators, the wolf, fox, lynx, pine marten live here, of the large ungulates – wild boar, deer, roe deer and elk.
In Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the population of bison (European bison), exterminated during hunting in the 20s of the 20th century, was restored. 24 species of fish live in the reservoirs of the park, the most numerous are pike, roach, tench, ruff and perch. The administrative center of the park is located in the village of Kamenyuki, 60 km from Brest.. In the center of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the world-famous village of Viskuli, where in 1991 the “Belovezhskaya” agreement on the secession of independent republics from the USSR was signed in the residence of the Central Committee of the CPSU. The Museum of Nature is open in the park, which displays exhibits of most of the animals living in the forest and plants growing in the forest, as well as open enclosures with various species of animals in their natural habitat. The National Park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” offers walking, horse and car routes lasting up to several days. One of the most popular routes is the ancient “royal road”, along which the Russian tsars went to the hunting palace, now located in Poland. There are three hotels on the territory of the forest, two guest houses and a sports complex. Waterfowl hunting and sport fishing are organized on Lake Vygonovskoye. Since 1991, hunting tourism has been carried out in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
In the Pruzhany district of the Brest region, near the village of Ruzhany, there is a biological reserve of republican significance “Ruzhanskaya Pushcha”. The reserve was created to preserve a unique natural complex, including oak forests, hornbeam and linden groves, where there are plants listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus, many mushrooms, and a wide variety of animals are found. Roach, pike, perch, bream, ide and crayfish live in large quantities in the Zelvyanka River flowing through the reserve. It is important to know that hunting and fishing are prohibited on the territory of the reserve itself, hunting and fishing tours are only arranged from here.
There is also a hydrological reserve of republican importance Dikoe in the Pruzhany region. Most of it belongs to the territory of the National Park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”. The reserve protects the swamp systems of the region and, first of all, the Dikoye lowland swamp. Wild – one of the largest swamps in Europe with an area of approximately 22 thousand hectares. The age of the swamp massif is slightly more than six thousand years. 14 species of plants grow here, listed in the Red Book of the Republic Belarus, and is home to 99 species of birds.
On the territory of the Gomel region in its western part, within the Belarusian Polesie, there is the National Park “Pripyatsky”. The park was created in 1969. Its area is more than 80 thousand hectares. This is the only place on the planet where primeval floodplain oak forests have been preserved. In addition, there are hornbeam forests and more than 30 lakes in the protected area of the park. It is home to 45 species of mammals, 265 species of birds and 37 species of fish. Visitors to the park are offered photo tours with the possibility of shooting animals, tours to observe the fauna of the park, walking, car and water routes. Of particular interest are water routes along the Pripyat River on a motor ship. In addition, fishing and hunting activities are organized in the park. tours. The administrative center of the National Park “Pripyatsky” is located in the village of Turov, which is one of the most ancient settlements in Belarus.
In the Gomel region, within the city of Mozyr, there is a state reserve “Mozyr ravines”, which is designed to protect a unique hilly landscape crossed by ravines. The reserve covers an area of 1.2 thousand hectares. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the ravines and hills are harmoniously inscribed in the image of the city.