As your know, HBO produced a new miniseries “Chernobyl”, a five-part historical drama about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 1986. Success of HBO’s drama became a reason of a new wave of tourists to Chernobyl area and to Vilnius, where it was shooting as well.
But not many foreign guests know, that Belarus also suffered terribly after this catastrophe. Back to 1988 The Polesie State Radioecological Reserve was established to enclose the most affected territory by radioactive fallout.
Since 1993 the total area of the reserve is 2,162 km2 (835 sq mi), which makes it the biggest Belarusian nature reserve and one of the biggest in Europe. It is located in southern Gomel Region and bordering the Ukrainian Exclusion Zone.
For 30 years, it has been a closed area, where research and experimental activities were done. Since December of 2018, it has become open for tourists.
Although the Belarusian part of the Exclusion Zone lacks such landmarks as Pripyat and Chernobyl itself, it has its own distinct feature: human influence factor has been minimized, and nature has claimed the abandoned settlements.
A visit would be a remarkable possibility both to visit the villages, evacuated in 1986 and see picturesque and pristine nature. The reserve hosts many rare and endangered species, which thrive there thanks to the virtual absence of humans. They include bears, European bison, Przewalski horse, Golden eagle and White-tailed eagle. It is home to the world’s largest population of the European marsh turtle.
You can visit this place and learn a lot about the history of one the most terrible man-made catastrophes, about modern life of scientists monitoring it’s results, and about nature adopting to new conditions.