Tours of Borjom-Kharagauli national park
BORJOMI-KHARAGAULI NATIONAL PARK
There are many national parks and protected areas in Georgia, each unique and with great commitment to preservation of nature. None can match Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park in importance however. As a member of PAN Parks, it is a wildlife reserve that applies the highest standards of protection and sustainable development of tourism.
Geologically, the Park belongs to the fold system of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains and covers the central subzone of Adjara-Trialeti. The region mainly consists of so- called Borjomi flysch sediments from the lower Eocene: clays, marls, lime- and sand stones. It also includes sediments of Oligocene and Neogene ages and volcanic sediment formations. The National Park covers marginal parts of several historical regions of Georgia. With an area of 61235 hectares, the Park is located in the territories of Tori, Imereti and Samtskhe.
Forests in the Kharagauli end of the Park are dark coniferous, deciduous and mixed. In the mixed deciduous stands we find chestnut (Castanea sativa), beech (Fagus orientalis), hornbeam (Carpinus orientalis), Caucasian lime (Tilia begoniifolia), Colchis oak (Quercus hartwissiana), Caucasian rhododendron (Rhododendron caucasica) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior).
From Borjomi to Kharagauli, and with increasing altitude the Colchian-type sub-forest comes into its own with the appearance of spruce and silver fir groves. The dominant species are oriental spruce (Picea orientalis), Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana) and pine (Pinus sosnowskyi). In the sub-alpine belt forests and bushes, grasses and meadows spread.
Several plant species on Georgia’s IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species can be found in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park: chestnut (Castanea sativa), Colchis oak (Quercus hartwissiana), yew (Taxus baccata), Steven’s peony (Paeonia steveniana) and Vinogradov’s iris (Iridodictyum winogradowii).
Borjomi-Kharagauli supports a diverse fauna. Most of the large mammals too are on Georgia’s Red List of Threatened Species. Among the carnivores are the gray wolf (Canis lupus), lynx (Lynx lynx) and brown bear (Ursus arctos). The hoofed animals roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa) are fairly common still. Borjomi gorge is of interest for the presence of the threatened Caucasian red deer (Cervus elaphus). The Bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus) has been leaping from rock to rock since paleolithic times and has been hunted extensively for centuries. The present population was re-introduced from neighbouring Armenia with joint support of the WWF and the Park administration.
* IUCN International Union for the Conservation of Nature
Note: Price depends on type of accommodation and number of persons.
Vashlovani Protected Areas consist of Vashlovani Nature Reserve, Vashlovani National Park and three Natural Monuments (Eagle Gorge, Takhti-Tepa mud volcanoes and Kaklisquri Alazani flood plain forest). It is bordered to the east by the Alazani River and also benefits from the nearby Iori River to the south. The water cuts a deep, beautiful canyon known as the ‘sharp walls’ through limestone cliffs which rise to 150 m.
The neigbouring regions of Tusheti and Khevsureti are situated in the north-eastern end of Georgia. They are bordered by Daghestan to the east, Chechnya to the north, and Kakheti to the south. These regions are punctuated by the peaks of the Greater Caucasus range, carved asunder by numerous gorges, the waters from which flow into two major rivers: the Pirikiti Alazani and Gometsari Alazani. They are separated by the Makratela watershed and merge near the village of Shenako where they leave Georgia and, as the single Andis Koisu, flow into Daghestan and down to the Caspian Sea.
Lagodekhi Protected Areas are located in the most north-eastern part of Georgia. They include the Lagodekhi Strict Nature Reserve and Lagodekhi Managed Nature Reserve along the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus range. The protected areas lie between 400-3500 m above sea level.
Mtirala National Park is located in Adjara. Mtirala mountain is located between the Black Sea and the Adjarian mountain range on the watershed of the Chakvistskali and Koraghitskali rivers. These mountains intercept the humid air from the Black Sea and determine Adjara's climate. Generally, Adjara is rich in atmospheric precipitation but Mount Mtirala, with a height of 1381 m, has the highest rainfall (4520 mm) making it the wettest site in all Georgia. This also explains the name Mtirala which means ‘the weeping one’.