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
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