WILDLIFE TOURS

Wildlife Tours in Vashlovani National Park

Vashlovani National Park is a wild and remote area of eastern Georgia. Known for its unique badlands, sharp cliffs and abundant wildlife. The name Vashlovani comes from the Georgian word for apple trees and it refers to the many fruit and pistachio trees that make the landscape feel like a vast, wild orchard.  The fauna includes 25 species of reptiles, including species such as Macrovipera lebetina and Eryx Jaculus. Among more than 100 native bird species are imperial eagle , black vulturepheasants and the rare black stork. The 46 mammal species include golden jackals , red foxes, wolves, Eurasian lynxes , brown bears , Jungle cats and porcupines. In 2003, the first time the track of a Caucasian leopard was discovered, the following year, a leopard in the national park area was recorded for the first time with a camera trap.The park was established in 1935 to protect the unique shallow forest ecosystem here and if you are a nature and wildlife lover it is a place worth visiting!

Wild Vashlovani Program 1

Day 1 (Tbilisi – Vashlovani Rangers’ station)


9:00 – Departure from Tbilisi to Dedoplistskaro
11:30 – Visit Vashlovani National Park’s administration for registration
12:00 – Start 2 km long hiking at Eagle Gorge. The area – representing a trustworthy shelter for thousands of birds - offers great possibility to observe them without disturbing. Here you can meet Griffon vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Black Stork, Peregrine Falcon etc. The walls of canyon are made of biogenic limestone, which is cut by small creek. At some places, the shells - remnants of Jurassic period - are still visible.
14:00 – Lunch at lower part of the gorge, pleasant country area with the view on the gorge, vineyard and Caucasus Mountains.
15:00 – Departure to Vashlovani National Park – one of the most spectacular places of Georgia. Its semi-arid landscape and savanna-like forest is important habitat for wildlife. Road to the national park crosses extensive agricultural plane, after one hour of driving landscape changes to hilly steppes.
17:00 – Vashlovani Camp site - Place with a view on the oldest part of the protected area. Setting up the camp.
18:30 – Dinner

Distance by car – 190 km.
Distance by feet – 2 km.

 

Day 2 (Vashlovani Ranger’ Station – Mijniskure)


8:00 – Breakfast
9:30 – Departure to Mijniskure via Eldari Lowland. At the beginning, road follows the edge of the cliff providing sharp contrast of savanna-like forest and steppe.
10:15 - Walking (2.5 km) at Bear Gorge’s riverbed. Rivers in Vashlovani are very rare, while dry riverbeds are everywhere. Such places are like a canvas where animals draw last-night’s story. We can see footprints of wild animals and try to recover the story – which species, when passed this road, it walked slowly or was in a rush, was alone or with a group?
12:00 - Scanning badlands for vultures’ nests. The cliffs provide plenty of safe places to birds to build nests. Usually the birds are well exposed and it is easy to be observed by binoculars.
12:30 - Continue driving to Eldari Lowland, the place where reintroduced gazelles live. We will try to find them by scanning the plain area. Except the chance to see gazelles, road also offers amazing views on extreme badland relief in contrast of Eldari Lowland’s plain.
14:00 – Lunch at Rangers’ station

15:00 – 2.5 km Hike to the impressive 360° viewpoint with badlands, Great and Lesser Caucasus Mountains and Azerbaijan’s Mingechevir reservoir. Search for wild animal tracks.
17:00 – Continue driving to Mijniskure. Several stops on the road includes Usakhelo viewpoint.
18:30 – Arrive at Mijniskure. Check-in at bungalows
19:30 – Dinner at riverside

Distance by car – 55 km
Distance by feet – 5km

Day 3 (Mijniskure – Tbilisi)


6:45 – Leave for watching sunrise (Optional; only valid in suitable weather) – we will hike on the hill with beautiful views. The show starts before sunrise, first, the sky gets beautiful colors, when sun comes - it makes the badland curves sharper. We will be accompanied by nightingales’ song, which makes the experience unforgettable.
8:00 – Breakfast
9:00 – short hike along the nearby gorge. Looking for animal tracks and small birds (bee-eater, black headed bunting, little owl, roller, chukar).
12:00 – Departure to Dedoplistskaro via Takhis Tskali gorge.
15:00 – Lunch at local restaurant in Dedoplistskaro
16:00 – Departure to Tbilisi (or Khornabuji fortress – ruins of the 5th century fortress with beautiful views on Alazani valley and chance to see vultures)

Distance by car – 200 km.
Distance by feet – 2-4 km.

 

 

 

Wild Vashlovani program 2(Mud Volcanos)

 

Day 1 (Tbilisi – Mijniskure)


9:00 – Departure from Tbilisi to Dedoplistskaro
11:30 – Visit Vashlovani National Park’s administration for registration
12:00 – Start 2 km long hiking at Eagle Gorge. The area – representing a trustworthy shelter for thousands of birds - offers great possibility to observe them without disturbing. Here you can meet Griffon vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Black Stork, Peregrine Falcon etc. The walls of canyon are made of biogenic limestone, which is cut by small creek. At some places, the shells - remnants of Jurassic period - are still visible.
14:00 – Lunch at lower part of the gorge, pleasant country area with the view on the gorge, vineyard and Caucasus Mountains.
15:00 – Departure to Vashlovani National Park – one of the most spectacular places of Georgia. Its semi-arid landscape and savanna-like forest is important habitat for many endangered species. Road to the national park crosses extensive agricultural plane, after one hour of driving landscape changes to hilly steppes, later to light forest and finely to badlands.
18:00 – Arriving in Mijniskure. Check-in at bungalows
20:00 – Dinner

Distance by car – 200 km.
Distance by feet – 2 km.

Day 2 (Mijniskure – Dedoplistskaro)


6:45 – Leave for watching sunrise (Optional; only valid in suitable weather) – we will hike on the hill with beautiful views. The show starts before sunrise, first, the sky gets pinky, when sun comes - it makes the badland curves sharper. We will be accompanied by nightingales’ song, which makes the experience unforgettable.
8:00 – Breakfast
9:00 – short hike along the nearby gorge. Looking for animal tracks and small birds (bee-eater, black headed bunting, little owl, roller, chukar).
11:00 – Departure to Dedoplistskaro via Eldari lowland
12:30 – Eldari Lowland, the place where reintroduced gazelles live. We will try to find them by carefully scanning the plain area. To minimize the disturbance, we will only stay on a main road. Except the chance to see gazelles, road also offers amazing views on extreme badland relief in contrast of Eldari Lowland’s plain.
13:30 - Scanning badlands for vultures’ nests. The cliffs provide plenty of safe places to birds to build nests. Usually the birds are well exposed and it is easy to be observed by binoculars.
14:00 – Lunch at Datvis Khevi (Bear’s Gorge) picnic area
15:00 - Walking (2.5 km) at Bear Gorge’s riverbed. Rivers in Vashlovani are very rare, while dry riverbeds are everywhere. Such places are like a canvas where animals draw last-night’s story. We can see footprints of wild animals and try to recover the story – which species, when passed this road, it walked slowly or was in a rush, was alone or with a group?
16:30 – Departure to Dedoplistskaro
18:30 – Check-in at local guesthouse
19:30 - Dinner

Distance by car – 90 km.
Distance by feet – 4 km.

Day 3 (Dedoplistskaro – Mud Volcanoes – Tbilisi)


8:00 - Breakfast
9:00 – Departure to the south to Georgia – Azerbaijani border. The road passes St. Elia monastery and continues through the soft hilly landscape, which is favorite place for many bird species. We will make small turn to see Taribana Badlands’ viewpoint – place with picturesque landscapes. From here will continue to Dali mountain water reservoir and enter semi-desert area by crossing the reservoir dam. The area is often changing in respect to precipitation distribution. Sometimes weather conditions trigger amazing bloom of ephemeras. Seeds of these plants can spend years in the soil and only came back to life on the certain weather conditions. 
13:00 – Takhti-tepha Natural monument - small hill with several ‘craters’. Except extraordinary phenomenon of mud volcanoes, place provides nice view on surrounding areas and Dali mountain reservoir.
14:00 - Lunch at Natural monument’s picnic site
15:00 – Departure to Khornabuji Fortress
17:00 – Khornabuji Fortress – built in 5th century still staying on the limestone rock. Even though, only ruins have reached to our time, it is still very impressive. Now the area is a home for griffon vultures and other birds.
18:00 – Departure to Tbilisi

Distance by car – 260 km. 
Distance by feet – 2 km.

 

Price of the tour depends on the size of the group and the accommodation types used for the tour. For more details please contact us

 

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