PSRER – Polesie State Radioecological Reserve the other side of chernobyl

PSRER – Polesie State Radioecological Reserve //
Палескі дзяржаўны радыяцыйна-экалагічны запаведнік

Up to the 19th century, the Pripyat River basin on the border between Ukraine and Belarus consisted of wetland and forest. Anyway, the area went through various changes since that point on, firstly being entirely burned down in order to create space for factories and secondly undergoing immense efforts to replant the forest. But on April 26, 1986 the disaster of Chernobyl caught attention on an international level due to the fact that the nuclear plant in the area blew up, caught fire and spread radiation all over the northern hemisphere.

The soviets evacuated more than 300,000 people from around 2,000 square miles around the plant, while the said area is nowadays known as Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The old power plant was encased in an immense concrete sarcophagus for containment. However, what took place in the Exclusion Zone after everyone was evacuated is a constant topic of disagreement in the scientific field. For years, studies conducted in the zone revealed that fauna and flora was extinct, while the life forms that survived mutated their genes. Newer studies depict the fact that the wildlife in the area and the plant regrew, leading to diversification in regards to species. In other words, it is a living experiment about what the world would look like after humans are extinct.

Two years after the Chernobyl disaster in the Belarusian part of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone a reserve covering a total area of 1,313 km was established on July 18, 1988 and closed to visitors .

What is even more interesting, is the fact that you can get the chance to visit this living experiment thanks to the fact that Belarus opened on April 6th 2049 its part of Chernobyl Zone. Anyway, if you are concerned about the radiation dose during the tour, you should take into account that officials state the dose is small than the one gets during a plane flight.

What is to see in the Belarusian Chernobyl exclusion zone?

So, if you are planning to place on your travel bucket list Chernobyl, you might wonder what is available to see and explore in the area. Travelers will have the chance to observe various Belarusian villages, 95 of them being in the reserve. Before the disaster took place, over 22,000 people lived here, which is why everything feels like it was frozen in time. Hence, even though the buildings were affected by the passing time, you will get the chance to see how people abandoned their villages because everything looks like you are back in time.

What is even more interesting and surprising , is that you can get the chance to spot wildlife in the area, including species such as foxes, giant catfish, wild horses, bison, bears or even wolves.

What do you need for a trip to Chernobyl?

Keep in mind that since the Belarusian part of Chernobyl is located in the border area, foreigners will ought to request a special pass at the border, usually arranged by travel companies.
You should probably consider bringing comfortable clothes and closed walking shoes, a rain jacket, sunscreen and a hat, while those that want to keep an eye on the radiation levels in the visited area can rent a Geiger-counter to measure radiation levels.

Why book a travel tour?

It is highly recommended for a visit to Chernobyl to consider booking in advance a tour through a travel agency. This will save you a lot of time and trouble, as the agency will deal with local authorities passes or border requirements in the area.