Lazovsky Nature Reserve
Recreational opportunities abound in Lazovsky Nature Reserve, a vast and beautiful wilderness with more than 121,000 hectares of space perfect for hiking, camping, and wildlife and bird watching. The southeastern borders of the reserve are spread along the coast. It is composed of continental area and two islands in the East Sea / Sea of Japan, namely Petrov and Beltsov ones. The Lazovsky Nature Reserve is one of the most beautiful places in Primorye with its mountains, taiga forest and islands. Due to its peculiar relief and location, the reserve is home to 2,000 plant species of various geographical zones (e.g. taiga, tundra and even subtropical zone), 57 animal species and 319 birds. The reserve is famous for such rare animals as Amur tiger, goral and sika deer, as well as relict yew trees.
Begin your visit at the Lazovsky Nature Reserve’s Nature Museum that features some fascinating exhibits of various stuffed animals, birds and reptiles, and where the reserve staff will inform you about the history of the protected area, scientific work in the reserve and conservation measures. This nature reserve is the most important area for Amur tiger conservation. For the last 20 years it has maintained the highest tiger density in southern Primorye and one of the highest in the whole tiger habitat. Nowadays, there are about 10-12 resident or constantly visiting tigers.
For visitors who want to see spectacular scenery, for casual hikers, and for photographers we recommend taking a tour called “Following Tiger Tracks” during which they will observe tiger signs such as claw marks, scraps and scats, learn about scientific methods used to study tigers, take photos of plants and animals and see wonderful marine scenes.It is also worth taking a boat ride to Petrov Island to learn secrets of this superb piece of land with relict yew trees and nesting birds. Take a boat cruise to get a different view of the coast, see beautiful bays and observe larga seals swimming in the sea and white-tailed eagles soaring in the sky.
For those who are deeply concerned about wildlife conservation the reserve offers a unique opportunity to join anti-poaching patrols by the rangers. During a patrol you will learn more about what it is like to be a ranger and what challenges they face while on duty. If you are lucky, you may see some mammals and birds.
We strongly encourage you to visit one of local schools located close to the nature reserve or visits its eco-centre where you can have a talk with schoolchildren. Your visit will have great impact on children’s awareness and inspire them to protect the environment. And we consider such meetings as your contribution into bringing-up a generation deeply concerned about the environment on our planet. If you want, you can attend one of eco-classes and see how an educator teaches children to care about wildlife and fosters positive attitude towards wildlife.The nature reserve is open all year round, and the best season to visit it is October-December. A cost of a three-day tour varies from $4,500 to $7,000 per person. Various excursions into the protected area and surrounding areas can be organized depending on your preferences and also on the season.
You may be interested in our other eco-tours in Primorye: