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Nerpa - a fresh water seal imageNerpa - a fresh water seal

Today we’ll visit the famous Ushkany Islands. This archipelago is exactly the place where the rookery of the world's only freshwater seal - Nerpa is located. We’ll have a chance to see these beautiful animals resting on warm stones and rocks on summer days!

Ushkany Island imageUshkany Island

First we arrive at the checkpoint of the Barguzinsky Reserve. The Barguzinsky Reserve is the oldest reserve in Russia, formed in 1916 with the aim of preserving and restoring the population of sable. The reserve is located on the western slopes of the majestic Barguzinsky ridge, including the northeastern coast and part of the water area of Lake Baikal. In 1996, the territory of the reserve was fully included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site "Lake Baikal".

Barguzinsky Nature Reserve imageBarguzinsky Nature Reserve

After passing the checkpoint, the journey will go through the territory of the Arangatui isthmus that connects the Svyatoy Nos peninsula with the mainland. From the south you will see a picturesque panorama of the Barguzinsky Bay and the majestic hills of Svyatoy Nos, and from the North - the Chivyrkuisky Bay and the icy peaks of the Barguzinsky ridge.

Chivyrkuisky Bay imageChivyrkuisky Bay

At 11:30 AM we arrive at the Monakhovo Bay where you will board a ship that will take you to the Ushkany Islands. During a 3-hour trip to the islands we’ll see the islands of the bay, rocky shores of the peninsula and fishing villages standing in these places for more than one hundred years.

Zmeevaya Bay imageZmeevaya Bay

At 2:30 PM we disembark at the pier of the Big Ushkany Island. Representatives of the national park will acquaint us with the rules of conduct in a specially protected area. The Ushkany Islands are exactly the place where the rookery of the world's only freshwater seal - pusa is located. We’ll have a chance to see these beautiful animals resting on warm stones and rocks on summer days! The islands themselves are also stunning with the beauty of nature. Many endemic species are concentrated here, like an Ushkany birch with a black bark and Ushkany pine that has unique winding forms of a trunk. All these trees are long-lived, and some of them are up to 300 years old! What is more, the islands are also famous for their anthills. In terms of the density of anthills, The Bog Ushkany Island has no equal in the country, as there are 18-20 anthills per hectare, and their total number is several thousand.

Sandy beaches of Chivyrkuisky Bay imageSandy beaches of Chivyrkuisky Bay

The total time that we can spent on the archipelago is 1 hour - this is the regulation of the national park. Departure for the return journey is at 3:30 PM. On the way back we will stop at the Zmeevaya Bay at the upper part of the Svyatoy Nos peninsula. Here, we can have dinner and rest in thermal springs.

Crystal clear waters of Lake Baikal imageCrystal clear waters of Lake Baikal

At around 7 PM van takes us back to our hotel in Turka.

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