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Black lands - saiga patrimony, tulips-poppies paradise

Region: Caspian plain 

The nature reserve "Chernye zemli" is the only scientific ground for exploring steppe, semidesert and desert landscapes and also forpreservation and exploration of Kalmyk population of saigas. The reserve ocuupies two different territories. Main area "Black lands" there ispreservation and restoration of saiga population takes place. The territory "Lake Manich-Gudilo" is the wetlands of international significance.There arenestings sites and hibernations of many rare speciesof waterfowl birds. Also, at the end of April tulips blossom plentifully here.

During this tour we offer you toenjoy this colourful tulip sea at the end of April and to observe a big diversity of birds. Long passage to the steppe territory of the reserve gives you the unique opportunityof saigas observing. The whole year around you are able to watch birds of prey in the steppe, as well as saiga, wolves, camels and numerous reptiles.

The programme of the tour gives an opportunity of meeting the following bird species:
Podiceps cristatus, Pelecanus crispus, Pelecanus onocrotalus, Cygnus olor, Anas platyrhynchos, Grus grus, Fulica atra, Vanellus vanellus, Philomachus pugnax, Himantopus himantopus, Larus melanocephalus, Larus ridibundus, Larus cachinans, Hydroprogne caspia, Sterna hyrundo, Riparia riparia, Podiceps nigricollis, Phalocrocorax carbo,Botaurus stellaris, Ixobrychus minutus, Nycticorax nycticorax, Egretta alba, Egretta garzetta, Plegadis falcinellus, Anser anser, Tadorna ferruginea, Tadorna tadorna, Circus aeruginosus, Charadrius dubius, Numenius arquata, Recurvirostra avosetta, Haematopus ostralegus, Larus ichtyaetus, Larus minutus, Bubo bubo, Coracias garullus.

At the steppe territories there are following bird species: Haliaeetus albicilla, Circus cyaneus, Buteo rufinus, Buteo buteo, Aquila nipalensis, Milvus migrans, Aegypyus monachus, Gyps fulvus, Falco vespertinus, Falco tinnunculus, Perdix perdix, Grus grus, Anthropoides virgo, Tetrax tetrax, Melanocorypha calandra.

At the settlements and its environs the following species are found: Streptopelia decaocto, Athene noctua, Merops apiaster, Upupa epops, Hirundo rustica, Sturnus roseus.

Our guides

Photogallery of tour:

Corn bunting
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Kalmykian night
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View all photos of the tour


1 day

12:25 Arrival in Elista.
14:00 Lunch in a cafe.
15:00 -17:00 Transfer by car to Manich-Gudilo lake.
19:00 Dinner.
Visiting tulip lands, birds nests, birdwatching.

2 day

05:00 -09:00 Morning birding.
09:00 Breakfast.
10:00 Transfer to the steppe - birdwathing and photo.
13:00 Lunch.
19:00 Dinner.

3 day

09:00 Breakfast.
10.00 Tranfer to the steppe area of the reserve.
12:30 Lunch in Elista.
15:00 Arrival, saiga watching.
19:00 Dinner.

4 day

09:00 Breakfast.
10:00Tranfer to Elista to the Moscow flight.

Accommodation, full board, transportation, guiding, entrance permition and photo.
Tickets to Elista and back, medical insurance, personal expences, interpreter.


General info:


guest house, hotel

full board





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