protected areas and National Parks of Georgia

Article Index


National Parks

Not a single country in Europe possesses such rich flora and fauna as Georgia. No European country offers such diverse relief in such a small area. Nowhere in Europe is landscape preserved in such an original state as Georgia." Georgia, with a territory of only 69,000 square kilometers, is unique among the world's nations in bio-diversity. To find subtropical marshes, semi-deserts, lofty alpine zones and snowy peaks - all within a hundred kilometers of each other - is rare. Add to this the fact that nearly 40% of Georgia's territory is still covered in forest - a large proportion of which is untouched by humans - and one understands the establishment of its 31 Protected Areas, identified for conservation. Within these are five National Parks - with the aim to preserve their unique, pristine nature, yet open for visitors to enjoy their beauty.

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is the first National Park in the Caucasus region implemented according to international standards. 1995 it was created with support of WWF and the German government in order to preserve its extraordinary nature, especially its mountain's virgin forests. The Park possesses several natural zones in its ascent from 800 to 2700 meters. These zones display their differences in its trees from broadleafed groves located in the lower zones to evergreen, beach and mixed coniferous groves and sub-alpine trees in the higher zones. Visitors can experience the stunning variety of blossoming plants, breathtaking views and magical forests via parks wide network of 9 trails and 5 tourist shelters. Tourists can enjoy day or several day hikes that can span altitudes form 800m to 2,642m. In addition the National Park lies on the migration route of many birds and in spring and autumn visitors can view the large flocks of beautiful yellowish bee-eaters that visit the park. Plus the Park's amazing virgin forests are home to semi-permanent populations of brown bear, wolf, lynx, red deer and chamois. In spring the Park offers many pleasant surprises including encounters with alpine meadows full of flowers. And if that's not enough the Park's surrounding villages are rich with medieval history, local-cottage industries and famed, legendary Georgian hospitality.

KolKheti National Park

Kolkheti's coastal plain, between the mouths of the Tikori and Supsa rivers lies West Georgia's Kolkheti National Park. The Park possesses a large area of natural wetlands that are idea for bird-watching visitors. The coastal zone of the park, combined with an adjacent marine area make up one of the main migration routes for African and Eurasian water fowl and waders. In fact, over 194 different bird species are found in the region, including 21 species of migratory birds. The National Park, together with other areas of the Kolkheti lowlands, is considered to be the legendary Kolkhuri Pheasant's homeland. The region's picturesque wetland is rarely found anywhere else along the Black Sea's coastal zone. It is ideal for the developing boating, diving, hiking and horse-riding tourism in the National Park. The National Park was established in 1999 as part of Georgia's Integrated Coastal Management Project with the financial support of the World Bank (WB) and the Global Environmental Fund (GEF). It includes the Kolkheti State Nature Reserve established in 1947 (500ha) and the adjacent wetlands, including the Paleastomi Lake. Stretched as an unbroken line over the vast continent of Eurasia the National Park with its ajoining areas possess the tropical and subtropical landscape zones' remains from the Tertiary period, Containing rich biogeographical and paleogeographical information these unique wetlands are one of Georgia's valuable and extraordinary natural heritages .