Askania Nova is the most popular nature reserve in Ukraine, but is it really that good?
To begin with, let's answer the most common questions:
- official website - askania-nova-zapovidnik.gov.ua and phones for questions (099) 656-23-44, (066) 328-39-96. But do not expect that you phone that that something sensible prompt.
- Where is the biosphere reserve Askania Nova named after Faltz Fein is located in the Kherson region, directly in the village Askania Nova (where all accommodation for rent)
- Excursions to Askania Nova - on the official site it is written about 5 excursions! But all is a PR move and no more!!! The only thing for which you need an excursion - is to get on safari. But in that case, the tour starts exactly from your city... Locally, you can order a tour of Retro Safari only from 8 am, on a first-come, first-served basis and in the warm season. But it must not be hot 30 degrees or rain during or the day before... In other words, how to get to the Safari on your own? It's a real quest!
- What to see - in fact, the whole area is divided into an arboretum, a zoo and a steppe.
- What kind of animals are there - barnyard animals, mostly cattle and birds.
- Lodging and prices - the only hotel is Canna on Sobornaya Street. Rating it is not high, but there is no others) Yes, and people expect the hotel direct luxury conditions, if the room is called a suite) In fact, the prices there are overpriced, but so is the demand, there is no competition) Price for a room 800-1000 USD.
- It is better to go - when it is warm and bright) It is necessary that it was not sun and rain and that all green was, well or in a velvet season when all foliage colors of a rainbow!
That's if briefly, but now tell a little more exactly our experience of going on a weekend in the 20s of September 2021 in Askania Nova).
How to get to Askania Nova
If you come from far away, you can hardly arrive, walk and go home in one day. So we arrived in the evening and checked into the Hotel Kanna, the only hotel in the area. There are only a couple of rooms on the boqing, so it is better to call (0954830054) directly to the hotel and make a reservation (free). At the end of September we booked two rooms in one night with no questions asked. Around the reserve hang signs "rent an apartment and phone" - lovers of apartments can here and on the spot to try to find accommodation). Many are interested in the question of roads in Askania Nova. So you can consider that they are done) most bumpy site still remains Novoalekseevka - turn to Kirillovka (Deer Statue). In fact, there are no holes, but in some places there is such a "washboard" that you have to go simply in the middle of the road. But the speed can be even 140+km/h.
The route of the walk in Askania Nova by yourself
So, if you are staying at the hotel Kanna, parking is also there and it is free. After leaving the hotel we cross the road and after 100 m one of the entrances to the dendropark (free). From there we started the route of the walk - on the map below (K). We went to the lake (O), from the lake went clockwise along one of the paths to the first Polovetsky baba on the mound, then on the way (as indicated by red arrows) will meet others. So we almost reached the entrance, where we went in and went left by the yellow arrows on the map. We came to the main entrance of the zoo and arboretum at the same time. At the same time there is a ticket office. The fact that the ticket is essentially bought at the zoo. You can visit the arboretum for free, there are no tickets at the entrances anywhere. But the zoo entrance only paid, about 70 UAH per person. But if you want a guide, you can order one at the main entrance for a token fee of a few tens of UAH. But it is very convenient to walk around the arboretum and zoo on your own. Do not get lost, the paths in the arboretum rounded and lead to the output / entrance. In the zoo in general are signs of the route of sightseeing groups. By the way there are such signs and in the arboretum, but they start from the main entrance, so our route with them does not coincide. Time of visiting the arboretum and the zoo at the same time about 3-4 hours and no more! I.e. on this day you can safely go home) If you want to go on safari, then at 8 am you have to be at the main entrance and hope that there will be places on safari that day. It could be that all the seats will be bought out by a coming organized tour from out of town! The safari seems to be open only on weekdays. In the heat (30 degrees) and rain - also do not work) If the rains were heavy for a couple of days, then washed away the dirt and safari will not be a couple of days, even if already drips from the sky ... Still want to be at the checkout at 8am and listen to why there's no safari today?)
Is it worth it to be here? Yes, perhaps, but with reservations) Arboretum is nature, in every city there is a forest, gully and / or lake, where you can walk just as well and will not have to travel 500 km one way for a 3-hour walk. All the best landscaped locations of the arboretum on the photo above, there are no others simply! Did we like walking here? Yes, very much) The weather was very warm in the fall, leaves were playing with autumn colors, pheasants and squirrels were running around and even a snake was crawling) - it felt like an idyll with nature! But if you compare to the landscape park in Uman, then Sofiyivka is better than Askania Nova... The zoo is a mix of birds and park hoofed animals. There were not many animals and the birds did not attract to us, but we liked big horned animals) Each species has so distinctive appearance and especially the horns! There were not many animals, but it caused vivid emotions. However, you should not count on a full-fledged zoo, such as the Feldman ecopark in Kharkov... There is no safari at the end of September. So you can come here only if you pass by or rest in Genichesk.