Borjomi National Park
|Borjomi National Park|
Located in Central Georgia and to the south of the main Caucasus range the Borjomi River Gorge and neighbouring partly forested hills were first given a special status when Russia took over Georgia in the 19th century. Tsar Mikhail Romanoff built a summer residence in the park, a large part of the park was fenced off and tree-felling and hunting was only allowed with permission.
In 1929 the area became a nature reserve and finally a few years ago it has acquired a special protected status thanks to the Worldwide Fund for Nature management plan. The plan involved the building of several large huts in the hills allowing trekkers and horseriders to travel through the area.
The location of the park and the altitude range have contributed a rich and varied biodiversity in the area. Forests include oak, beech, chestnut, birch and a variety of conifers. Open meadows are found at all altitudes up to sub-Alpine and in May and June the floral displays are particularly outstanding - especially the rhodedendron.
Visitors to the park must be accompanied by a ranger. The park makes for a very relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of travel and the temperatures are pleasant when Tbilisi could be suffering from heat wave. The huts are very well built and new but visitors must provide their own bedding.
Several trails from 3 hours to several days have been marked out in the park and we recommend a visit here to break up a cultural tour in Georgia. Horseriding though in theory possible must be arranged well in advance.