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Kronotsky Nature Reserve

In the Russian Far East, which runs along the Kamchatka Peninsula, is a breathtaking protected area named the Kronotsky Nature Reserve. It covers an area of over ten thousand square kilometers and was founded in 1934. What makes this reserve so unique is its numerous natural features, such as a variety of volcanoes, huge mountain ranges, and the only geyser basin in the whole of Russia. Even UNESCO has recognized the magnificence of this reserve and have listed it as a World Heritage Site, drawing more than three thousand visitors each year, as well as scientists.

Kronotsky Nature Reserve is referred to as the Land of Fire of Ice due to its diverse landscapes. Its volcanoes, of which there are inactive and active volcanoes, are a popular attraction to the nature reserve, with Klyuchevskaya Sopka standing at an intimidating 4 750 meters. The second largest collection of geysers in one location is situated in the nature reserve, which is aptly named the Valley of Geysers. This six kilometer field contains an estimated ninety geysers, and in between the geysers are large numbers of hot springs.

It is said that the Uzon Caldera was created by the collapse of a volcanic cone, which took place approximately forty thousand years ago, and it is the magma of this volcano that is responsible for the water underground reaching near boiling point all the time. In this small area, mud pots and approximately five hundred hot springs make the Uzon Calendra a must see attraction in the nature reserve.

Over and above the more than seven hundred and fifty plant species that blanket the nature reserve, the Kronotsky Nature Reserve boasts an impressive range of animals. Lucky visitors will be able to view some of the approximately seven hundred brown bears that roam the nature reserve, and often socialize in the mountain streams where they gather to catch salmon. Some of the other animal species include reindeer, ducks, sable, pika, Steller’s sea lion, ringed seal, geese, bighorn sheep, marmot, Arctic ground squirrel and swans.

A visit to Kronotsky Nature Reserve is quite an expensive excursion, as visitors travel to the nature reserve by helicopter. But it is well worth the expense to view this unique landscape.


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