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Siberian subtropics

Source:  Buryatia. The sunny side of Baikal. - Ulan-Ude, 2010. - H. 44-45.

Baikal state nature reserve occupies    the    southern shoreline of Baikal and watershed of Khamar-Dahan ntoun tain range. The nature reserve also includes wildlife sanctr called Kananskil, located in u, delta of the Selenga River.

Baikal nature reserve keeps great gene-bank of wild animals — over 1500, and plants - up to 2000, 60 of which are considered rare. The nature of these areas is really unique.

The land here is called «Khamar-Daban jungles» because of high humidity, this is the place where they study rare, endemic and relic plants in the wild. There are over 30 relic plants here, which have survived from the times of Tertiary broad-leaved woods. They witnessed the Earth history starting from the preglacial times. All the plants here are of huge size: delphinium up to 2 meters high and cedars, fir-trees and birches are really high and mighty.

Baikal nature reserves receive tourists: a special ethno-ecological settlement was constructed for the guests to get acquainted with the traditions of nature management by the Transbaikal peoples. This settlement features Buryat yourta, Evenk tchum (kind of tent), covered with larch bark, Russian banya with a small teahouse and a log house of an old-believer. The museum of nature holds hundreds of exhibits: stuffed birds and animals, collections of insects, maps, photos, films. One can spend wonderful winter holidays here, doing skiing on hunter's skis, snowmobiling, sledging, having lunch at the camp-fire and relaxing in banya. And, of course, one can have accommodation at a good hotel.

One of Khamar-Daban symbols is the legendary mountain range Mamai. This is where one can do mountain-skiing to one's content! You can get to the top by helicopter and go down yourself. Although the real extreme fans climb the mountain in old fashion.

Festival «Mamai Agreement» is held here annually by the Federation of extreme sports and trips of Buryatiya. This is the festival for free-riders, mountain-skiers and snowboarders.

Kabanskii wild nature sanctuary is called bird paradise. Hot breathing of Mongolian steppes hovers above the beautiful Selenga River. This is the place of forage lands, an important part of migration routs of omul and other valuable fishes. Delta of the Selenga River is one of the biggest in the world, the amount of birds can be up to five million. And how many of them spend winter and nestle in the delta? Tourists and ornithologists frequent this area, because this is the right place to watch the biological diversity of all the species. Water-marsh lands of Kabanskii wild nature sanctuary are protected by the Ramseur Convention.



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