Every national park has its personality.You just have to find one that is right for you.Due to diverse landscapes, national parks are home to a plethora of wildlife that any animal-loving person will especially appreciate. Parks are also home to historical trails and ancient archaeological sites and while too many vacations are filled with technology and inactivity ,visiting a national park will give you a much-needed break from electronics. Not only will the variety of outdoor activities be good for your mental health, but it will keep everyone physically active, too.
This time I decided to write about one of the natural wonders of Georgia-Vashlovani national park and its beautiful habitants-gazelles.
Exploring Vashlovani National Park can be one of the unforgettable lifetime experiences for adventurous,nature-loving travelers who are passionate about wilderness and thrilling emotions. Combination of 4 W/D,horse-riding and trekking options in the park make it possible to visit different sectors of the area and have a chance to catch a glimpse of these beautiful animals.
Charismatic, freedom-loving and mysterious, gazelles are fairly called one of the fastest and nicest animals in the world. They have always taken a special place in literature, art and folklore in many cultures since ancient times. In different periods of history gazelles were worshiped as sacred animals, their antlers were placed around special pagan altars or kept at home as symbols of fertility and rebirth.
According to scientists, remnants of fossilized gazelles in the Caucasus region are at least two million years old. Goitered gazelle(Gazella Subgutturosa)-the only antelope species recorded in Georgia was one of the wide-spread mammals in semi-arid steppe zones of southeastern Georgia in the 19th. century but hunting and poaching as well as extensive exploitation of semi-arid valleys of south Georgia led to the almost total extinction of this species in the mid 20th century.
As a part of the restoration of the biological diversity in Georgia, reintroduction of gazelles in south frontiers of Georgia started in 2013 when gazelles brought from Azerbaijan and Turkey were released in Vashlovani National Park and since then several gazelles were born in wild nature.
The gazelles peacefully share Juniper and pistachio arid light woodlands, semi-deserts and dry steppes of Vashlovani National Park with a rich community of carnivores including bears, lynxes, leopards, wild cats, jackals and wolves.
Established in 1935,Vashlovani National Park is situated some 2,5 hr. drive from Tbilisi.The park is famous for its breathtaking landscapes with black earth steppes, grassy hills, loamy gullies and badlands, semi-deserts and savannahs as well as Alazani valley with its flood plains, limestone-origin gorges, mud volcanoes and pistachio forests striking you with serenity and tranquility.
The park is a real paradise for bird-lovers, ideal for spring bird-watching, mostly famous from vultures, eagles, black storks, bustards and many many others.
Many paths and trails of the park make it also possible to enjoy trekking and even horse-riding adventures here seeing some of the rare plants,wild orchids and if you are lucky enough,you may have a chance to catch a glimpse of gazelles jumping over horizon’s verge.