Braslav Lakes National Park
From ancient times Belarus has been called a land of lakes or a blue-eyed country. There are 11,000 lakes and over 20,000 rivers! Most precious of the jewels in the crown of lakes is the Braslav Lakes National Park occupying 70,000 hectares. This place is often compared to Switzerland and Finland. The constantly changing landscape – lakes, hills, forests and lakes again - makes this region absolutely unique.
The unique ecosystem of the region bears the features of the glacial period. The biggest lakes are Drivyaty, Snudy, Voiso, Voloso Severnyi, Nedrovo, Berezha, Daubli, Potekh and others. They all are located in the hilly terrain. Each of them is unique in its beauty. The total area of lakes is 183km?. Belarus’ second largest island, Chaichin (1.6km?) lies on Lake Strusto.
Lake Voloso Yuzhnyi is the deepest in the national park. The lake is 40.4m deep with the total area of 1.2km?. The lake is well-known for its extraordinary pure water (water clarity is 8m). The region is home to over 800 species of plants, with nearly 20 of them inscribed on the Red List of Endangered Species of the Republic of Belarus.
Water ecosystems with various and often unique fauna are the major asset of the Braslav Lakes National Park. The lakes of the Braslav region are the habitat for relict invertebrates, that serve as an indicator of the purity of water. These lakes are rich in fish. They are habitat for 30 species of fish, including eel which is a marketable fish.
The park is also home to up to 35% of Belarus’ total nesting birds. Forty-five species are on the Red List of Endangered Species. The game birds are both rich in variety (black grouses, sandpipers and water fowl) and number (accounting for 15% of the game-bird in Vitebsk Oblast).
The park is a habitat for endangered species such as badger, lynx, brown bear, flying squirrel, elk, wild boar, roe deer. The center of the national park is the town of Braslav, one of the oldest places of Belarus. It was first mentioned in chronicles in the early 11th century.
Climate and landscape: the Baltic Sea influences the climate of the Braslav region which is more moderate that in the rest of Belarus due to the maritime air masses.
The average temperature is 6.5-7.2C° in January and 17-17.8C° in July. The lowest temperature can reach 40C° and the highest + 36.9C°. The annual precipitation makes up 560-600mm, of them nearly 70% fall out during the period from April to October. The heaviest rainfall occurs in July and August. Optimal air moisture during the growing season makes up on average nearly 70%.The landscape is diverse. Over 42% of the area is covered with forests. The main natural wealth of the Braslav region is lakes. There are over 200 of them which account for about 10% of the territory of the region.