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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TRAVEL TIPS: Eco-Tourism Opportunities Abound

Several travel agencies offer trips to places where the animals and birds outnumber people. Some are not far from Moscow and are perfect for weekend trips. The accommodation is usually in modest log cabins.

In addition to its trips to the Central Forest Reserve, ViaLogo offers trips to the Oksky Reserve along the Oka River, the habitat of bison and crane. The price for a three-day trip, including accommodation, meals and transportation by minivan, is $150. Tel. 132-7408.

The Center for Ecological Tourism works with reserves and national parks around the country, including ones close to Moscow like the Central Forest Reserve, the Oksky Reserve and the Prioksko-Terassny Reserve. The price is $50 a day, which includes accommodation and meals, which can include shashlik or local game. Transportation is extra and varies from 100 to 150 rubles ($4 to $6). Tel. 939-2289.

If you really want to go into the wilderness, the Travelers' Association, an agent for many regional agencies, organizes hiking trips on the territory of reserves around the country. For instance, the association offers several trips to reserves on the shores of Lake Baikal. Since permission is needed with the reserves' administration, trips should be planned at least a month in advance. Plan on spending about $50 a day. Tel. 928-4810.