Astrakhan Reserve invites tourists to take an amazing multi-day trip to several natural areas of the Astrakhan Region, with visits to its nature reserves and familiarization with their natural features and inhabitants.  It is a unique opportunity to learn more about the nature of the region.



Participants will tour the Volga delta and see where it flows into the Caspian Sea, visit the region’s highest point – the “singing” Big Bogdo Mountain (also known as the “growing” mountain), see miniature “desert dragons” – big-eared round-headed creatures as ancient as mammoths — sturgeons and saiga antelopes.



The Astrakhan Region is one of amazing contrasts — where the green Volga River oasis is surrounded by actual desert; where fresh and brackish ilmeni lakes alternate with Baer hills in a mosaic pattern – all in the only place in Russia to have such relief forms.  An Astrakhan Reserve guide accompanies each group throughout the tour, providing informative facts and insights.



The ecological tour itinerary includes visits to several specially protected areas of the Astrakhan Region which preserve unique natural landscapes: (1) Astrakhan Biosphere Reserve, (2) Western sub steppe lakes, (3) Stepnoy Reserve, (4) Bogdinsko-Bakskunchaksky Reserve.

This ecological tour introduces tourists to the most interesting natural and cultural sites of the Astrakhan Region, specially selected for their uniqueness.  Efficient use of time and guaranteed satisfaction add to the tour’s appeal.


The “World of Protected Lands: Delta, Steppes and Sands” tour is perfect for bird watchers as well as travel enthusiasts.


Days 1-4 - Astrakhan Reserve

The trip begins in the lower Volga delta – the participants of the tour live on the Central cordon of the Damchik site of the Astrakhan reserve for several days where they get to know the biological diversity of one of the largest deltas in the world. You can find more about accommodation here.

Walking tour come through the cordon and the protected zone. The history of the reserve cordon has more than 80 years, here you can see the houses-whites, which sailed along the river. It is a cozy house where the famous naturalist Gerald Darrell lived during the filming of the “Durrellsin Russia” movie. Also, the participants will be able to admire the beauty of the Volga sunsets from the viewing tower and watch the troubles of the inhabitants of the stepped islands – pheasants, hoopoes, blue rodents, jackals and badgers. Learn more about the tour here.

A tour of the Found Delta ecological trail is a walking route linking four islands together, where you can walk under the canopy of gallery willow forests, get through reed supports, and observe the life of birds in the forest complex and other inhabitants of the islands. Learn more about the tour here.

Creative workshops on batik (painting on silk), landscape painting, etc. are organized during the stay in the Astrakhan reserve. The master classes are conducted by a qualified artist Irina Bukotkina. You will create YOUR picture of the delta’s beauties, which will remind you of this wonderful trip for many years.

A boat excursion is conducted in the kultuchny zone and the fore-delta. It is a shallow seaside, serving as a nesting, molting and resting place for many near-water and waterfowl. Everyone can see a lot of herons, terns, mute swans, watch fishing for large cormorants, curly pelicans and white-tailed eagles, and in the summer there are fields of the Caspian lotus – a Red List plant that has amazed people with the beauty of its flowers for many years. Learn more about the tour here.

Days 5 - Sturgeon farm

Leaving the lower reaches, the group sets off for the middle part of the delta. An excursion to one of the largest sturgeon farms in the Astrakhan region, where you can learn about the process of reproduction and cultivation of the oldest inhabitants of the Caspian Sea – sturgeon and beluga, with the regulation of the Volga runoff, which lost most places of natural spawning. A tour of the city of Astrakhan – the southern outpost of Russia, for centuries collecting many cultures and customs.

Days 6 - Sand dunes

Travel to the sand dunes and the ilmenno-tuberous region. The green expanses of the delta surround the desert, which at first sight seems lifeless, but the fauna of this area is also diverse. In addition to numerous insects, roundheads live in the sands: long-eared, takyr and tailed-headed tailed-heads, which are very interesting to observe the habits of. The lmen-tuberous areas adjoin the delta. There are lakes – steppe ilmeni are surrounded by low hills – the Baer knolls. The diversity of avifauna in this region is great because various types of landscapes are found in a small area – lakes with a large amount of aquatic vegetation, steppe areas overgrown with wormwood and cereals. It is especially picturesque in the spring, ephemeroid plants (poppies, irises, tulips) bloom and be in the form of rhizomes and bulbs underground for most of the year.

Days 7-8 - Stepnoy Reserve (saiga)

A visit to the Stepnoy regional wildlife reserve – a unique natural complex of feather grass steppe, which is the habitat of rare birds and mammals listed in the Red List of the Russian Federation. Here you can see the steppe eagle, the Buzzard, the demoiselle crane, strepto and the steppe antelope – the saiga – listed in the Red List.

Days 9-10 - Bogdinsko-Baskunchaksky Reserve

Travel to the north of the Caspian lowland, where in the surroundings of the famous salt lake Baskunchak is the highest point of the Astrakhan region – Mount Big Bogdo. Important bird migration routes pass here, and some of the species, living in the reserve, are not found anywhere else in Russia, for example, the squeaky gecko lizard. Tourists continued their acquaintance with the rich history of the Astrakhan region at the Saray-Batu open-air museum. It represents the reconstruction of the capital of the Golden Horde Khanate. The guests get to know the traditions, cultural features of life and customs of the people who once lived in Saray-Batu.


  •  Tours are for groups of 12-16 participants;
  • Program includes boat trips (several hours daily) and motor transport.  Adjustments may be made at the customer’s request;
  • Certain portions of the itinerary are located in the international (Kazakhstan) border zone.  Accordingly, passport data for participants must be submitted to Astrakhan Reserve’s ecotourism department 30 days (Russian Federation citizens) or 60 days (foreign citizens) before the tour start date.  Anyone not meeting this requirement will not be able to visit Astrakhan and Bogdinsko-Baskunchaksky Reserves;
  • All tour arrangements are made by Astrakhan Reserve: paperwork, accommodations, meals and transfers.