Elite Personal Travel Services

MONDO WORLD ADVENTURES: UKRAINIAN EDITION

THE RUINS OF CHERNOBYL

**WILL BE OFFERED AGAIN AT A LATER DATE**

All of our trips are hand selected and devised to be wildly entertaining and exotic and hand tailored to satisfy our interesting and creative clients. These are small group adventures and made for healthy and adventurous travelers. There are few restrictions and travelers are free to go off on their own or stay with the group as they please. Clients will be briefed beforehand about the local etiquette, dangers and annoyances, and about how to get the best from the experience.
*****THIS IS LIMITED SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE, SEATS WILL GO FAST*****

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE

On April the 26th 1986, the worst nuclear accident in history occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, near the Belarus-Ukraine border, 100 km north of Kiev, Ukraine. At 1:23:58 am local time, the power plant's reactor number 4 was rocked by a steam explosion, followed by a hydrogen explosion and a fire resulting in temperatures over 2,000°C. The 1,000 ton reactor lid was blown off the core, the nuclear fuel rods melted, and it is said that the disaster released as much as 400 times the radioactive contamination of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Over 400,000 people were evacuated and many of the small towns and villages close to Chernobyl were rendered uninhabitable. The radioactive fallout, borne by the shifting winds, spread across most of Europe.

Today most of the areas surrounding the reactor remain abandoned -- thousands of houses and thousands of acres of land. Left behind are barren hospitals, schools, amusement parks, playgrounds, swimming pools and a graveyard of military equipment contaminated in the rescue effort 20 years ago. The reactor itself remains covered by the large concrete "sarcophagus" erected in December 1986 to contain the radiation.

What remains is a unique time capsule from the cold war Soviet era.

RADIATION AND SAFETY

Is visiting the site of the world's worst radioactive disaster a safe thing to do? Radiation levels at Chernobyl are still too high for long term exposure, but the Ukraine has opened up controlled access to the "Exclusion Zone" for organized tours. The “Exclusion Zone” is a 19 mile radius set up by the government which surrounds the destroyed reactor.

Armed with geiger counters and knowledgable guides it is possible to approach the reactor, while maintaining radiation levels that are less than what one receives during a typical flight in an airplane flying at 30,000 feet.

Radiation damage is cumulative and our visits to the "Exclusion Zone" will be limited in duration and consistently monitored so as to stay within safe levels of exposure.

ECO-TOURISM

Despite what many people believe, the Chernobyl "Exclusion Zone" is not a radioactive desert. Nature, in part due to the lack of human habitation, has made a determined comeback. There are thriving populations of deer, elk, wild boar, wolves, Przewalski's horses, and even lynx. Trees are pushing up through main avenues and turning balconies into planters; moss is clinging to the broken sidewalks and abandoned buildings throughout the 19-miles that make up the Exclusion Zone. National Geographic reports that despite the higher levels of genetic abnormalities, "one of the great ironies of this particular tragedy is that many animals are doing considerably better than when the humans were there."

PRIPYAT and SURROUNDING CITIES


The nearest city to Chernobyl is Kiev, a cradle of Slavic civilization and a historical capital of Russia, filled with gold-domed Orthodox churches, monumental Stalinist architecture and leafy parks. It is a great place to savor national delicacies and steam in the Russian bathhouse (banya).

Ukraine itself means "border land" with its western protrusion nestled closely between Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and
Moldova. This region is ethnographically diverse, predominantly rural, and lends itself to village hopping among hotly contested WW2 battle fields and the historical Pale of Settlement. (Popularized by the book and movie: Everything is Illuminated)

Wherever you are in the former Soviet Union, you are not far from the remains of the cold war. We will encounter the leftover missile bases, the historical monuments, and the survivors with their personal tales of that dramatic time.

In the nearby town of Pripyat, we will arrange meetings with an unusual crop of residents that are disobeying government orders and are slowly resettling their own abandoned homes.
This is a great trip for photographers and film-makers, as well as anyone interested in the history of the cold war, the rebirth of post Soviet countries, and one of the most significant events in recent world history.

RESERVE YOUR PLACE NOW. THIS IS A VERY SMALL GROUP EXPERIENCE.