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Altai Krai

Lebediny (Swans) Reserve

Each year, when it gets colder, birds come to the unfrozen lake in Sovetsky District of Altai Krai, which is called Lebedinoye («Swan Lake») for this reason.

Lebediny (Swan) Reserve was established in 1973. Swans come to spend the winter here. The lake does not freeze over because of the warm springs at its bottom.

Every year up to 500 whooper swans come to the lake, as well as 2,000-2,500 ducks. There is an observation area arranged on the lake, and jaegers feed the birds. It is planned to create an environmental path here to help visitors learn more about the life of the reserve. Tourists have been coming here for several years now to see the unusual sight of white birds that feel quite comfortable amidst Siberian snows.

In 2014, the reserve first hosted the Altai Hibernation Festival, devoted to the arrival of the birds and the opening of the tourist season in the region. The same year, a number facilities were equipped for the visitors to the site:  an observation area was opened and new bridges were made for feeding and observing the birds.

Visitors to the reserve are banned from hunting any animals, travel on any kind of transport offroad, ride snowmobiles and travel by motorboat, fish with any equipment other than a fishing rod, or engage in any activities that disturb the animals.

The best time to watch the swans is early morning or duringg the hours before sunset. However, we should remember that on frosty, windless days it can be too foggy to see the birds. At about noon, the majority of whooper swans fly away from the lake.

A very good time for watching the birds is on warmer days in late November or early December:  this is the time when the birds fly a lot. It is better to visit the lake on days that are not windy; the water bodies are not covered with fog, so you can see the birds better.

You should not come close to the swans, as they prefer to be at a distance. If you are patient enough, they might come closer.

The tour operators of Altai Krai arrange tours to the swan lakes that never cover with ice.

Site on the map

Address: Altai Krai, Sovetsky District

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