Durminskoye Forest Reserve
Durminskoye forest reserve (20,000 hectares) was founded in 1993 and till now it is the only reserve in Khabarovsk territory that combines two factors: 1) preserved flora and fauna of Ussuri taiga and 2) supervised restricted hunting for selected ungulates (hoofed animals) as per local legislation. The main objective of the reserve is preserving and adhering to rational use of area's natural resources, and engaging in the photography and video observation of its resident wildlife, most notably the highly endangered Siberian Tiger. Continued protection of the area is paramount, as it is a natural habitat of Siberian Tiger. It is endangered due to poaching and habitat loss due to logging. Brown and Himalayan Black Bears are also at risk. Managing the area not only requires man power and supervision, but diplomacy as well. The reserve successfully co-exists with grants for small scale mining and logging, which are managed by the state.
The reserve's recent effort in ecotourism not only allows visitors to enjoy its beautiful taiga and its wildlife, but also helps sustain some of the local community with employment in the reserve, including some of the local Russian and indigenous Udeghe inhabitants of nearby villages such as Durmin. Eco-tourism is in its infancy in Far Eastern Russia and is an important effort for the reserve as it receives extremely limited funding from the state.
Durminskoye Reserve is in the South-Eastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai located about two hours drive from Khabarovsk. This is prime Ussuri taiga habitat adjacent to foothills of the Sikhote-Alin mountain range.
Transfer to/from Khabarovsk to our base in Durminskoye reserve is arranged by 4WD vehicles. (Once at the base, in winter, snowmobiles are used additionally and for shorter trips we offer to use cross country or hunting skies). In summer through fall, transfer to the base can be arranged via a longer road (200 km). Part of the road is a gravel, it goes through two mountain passes from where you can see a wide panorama of the hills and forest around. In winter season the shorter road along the river Durmin is used for transportation to the base (140 km).
Our base consists of a circle of four log cabins for visitors, while Alexander and our staff live in similar adjacent cabins located together directly in the center of the reserve. Each log cabin is styled individually and can house of up to two visitors, each with a single bed. It has electricity (220 volt, Russian plug), fireplace and other basic furniture. The accommodation is simple, yet also clean and cozy as any log cabin, especially in the winter time. Overall, that's our style of life here and we hope you enjoy it too!
Daily bathing and cleansing with heated water occurs in our banya (Russian sauna), while fresh water directly sourced from a natural well it is provided to each cabin for daily use.
Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) usually consist of Russian national dishes and local foods including game and fish from the reserve itself, as well as locally grown vegetables. Meals are served in the base's kitchen with Alexander and the team. (Any specific dietary requirements should be made known in advance and can be catered for). There is also a cottage with a small museum and a large dining room on the first floor should guests prefer to dine with more space and alone from the base's team.
Alexander and the base's personnel also have some furry friends, such as several friendly dogs, cats and even some minks. Not far from the base is also a ginseng plantation and fresh water pools of fish in summer. Meanwhile closer to the borders of the reserve and buffer zone are several cabins where some of the reserve's volunteers and staff stay for the purpose of animals observation and protection.
The base and cabins are 100% powered by solar and wind energy.