Kolkheti National Park is one of Georgia’s eight national parks. The other seven are Algeti National Park, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Javakheti National Park, Kazbegi National Park, Mtirala National Park, Tbilis National Park, and Vashlovani National Park. Georgia is a beautiful and very scenic country. Each of these parks deserves to be visited by as many tourists from around the world as possible. But if you were to choose just one, Kolkheti is a likely candidate for 5 reasons.
One, come to Kolkheti to see the Paliastomi Lake, one of the most bio-diverse lakes in the world. This body of water used to be part of the Black Sea. In time, however, it got cut from its source of salt water and remains connected only by a small channel. Paliastomi is a small lake but very scenic and rich in marine life. It is a protected hydrological reserve, which means fishing, hunting and constructing any form of buildings are prohibited.
This picturesque lake is home to 44 species of fish and the resting place of eagles, ospreys, geese, pelicans, and pochards. This is an ancient lake. According to archeological finds, ancient Georgian people called the Colchis used to live around the area and fish in the lake.
Two, come to see the fishes and reptiles. This national park is home to three species of dolphin: the white-sided dolphin, bottle-nose dolphin and herring hog dolphin. It is also home to 21 species of freshwater fish, 44 species of saltwater fish from the Black Sea and 23 other species that simply pass through. The most notable kinds are the salmon, herring, striped mullet, sturgeon, sea trout, and beluga.
Three, the national park is a bird watcher’s paradise. But even if you aren’t, you will definitely enjoy seeing the many different kinds of birds. A total of 194 species of birds live in the park. In addition to these resident birds, millions of migratory birds pass by this piece of reserved land every year. They rest and nest in the uninhabited mires and peat bogs. They love spending winter in the mires.
Some of the birds that do live here are the herons, water cocks and blue kingfishers. Migratory birds include black kites, common buzzards, white-tailed eagles, imperial eagles, and falcons. The best month for bird watching is October. There are also resident ducks, pheasants, geese, swans, and pelicans.
Four, come to see the plants, including rare plant species, the rarest of which are the yellow poppy and water lily. The national park consists of different landforms, such as swamps, mires, forests, and sand dunes, which breed a variety of plants. Some of these plants include cogon grass, eringo, marsh woundwort, catchfly, and sea-buckthorn, among many others.
Five, come to this popular park for the many activities it offers such as sport fishing, hiking, horseback riding, trekking and hiking, picnicking, and boating. Boating along the Paliastomi Lake is very picturesque and highly exhilarating. The park also has a conference hall, exhibition hall, library, and cafeteria.
A visit to Kolkheti National Park is truly an unforgettable trip into the best that Mother Nature can offer. The beauty of this park is even punctuated by the other tourist attractions nearby. These include the Lazika Archeopolis, Martvili Monastery complex, Khobi Monastery, and Gulevli churches, among other medieval structures and landmarks.