Chernobyl exclusion zone is one of the most popular places for tourists, foreigners in particular. Since the excursions were allowed there, zone has been visited by hundreds of thousands of people. Not surprisingly, because it has a lot to offer to those who are interested in photography, nuclear physics, abandoned places as well as to those who are simply interested in history. Based on experience of many travelers, Chernobyl Story Tours collected some tips for making the time spent in the zone the best possible.
Booking a Tour
As long as the area of Chernobyl exclusion zone is restricted, the visitors are not allowed going there on their own. All the visits have to receive permission from the authorities of the zone and have to be guided. The first thing you need to do is to contact tour agency, and it will take care of everything.
You are to choose what type of tour you would like to pick up: group or private one and one day tour or several days. In case you want to measure the levels of radiation by yourself, you can rent special equipment for this purpose - a Geiger counter. Also, you can choose type of meal: vegetarian or ordinary one. If you have any other special requests or simply questions, you can discuss them with the managers. You will be asked to provide your passport details as long as they are needed for the entry permit. The price depends on the various factors: either tour is private or not, its duration, rented equipment etc. If you want to visit Chernobyl zone with your car (private or rented), you will have to mention that as well and provide required documents.
It would be nice to make some prior research before visiting Chernobyl zone. You don't have to get detailed knowledge on the topic; finally, you will have a professional guide with you who will tell you a lot of information and answer your questions. However, if you know what exactly you are interested in, you can be sure to get it without wasting time.
Tour agency will contact you before the day of your visit in order to remind you to bring some necessary things like documents and proper clothes. According to the rules of Chernobyl zone, you have to wear long trousers, closed shoes and long sleeves. Make sure your clothing matches both the rules and the weather and it is comfortable for you. You will have to walk a lot, keep it in mind as well. Although you will be provided with lunch, bring some snacks as the day of the tour will be long and intense. In additon, don't forget about taking water.
Check your phone/camera batteries and power banks. There will not be possibility to buy extra batteries in Chernobyl, so make sure your equipment will be always ready to capture zone's scenes.
On a Tour
In the morning, you will meet your guide at the time and meeting point mentioned in the letter from the tour agency. On the way to Chernobyl, you will be instructed about safety and other rules which you will have to follow when visiting the zone. Don't hesitate to ask whatever you are curious or worried about or when you need to clarify the information. In the zone, you will be always accompanied by your guide, just talk to him/her anytime you have a query.
Visits to Chernobyl are totally safe, moreover, when following the rules. Basically, the main tip for the tour day is to listen, explore and enjoy as much as you can.