Beitrag Do 8. Aug 2013, 14:10

FAQ about individual trips to chernobyl alienation zone

Visits to Pripyat are increasingly subjected to strict reglementations. Access is prohibited to all of the buildings, therefore including the roofs. There even seem to be talks about restricting the visits to a simple drive to central square, a brief possibility to get off the car to take pictures, and back.

Those interested in individual trips are very welcome to contact us. We will try to establish the necessary contacts (no, we do not charge anybody for this!)


1.What are these FAQs about? What is their purpose?

2.What do we mean by „individual trip“?

3.What are the advantages of an individual trip as compared to taking part in a group tour?

4.What are the disadvantages of an individual trip as compared to taking part in a group tour?

5.What is the course of events on a normal one day individual trip?

6.And that of an individual trip lasting several days?

7.During trips of more than one day, do I have to spend the night(s) in Chernobyl?

8.Where do I get picked up in Kiev?

9.Can I travel to the zone alone, without taking part in an official trip?

10.But I have read reports of people who have travelled the zone alone!

11.Whom do I contact to plan an individual trip?

12.What requirements do I have to meet in order to be able to take part in a trip to the zone?

13.How many days should my trip last?

14.Where will the meals take place during longer trips, and what will they consist of? Can/must I bring my camp stove?

15.What is the price of an individual trip?

16.What about the radiation exposure? Is there a specific dress code? Do I have to bring a geiger counter?

17.What is the purpose of the screening upon leaving the zone? Is that outdated equipment even trustworthy?

18.Is there a preferred period of the year for making these trips?

19.Am I allowed to take pictures freely?


20.May I take home souvenirs?

21.Is there a specific code of conduct?

22.Will I be able to visit the control room of reactor four? I have seen reports from people who have!

23.Is the zone addictive?

24.No thanks, I prefer to take part in a group tour. What’s the course of events fort hat?


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1.What are these FAQs about? What is their purpose?

This is about individual trips to the zone of alienation surrounding the Chernobyl power plant. They were written, because I’m continuously asked the same old questions about individual trips (go figure!); in forums as well as by mail/PMs. They neither claim to be complete nor accurate, wherefore suggestions (PM!) are always welcome.

2.What do we mean by „individual trip“?

An individual trip is a trip to the Chernobyl zone of alienation which is tailored according to your personal needs (in terms of duration, content,…).

3.What are the advantages of an individual trip as compared to taking part in a group tour?

The layout of the trip is more flexible in terms of duration and content. You can stay for several days and/or decide freely what places to visit (if those wishes are approvable, of course)

There will be an english speaking guide. Group trips usually are guided in ukranian or russian.

The feeling! The vibe is utterly different in a group of three, as opposed to a group of 30-40.


4.What are the disadvantages of an individual trip as compared to taking part in a group tour?

The costs. An individual trip is significantly more expensive than a group tour. Still, this disadvantage can quickly fade into insignificance when making the trip to Ukraine especially for the purpose of visiting the zone, as one is free to plan the date according to the availability of cheap flights. Usually, group trips require fast booking once billed, which means you are then bound to that specific date.




5.What is the course of events on a normal one day individual trip?

Pickup time im Kiev is 07:00am. Then you are driven to the checkpoint (takes approximately two hours) and then to Chernobyl InterInform (in the town of Chernobyl) for paper work. After the ensuing tour you will be dropped off in Kiev again.

6.And that of an individual trip lasting several days?

Identical to a one day tour, apart from an overnight stay in a hotel in Chernobyl (next to Chernobyl InterInform), and the possibility to see more of the zone.

7.During trips of more than one day, do I have to spend the night(s) in Chernobyl?

The hotel in Chernobyl is the only place where an overight stay in the zone is possible. Alternatively, leaving the zone over night would be necessary, which makes little sense because of the long trips from and back to the zone.

8.Where do I get picked up in Kiev?

Basically, wherever you want. However, we strongly advise to seek qualified advice when choosing an appropriate meeting point. Traffic jams in Kiev can be heavy to an extent where moving even half a mile in one hour becomes impossible.

9.Can I travel to the zone alone, without taking part in an official trip?

The zone is not a zoo! There are no admission tickets obtainable upon any unannounced appearance at the checkpoint. Any trip has to be planned and authorised. Access to the zone without a guide is prohibited.

10.But I have read reports of people who have travelled the zone alone!

Yes, apparently some people have illegally entered the zone through the woods (a certain biker by the name of Elena is NOT one of those; her reports are fake – Elena has taken part in normal group tours, sporting her helmet). Times in which guards were bribable with bottles of vodka are long gone (if ever there were such times). In an eastern bloc country, I personally would not take such risks anyway.

11.Whom do I contact to plan an individual trip?

Declare your wishes here! There are several users who have excellent connections and can provide help with organizing a trip. Of course you can also contact any travel agency in Kiev. Just keep in mind that their main priorities lie with financial gain. And chances are, you’ll end up with one of the guides who are members of this forum anyway, just for a higher price.

12.What requirements do I have to meet in order to be able to take part in a trip to the zone?

You have to be at least 18 years old.


13.How many days should my trip last?

A week! Just kidding. One day is definitely not enough. On a two day tour you can see a lot more, mostly due to the fact that you don’t have to take the long trip from Kiev again on the second day. To see everything without having to rush, you should schedule several days.

14.Where will the meals take place during longer trips, and what will they consist of? Can/must I bring my camp stove?

Meals will be provided in the office of Chernobyl InterInform (where the employees eat as well). Eating outdoors is not allowed (although nobody complained about a simple chocolate bar yet); the consumption of alcohol is not allowed either.

15.What is the price of an individual trip?

Approximately (!) USD 500-600 a day for 1-3 participants. The necessity of a bigger vehicle raise that price even a little further for groups of 4+. Additional costs are around USD 65,- per night (double room) and USD 10-15 for meals. Be aware that any day partly spent in the zone will be charged as a full day. When arriving in Kiev during the day, spending the night there and travelling to the zone the next day therefore is cheaper.

16.What about the radiation exposure? Is there a specific dress code? Do I have to bring a geiger counter?

All in all, radiation exposure is rather low. There are a few hot spots, which guides are aware of, though. A one day trip will expose you to about the same amount of radiation as a 4-5 hour flight. In terms of clothing, anything will be fine, as long as the body is fully covered; no shorts, no t-shirts, no sandals! People afraid of inhaling contaminated dust particles can bring respirator masks or the usual protection overalls (NB: those will NOT be provided on the tour!). For the technically interested, a geiger counter can be informative, but bringing it is optional.

17.What is the purpose of the screening upon leaving the zone? Is that outdated equipment even trustworthy?

Upon leaving the zone, a test is conducted to make sure you are not contaminated (externally). This serves the purpose of making sure you do not carry any active particles with you on your clothes. Usually, this test produces a negative result, although there have been some cases where contamination of the shoes has led to them having to be cleaned or even left behind there. This „outdated“ equipment makes use of large ionisation measuring devices and is able to detect radioactivity a lot more reliably than your usual portable geiger counter.

18.Is there a preferred period of the year for making these trips?

In April and May the zone is usually pretty crowded. Open house day falls into this period (strictly for former residents of Pripyat!). Whether you decide to travel in Summer or Winter is entirely up to you. Radiation is at its lowest in Winter, and the risk of inhaling radioactive dust is almost nonexistant. Since shorts or t-shirts are not allowed at any time, June through August can get a little hot. Tourism is heavier on the weekends, plus the information centre is only open during the week.

19.Am I allowed to take pictures freely?

Basically yes. The area of blocks 1/2 and 3/4 may only be photographed from certain positions. Also the guards on the checkpoints do not care much for being photographed (although it doesn’t hurt to ask).

20.May I take home souvenirs?

To take away objects of any kind, however worthless, is strictly prohibited.

21.Is there a specific code of conduct?

Apart from the rather obvious rules which you accept at the Chernobyl InterInform office, there is one standard rule: take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but
footprints.


22.Will I be able to visit the control room of reactor four? I have seen reports from people who have!

During the individual trips we deal with here: absolutely no way! The famous „golden corridor“ and other places inside of blocks one through four remain off limits.

23.Is the zone addictive?

Definitely ;)

24.No thanks, I prefer to take part in a group tour. What’s the course of events fort hat?

Group tours are not part of these FAQs. Announcements for group tours organized by pripyat.com are regularly posted in the english part of their forum. You can read about further details there.

posted by jsbid.
translated by Sickranium.