Until today, agencies working in nature tourism have considered Kars only in terms of local village tourism, and they went to Erzincan by train and continued their tours in a different direction. This perspective has been changed with the Brown Bear Conservation project. The Turkish partner of the project KuzeyDoğa Association, invited the owners of 9 important agencies to Kars. It was demonstrated that there is a different potential of Kars in addition to its natural and cultural richness.
The association, which also contributed to the Sarıkamış Tourism Workshop, made a presentation on the nature tourism to the agencies participating in this workshop. Following the presentations aimed at increasing the natural tourism potential of Sarıkamış, nature tour programmes specific to brown bears observation were organized and a calendar was prepared. Thus, Kars has taken its first important step towards becoming a nature tourism route by itself.
On the second day of the workshop, an informative tour focused on nature and brown bears was organized by the KuzeyDoğa Association. The nature tour, which is liked to be included in the agencies’ programmes, was demonstrated in practice. Information on how to track down the traces of animals was given by walking through the forest area from the ski center to the hotel area. The opinion that Kars is suitable enough as a tour destination on its own, was strengthened after the agencies were informed about the project and the tour is finalized.
Thus, tours which were reduced to 1 or 1.5 days in the past, were extended by adding the observation of other wild animals and especially the brown bears. Upon request from the agencies, the Brown Bear Conservation project started to prepare 3-6 day brown bear observation tour plans.
A new discovery: Glacier Falls!
Glacial waterfall climbing which is performed at certain locations of Turkey attracts the attention of a large number of people who love nature tourism. A glacier waterfall was discovered in Sarıkamış for the first time during the information tour organized under the scope of the Brown Bear Conservation project. At the end of the frozen waterfall, which is about 30 meters high, the summit is reached by passing through a rock hole. With this discovery, the glacier waterfall climbing will be added to Sarıkamış nature tourism activities.
During the information tour in which the agencies showed great interest, 14 fresh brown bear footprints were observed in the forest. Thirteen brown bears were seen in Sarıkamış garbage dump.