I was planning to make a tour of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the ghost town Pripyat for the last 3-4 years. If I ask myself when this curiosity started, I can reply, after some documentaries that I watched in the last years of my college education. Since then, I had started to do more research on this tragedy, which is also affected our country. And someday, I have learned that Ukraine opened Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the ghost town Pripyat to visit. Maybe they have been open to visit for a long time, I don’t know. I had discovered this information at that time.
Since then, I had watched some travel agencies closely, and tried to arrange some important details like budget. I had also shared my plan with my close friends at times. We were planning to visit Bruges about May, together with my friends Enishan and Tuğçe. But, this tour seemed very costly for 4 people due to the increase in Euro’s exchange rate at that time. On a March night, while drinking and chatting during Pelin’s birthday, Enishan flashed an idea into my mind, which I’ve been looking for years. “Apparently we can’t go to Bruges, then why don’t we try Chernobyl?
From this part of the text, I will not talk about Ukraine, because I reserve it to another article as a guidebook for Kiev. Here, I will tell Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the ghost town Pripyat and share my 40 minutes-long tour video.
Before participating in the Chernobyl Tour, you have to make an agreement with a travel agency in that region and send your passport information. The agency will make a registration on behalf you, to the military units that controlling that area. You can choose to participate to public tours (as we do), or there is also a possibility to arrange a private tour which costs a little more. But, if you don’t want to participate tours and if you want to make an own visit, I’m not sure if it’s possible or how to register to the military units. However, if you are discussing this, I can only recommend this: there is no gas station in this 40-kilometer private security zone. So, you need to make sure that your tank is full considering the arriving, returning and tour trips.
I’ll try to guide those who want to go on with tour companies. There are some certain tour companies operating in the region. According to the information on their websites, telling all they arranged tours to the TV channels such as BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic, or to the presenter of the famous shows on these channels. I preferred Solo East Travel from these agencies. To mention the reason, all was providing the same service and price offered by this company was $10 less at that time.
Here, I’m sharing web addresses of the two tour companies that I reviewed. The others were either too expensive or seemed to me inexperienced;
Solo East Travel http://www.tourchernobyl.com/
Chernobyl Tour https://chernobyl-tour.com/
There are some points you should review while deciding the tour company, such as whether the compulsory health insurance is included, whether they ask an additional fee for English guidance service and whether lunch is included. Apart from this, within the scope of a 1-day trip, locations included in the tour plan of all tour companies are almost same. (2-day tours including accommodation also available, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it.)
As I said before, to participate this tour, you have to be registered and your passport information and down-payment must be sent in advance. Thereafter, being at the meeting point and paying the remaining fee over there will be enough. The most crucial rule of the tour is that your clothes must cover your entire body. That means, no T-shirts and shorts, sandals or slippers. Shirt, trousers and training shoe are ideal choices. Anyway, you would not prefer sandal or slipper because you will be on foot all day long.
Whichever tour company you prefer, the tour buses are both quality and modern. All include air conditioner and a TV, which you can enjoy watching documentaries during the 2-hour trip on the Kiev-Chernobyl road. There is only one break during the trip. I suggest you to go to the restroom, because you may not have a chance to find another one during the tour. (If you choose a tour including lunch –as we do-, there is a restroom in the canteen.) Apart from that, there is hut as a restroom all surrounded by plywood, which used only by soldiers during their pass from Chernobyl to Pripyat. But, according the recommendations of those who used there, you would not want to go.
Except these, I suggest you to prepare a backpack to carry some snacks and water. Also, it will be useful to carry all the equipment if you are planning to make a video recording or photo shoots. For example, I participated in the tour with a GoPro camera to record the video below, which I hope that you will watch shortly after 🙂 , some GoPro accessories and countless back-up batteries.
If you want to take more information about this tour, you may write in the comments section below or in the comments section of my YouTube video. I will try to answer as much as I can. Now, instead of going further, enjoy my Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the ghost town Pripyat tour video. I hope you like the video. And hopefully, this article guides those who want to join this tour.
The video is currently available in Turkish (sorry for that), but I may add English subtitles in the future.
See you in the next article!