Every year, thousands of tourists visit the restricted area around Chernobyl, where the worst nuclear accident in human history occurred on April 26, 1986. After the accident, a 30-kilometer exclusion zone was created. Official tourism to Chernobyl began around 2011, but even before that, stalkers came to the Zone.
- 1. Who are stalkers?
- 2. Risk to your health
- 3. You are breaking the law
- 4. You don’t have special equipment
- 5. Forget about comfort
- 6. Wild animals in Chernobyl
Who are stalkers?
Stalkers are people who travel illegally around the Zone. From time to time, they take companions with them on their unofficial journey. Of course, it will be an exciting journey, from which you will get a lot of emotions, but it will be very dangerous.
In this article, I will tell you why you should not visit Chernobyl unofficially.
Risk to your health
Visiting Chernobyl is unsafe. But only with an official guide who knows which routes are the best and safest to explore. Not all of the area has been (properly) decontaminated, and wandering around the 2,600 square kilometers could be potentially hazardous to health.
In addition, many of the radioactive heavy machinery, equipment and trees have been buried in shallow pits and still emit large doses of radiation. Therefore, making your way through the forest to get to the famous sites of the Zone is not a safe option.
You are breaking the law
Entry into the Chernobyl exclusion zone without permission and through an official checkpoint is prohibited. If you get there illegally, and you get caught, then you will have problems. You may be lucky and get off with a fine. The consequences may be worse, depending on the situation, in no case do not take with you any items from the Zone, they will be removed from you and the level of radiation will be checked. You can be prosecuted for attempted illegal entry.
You don’t have special equipment
Stalkers are not as equipped as the official guides. During the illegal tour, there will probably not be a Geiger counter (dosimeter) to measure radiation levels. Moreover, if an accident happened, there would be no car that could quickly get to the nearest first-aid post. Do not forget that in such tours you are on your own and there will be no one to help.
An illegal tour is not an easy choice. Traveling almost the whole day, you will have difficulties with the possibility of a familiar and comfortable rest. A hike in the Exclusion Zone is about 20-30 kilometers a day, you will get tired and after that you will have to sleep on a 33-year-old moldy and rotten sofa, somewhere in the village or in Pripyat. You will have to forget about the car, air conditioning, toilet, delicious food and running water.
Wild animals in Chernobyl
You’ve probably heard about stray animals in the Zone. Well, these are not only friendly horses, moose or dogs, but also brown bears and wolves that hunt for food. Trust me, you don’t want to meet a wolf or bear while walking through the woods.
At first glance, an illegal tour to Chernobyl sounds interesting, even exciting! But after a deeper study of such a tour, it turns out that it is dangerous. In most cases, it happens that illegal tours are even more expensive. And due to the lack of security, your trip may end at any time ahead of schedule. If you prefer an official tour, then you can choose and book it at any time.