The first tours to Chernobyl zone. History of the beginnings.
The very first group tours to the Zone were organized by one of the liquidators of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident – Sergey Mirnyi, he was then responsible for radiation reconnaissance. Later he would organize his tour company and become a guide.
Big tour operators have quite a number of trained guides who know safe passes, have deep knowledge of the history of the place and speak English fluently.
But there are also individuals who provide guided services by their own. One of them is Petr Philon – the teacher of physics from Gomel, Belarus. He is very enthusiastic about his unusual hobby. He makes constant tours to legendary in some way Pripyat city and surrounding areas. Petr was one of the first men in Belarus to start making guided tours to Chernobyl Zone.
On the one hand, he had the idea to create business connected with the physical activity, something distinctive, one-of-a-kind so to say. On the other hand, he is a physician who spent years studying the Accident and its consequences. And when it clicked together it was obvious that tours to contaminated zone will be popular. As for the payment, Petr admitted that tour guidance is more like an extreme hobby and there were times he was paying for a bus or for entrance orders on the entrance posts to the Zone. But he was never upset about it as every tour he’s doing with great pleasure and he tries to organize everything the best way possible. Most of the visitors are young people but there are also those who made 4 or 5 visits to the Restricted Area with a Belorussian guide.He is now also making guided tours to one of the most mysterious sites hidden Soviet military base known as Duga-3 or ‘ Russian Woodpecker”.
The conditions for foreigners of visiting the exclusion zone.
If one would like to organize tours he or she should, first of all, get a permission from State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Managemen and it’s now known to be more complicated than 5 years ago.