Belarus' Topography, Nature & Climate
Belarus is land-locked and doesn't have any mountains, so it's not really attractive to alpinists and snorkelers. The entire country has been shaped by glacial processes. Some people might call it a boring landscape, but it has its certain charme. Lakes, rolling hills, lakes, dead plain lowlands, lakes - am I repeating myself? Belarus has at least 11,000 lakes. Many of them can be found in the north-eastern corner of the country. A marvellous landscape it is. The area in the south of Belarus along the river Pripyat' is dominated by vast swamps. The north and the south are separated by a long ridge starting in Poland and continuing all the way to Smolensk in Western Russian. The "highest peak" of the country lies in the middle of the ridge and is called Dshyardshinskaya Hara. The breathtaking altitude is 345 metres.
Belarus' climate is rather continental, with the climate getting more and more continental the further you get to the east. This means that the winter is quite long and can be very chilly. Summers are usually very warm and wetter than winter. Annual precipitation is around the same is in other parts of Central Europe - around 700 to 800 mm. Already in November, temperatures usually drop below zero (Celsius) in all parts of the country.
On the one hand, Belarus has numerous national parks, on the other hand large areas suffering massive environmental damage, caused by the reckless industrialisation after the 2nd World War. However, since many industrial complexes shut down after 1989, the situation gradually improved. This can't be said about the southernmost stretch of land near the Ukrainian town of Chernobyl (Chornobyl'). The immense radioactive contamination of the area (see map above) has left behind a large region which will remain uninhabitably for a very long time.