Is it safe to take a tripod for my camera with me and place it on the ground?
Yes, please take your tripod with you on the tour. In most of the places it’s totally safe to place tripods on the ground. The so called radioactive “hotspots” will be shown by your guide in advance. In any case, to prevent you from taking any radioactive particle with you from the Chernobyl zone, we advise you to thoroughly wipe the tripod legs with a wet napkin.
Can I fly my drone with a camera in the Chernobyl zone?
You can fly your drones with your camera in a majority of the places in the Chernobyl zone. A place where the drones cannot be used is the territory of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Before you use the drone please ask your guide if it is appropriate to fly it and in which direction.
How dangerous is the trip to Chernobyl? What is the dose of radiation that I could receive? Is it more dangerous for women than for men?
Visiting Chernobyl is safer than a majority of what people think. Actually it is safer than flying an airplane (radiation from the sun) or eating a lot of bananas (that’s the most radioactive fruit). The level of radiation in the Chernobyl zone is only higher in some places which are avoided during the Chernobyl tour or the group only stays near these places for a short amount of time (e.g. Red Forest, photo shooting of Chernobyl nuclear power plant – reactor 4). During one day in the Chernobyl exclusion zone the body receives a dose of radiation of 3μSv (microSieverts, the safe limit is 100 microSieverts), that’s less than one X-ray scan or 3 hours spent in an airplane.
Women – if they are not pregnant – are also safe to visit the Chernobyl zone. There are many women working in the Chernobyl power plant and a majority of the official guides in Chernobyl are young attractive women.
The ChernobylPhoto.com guides and delegates are specially trained to lead you just via safe roads and paths. During the visit of Chernobyl exclusion zone you will go through a dosimetric control several times a day – at the checkpoints. On top of that your group will be equipped with at least two Geiger-Müller counters (you can borrow it for free) which are measuring the radiation level non-stop.
I am 17; can I come for the Chernobyl tour?
In order to get permission to enter the Chernobyl exclusion zone you need to be at least 18. This restriction is due to the fact that the human body is still growing under this age and it is much more vulnerable.
I am driving to Kiev; can I get to Chernobyl by my own car?
Chernobyl exclusion zone runs under a special regime which only allows private cars to enter under special conditions. Please write us your car details at email@example.com and we will do our best to help you.
What can I take to Chernobyl?
Every visitor has to have a valid passport at all times – this is obligatory. Visitors have to wear pants (not shorts), long-sleeve shirts/jackets and closed shoes (not sandals or flip flops). During your stay in the Chernobyl zone, ChernobylPhoto.com will give you fabric respirators and closed overalls for your full body protection. This is just recommended to wear, it is not obligatory. It is forbidden to take weapons, animals, plants, drugs etc. in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Tourists are also not allowed to take artifacts that they have found in the Chernobyl zone out of the zone.
What photo equipment should I take for the tour/workshop?
Please bring enough memory cards for your camera with you, also an extra battery (usually the tour takes place the whole day and you are only able to recharge it in your hotel room in the evening). For the workshop please take your laptop with you for further editing in the evening classes.
Are there any restrictions on what one can do in the Chernobyl zone?
After entering the Chernobyl exclusion zone you will be instructed on what is and what is not allowed in Chernobyl during your visit. First of all, you will have to stick to these instructions and to the directions of your guide or delegate. For example, during your stay in Chernobyl you are not allowed to smoke, eat and drink in the open space, also you are not allowed to sit on the ground or put your belongings – mostly cameras and camcorders – on the ground. You are not allowed to eat any berries, drink water from open sources –wells etc. (Tap water or bottled water is OK), touch vegetation and objects on the ground.
What is the best time for taking pictures in Chernobyl?
The two most important things when taking pictures in Chernobyl: you do not want to have a lot of people around you (that is why the tours and workshops are mostly weekdays) and you do not want to be totally sweaty in the first 15 minutes after you leave the bus. This happens mostly in summer, as you are not allowed to wear shorts and shirts with short sleeves. That is why professionals from ChernobylPhoto.com recommend visiting the zone in spring, when there is not a lot of vegetation and the sun light is very decent for a majority of the time. Autumn is not bad as well, as the zone starts to acquire this shabby atmosphere of lost places, however the light is worse, but still good for interiors. Winter is a great time for outside photo shooting, however due to the snow and cold the group cannot see a lot of places in Pripyat because it’s hard to reach them on foot. Also, the sun sets very quickly – this on the other hand offers some great panoramic photo shootings.
Where will we stay during the night and during our workshop classes?
ChernobylPhoto.com expeditions are spending the night in the rooms of the newly reconstructed hotel in Chernobyl city (this city is also clean, all the workers of the zone live there). One will be staying in a single room, in case you want to share a room (2, 3 or 4 people), we can manage that as well. Every room is equipped with warm water, heating, refrigerator and cooler, TV, shower and toilet. There are clean linens, towels, shampoo and soap prepared for you. The workshops (editing lessons) will take place in the newly built office building next to the hotel, where the canteen is also located. There is also a buffet, in case you will need a snack or drink anytime of the day.
Is there an internet connection in the Chernobyl zone?
There is a free wifi in the canteen and bar (next to the hotel) available at anytime for you.
How many people will there be on the tour with me?
The maximum number of people on the Chernobyl photo tours is 14. This ensures very good and smooth organization and execution of the whole program. It also allows the guide to show you places and buildings which you will never see on other tours. Workshops, due to its learning and coaching focus, however, have a maximum number of people limited to 7.
In what languages is the tour to Chernobyl conducted?
The basic language of the Chernobyl tour is English. But sometimes, especially on request, ChernobylPhoto.com delegate, guide as well as the workshop leaders can help you in German, French, Czech or Polish.
Can we enter buildings in Pripyat?
Since April 1, 2012 it is officially forbidden (due to safety reasons) to enter buildings in Pripyat. Despite this fact ChernobylPhoto.com can assure you will have almost the same experience from the Pripyat tour as before. As a part of a small group you will definitely have chances to take a lot of pictures in the interiors. Adding some unique buildings and places (outside the borders of Pripyat) into the program is definitely a replacement for some of the buildings in Pripyat that are currently out of reach.
How can I pay for the trip to Chernobyl?
A booking fee of 10 percent of the price (50 percent when ordering workshops) is paid at booking. This booking fee is refundable, in case you cancel your tour 10 days prior to the tour. Otherwise the booking fee is kept until you come to Chernobyl at a more suitable time. In case the tour has been cancelled by the government foreclosure or in case of some unlikely events, this booking fee will be automatically refunded by ChernobylPhotoí.com.
The rest of the price is paid in USD or € when leaving the meeting point in Kiev, where you will also get a receipt (invoice). If you wish to invoice your company or some third party, please contact us with the company details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you help me with the flight and hotel in Kiev?
ChernobylPhoto.com can help you in ordering the air ticket to Kiev, Ukraine. Just provide us with your departure airport and dates when you would like to arrive and then leave Kiev. We can also recommend a hotel (or flat) in Kiev for you and order it for you. ChernobylPhoto.com can also help you with planning other photographic experiences in Kiev. More information after your Chernobyl photo tour booking.
Do I need a visa to visit the Ukraine?
The citizens of following countries do not need a visa for their stay of up to 90 days:
If you are a citizen from a country not listed in this list, you will not have a problem obtaining a tourist visa. The invitation is automatically issued by any of the Kiev hotels by booking. Or the invitation can be issued by ChernobylPhoto.com.
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