The country’s species include 12 amphibians, 54 reptiles, over 100 mammals and over 370 bird species. It is difficult to estimate the number of endemic insect species in Georgia.

Kazbegi National Park (Stephantsminda)

A trip to Georgia would not be complete without exploring at least one of the mountainous provinces of the Greater Caucasus, to get a sense of the awesome quality of this 648 kilometer (480 mile) spine that historically has separated Europe from Asia. Georgians themselves regard the area as the heart and soul of their country, the place from which so many of their traditions derive: the cult of the ram, the forms of lavish hospitality, the importance of friendship, and the demands of honor.

Kazbegi features the beautiful peak of Mkinvartsveri (Kazbegi) where and the landscape varies from high glacial mountain peaks to deep gorges and canyons cut by glacial waters banked with sub-alpine vegetation. As you drive through the high mountain peaks, Red-billed and Alpine Choughs call overhead and communities of Snowdrops, the alpine wildflower, are sprinkled in the meadows.

As we drive through the high mountain peaks, communities of alpine Snowdrops are sprinkled in the meadows while Red-billed and Alpine Choughs call overhead. Local people herd their sheep and cattle along the mountain road: a spring of natural mineral water greets travelers alongside bright red sulfur flats that border a section of the alpine pass.

The Kazbegi region is the place where the “Big Five” Causcasian birds can be seen: Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, Great Rosefinch, Güldenstädt’s Redstart, Caucasian Chiffchaff.

During our trips you may also observe other regional specialties including: Twite (interior Asian form - a potential split), Red-fronted Serin, Wallcreeper, Citrine Wagtail, White-winged Snowfinch, Red-billed and Alpine Choughs, Chukar, Horned Lark, Water Pipit, Greenish Warbler, Barred Warbler, Alpine Accentor, Common Rosefinch and dozens of other species. Common raptors include: Bearded Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle and Peregrine Falcon.

What to expect

Journey For Life

Georgia lies in the central and western part of the Caucasus region between the Black and Caspian seas. This mountainous country covers 69,700 km2 with a population of 4.7 million, yet it retains a high proportion of undisturbed areas. The Caucasus region is interesting because of its high level of biodiversity compared to other non-tropical regions of the northern hemisphere. The IUCN lists the Caucasus as one of the planet’s 34 most diverse and endangered hotspots (and one of four hotspots in Europe and Central Asia). The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and WWF International have also identified the region as globally important for biodiversity. The Caucasus has a high proportion of endemic and limited-range flora and fauna, a high diversity of landscapes (from humid mountain forests and wetlands to high mountains and deserts), and viable populations of many species endangered in the rest of the western Eurasia.

Although Georgia covers only one-seventh of the Caucasus, it aggregates nearly every kind of habitat and biome found in the region. The country’s species diversity far surpasses two-thirds of the species found throughout the entire Caucasus, comprising nearly 1% of the planet’s animal and plant species. 

Climate varies from dry warm continental in the southeast of Georgia to very humid temperate in the west; Mtirala in the southwest has 4,000 mm of annual precipitation, exceeding any other geographic point in continental western Eurasia. The country lies along the eastern coast of the Black Sea and southern slopes of the Great Caucasus Mountains, at the same latitude as Washington D.C., northern Greece and northern Spain. Humid areas have the greatest diversity of endemic species. Nearly a quarter of the terrestrial vertebrate and fish species, and even more of the flowering plants of Georgia are endemics of the Caucasus region.