Sataplia State Reserve
Sataplia State Reserve is a most multifarious and very rare monument. It is of complex character and contains geologic, paleontological, speleological and botanical monuments.
The Sataplia Mountain is famous by its rarest and the most beautiful caves. This cave was firstly noticed by Kutaisi museum employee, pedagogues P. Chabukiani who was able to make organization of this valuable monument protection by the local government, and in 1933, there was found a dinosaur trace.
Sataplia State Nature Reserve was created in 1935 to protect geological, paleontological, speleological and botanical monuments.
The reserve is located in Tskaltubo region in 260 km. from Tbilisi, and in 9 km. from the resort Tskaltubo. Sataplia Nature Reserve represents the south-west edge of Racha gorge, total area of the Nature Reserve is 354 ha., 209 ha from here is covered by forest.
Relief: Sataplia Nature reserve is mountainous, it's great area is covered by most beautiful and multifarious wood strain Colchian type mixed forests. Mountainous Sataplia is located at 500 m. above sea level. Here we meet 5 carts caves which are famous for their beauty, size and from the scientists’ points of view were taken great consideration. One of these karst cavern length is 600 m., the beauty of this cavern is a cupola-shaped hall, located in 100 m. from the entrance, where the size and beauty of stalactites and stalagmites in the centre astonishes visitors. At the end of the cavern flows the spring which flows into the well, after that the water goes on in narrow impassable clefts and finds its way out in the south slope of the Sataplia Mountain as Oghaskura. There is an extinct volcano crater in the Nature Reserve. The highest top is at 520 m. above sea level.
Climate: subtropical, average early amount of precipitation is 1900 mm., in middle January +4, in August +25.
Flora: the forests of the Nature Reserve are Colchetian type. Here we meet the beech groves with evergreen understory, beech-hornbeam groves with boxwood understory, chestnut forest with yellow azalea and Caucasian understory, alder forests with blackberry understory and others. There are nearly 60 kinds of wood plants. In the Colchian untouched forest woods, are represented maple, beech, Taxus baccata, Kolkhian boxwood, bladder nut , common yew, Caucasian elm, Quercus imeretina Stev., and others. In the Georgian “Red List” are entered: sweet chestnut, Colchian boxwood, Taxus baccata, elm, oak and etc.
Fauna: 17 kinds of mammals, 8 reptiles, 5 amphibious, 65 sorts of birds. The main attractions of the Nature Reserve are footprints of the herbivorous and predatory dinosaurs in the limestone. From mammals here we meet: bear, fox, jackal, lynx, deer, hare, badger, white marten, squirrel and etc. From birds: jay, cuckoo, nightingale, woodcock, oopoe, etc.
Soil: tropical podzolic soils, yellow and red alluvial soils, grey soils.
General Information for tourists:
• Distance from Tbilisi till the Nature Reserve is 260 km; from Kutaisi till the Nature reserve is 10 km.
• Time is 3-4 hours by car. from Tbilisi.
• Sataplia State Nature Reserve was established for the purpose of
protection of Colchian forest, unic spaleological and paleontological monuments. There is a karst cavern and traces of giant reptails - extinct dinosaurs on the therritory.
• From antient time, on the south slope of Sataplia, in the limestone cracks inhabited bees. The local population collected honey here, tha’ts why it was called Sataplia (place of honey).
• One day tour is enough for seeing the sights of Sataplia.