It is 8:00 am on the clock. Soon we’ll be sitting in the car and driving to the village to have some rest. Ten years ago, people could imagine a weekend in the village only if they needed to help grandmother in the garden or with the cattle. No one went to the village to have fun.
15 kilometers of road. We’re here. Village Petropol, Zaporozhye district, Zaporozhye region. One can feel the countryside immediately: beautiful view, fresh air, sounds of animals. Yes, there are a lot of animals here because we’re at “AQUAZOO” – a family-owned farm with a contact zoo on its territory. We come closer. Oh, here is the owner of the estate – Boris Ignatko. A young guy who meets all tourists. It’s amazing that Boris has lived all his life in the city and has wonderful parents who have always been able to provide for a decent life. However, they got tired of the city and decided to move to the village. They wanted to live in a spacious home with a well-kept yard and a lot of animals. And it is exactly what happened. Everything was built, comfort was provided. And then they realized that it was necessary to share all this with others. You can make some money as a result as well. Business in the village. You can simultaneously live here and welcome tourists, who will eat organic food from the garden, collect eggs for breakfast, milk goats themselves. By the way, the owners of the farm regularly arrange competitions among their guests: who will milk a goat faster. They even give certificates! Especially courageous visitors can try to catch the pig, as well as grab a fish with bare hands.
However, the main place of interest on the farm is the zoo. Here, the zoo is not a colony of a strict regime for animals. Everything is different here. All animals are washed, brushed, fed and given space to run across vast areas. It even seemed that they were smiling. Yes, they were definitely smiling. Animals are calm and let guests to stroke and hug them.
Here’s the whole bus of children. Young agro-tourists. Boris went to meet the little ones and immediately invited them to the table. Boris’s mother cooks all the food here. All products are grown by the family. But! There is an important ‘but’! They don’t eat their animals. Not even chicken. It is a strict rule at “AQUAZOO”. There’s another rule: you can bring any food or drinks with you, but alcohol is strictly forbidden.
The children ate and began to run to an interactive museum of agricultural machinery. It is situated near the entrance to the farm. Right under the blue sky and bright sun. Children are allowed to climb all cars, get inside all the cabins, push all the buttons. This is what is children in “AQUAZOO” usually do. You can feel like a farmer who works in the field here.
Rural business can also be profitable and exciting.
By the way, everyone who visits the farm asks Boris a question: “Where did you learn how agritourism works?”
Boris never tried to hide the fact that he had the money to travel to many European countries, and more. There he saw hospitable homes in villages. And then he thought: “Ukrainian village isn’t worse! It’s even better.”
Agritourism is a combination of tourism and village. It’s quite trendy now. But until recently, such a business was not popular in southeastern Ukraine.
On competition in agritourism, Boris says: “Is it good that Ukrainian villages come to life thanks to such businesses, isn’t it?”
To make it easier for tourists to reach this (previously neglected) village, Boris made the road and improved the territory. Not only the tourists but also the villagers now have the opportunity to drive around the village safely.
By the way, in Zaporizhzhia’s tourism industry there is even a saying: “Every village in Ukraine needs Boris Ignatka!