While looking for birds here, naturalists also come across mammals, including the rare marbled polecat - a small member of the marten family, of which there is barely any photographic record.
It possible to encounter mountain quail, horned lark birds, or spotted rock thrush everywhere on the main ridges of the Caucasus, but only in the mountains of Javakheti can you see the alpine accentor. This little restless bird is hard to find, and so too is the even rarer crimson-winged finch, which has been spotted only a few times.
Searching for crimson-winged finch, accentor, and other birds nesting in the mountains here requires being in good physical shape as the terrain of morainic boulders is not easy to walk on.
Javakheti is among the coldest parts of Georgia, where the weather can change very quickly. With this in mind, along with good hiking shoes, you will also need warm clothes.
To get a worthwhile perspective of the mountains and lakes of Javakheti, you should spend at least two days there.
In terms of accommodation, modest options are available in Ninotsminda and Akhalkalaki, as well as the villages of Gandzani, Zhdanov, and Sulda. Meanwhile, more upscale alternatives can be found around Vardzia.