Bearwatching in the Carpathians and Birdwatching in the Danube Delta 8 days tour
General informationProgramAdditional information
Today bear populations – excepting Russia, Canada and Alaska – are everywhere in decline. Due to human persecution, destruction of habitat, loss of feeding grounds and food, bears have been restricted to a fraction of their former habitat.
Romanian Carpathians is the last stronghold of the large carnivores populations from Europe. Intact forest habitats and the low degree of anthropogenic fragmentation of areas inhabited by large carnivores, made possible the existence in Carpathians of around 6300 brown bears, almost 3000 wolves and around 1800 lynx. These numbers represent about 50% of the population of large carnivores in Europe (except Russia).
Day 1: Transfer from the airport to the town of Zarnesti, at the base of Kingstone Mountain National Park, well known for it’s richness in big carnivores like, bears,wolves and lynx. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse 3*.
Day 2: After breakfast we’ll take a walk in Zarnesti Gorges where it is possible to see birds like Wall creepers, Alpine Swifts, Nutcrackers, Three-toed Woodpecker and Honey Buzzards and we’ll then enter the forest for a little bear and wolf tracking . After enjoying a packed lunch we will make car transfer to an even deeper and wilder forest to reach the bear hide . Here we might have the chance to observe other species of mammals and birds. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse 3* .
Day 3: After breakfast we will visit the Bear Sanctuary, a place that rescued over 80 bears from captivity and offers them close to natural conditions. Afterwards we will continue our bear tracking and birdwatching hike in Kingstone Mountain National Park and will make another visit to the bear hide in the evening. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse 3*
Day 4: In the morning we will visit one of the medieval castles from Transylvania: Bran Castle known as Dracula Castle or Rasnov Castle built by the Teutonic knights. Afterwards we leave the mountains and head for lower land, our final destination: the Danube Delta. On our way we will visit a very interesting and unique location from geographic and geologic point of view, the muddy volcanoes. Here is also a botanical reserve. In the evening we’ll have a welcome dinner in Tulcea, on the floating hotel 4*.
Day 5 – 7: For the next three days we shall be aboard the floating hotel exploring the delta. The Danube delta is incredibly rich in breeding birds, the best place for birdwatching in Romania and maybe even Europe, and the outline given below is merely a sampler; no doubt we will encounter additional surprises. Romania hosts the world’s largest population of the “Globally Threatened” Pygmy Cormorant with over 7000 pairs, and most are here in the Delta. There’s also Europe’s largest population of Eurasian White Pelican (3500 pairs), crucial numbers of Dalmatian Pelican and the core European population of Ferruginous Duck. Many Locustella and Acrocephalus warblers (Savi’s, Sedge, Paddyfield, Moustached, Marsh, Reed, Great Reed) have their largest European breeding populations in Romania. The Danube Delta comprises a vast complex of reed beds, willow forest, and wetland, crossed by an intricate network of channels. We shall explore as wide a variety as possible of these habitats, both on foot and using a combination of the floating hotel and a small motorboat. On one day we’ll reach the virgin forest of Letea, a habitat unmodified by human presence that allowed the growth of huge oaks, some older than 800 years.
Transfer to Bucharest airport by bus, a 4 hours drive but we’ll stop on the way in some nice places for coffee beak or to stretch our legs.
Note: We usually go with the floating hotel with groups over 12 persons, but if you are a smaller group or even single traveler you can still book this tour and we’ll then use a small boat for the transportation and a guesthouse 3* in a village in the middle of the Danube Delta.