Experience an unique wildlife opportunity that combines bearwatching and birdwatching in a single trip. Step into the wilderness of the Carpathian mountains, the last stronghold of the large carnivores populations from Europe, and observe the majestic brown bear in its natural habitat. Venture into the labyrinth of narrow channels of the Danube Delta to witness an impressive bird paradise.

The little human impact on the forests at the foothills of the Carpathians along with the low degree of habitat fragmentation, made possible the existence in Carpathians of around 6300 brown bears, almost 3000 wolves and around 1800 lynx. These numbers represent over half of the population of large carnivores in Europe, except Russia.

The bear hide, located in the depths of Transylvania’s extensive forests, gives us the opportunity to track, observe and photograph the Brown Bear, without disturbing it with our presence. We might even have the chance of observing other mammals like wild boar, fox, roe deer and if we are really lucky also the shy wolf.

It is, of course, a splendid birdwatching region as well but in concerns of bird observations you will be astonished by their abundance in the Danube Delta and Dobrogea. As our tour will continue towards the south-eastern part of Romania, we will first cross the highlights of Transylvania:  meadows filled with multicolored flowers and butterflies, lost-in-time villages and sun-drenched plains dotted with medieval fortified churches.

We will then cross the steppes of Dobrogea, in search for rare plants while resting our eyes that will undoubtedly continuously scan the sky for birds of prey and other rare feathered visitors. The peak of excitement will be reached while exploring the largest wetlands in Europe: the Danube Delta. An utterly beautiful wild region with endless waterways surrounded by an abundance of nature it will impress even the most experienced birdwatching or naturalist traveler.

 

 

Visits
  • bear hide
  • LiBearty Bear Sanctuary
  • Kingstone Mountain National Park: Zarnesti Gorges
  • Bran Castle known as Dracula Castle or Rasnov Castle/ medieval fortified church of Hărman or Prejmer (both UNESCO World Heritage sites)
  • Mud Volcanoes
  • Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve
  • Letea – virgin forest on the sand dunes
Program

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.

Day 8:
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.

Extended tour
Extensions are possible.

Check out our other tours in the 2 areas.

Difficulty level

Short walks with many wildlife observation stops.

The transfer day from Transylvania to the Danube Delta is going to be a long drive but with some stops for visits and lunch along.

Reservations
This tour is recommended to be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.
Prices

The final price is influenced by many factors that not all depend on us.

Please contact us to get your detailed customized program and offer.

The price includes all tour expenses starting with your arrival in the country. Meaning:

  • accommodation in 3 or 4* guesthouses/houseboats,
  • meals – full board (except beverages),
  • transfers and transportation (car/ bus, boat),
  • permits for accessing nature reserves, bear hides and entries at the visits included in the program,
  • wildlife specialized multi-lingual tour guide.

The offer you will receive can be adjusted if you choose to modify some of the details.

Extra Info

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.

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