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Brown Bear Viewing - Wildlife Trip

0 ½ weeks: Bulgaria to Bulgaria (BRBV)

An exciting tour dedicated to observing wild Brown Bears in their hunting territories, without fences, without human interference and what is most important - in the heart of the most virgin area of the Rodopi Mountains… Viewing Brown Bears is rather thrilling experience as there is no guarantee in nature what will happen and if being on the Bears track would be successful. However for this tour we use local rangers that are fully aware of the behaviour of the Brown Bears and the wildlife in their territory in general. We give 90% guarantee of observing wild Brown Bear if you come during the best period for that: April-May (after the winter hibernation) and October-November (before the winter hibernation).
During summer the chance is smaller as food sources are abundant and bears are difficult to be attracted to certain areas appropriate for viewing from a short distance.
And last but not least this tour gives 100% guarantee of watching the Balkans subspecies of the Chamois - the Balkan Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) as well as another hidden animal - the Capercaillie. Tracking displaying males of Capercaillie in March-April requires very early morning walks in the snow and keeping absolute silence by their displaying grounds. En-route we may see also Hazel Grouse, Wild Boar etc. Wolves are also possible but this is a matter of chance.


Accommodation

We stay overnight in a lodge in double rooms. WC/shower is available on the floor. Fullboard is included (three meals per day; lunches can be made as picnics when outside in the woods). The food will be prepared by the local cook and will include tasty local delicacies.

Kitty Notes

n/a

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival at Sofia Airport and transfer to the lodge in Rodopi Mountains (about 2,5 hrs drive).

Days 2-4

The program includes attempts for watching Brown Bear until the first successful one but at least 2 tries for the short and 3 tries for the longer program. We use hides that are specially arranged for watching Brown Bears, which can accommodate up to 3 people. This is where we spend few hours after sunset or a whole night waiting for the bear to appear, keeping silence all the time. If lucky enough we may enjoy a mother with cubs or solitary males and other nocturnal wildlife too. The bears are usually seen from 15 to 30 meters. However a close-up view is not excluded and this is really something that remains for life.
Attempts for watching Balkan Chamois are also made until we see them.
As the search of Brown Bear is done best at dusk or at dawn, daytime could be spent on many other activities depending on your wish: birdwatching (target species in the area are Black, White-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers, Nutcracker, Hazel Grouse or we can make sessions for listening Tengmalm\'s Owl or if lucky even Pygmy Owl; one-day trips along Maritsa River for Long-legged Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Roler, Masked Shrike, Black-headed Bunting, Woodchat Shrike, Calandra Lark, Isabelline Wheatear, Golden Oriole etc.); hiking (Rodopi Mountains with their rounded hills and loads of trails are perfect for walking excursions); sightseeing (there are numerous cultural and historical sites in the area of the Rodopi Mountains that could be visited as daily trips); horseriding with local breed horses etc. But as the original package is only concentrated on viewing of Brown Bear and Balkan Chamois, birdwatching, horseriding, sightseeing or Caperacillie daily tours are to be paid on the spot in accordance with a standard pricelist. However if you wish to explore the area by yourself on foot the English-speaking guide will be at your disposal at no additional charge.


Day 5

Transfer to Sofia Airport for departure.

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