Bird-watching and Bear Watching tour in Romania
10 DAYS– Bird-watching and Bear Watching tour in Romania covering the Carpathian Mountains, the Danube Delta, the steppes of Dobrogea and the Black Sea shore. This is our best selling tour for many years as it covers many habitats from the mountains to the sea.
Prices start at 1590 EUR
ABOUT THIS HOLIDAY
- Tour starts and finishes in Bucharest airport
- Evening Bear watching in the Carpathian Mountains, Wolf
andLynx also possible.
- Hiking the gorges of Piatra Craiului
Park in search of Wallcreepers. Natioanal
- Explore the most important wetland of Europe – the Danube Delta on board a floating hotel – 4 nights
- Large numbers of pelicans, herons, Pygmy Cormorant
- Bird-watching the Black Sea lagoons for a wide variety of migrating waders, warblers and other species heading south or north depending on
- Levant Sparrowhawk and Long-legged Buzzard in Macin National Park.
On this 3-center holiday, we’ll explore the contrasting landscapes of Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, Black Sea Coast, lagoons and Danube Delta. Beginning in Transylvania, we’ll search the rocky peaks and dense spruce forests of the Carpathians for birds such as Wallcreeper, flowers and Brown Bears. Next, we head to the Danube Delta – a wetland area larger than Coto Donana and the Camargue combined. From the comfort of our floating hotel, we’ll explore a maze of channels and lakes,
Day 1 - Fly to Bucharest and drvie to Zarnesti
The Bear watchig and birdwatching tour will start in Bucharest airport. Transfer from the airport, approximately 3.5 hrs to Brasov and in the evening, welcome party at Pension Elena in Zarnesti a small town 20 km from Brasov.
Day 2-3 - Zarnesti
This dramatic park is dominated by a 25 kilometer jagged limestone ridge, widely regarded as one of Romania’s most beautiful sights, which reaches a height of 2,244 meters. Brown Bears, Wolf and even Lynx still roam the forests whilst, to date, 110 species of bird and 1,100 species of higher plant have been recorded, including 2 endemics. There are many spectacular and wildlife rich areas to explore. The lower slopes are cut by a series of dramatic limestone gorges, such as the Zarnesti Gorge, home to Wallcreepers (can be secretive in the summer), Dippers, Grey Wagtails and Black Redstarts, whilst the surrounding forests are also the haunt of Lesser Spotted Eagle, Goshawk, Sombre Tit, Black, Middlespotted and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, plus the majestic, but very elusive, Ural Owl. There is also much to keep the botanist and lepidopterist interested including a colourful variety of butterflies such as Swallowtail, Freyer’s Purple Emperor, Camberwell Beauty, Berger’s Clouded Yellow and Meadow Fritillary.
We are also sure to pass Castle Bran during our time in the Carpathians, the much disputed residence of ‘Vlad the Impaler’ on whom the legend of Count Dracula is based.
Then, as the sun lowers, we will offer the option to visit a specially constructed bear watching hide deep in the forests to look for Brown Bears (approximately 1 hour from Zarnesti). Wolves and Lynx are rarely seen, but the Brown Bears frequently descend from the hills in the evening and, whilst nothing is certain in the world of wildlife watching, we have a good chance of finding one or more of these magnificent creatures. Indeed, Romania still holds the
largest population of Brown Bears on the continent and whilst they are not faring so well in other regions of Europe, in the Carpathians they are flourishing!
NB – the cost of the bear watching is not included in the tour price. It is likely to be in the region of £25 per person (payable in Euros) and payable locally.
Day 4 - Zarnesti - Tulcea
For various reasons it is best, and easiest, to bird the Romanian part of the Delta. It is in our opinion Europe’s greatest wetland for birds and birding whether one considers size, species present or sheer numbers of birds.
The facts speak for themselves… the Danube Delta lies at the end of the 2,840 km long River Danube. The Danube rises in Germany’s Black Forest and ends, after passing through the enormous filter of the Delta, by flowing into the Black Sea off Romania. This mighty river passes through ten countries and four capital cities (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade) on the way. In 1990 the Danube Delta was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which covers some 5,800 km square comprising as it does the Delta proper and the lagoons and other habitats immediately to the south along the Black Sea coastline.
Upon arrival we board our house-boat.
Day 5-7- Danube Delta cruise on floating hotel
The day-to-day itinerary shown here should be considered as an only an example of what we might do; as local conditions (e.g. weather, water depth in the channels) will determine our exact course. The Delta is incredibly rich in breeding birds, and the outline given below is merely a sampler; no doubt we will encounter additional surprises.
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 pontoon boat and a small motorboat. The Sulina channel or branch that runs past Tulcea is wide and straight to facilitate shipping down the Danube and through to the Black Sea, so we shall aim to get access to the smaller, less disturbed channels where bird life is more abundant. Typical sights include feeding Glossy Ibis, egrets, herons, and cormorants, which can gather in impressive numbers where the water levels are low. Large flocks of White Pelicans glide serenely overhead whilst in the shallower channels Kingfishers are ubiquitous and Common Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers and Greenshanks feed along the banks. The reeds fringing the waterways contain families of Penduline Tits and other reed bed species (including Little Bittern), although the smaller birds can be very hard to see at this time of year. Raptors will include frequent sightings of Marsh Harriers whilst the Red-footed Falcons will be seen in small groups hunting insects. The White-tailed Eagles are very quiet in the summer, but there is always a chance of locating one of the ten breeding pairs.
Lake Furtuna, which is one of the large lakes, lies just to the north of Maliuc, in the heart of the delta. We will visit this site as, at this time of the year, it can hold an impressive selection of birds making it a bird-watching paradise. Migrating waterfowl and waders mingle with resident species and White Pelicans often gather in huge numbers to feed and roost. We shall also undertake short walks on land where willow forest yield further species of interest.
In open areas Bee-eaters, Hoopoes, Rollers and shrikes are very common. The woodlands support five species of woodpecker. The life style of the delta’s residents is also fascinating to see, with waterborne transport the only viable way of getting around and fishing the predominant source of income.
A visit to the delta is an unforgettable experience in every aspect.
Day 8 - Tulcea - Macin national Park
In the afternoon we shall reach the Macin Mountains, a line of low hills rising to about 400 metres. This is an area of poor grassland with rocky outcrops and wooded slopes leading to cliffs and crags higher up the hillside. We shall go bird-watching here for the Pied Wheatear and Rock Thrush and perhaps even an Isabelline Wheatear, keeping a watchful eye open for Stone Curlew and the rare Saker Falcon. We will drive back to Tulcea in the early evening and spend the last two nights of our tour in a comfortable hotel .
Day 9 - Tulcea - Babadag - Black Sea coast
In the afternoon we head further south to Vadu which contains an extensive area of lagoons just behind the coast linked to a
Day 10 - Tulcea - Bucharest
Activity level grade A
4 stars Floating Hotel.
Sura Sasilor – Vulcan – Brasov.
Single room policy
This trip offers single room occupancy for 380 €. On some occasions the availability of singles on the floating hotels has to be confirmed.
2023 Dates and prices - minimum 13 pers/group
21st June – 30th June – 1590 €
29th July – 7th August – 1590 €
13th September – 22nd September – 1590 €
2024 Dates and prices minimum 13 pers/group
15th June – 24th June – 1590 €
31st July – 9th August – 1590 €
05th September – 14th September – 1590 €
Included - Land only price
Accommodation, transfers, full board, day trips by minibus and boat, guide.
Why IBIS TOURS?
We believe no two holidays should be the same and a human touch can make all the difference.
We take the time to get to know you so we can help you plan an unforgettable holiday.