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ROMANIA PHOTO TOURS > Brown Bear Hide-photography Tour (5 days)
Carpathian Brown Bear photography in Transylvania

Transylvania is a fascinating place within the Carpathian Basin with its varied habitats and it is also one of the last strongholds for bears in Europe. The estimated population is around 4000-5000 individuals! This is a fantastic tour to photograph the Carpathian Brown Bear from our specially-built hide network in the mighty Hargita Mountains where about 350 of these wild creatures still live.

Fixed dates but also available upon request
Recommended period between 1st of May to 15th September

4 – 8 September 2017 – FULL

5 days (4 nights)

We have three full days for photography allowing plenty of chances to have an intimate insight of the private life of these large mammals. We have three different hides with different surroundings but our actual usage of hides depends on the current bear activity. It is possible to use a different hide every day but this is all subject of discussion with the guide on the first evening when up-to-date information will be available.

Day 1 The tour begins at Bucharest, from where we will transfer to Zetelaka (Zetea) at the base of the Hargita Mountains. The Hargita area is primarily inhabited by Székely Hungarians. Upon arrival we will have a discussion of plans for the next three days. The local forester will supply us with all necessary information about the bear activity.

Days 2 - 4 We will have three full days of photography. This will allow us to have ample opportunities for Brown Bears. We will have two photo sessions daily and it is optional if somebody want to devote all time for bears or take some other excursions too. The optional excursions are not hide based photography. We only have hides for the bears on this tour.

Possible optional excursions:

  1. Visit to Békás Gorge (Bicaz) which is one of the most beautiful and scenic of all Carpathian gorges, and well worth seeing in its own right, its dramatic limestone cliffs also host the region’s biggest population of Wallcreepers. In many parts of Europe, finding these unique, crimson-winged birds requires considerable walking and climbing so it is quite a luxury here to be able to drive right into the heart of their domain. Often they allow close approach for photography but in March they might not be present if the weather conditions are still wintry.

  2. Visit to Szentpál (Sanpaul) fishponds which is located along a superb migratory route and we shall experience a great early spring migration. This tiny fishpond system boasts an impressive bird list of over 250 species! Past visits have produced plenty of regular migrants and a wide range of scarce and exciting birds like Lesser Spotted Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Marsh Sandpiper, Great Snipe and Red-throated Pipit.

  3. Visit some deciduous or coniferous woodlands to see woodpeckers and if we are lucky Ural Owl. We have several nest-boxes for these shy creatures and if it is a good breeding season with owls using our boxes we have good opportunities for photography.

Day 5 After early morning photography (depending on flight times) we will return to Bucharest where the tour will end. For more information (about the hides, comfort, hide technical information, bears, bird species) visit our hides menu item or contact us!

Our daily routine is variable. Normally the bear hides are occupied around noon and photographers stay there until dusk (6-7 hours). We have three different optional excursions for the mornings but if somebody want to devote the time for the bears it is also possible. The morning sessions in the bear hides would be from 05:00–11:00.

Recommended equipment:
We suggest that you bring along lenses which range from 200mm to 500mm but wide angle lens can be good for landscape photography.

Expected number of birds species photographed on this tour:
Brown Bear; if additional excursion taken up to 5-15 species of birds.

What to bring:
torch, binocular, tripod, proper clothing

Accommodation & Road Transport:
Our accommodation is in the closest available good quality pension to the bear hides to minimize travel. The hotel has en-suite facilities. Transfer from airport is in minivan while road transport is by minivan or car (4x4 if required) depending on weather conditions and group size.

The walking effort is minimized for short uphill walks to some of the bear hides. Some hides can be reached by car but no more than 300 meter walk to any of the bear hides. On the various excursions the walking effort is easy to moderate.

In March-April we have variable Spring weather. In March snow is still possible on the ground and can even fall from sky. In April it is less likely to encounter snow at our hides. Daytime temperature can range from -5C to 20C from late March to late April.

Group size and prices:
The minimum group size is 2 photographers
The maximum group size is 6 photographers
Tour price is 880 euro/person
This price is based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is 72 euro/person

Deposit: 400 euro (due with booking)
As soon as you fill out a booking form we will send you a deposit invoice and information of the final payment.

Booking conditions

The price includes:
Bucharest-to-Bucharest all inclusive
The use of our unique bear hide system
All transportation throughout the tour
All meals
All accommodation
All entrance fees
Local guides

The price excludes:
International flight to Bucharest
Alcoholic drinks
Services of personal nature (telephone calls, laundry etc.)
Tips to guides

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