Serbia has long enjoyed its reputation as a cultural crossroads at the heart of Europe. However, Serbia's natural attractions still remain one of the continent's best-kept secrets. This small, landlocked nation of little more than 100,000 square kilometers boasts an astonishing diversity of habitats: from flooded forest and reed bed swamps to arid steppes and dramatic mountain gorges. A huge variety of wildlife thrives here, making Serbia one of Europe's greatest biodiversity hot spots.
Of particular importance is the northern province of Vojvodina, where many key sites are recognized as areas of international conservation importance. An extensive network of nature reserves ensures that most of these are easily accessible to the visitor. In addition to outstanding bird life, the birdwatchers can enjoy a host of cultural and historical attractions, from castles, museums and monasteries to rural farmsteads and Belgrade's vibrant nightlife. All this is accompanied by a tradition of warmth and hospitality for which Serbia is justly famous.
Birds: 379 bird species have been recorded in Serbia. Of these, 333 occur regularly and 260 breed. Among the breeding species, there are five species of global conservation concern: Ferruginous Duck, Imperial Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Great Bustard and Corncrake. Other Serbian specials include Pygmy Cormorant, Black Stork, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Griffon Vulture, Saker Falcon, Common Crane and Collared Flycatcher. Key sites: Carska Bara (and surrounding fishponds). This well-known bird sanctuary east of Novi Sad is a Important Bird Area and receives special protection as a Ramsar site. 260 species have been recorded here.
The reserve consists of flooded forest with large seasonal pools and extensive reed beds (the largest in Serbia), fringed with willow and poplar woodland. The surrounding fish ponds are the largest in Europe and host significant concentrations of waterbirds. The area can be explored on foot and by boat, and a number of platforms and hides allow views over the pools and reed beds. Birds include: Bittern, Little Bittern, Great White Egret, Squacco Heron, Spoonbill, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, White-tailed Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Water Rail,Corn Crake,Little Crake, Whiskered and Black Terns, Lesser spotted, Middle-spotted and Syrian Woodpeckers, Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Penduline Tit, Bearded Tit, Great Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, River Warbler, Savi's Warbler.
Deliblato Sands and Dubovac Marshes: This unique wilderness comprises 33,000 hectares of steppe and mixed forest growing on the largest area of sand in Europe, once part of a vast prehistoric desert. It is bordered by the Danube, Tamis and Karas rivers. The Deliblato Sands is famed for its high degree of endemism, including many unique plants, reptiles and insects. It is also home to one of the greatest variety of mammals in Europe, with such rarities as European Molerats, Marbled Polecats and at least three packs of Grey Wolves. Dubovac Marshes is a Ramsar area and a section of the Danube flood-plain, situated at the entrance to Ðerdap gorge. Natural forests, wet meadows and marshes and dry grassland are present.
Birds include: Glossy Ibis, Bittern, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, White-tailed Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Goshawk, Saker Falcon, Scops Owl, European Nightjar, Black Woodpecker, European Bee-eater, Hoopoe, European Roller, Wryneck, Sand Martin (up to 18.000 pairs), Tawny Pipit, Red-backed Shrike, Barred Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Northern Wheatear.
Gornje Podunavlje (flooded forest, Upper Danube): This Special Nature Reserve comprises the Serbian portion of an international wetland wilderness that extends over the borders into neighboring Croatia and Hungary. The whole vast complex represents one of the finest birding and wildlife areas in Europe. It comprises oak, willow and poplar forest on alluvial soil with numerous seasonal pools. The forests are famed for their Wild Boar and Red Deer populations, and nearby fish ponds provide an additional attraction for waterfowl. Birds include: Black Stork, Little Bittern, Greylag Goose, Red-crested Pochard, White-tailed Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Marsh Harrier, Saker Falcon, Black Woodpecker, Middle-spotted Woodpecker, Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, Yellow Wagtail, Collared Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Savi's Warbler, River Warbler.
Fantast Castle: Situated close to the Becej fishponds, this secluded retreat lies in Serbia's fertile agricultural heartland. The castle tower provides endless views across a flat landscape of mixed woodland and farmland, and the grounds are home to a variety of woodland species. The stables also house a fine collection of English thoroughbred horses. Birds include: Barn Owl, Long-eared Owl (breeding and large winter roost), Syrian, Great-spotted and Middle-spotted Woodpeckers, Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Icterine Warbler, Corn Bunting.
Ludas Lake: This rich wetland in northern Serbia is a Ramsar protected site, and each year hosts a well-known bird ringing camp. It comprises a natural freshwater lake surrounded by extensive wetlands and reed beds. Birds include: Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, Mediterranean Gull, Corn Crake, Little Crake, Baillon's Crake, Whiskered and Black Terns, Penduline Tit, Bearded Tit, Great Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, River Warbler, Savi's Warbler.
Slano Kopovo: This nature reserve, located in the very center of Vojvodina, is one of the best places in the Pannonian Plain to observe the spectacular annual migration of Common Cranes. It consists of a large saltwater lake, fringed on one shore by extensive reedbeeds and surrounded by an arid region of saline steppe. The region is home to a large number and variety of breeding and visiting waterbirds. Birds Include: Spoonbill, Great Bittern, Garganey, Northern Pintail, Ferruginous Duck, Montagu's Harrier, Saker Falcon, Red-footed Falcon, Common Crane, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted and Common Redshanks, Greenshank, Green and Wood Sandpipers, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Short-eared Owl, Bluethroat, Lesser Grey Shrike, Northern Wheatear.
Fruska Gora: This national park protects a picturesque ridge of hills that extend 78 kilometers west from Novi Sad towards the Croatian border. In prehistoric times the hills were an island in the Pannonian Sea which covered the whole of northern Serbia. They also have a rich cultural history: no fewer than 16 orthodox monasteries are located here, and traditional farmsteads (Salas) provide a hearty welcome to visitors. The hills comprise a variety of habitats, including mixed forest, grazed steppe, farmland and meadows. Birds Include: Imperial Eagle, Goshawk, Honey Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Hobby, Saker Falcon, Wood Lark, Crested Lark, Black, Grey-headed, Syrian and Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, European Bee-eater, Short-toed Treecreeper, Collared Flycatcher, Hawfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Black-headed Bunting.
Climate: Average summer temperatures are around 26°C on the plains and 17°C in the mountains. Summer mid-day temperatures can sometimes reach the thirties – and even forties. What to bring: Comfortable trainers are usually good enough for northern Serbia, but hiking boots are recommended for mountain areas. In summer, short-sleeved shirts and shorts are fine (and a fleece for evenings in the mountains), rain gear is necessary in spring, and sometimes also comes in handy during summer. Binoculars are essential, while a telescope will also be useful. We also recommend a lightweight day pack, while a wide-brimmed hat, water bottle and sunscreen are necessary during summer. For wetland areas, insect repellent is also heartily recommended.
Tour 1: Bird watching and culture.
Day 1: Arrival at the Airport and transfer to Gornje Podunavlje by minibus. Overnight in Apatin.
Day 2: Gornje Podunavlje and Sombor town. Overnight in Apatin.
Day 3: Ludaško lake and Palic lake resort. Overnight at Fantast Castle.
Day 4: Fantast and Becej fishpounds. Overnight at Fantast.
Day 5: Slano Kopovo and Carska bara. Overnight Carska bara.
Day 6: Novi Sad city and Fruska gora. Overnight Novi Sad.
Day 7: Kovacica village (Naive art galleries) and Deliblato Sands. Overnight Dubovac forest lodge.
Day 8: Deliblato Sands and Danube. Overnight Dubovac forest lodge.
Day 9: Belgrade city tour, night life and overnight.
Day 10: Transfer to airport.
Tour 2: Intensive Birding 1.
Day 1: Arrival to airport. Transfer to Apatin town.
Day 2: Gornje Podunavlje and surrounding fishponds.
Day 3: Ludaško lake and saltmarshes; Jazovo fishpond and Mokrin. Overnight Fantast Castle.
Day 4: Becej fishpond, Biserno ostrvo, Slano Kopovo, Melenci. Overnight Carska bara.
Day 5: Carska bara, Titelski breg, Jegricka. Overnight Novi Sad.
Day 6: Fruška gora, Seceranske bare, Obedska bara. Overnight Obedska bara.
Day 7: Deliblato Sands. Overnight Dubovac forest lodge.
Day 8 Deliblato Sands and Labudovo okno. Overnight Dubovac forest lodge.
Day 9: Transfer to Uvac Gorge. Overnight Zlatar mountain.
Day 10: Uvac Gorge. Overnight Zlatar mountain.
Day 11: Ovcarsko-Kablarska Gorge, Kablar mountain. Overnight Kablar mountain.
Day 12: Dragacevo mountain region. Overnight Guca town.
Day 13: Gružansko lake and transfer to Belgrade. Overnight Belgrade.
Day 14: Transfer to airport.
Tour 3: Belgrade City Break plus Birdwatching.
Day 1: Arrive at airport. Transfer to Belgrade. Night out in Belgrade.
Day 2: Morning, sightseeing Belgrade and afternoon, motorboat Danube and Sava river excursion. For dinner, we recommend a choice of famous restaurants in Skadarlija or along the riverside.
Day 3: Full-day excursion: Novi Sad city and Fruška gora – either by minibus or by the historic "Romantika" steam train to Sremski Karlovci town. Visit monasteries, lunch on traditional farmstead, bird watching (possible Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon).
Day 4: Full day excursion to a famous bird reserve: Deliblato Sands, Carska bara pound or Obedska bara pound – according to choice.
Day 5: Transfer to airport.
Tour 4: Intensive Birding 2.
Day 1: Arrival to airport. Transfer to Novi Sad. Short sightseeing of Novi Sad. Overnight in Novi Sad.
Day 2: Zasavica Special Nature Reserve. Fruska Gora Mountain. Sremski Karlovci. Overnight in Novi Sad.
Day 3: Becej fishpond. Carska Bara. Overnight in Ecka.
Day 4: Deliblato Sands. Bela Crkva. Overnight in Bela Crkva.
Day 5: Djerdap canyon. Donji Milanovac. Overnight in Donji Milanovac.
Day 6: National Park Djerdap. Overnight in Donji Milanovac.
Day 7: North Kucaj Mountains. Overnight in Belgrade.
Day 8: Belgrade sightseeing. Overnight in Belgrade.
Day 9: Transfer to the airport.
Note: We can also organize weekend birdwatching tours on request (depending on species, locations, number of days, etc.).
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