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.
Guaranteed departures: Every day from April to November.
Best dates according to the Lunar calendar:
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); horse-riding with local breed horses etc. But as the original package is only concentrated on viewing of Brown Bear and Balkan Chamois, birdwatching, horse-riding, sightseeing or Caperacillie daily tours are to be paid on the spot in accordance with a standard price list. 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.
Accommodation: We stay 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.
Extensions: This is a unique proposal, which gives you the opportunity to stay in Bulgaria for one week more at the incredibly low price! We can offer a great variety of means of accommodation - from home stays (no meals) to 2, 3 and 4-star hotels (BB or HB) on the Southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast:
- Sunny Beach - a big modern resort with hundreds of hotels, cafes, pubs, casinos, water-sports facilities etc.
- Nessebar, Sozopol - small towns (founded by the ancient Greeks) with picturesque Old Quarters and a specific atmosphere.
- Lozenetz - a peaceful small village with a beautiful beach. Only 4-5 km from the forests of the Strandzha Mountains where you can go walking, biking or riding horses.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Bulgaria Nature & Wildlife Wildlife Viewing Ecotourism
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