Montenegro Wildlife & Birding Tours
Monticola is the only specialist company offering birding and wildlife tours in Montenegro.
Montenegro is a small country in southeast Europe, measuring just 13,812 km² and with a population of only 620,000, located in the western Balkans and on the Adriatic coast. It is a country of high mountains, deep canyons, karstic fields, long sandy beaches, dense forests, and clear rivers and mountain lakes.
There are 351 bird species registered in the country, which is 65% of the 533 bird species in Europe. The density index of breeding species in Montenegro is 0.563 – significantly above the Balkans average of 0.435. This is thanks to the amazing diversity of habitats, from the seacoast, across the salinas, freshwater lakes, semi-steppes, canyons, dense forests, mountain plateaus and mountain peaks. Also, Montenegro is located on one of the four most important corridors for birds in the region: the Adriatic Flyway, through which millions of birds migrate from Europe to Africa.
The country has five IBAs – Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas – measuring 94,827 hectares in total. Also, according to the data collected during the implementation of the Establishment of Natura 2000 Network, 33 areas have been identified as potential Special Protection Areas.
Monticola also organises ecotourism activities in surrounding countries, led by knowledgeable and experienced guides who are passionate about nature and love to introduce guests to their country and its wildlife. By supporting local economies and preserving the environment, we believe that eco-friendly tourism can help improve the lives of people in the places where people live, as well as raise awareness about the need to protect nature.
Center for Protection and Research of Birds (CZIP)
Monticola is owned by a non-profit organisation, the Center for Protection and Research of Birds (CZIP). All the money from our tours goes towards protecting Montenegro’s biodiversity and the environment, focusing on the conservation of birds and nature. It also funds our programmes to educate people, promote scientific research and work with other groups that protect nature. Our ultimate goal is to bring people and nature together and make sure that resources are used in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.
CZIP is a member of several networks and has signed agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Tourism and Sustainable Development, the Saltworks ‘Bajo Sekuli in Ulcinj, the TO Ulcinj, the Office for Sustainable Development, the Municipality of Pluine, and the Municipality of Tivat. CZIP is also a member of the IUCN and BirdLife International.
In 2013, we received the Green Star award from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Aarhus Centers of Montenegro and the Organization for Security and Co-operation.
Our Expert Team:
Zoran Popović, Mountain and Tour Guide
Zoran was introduced to nature through mountaineering at a very young age and that love has only grown stronger as time has passed. He studied in Kotor, a World Heritage Site, where he was awarded a Master of Science degree in Tourism. During his studies, he also obtained a tour guide license and has enjoyed escorting guests from various countries ever since. He is passionate about nature, discovering new places and learning new things, and he loves to share his experise. Zoran has been guiding tours in Montenegro as a licensed mountain and tour guide for more than a decade.
Bojan Zeković, Ornithologist
As a child, Bojan spent summer vacations in the countryside with his grandparents. Surrounded by preserved nature, traditional agriculture and stories from the wilderness, his interest and love for nature intensified. He began specialising in birds during his studies and, after graduation, he started volunteering for CZIP and later became a full-time employee, where he got the opportunity to explore many hidden corners of the country, working as an ornithologist in the field research and conservation of ornithofauna. He is also a member of the team working on establishing the Natura 2000 network of protected areas in Montenegro.
Jovana Drobnjak, Ornithologist
Jovana is a full-time employee of CZIP, where she works on field research and the conservation of ornithofauna. She studied Biology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Podgorica and she is currently working on her master’s thesis. During her studies, she participated in several bird ringing camps, both in Montenegro and abroad. She is very passionate about nature and takes every opportunity to explore it and actively participate in its conservation. With a background like this, it was obvious that she should be part of the Monticola team.
Marija Šoškić, Ornithologist
Marija was born in Montenegro and grew up in the mountainous north of the country. She spent most of her childhood exploring the natural wonders of her home mountain Zeletin with her father. During her studies, she became more active in mountaineering and began to explore other regions of Montenegro. Marija is also a passionate photographer and loves to capture all that nature has to offer. She is currently working on establishing the Natura 2000 network of protected areas in Montenegro. Marija is a full-time member of the CZIP staff, where she works in field research and the conservation of ornithofauna.
Nikola Novović, Ornithologist
Nikola was born and raised in Podgorica, where he now lives and works. Since early childhood, he showed affection for nature, going on to study Biology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. He developed an interest in birds during his studies, and became a volunteer at bird ringing camps in Montenegro and abroad. He takes every opportunity to improve his knowledge, explore the wildlife of his country and actively participate in its conservation. Nikola is fully employed at CZIP, working in field research and conservation of ornithofauna.
Igor grew up in the countryside and is passionate about using plants and mushrooms, in the preparation of traditional dishes, so to have him as your travel companion is a real treat. As a full-time staff member of CZIP, Igor has been involved in projects such as the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme, Brown Bear Population Researchand many more, all related to nature conservation. Igor has been guiding hiking tours in Montenegro for more than two decades, so he knows the country like the back of his hand and loves to share his passion for nature with others.
Monticola Limited legally operates under License No. 594, issued by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro.
We offer specially catered, high-quality birding tours, and different types of ecotourism activities in Montenegro and the surrounding countries, led by knowledgeable and experienced guides, passionate nature lovers. We cooperate with local tourism stakeholders, all with the aim to provide you with an authentic experience while supporting the local economy. We believe that environment-friendly tourism can help to improve the life of local communities, as well as raise awareness of the importance of nature conservation.
When planning our tours, we prefer to choose authentic small-scale accommodation that is run by local people, and that reflects the local nature and culture. As nature lovers ourselves, we choose accommodation with a minimum impact on our destination, since we strongly believe that environment-friendly tourism can indeed raise awareness of the importance of nature conservation. In order to add to the experience of birdwatching, we focus on unique types of accommodation which are clean and provide good meals and good beds. We are well aware that authenticity plays a major role when it comes to creating unique, meaningful experiences that our clients desire, and Montenegro has great natural and cultural resources to offer such experiences.
Monticola Ltd. is owned by Center for Protection and Research of Birds (CZIP), BirdLife partner in Montenegro. This means that the entire profits of the company flow into bird and nature conservation. This model enables the development of strong local ecotourism operators and a funding-generating mechanism for BirdLife partners. By taking part in tours we organize, you support environmental conservation activities run by CZIP.
Center for Protection and Research of Birds (CZIP) is an NGO that was founded in 2000 by a group of passionate ornithologists from the Institute for Nature Protection, Natural History Museum, National Parks, and students of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The mission of CZIP is to protect birds and other animal and plant species, their habitats, to monitor the biodiversity of Montenegro, to educate citizens, to popularise and promote scientific research, as well as to cooperate with other organizations involved in nature protection.
Our ultimate goal is to achieve harmony between people and nature as well as development based on the principles of the sustainable use of resources. Over the years we successfully implemented a vast number of environment-related projects, and for that, we received the Green Star in 2013, an award for public engagement and completed projects given by the Environmental Protection Agency, Aarhus Centres of Montenegro, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – OSCE. In 2019, CZIP was honored by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) for the affirmation of human rights and civic activism on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival Montenegro, for the protection of the Ulcinj Salina. CZIP is a member of several NGO networks. We are very proud that the Center for Protection and Research of Birds is the BirdLife International partner in Montenegro and a member of IUCN, two global leaders in nature conservation.
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