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Hungary Birding & Wildlife Tour, Kondor Ecolodge - 8 Days

Hungary Birding & Wildlife Tour, Kondor Ecolodge
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Kondor Ecolodge Wildlife & Birdwatching Tour in Hungary

An 8-Day Hungary Birding & Wildlife tour that offers a special, unique place as a base to stay to discover the colourful birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, dragonflies, wildflowers and other natural values of the Westernmost edge of the steppe habitat, the famous "Hungarian Puszta". Traditional thatched-roofed houses with en-suite rooms, home-made food, wine cellar, tranquil forest and garden with attractive species make Kondor EcoLodge a perfect base for great birdwatching in Hungary.

We are located just one hour drive from Budapest, the capital city of Hungary still in the middle of the Kiskunsag National Park which protects a huge variety of habitats from orchid rich grassland through alkaline lakes, riverine forests, oxbow lakes, channels and all these bordered by the 2 largest rivers, River Danube and River Tisza.

We run this Hungary birding and wildlife tour with a concept of alternating the days spent locally and other days venture out to different corners of the protected area. Still, the maximum driving distance is just about an hour.

A friendly, relaxing atmosphere and professional guiding are guaranteed by a guide-couple who lives and guides half year here in Hungary and other Eastern European destinations, another half year in Latin America! Surely once you visit this place you definitely want to return soon!

Top highlights

  • The most colourful birds of Europe are all around in good numbers including European Bee-eaters, Eurasian Hoopoes, European Rollers, Golden Orioles
  • Visiting a huge oxbow lake of River Tisza with a large number of attractive bird species
  • Walking through flower-rich meadows visited by localized butterfly species
  • Evening walks to find Nightjar, Scops, Tawny and Little Owl
  • Visiting channels, alkaline lakes, ponds and rivers for various dragonflies & special birds like Penduline Tit, Bearded Tit, Moustached Warbler, Ferruginous Duck, Squacco Heron, Purple heron and many more
  • Sitting in specially designed Bird & Wildlife watching and photography hides eye-level at ponds with wildlife
  • Watching East European raptor specialities such as Saker Falcon, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Red-footed Falcon and many more
  • Sipping your coffee, tee or a famous Hungarian wine during an evening Moth trapping session where you can see a wide variety of species

Official Information and Business Report of Ecotours-Kondor EcoLodge

Alternative Tour Name: Birding & Wildlife tour at Kondor Ecolodge, Hungary
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival and Orientation

After arrival to Budapest Airport we can start either with a quick 1-1,5-hour-long transfer to Kondor EcoLodge or start to travel through the upper part of the Kiskunsag National Park checking out habitats and finding the first birds, perhaps even Great Bustards.

We arrive to our home, the charming Kondor Ecolodge late afternoon, depending also on arrival time of your flights. If time permits we show you the first garden species and you can also try one of our garden photography and wildlife watching hides.

Every evening we discuss what we plan to do next day. Please note that the following itinerary is a sample, depending on the interest of the group, local weather and birdnews we can exchange the order of the days.

Day 2
Day 2 - Discovering Birds and Wildlife at and in the vicinity of Kondor Ecolodge

We spend a full day concentrating on local birds, leisurely discovering the wildlife surrounding us. The small ponds in the garden are teeming with wildlife with several species of frogs, snakes, pond terrapins and a wide variety of dragonflies among the waterlilies. Various resident woodpeckers in or nearby the garden include Lesser and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck and Green Woodpecker, but even Black Woodpecker is possible. Most of the above-mentioned species are at or around the garden, but with different walks, we can find many more interesting things around even without using a vehicle!

The air is full with thrills and songs of nesting Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Swallows, Chiffchaffs, Black Redstarts, Stonechats, Blackcaps, Mistle Thrushes, Willow Warblers. Tree Sparrow and Common Redstart is also a possibility, both are breeding species in the garden. You won’t be bored by the flute of Golden Orioles or bubbling sounds of Bee-eaters or female Cuckoos around. Trails and rural, sandy dirt-roads meander through a flat area dotted by small forest patches, grasslands and a lake. Our first butterflies would be Chestnut Heath, Little Blue, Knapweed Fritillary, Silver-studded Blues and Queen of Spain Fritillary. We should also notice small groups of European Souslik, a tiny mammal resembles of ground squirrels.

The surrounding area is very good for Europen Rollers and European Bee-eaters, in fact, they are one of the most common birds around! We have the largest, densest Central European population of European Roller around our Kondor Ecolodge. Almost all of them nesting in one of the nestboxes out of more than 400 what our friends and us put out in the region during the years. Some of them made out of tree-trunks providing a perfect natural setting for photography.

Most of the European Bee-eaters in our area nesting alongside sandy roads, not in large sand walls. Nearby Syrian & Black Woodpecker is around & Turtle Dove occurs as well. We should find Tawny Pipit, Red-backed & Lesser Grey Shrike as well. Eurasian Hoopoe, Tree Pipit, Corn Bunting, Whinchat, Nightingale, Crested Lark and Yellow Wagtail all has good populations here as well. It is not uncommon to hear and see Hawfinch, Garden Warbler, Linnet or Spotted Flycatcher either. The nearby extensive sand dunes covered with different Stipa species in the central part of the National Park are ideal for Wood Lark populations. Back in the garden at the ponds we can search several dragonfly species such as Four-spotted Chaser, Dainty Damselfly, White-legged Damselfly, Lesser Emperor and Broad Scarlet/Scarlet Darter.

Day 3
Day 3 - Upper Kiskunsag National Park - Great Bustard, Eagles & Falcons plus more

Today we venture out making a driving-walking full-day discovery at excellent habitats of the Northern part of the Kiskunsag National Park. We have excellent local knowledge regarding where to find different sought-after species with a good chance to be able to observe by each member of the group.Kiskunsag grassland is the typical habitat for Great Bustard with the largest population not just in Hungary, but second largest in all Europe as well! Today we travel to the grassland area where we have a good chance of enjoying the view of the enormous males which is quite an unforgettable experience! We also will look around from the top of an ancient man-made hill to check a perfect hunting area for some great raptors such as Eastern Imperial Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, Saker Falcon or Booted Eagle.

It is also a butterfly-rich area where we look for Adonis Blue, Lesser Spotted Fritillary, Swallowtail, Eastern Bath White and Safflower Skipper among others, but even Large Copper is possible. Certain bird species adapted to the agricultural fields and nest at the edge of these areas. Long-eared and Little Owl usually can be found at farmhouses.

During the way, we will stop at a large, fantastic colony of European Bee-eaters which gives a different feeling and possibility to observe them than yesterday. Not too far we can also search for Collared Pratincole. With a short detour, we visit a fishpond system where from a lookout tower we can check the birds around us. Some of the species we hope to see here: Avocet, Redshank, Black Winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Pygmy Cormorant, Black-necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill, Common Snipe, Little Bittern and European Kingfisher. It is also a good site to find Bearded Tit or even a stunning Bluethroat. One of our last stops will be at an attractive Red-footed Falcon colony which offers very good photography possibility even if you have just a small camera. White Stork has a huge nest here as well.

Finally, we return to Kondor Ecolodge and prepare for a tasty homemade dinner.

Day 4
Day 4 - Central Kiskunsag National Park - channels and alkaline lakes plus Saker Falcon

Before breakfast, you can discover a nearby meadow bordered by poplar trees, the favourite place of Golden Orioles and Eurasian Rollers. Butterflies can include Eastern Bath White, Cardinal and different Blues. In the garden, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Short-toed Treecreeper can show up. After a full breakfast, we drive out West, perhaps stopping alongside the road for a perched Little Owl and then continue towards a channel with some small fishponds and gallery forest.

This is a perfect place for various dragonflies so we can compare Scarce Chaser, Black-tailed and White-tailed Skimmers. There should be a lot of White-legged Damselflies and a few Four-spotted Chasers as well. Another highlight here the beautiful Norfolk Hawker. Black-crowned Night Heron will be perhaps new during the tour here and we will have a second chance for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker again. It is not an extremely rich area for butterflies but there should be some, like Short-tailed Blue or Clouded Yellow. But if we can find a Lesser Purple Emperor than it will definitely steal the show. If it will be a sunny day as usual then we should see several sunbathing Pond Terrapins and perhaps Grass Snake as well.

Another stunning dragonfly to find is Lesser Emperor patrolling its stretch of water. This is also an area where we can watch Penduline Tits moving around willow trees. By this time of the year their sophisticated fine nests hanging down like a Weaver nest. We should hear both Icterine Warbler and Nightingale. With some patience and good eyes sooner or later we should have excellent views of both. The softwoods offer easy nesting possibility of Black Woodpecker which would be hard to miss if it is around.

We can have a break with visiting facilities nearby and then continue on a hidden road to an enormous area of alkaline lakes and vast grasslands. Depending when we arrive here we can start with a picnic in the middle of this gorgeous area sheltered from the sun. There is also a tower hide which gives panoramic views to find Avocets, Shelducks, Spoonbills, some ducks, geese and shorebirds. This is also the site of the very localized Dark Spreadwing damselfly. Some years Stone Curlews nest nearby and occasionally possible to see Eastern Imperial Eagle around as well. Some of the ponds can be dry by this time of year but where there is still water it should be good for several species like Black-winged Stilt, Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover and very rarely even Kentish Plover. At the reedbeds apart from the usual stuff such as Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Great Reed Warbler there is a chance to find even Bluethroat. We allowed time to investigate another colony of Red-footed Falcons, enjoy good views of Kestrels and Rollers as well. If it is a hot day then we can return to the café for a cold drink or an ice creams before we continue. It worth to check the nearby meadow which is a reliable site for Large Copper and for different dragonflies such as Scarlet Darter, White-tailed Skimmer, Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Worth to check the sky as well for raptors and/or for a Black Stork.

Finally, we can finish the day by visiting an agricultural land on a dirt road where a pair of Saker Falcons hunt and feed their juvenile offsprings. By this time of the day, we hope not too much heat haze so we can have superb views with some luck through the scopes. Saker Falcon is not just one of Europe’s most sought-after raptors but it is a sacred bird of Hungarians. Will be happy to tell you the story why! :-) This evening we can arrange an early dinner so after that timing would be perfect for a short stroll from Kondor Ecolodge to a large clearing. Around 8.30-8.45 we should hear the first Nightjars churring. Males are usually very active and if we are lucky one of them will perch on an open branch so we can put the scope on it.

Day 5
Day 5 - Eastern Kiskunsag National Park - Oxbow Lakes of River Tisza & its old Floodplain Forests

Today after breakfast we drive about 1 hour to East to the floodplains of River Tisza and its several oxbow lakes which are also perfect birding spots. Alongside the river and its oxbow lakes, we will visit a so-called “gallery forest” or riparian forest where the old trees provide a perfect Woodpecker Paradise. We should find Lesser, Middle, Great Spotted Woodpecker, but will look for Grey-headed & Black Woodpecker as well. The forest is a nesting site for Black Storks and Tawny Owls as well.

Later we visit another nearby site where we will look down from the top of an ancient earth-fortress to the surrounding vast area with meandering oxbow lakes full of birds. It is a paradise for Great White & Little Egret, Great & Pygmy Cormorant, Black-necked & Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Spoonbill, Common Snipe, Kingfisher and of course plenty of ducks, including Ferruginous Duck, Shoveler, Garganey. We always see a couple of raptors hunting around, sometimes even White-tailed Eagle or Saker Falcon. With a short walk, we can visit the edge of a little lake and a marshy area. We have a good chance here for Penduline Tit, Bearded Reedling, Great Reed Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Sedge and Reed Warbler. Night Heron and Kingfisher is usually here as well. If we still have time we might visit another, smaller oxbow lake which offers a second chance for closer views of some of the above mentioned species. Plus the gardens of weekend houses are perfect habitats for Wryneck & Syrian Woodpecker.

Day 6
Day 6 - Central Kiskunsag National Park - Wet and dry grasslands at Kunpuszta & Kunpeszer

We can spend the morning leisurely on a trail close to Kondor Ecolodge and find some new butterflies such as Map Butterfly, Oberthür’s Grizzled Skipper, Niobe Fritillary or Azure Damselfly and Emperor Dragonfly. A Short-toed Snake Eagle can turn up and sing of a Tree Pipit can be heard.

Today we do a smaller, more local circle first going through the nearby fields full with European Bee-eaters and Rollers. Here we also can add Northern Wheatear, Tawny Pipit, Whinchat, Stonechat, European Cuckoo and hopefully Montague's Harrier. After this cross-country excursion, we arrive at a proper road, travel a few minutes and then stroll along a trail. This walk was designed to be representative of the variety of dry and wet woodland of the Kiskunsag. It is a good place to find singing Nightingale, Chiffchaff and sometimes even River and Grasshopper Warbler. Various other species should represent another type of wildlife like Wood White, Eastern Green Lizard, Lesser Purple Emperor and Swallowtail. At the more open meadow ‘Blue-headed’ Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat, Whinchat is quite common. It is a perfect area for Montague's Harrier as well. This is also an area where we can add new butterflies to the list such as Eastern Baton and Green-underside Blues or Glanville Fritillary. It is hard to miss here Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike and Savi's Warbler. Sometimes we are lucky to find Barred Warbler or Marsh Warbler here as well.

We will break the day with a picnic lunch and also visit a cafe to use the facilities and you can get a cold drink or an ice cream as well. The local pond held a range of common dragonflies including Emperors, as well as Edible Frogs. From here we continue to a dry area where with our Czech friends several years ago we installed a huge nesting platform for raptors. The very next year it was occupied by a pair of White-tailed Eagles which breed successfully here each year since then.

Butterflies here include Swallowtail, Cardinal, Safflower Skippers and perhaps White-letter Hairstreak. On the way back we stop at a ‘Transylvanian Gate’ at the entrance of a private property where we explain the significance of it and the connection with history. It is also a place where horses and Great Grey Hungarian Cattle come down to drink from a waterhole which also visited by Turtle Doves.

Depending on how much time we left from the day we might do a detour to Bösztörpuszta. Here from a tower hide, we can see a huge grassland area. There are a number of very attractive species possible to glimpse from here including Eastern Imperial Eagle, Great Bustard or Saker Falcon. Montagu’s Harrier, Stone Curlew and Little Owl is another possibility. Once we also found a very rare bird for us, a Long-legged Buzzard.

Finally, after a wonderfully varied day with a rich variety of wildlife, we return home to our base at Kondor Ecolodge.

Day 7
Day 7 - Central Kiskunsag National Park - Lake Kolon & Solt Plain

After breakfast, we do a journey to Lake Kolon which is less than 20 miles away but the last few miles are on sandy roads.

At the lake, we board a silent electric boat and spend about 90 minutes slowly touring the lake. We can see Great Reed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and with some luck even the flagship species of the area, Moustached Warbler. There are always some Whiskered Terns around plus small groups of Pygmy Cormorants sit in a dead tree. We might have a close view of Squacco Herons as well.

The variety and number of dragonflies can be staggering and we surely will have a good number of one of the highlights, Large White-faced Darter. Another speciality, Yellow-spotted Emerald should be around as well and perhaps we find Scarlet

Darter as well. No wonder quite regularly we see Hobby catching dragonflies nearby.

After the boat trip, we drive to a tower hide and screen/blind, both of which provide a vista across the reeds and an area of open water. This is a good place for watching up close Ferruginous Duck, Pygmy Cormorant, Little Grebe, Squacco Heron and sometimes even one of the Crakes or a Water Rail. Sometimes we have Black Woodpecker and Syrian Woodpecker here as well.

Butterflies include Silver-washed Fritillary, Cardinal, Swallowtail and Short-tailed Blue. You can find a Southern Darter here or compare Azure and Variable Damselflies as well. During the hottest part of the day, we stop at a place for a picnic where we can also buy drinks and ice creams. Later on, we drive further and our next stop will be at the Solti Sík, a large undisturbed area of grassland. From a bridge, we can watch Banded Demoiselles. Quite regularly we see Little Bittern and Great Reed Warbler here as well. But the main highlight here to visit a tower hide from where there is a good chance to see Great Bustards. Also, there are always several occupied semiopen nestboxes with Common Kestrels and Red-footed Falcons eye level. So that gives a good chance to witness feeding and even take photos.

We return to our base and soon prepare for the farewell dinner. We hope that you will remember not just the birds and the various members of different wildlife, but also the tasty food and fine hospitality during the whole week.

Day 8
Day 8 - Around Kondor Ecolodge till Departure

After the final breakfast together depending on your flight schedule we can spend some time in the vicinity of Kondor Ecolodge.

One of the trails heads towards an area where, in the past, a lake had formed, Lake Kondor, historically one of the major wetlands in the Kiskunság. In most recent years it has, unfortunately, been dry. When we started birding as a child in the middle of this lake once surrounded by huge reedbed was a little island with the most famous bird ringing/banding centre which was possible to rich just by rowing a boat. Now it is still possible to see the signs that it is a strictly protected area but in reality, it serves just as a cow field. Still, there are Rollers, Bee-eaters and Red-backed Shrikes around. Butterflies include Knapweed Fritillary, Green-underside Blue and Cardinal.

Just feet away from the lodge's entrance there are several specimens of an endemic Orchid, Epipactis bugacensis. If the previous evening was suitable and there was significant interest in running a moth trap than we also can check today the result of it.

There is always a large number of species around and the huge professional trap is always completely full with thousands of individuals. So there is no way we can ID most of them but surely will try at least the most characteristic ones such as Poplar and Small Elephant Hawk-moths, Cream-spot Tiger, Chocolate Tip, Four-spotted Footman, Oblique Striped and Puss Moth.

There is a chance to buy birdy Mugs, T-shirts, prints and badges before finalizing packing and return to the airport.

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:

Please note that every month offer slightly different species and it is like that especially with wildflowers and invertebrates such as butterflies, moth, dragonflies. So if you are interested in certain species please ask and we can suggest a date according to your needs.

Birds

Black-necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Pygmy Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Great White Egret, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black Stork, White Stork, Ferruginous Duck, Shoveler, Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Imperial Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Montague’s Harrier, Red-footed Falcon, Saker Falcon, Goshawk, Honey Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Spotted Crake, Baillon’s Crake, Little Crake, Great Bustard, Black-winged Stilt, Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Common Snipe, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, White-winged Black Tern, Turtle Dove,  Common Cuckoo, Scops Owl, Tawny Owl, Little Owl, Long-eared Owl, Common Nightjar, European Kingfisher,  European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Roller, Grey-headed, Black, Syrian, Middle- and Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers, Wryneck, Crested Lark, Wood Lark, Short-toed Lark, Tree Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Savi’s Warbler, River Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Barred Warbler, Common Redstart, Collared Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit ssp. caudatus, Penduline Tit, Bearded Reedling/Bearded Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Golden Oriole, Corn Bunting, Hawfinch, Tree Sparrow

Butterflies

Common Swallowtail Papilio machaon, Large White Pieris brassicae, Small White Pieris rapae, Green-veined White Pieris napi, Eastern Bath White Pontia edusa, Pale Clouded Yellow Colias hyale, Clouded Yellow Colias crocea, Common Wood White Leptidea sinapis, White, letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album, Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas, Large Copper Lycaena dispar, Short-tailed Blue Cupido argiades, Eastern Short-tailed Blue Cupido decolorata, Little Blue Cupido minimus, Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus, Green-underside Blue Glaucopsyche alexis, Eastern Baton Blue Scolitantides vicrama, Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus, Idas Blue Plebejus idas, Adonis Blue Polyommatus bellargus, Common Blue Polyommatus icarus, Nettle-tree Butterfly Libythea celtis, Lesser Purple Emperor Apatura ilia, Freyer’s Purple Emperor Apatura metis, Common Glider Neptis sappho, Northern Comma Nymphalis c-album, Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta, Painted Lady Vanessa cardui, Peacock Aglais io, Map Araschnia levana, Cardinal Argynnis pandora, Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia, Niobe Fritillary Argynnis niobe, Queen of Spain Fritillary Issoria lathonia, Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia, Knapweed Fritillary Melitaea phoebe, Lesser Spotted Fritillary Melitaea trivia, Common Marbled White Melanargia galathea, Common Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina, Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus, Chestnut Heath Coenonympha glycerion, Oberthür’s Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus armoricanus, Safflower Skipper Pyrgus carthami, Mallow Skipper Carcharodus alceae, Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola, Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris, Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus

Moth

Narrage tessularia pannonicus, Semiothisa/Diastictis artesiaria, Eucrostes Indigenatus, Rhyparioides Metelkana, Orthosia Schmidti, Aspilates formosarios pannonicus, Coleophora eupepla, Coleophora pilicornis, Metzneria ehikeella, Opropsamma wertheimsteini, Zygaena laeta, Porphyrina pannonica, Oxytripia orbiculosa, Staurophara celsia, Peppered Moth (Biston betularius), Tephronia sepiaria, Cucullia tanaceti, Spurge Hawk, Bedstraw Hawk, Goat Moth (Cossus cossus), Fox Moth Macrothylacia rubi, Little Emerald Jodis lactearia, Riband Wave Idaea aversata, Oblique Striped Phibalapteryx virgata, Purple Bar Cosmorhoe ocellata, Latticed Heath Chiasmia clathrate*, Pale Oak Beauty Hypomecis punctinalis, Light Emerald Campaea margaritata, Poplar Hawkmoth Laothoe populi, Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum*, Small Elephant Hawkmoth Deilephila porcellus, Puss Moth Cerura vinula, Swallow Prominent Pheosia tremula, Chocolate-tip Clostera curtula, Four-spotted Footman Lithosia quadra, Cream-spot Tiger Arctia villica, Nine-spotted Amata phegea*, Poplar Grey Acronicta megacephala, Pale Shoulder Acontia lucida*, Burnet Companion Euclidia glyphica*, Clay Fan-foot Paracolax tristalis, Purple-barred Yellow Lythria purpuraria*

Mammals

European Roe Deer, European/Brown Hare, Eastern Hedgehog, Red Fox, European Souslik, Eversmann’s Polecat, Southern Birch Mouse, Root Vole, Pond Bat, Otter, Badger, Golden Jackal

Amphibians & Reptiles

Fire-bellied Toad Bombina bombina, Edible Frog Pelophylax esculentus, Marsh Frog Pelophylax ridibundus, European Pond Terrapin Emys orbicularis, Eastern Green Lizard Lacerta viridis, Balkan Wall Lizard Podarcis tauricus, Eastern Grass Snake Natrix natrix, Aesculapian Snake Zamenus longissima, Smooth Snake Coronella austriaca, European pond turtle/Pond Terrapin Emys orbicularis

Dragonflies

Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens, Common Emerald Damselfly (Common Spreadwing) Lestes sponsa, Southern Emerald Damselfly (Migrant Spreadwing) Lestes barbarus, Dark Spreadwing  Lestes macrostigma, Blue-tailed Damselfly (Common Bluetail) Ischnura elegans, Variable Damselfly (Variable Bluet) Coenagrion pulchellum, Azure Damselfly (Azure Bluet) Coenagrion puella, Dainty Damselfly (Dainty Bluet) Coenagrion scitulum, Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Small Redeye) Erythromma viridulum, White-legged Damselfly (Blue Featherleg) Platycnemis pennipes, Norfolk Hawker (Green-eyed Hawker) Aeshna isoceles, Emperor Dragonfly (Blue Emperor) Anax imperator, Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope, Hairy Dragonfly (Hairy Hawker) Brachytron pratense, Yellow-spotted Emerald Somatochlora flavomaculata, Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa, Scarce Chaser Libellula fulva, Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, White-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum albistylum, Large White-faced Darter (Yellow-spotted Whiteface) Leucorrhinia pectoralis, Southern Darter Sympetrum meridionale, Scarlet Darter (Broad Scarlet) Crocothemis erythraea

Wildflowers

Endemics: Onosma arenaria, Plantago schwarzenbergiana; Epipactis borbasii, Epipactis bugacensis

Near endemics: Festuca vaginata, Stipa borysthenica; Some of the other species: Alkanna tinctoria, Artemisia santonicum, Astragalus dasyanthus, Cephalantera rubra, Dactylorhiza incarnata, Pseudovina-Festuca pseudovina, Festuca rubra, Filipendula vulgaris, Fumana procumbens, Gymnadenia conopsea, Iris spuria, Iris sibirica, Matricaria recutita, Ophrys insectifera, Ophrys scolopax ssp. cornuta, Orhcis militaris, Green-winged Orchid-Orchis morio, Potentilla arenaria, Pulsatilla pratensis ssp. hungarica, Thymus pannonicus/ Thymus glabrescens

During May:

Yellow Rattle, White Mulberry, Black Poplar, White Campion, Small-Leaved Lime, Common Milkweed, Dragon’s Teeth, Solomon’s Seal, Field Pansy, Musk Thistle, Scented Mayweed, Flowering Rush, Cannabis, Yarrow, Tufted Vetch, Agrimony, European Birthwort, Narrow-Leaved Leek, Eastern Larkspur, Greater Stitchwort, Juniper, Corncockle, Cornflower, Yellow Vetch, Siberian Iris, Yellow Flag Iris, Thyme, ivy-Leaved Toadflax, Camomile, Meadow Buttercup, Ragged Robin, Hemp Agrimony, Marsh Thistle, Creeping Thistle, Hop, Spanish Catchfly, Comfrey, Early Spider Orchid, Bug Orchid, Loose-Flowered Orchid, Southern Marsh Orchid, Everlasting Pea, Common Vetch, Tassel Hyacinth, Childing Pink, Ribwort Plantain, Perennial Flax, Meadow Clary, Stinking Nightshade, White Mullein, Bearded Iris

What is included?

  • All lodging based on double/twin occupancy
  • All meals from dinner on arrival day and breakfast on leaving day. Generally buffet breakfast, packed/picnic lunch, 2 or 3 courses dinners
  • Water when we are out in the fields
  • Entrances to parks and reserves
  • Local professional licenced guide(s)
  • Airport pickup
  • All internal transfers
  • Airport drop-off
  • Visits of garden photography hides and wildlife watching hides
  • One night walk for Nightjars and Owls
  • One Moth trapping session
  • Bat detecting possibility
  • Wifi at the main building

What is not included?

  • Airfare to/from Hungary
  • Alcoholic beverages and drinks during evenings
  • Insurance
  • Laundry
  • Any personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
Wildlife Reviews
4.92 stars
- based on 6  reviews
  1. Amazing wildlife and accommodation!
    Steve Grimwade18 May 2017
    5
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    This was our second visit to Kondor Ecolodge and once again it didn’t disappoint. We were a group of 10 and from the start to the finish of the tour we were well looked after by Andrea and Gabor whose enthusiasm for their country and wildlife shone through. The birding and wildlife in the local area was superb with early morning walks being amazing. This along with the good traditional food, superb accommodation and wonderful hospitality made it a privilege to visit.
  2. Easy Birding in Hungary
    Gill Flinn06 Jul 2018
    5
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    Our trip was with a small group from the UK staying at the ideally located Kondor Tanya Lodge where Gabor and Andrea made us so welcome. The lodge is surrounded by the Kiskungság National Park, so most of the birding was done less than an hour’s drive away and there was plenty to see within walking distance in the adjacent woods and un-spoilt farmlands. We visited a wide range of habitats from wetlands and fishponds, forests and meadows, to the wide open plains of the Puszta. During the week we saw 138 species of birds, including Saker Falcon, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Great Bustard, breeding colonies of Red-footed Falcons and European Bee-eaters, Golden Orioles, Moustached, Barred and other warblers, and 5 woodpecker species. Although this was primarily a birdwatching trip, it had a more to offer as we saw so much other wildlife, since Gabor and David (our UK leader) were great all-round naturalists. We saw 32 species of butterflies, 26 dragonflies and damselflies, and managed to identify 21 species of the moths caught in the moth trap one night. Highlights were the stunning Lesser Purple Emperor mud-puddling, and the elegant Dark Spreadwing.
  3. A week at Kondor
    BOB & JANET JONES02 Jun 2018
    5
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    Our visit was excellent. We were picked up at Budapest airport and dropped off at the end of the tour. Transport for the tour was 4x4 which had plenty of space and was comfortable. Each day we went out to a different location and had a full day's birding with packed lunch provided. The birds (and butterflies) always came thick and fast and were species we would be very unlikely to see in the UK unless twitching a single bird, so the numbers of Beeeaters, Rollers, Red-footed Falcons, Orioles etc, etc was amazing. Every day started with a substantial breakfast and end with a tasty evening meal. We probably didn't spend enough time in the grounds because we were out birding elsewhere!
  4. Excellent wildlife tour.
    Louise Sykes13 Jul 2020
    4.5
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    Our tour group consisted of 6 clients and two leaders. We flew into Budapest airport from East Midlands and met up with everybody at the airport. Kondor EcoLodge is situated in the middle of an amazing NP. Lots of birds in the grounds and within 1 mile radius. Amazing views of nightjars just 500 metres from the lodge. In July we had numerous species of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies. We never travelled very far but had great views of Great Bustard, Saker Falcon, Eastern Imperial Eagle, various woodpeckers, long eared Owl, Savi’s warbler and Icterine warbler. The food was based on traditional Hungarian recipes but healthy and nutritious.
  5. Fantastic wildlife experience in Hungary
    Steve20 May 2016
    5
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    After a short trip by myself in 2015 I eagerly returned to Kondor Ecolodge with a small group of like-minded friends in May 2016. The lodge being very central in the Kiskunsag NP is an amazing base for birding with so much to be seen and photographed up-close nearby. Gabor and Andrea are fantastic hosts, so welcoming and friendly, they really make you feel at home in their traditional Hungarian lodge, a very comfortable and peaceful place to return to each day. The bedrooms stay nice and cool even when the outside temperature soars up towards 30 and the food and drink offerings (including some lovely Hungarian wines) are very good too. Gabor and Andrea are both fluent in English and highly knowledgeable of the local area and all the top birding sites. List of notable birds seen included: Bee-eater (hundreds in nesting colony) , Roller (dozens), Turtle dove, Golden Oriole, Great Bustard, Red-footed falcon (dozens in nesting colony), Great reed warbler, White stork, Black stork, Penduline tit (on the nest), Nightingale (captured singing in the scope for 10 minutes or so), Lesser grey shrike, Red backed shrike, Black WP, Lesser-spotted WP, Wood warbler, Thorny pipit, Little owl, Long-eared owl (posed nicely for us low down in a tree at the back of a village bakery!), Night heron, Squacco heron, Purple heron, Corn bunting, Nightjar (circling over the gardens at dusk) and White tailed eagle. Cannot recommend this tour enough!
  6. Amazing time at Kondor EcoLodge
    Claire Farmiloe01 Sep 2019
    5
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    I thoroughly recommend this tour. Our hosts, Gabor and Andrea, as well as being extremely knowledgeable made us feel completely at home with them. Every day Gabor would strive to find particular birds on our wish list as well as some pleasant surprises such as the roost of long-eared owls in the trees of a town square and the white-tailed eagle soaring just over our heads! There are some wonderful wild flower meadows alive with various butterflies and other insects. As well as learning a lot about Hungary we were kept entertained with Gabor and Andrea's anecdotes and well fed with some lovely traditional home made food. Now for some of the birds that we saw: Black Redstart; Lesser Grey Shrike; Red Backed Shrike; Pratincole; Golden Oriole; Black Woodpecker; European Roller; Great Bustard; European Bee Eater; Turtle Dove; Tree Sparrow; Great Reed Warbler; Long Eared Owl; Little Owl; Montague Harrier; Honey Buzzard; Hobby; Marsh Harrier; Red Footed Falcon; Saker Falcon and White Tailed Eagle...and others! We also saw many butterflies including the Queen of Spain Fritillary and Cardinal and were lucky enough to see a Polecat.

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Why should I book with Hungary Birding & Wildlife Tour, Kondor Ecolodge?

We are the only fully licenced professional photographer and tour guide couples in Hungary who are also owners and hosts at their own home, Kondor EcoLodge. Our life is sharing the knowledge and ethusiasm we accumulated about wildlife, history & culture of our homeland since our childhood. Several of our returning guests became our friends during the years. We spend our free time and profit on protecting habitats and species locally and also discovering new areas where we also lead tours, especially Latin America. We have more than 25+ years experience of organizing & leading tours not just locally but internationally.

Accommodation

On any of our tours we choose accommodation on the basis that it should be surrounded by birds and wildlife with plenty of on site possibilities. We prefer family run small lodges or mini hotels with personal attention, always en-suite clean rooms and local food what you will surely remember. Details of our Kondor EcoLodge can be seen at www.kondorecolodge.hu

Vehicle

Depending on the size of the group we use different size and types of vehicle. For private tours for a couple we use large size cars or 4x4 if that is needed. For small groups we use elongated and elevated 9 seater minivans - Ford, Mercedes, etc. For larger groups we use 19 seater bus with a driver - Ford, Mercedes, etc.

Travel

We start with airport pickup, all internal travel is by land with vehicles specified above and we finish with a drop off at the airport. Price includes a collective pick up and drop off. If you need a separate timing we can arrange that but please note that is for extra cost.

Changing tour leader and/or itinerary

We stick to both until it is possible so we change anything which is written just if there is a situation not possible to control by us like sudden illness, extreme weather situation, et. On the other hand we can change the order of the days within a tour if bird news or weather forecast suggest that. In any case if we are aware of a possible change we communicate that asap.

Group sizes

Private or customized tours can be arranged with any number of travellers starting with 1. General set programme and set departure tour group size starts at 6 person. Maximum group size is 12, except if it is a group of friends or a birdclub where people all know each other and there are 2 leaders of the group.

Meals & Drinks

Breakfast Our "Full Kondor Kiskunsag Breakfast" generally includes juice, coffee or tea, local whole-meal bread, toast, cold cuts, cheese, yoghurt, muesli, vegetables, fruits, Hungarian pastry or scrambled eggs / ham&eggs / Frankfurter/Sausage. Lunch For our nature-lover groups we offer usually a nice picnic either at a butterfly & wildflower-rich meadow or at a birdfull forest, nice riverbank or shore of an alkaline lake. Or we put out even more food at breakfast, so you can make your lunch of your own style & amount of food, according to your needs. Snacks & drinks during the day When you are on a tour with us we try to pamper you with coffee/tea/cappuccino, salty and sweet bisquits, fruits and water. Dinner At the end of the day we offer local Hungarian food which range from the famous Gulyas Soup or the Catcher of the Guy Soup through substantial portion of main dishes till local desserts. Drinks at dinner are not included. BAR In our small, but attractive bar we serve juices and beverages, local and international beer, a great selection of local wine from Bull's Blood till Tokaj Aszu originating from different famous wine-regions, local fruit brandy which is called palinka and many more. WINECELLAR Our wine cellar offers a cool place to check the birdlist while enjoying a variety of our great wines. If we know in advance then we can cater vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free and any other dietary needs. Some of the above might force us to ask an extra fee since it is difficult and/or very expensive to provide.

Best time for the tour

April-May-June-July But please note each months offer a bit different chance for most of the species. Also we offer similar tours during Autumn/Fall and Winter but with different highlights, like 10 of thousands of trumpeting Common Cranes, masses of Geese or Winter specialities.

Age, fitness, mobility

We have had returning guests with 80+ years without difficulty. Kiskunsag is a perfectly flat area, here we refer a molehill as a mountain. :-) Most of our trails are sandy. In the Bukk Hills there are some trails which have a little elevation difference but it is always possible to split the group or even rest closer to the van/bus if you feel tired.

Communication before and during the tour

We should discuss any doubts, questions before the tour, the best to use emails, but you can call us as well. Durig the tour the most important for us that please tell us immediately if you do not understand something, if you need help or there is any smaller or larger issues to be solved. We will try our best and we strongly believe in open, honest communication. Wifi will be available at each accommodation. Phone coverage at rural areas during the day can be zero but should work at the accommodations.

Health & insurance

Please provide in written any important relevant health issues you have what we should know so in case of a health situation we are aware. Also please travel with necessary travel and health insurance.

Terms & Conditions: Reservations & Payments and Cancellations & Refunds

Reservations If you wish register for a tour or trip you should complete a Reservation Form and send it to our address. https://www.ecotours-worldwide.com/booking-form Upon received the completely filled out booking form we send out a deposit invoice with full bank details. Reservations for tours require a deposit of 50% of the total price per person of which 25% is non-refundable upon receipt. Travellers will be notified of the amount which they must deposit and the deadline by which they register. We accept reservations with deposits in order of their receipt. Telephoned reservations are accepted provided they are followed by the appropriate deposit within 10 days. Payments Invoices for the balance of trip costs will be mailed about 10 weeks (70 days) before departure date. Payment is due on receipt of our invoice. We adjust the prices to the changes of the exchange rates if these exceed 0.05. Sorry, but we can not accept credit card or cheque payments. But you do not need to bring Gold Bars either :-) , neither to see Golden Oriole, nor to pay the Bar bill, partly because our prices are really affordable and also because we prefer bank transfers in advance. During your days in Hungary generally you can pay with credit card or local cash, HUF. Bar bills you can pay by cash, Ł, $, EUR and HUF are accepted. Cancellations & Refunds If notice of cancellation is received in writing more than 10 weeks (70 days) before departure of a tour of one week or longer, the deposit/payment is refundable. If notice of cancellation is received between 10 weeks and 5 weeks (35 days) before departure, half of the deposit/payment is not refundable. If notice of cancellation is received 5 weeks or less before departure the deposit/payment is not refundable.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.


8 Days

Price & Availability

From 1,290
USD1,190 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement USD 160
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Ecotours Kondor EcoLodge
4.94 based on 13 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.94 Based on 13 reviews
Tours
Wildlife
Guides
Conservation
Location
Value

Tour Facts

  • Kiskunsag National Park, Hungary
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Wildlife
  • 2 to 12
  • 8 Days
  • Leisurely
  • English, Spanish, (Italian)
  • Budapest Airport
  • Budapest Airport