Birds & Bears Photo Tour in Romania
This 12-day Romania Wildlife Photography Tour is a leisurely-pace trip available as set departure tour and should be high on the list of every wildlife photographer. You can expect to photograph dozens of bird species and a few unique mammal species.
The vast labyrinth of the Danube Delta is for those who enjoy a spectacular amount and variety of birds including squadrons of pelicans, clouds of waders, ribbons of cormorants, reed-beds full of warblers, lakes, and marshes full of herons, egrets and ibises while White-tailed Eagles circling above.
Various Woodpeckers and the most colorful birds of Europe such as Hoopoe, Roller, Bee-eater, and Golden Oriole are plentiful. We use the best accommodation surrounded by dozens of professional photography hides.
Possible mammals include Golden Jackal, Otter, Muskrat, and perhaps even Wildcat.
The rugged and densely wooded Carpathian Mountains provide contrast and a good opportunity to discover exciting mountain species including Ural Owl, Wallcreeper, Alpine Swift, Ring Ouzel, and Nutcracker just to mention a few of the possibilities. But the main attraction here is the chance to spend some time in one of the best professional photography hides for European Brown Bear.
Romania Photography Tour highlights include:
- Hide Photography of the most colourful birds of Europe which are all around in good numbers including European Bee-eaters, Eurasian Hoopoes, European Rollers
- Visiting a huge labyrinth of lakes, channels of the vast Danube Delta with a large number of attractive bird species
- Hide photography of various birds ranging from Little Owl through Gray-headed Woodpecker till Sparrowhawk
- A very long list of herons, egrets, various other waders, and waterfowl
- Reedbeds at channels, lakes, ponds for Penduline Tit, Bearded Tit, Spotted and Little Crake, and many more
- Using specially designed Bird Photography hides eye-level with water-level at ponds and feeders with Hawfinch, Turtle Dove, Tree Sparrow, Jay, and several other species
- Special hide for White-tailed Eagle & Golden Jackal
- Sipping your coffee or tea while checking the daily photos during the evenings
- European Brown Bear Photography from professional hides
- photography of mountain bird species such as Wallcreeper, Alpine Swift, and others
Please note: this set-departure tour is also available as a private or custom tour on request. Please submit an enquiry with your preferred dates and group size.
Keen to focus on photographing the birds you see on your trip? Why not try this specialist photography tour? Hungarian Bird Photography Tour, Kondor Ecolodge
Alternative Tour Name: Photo Tour Romania- Birds & Bears at Land of Dracula & the Danube Delta
Meet with your English speaking professional guide at Otopeni Bucharest airport followed by a long transfer to Tulcea and then a bout journey to your accommodation.
We visit one of the best wildlife and birding areas in Europe, the huge Danube Delta which is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and also it is listed as one of the most important RAMSAR wetland areas in Europe.
Imagine in the heart of this area a fascinating place with an excellent lodge providing more than 30 specialized photography hides scattered around lakes & channels dotted with bushy and forested areas on an incredible 1000 hectares property.
We offer to use several different hides in a rotating system to give everyone chance to photograph various species at different light conditions. The possibilities are almost unlimited from lake-shore hides through tower hides till floating hides at muddy pools, ponds, alongside extensive reed-beds, steppe and sandy scrub habitats which attract many resident and migrating bird species during the season.
Using further hides in a rotating system.
The actual possible species will obviously depend on the month of your visit as well. But definitely any bird or wildlife photographer should be delighted by the long list of possible species including White-tailed Eagle, Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Ferruginous Duck, Dalmatian and White Pelicans, Eurasian Roller, European Bee-eater, Glossy Ibis and another 200+ species.
This will be the 4th full day photographing mainly birds but there is a good chance for mammals as well like Golden Jackal, Otter, Muskrat and perhaps even Wildcat.
All photographs at this itinerary were made during one of our tours in that area.
We have a boat ride and a long transfer from the Danube Delta region to the Eastern Carpathian mountains which is part of the natural border of Transylvania.
Here we will stay at a family style hotel at the edge of a great forest with nearby professional bear-hides.
In the Eastern Carpathians the habitat will be completely different, mainly dominated by vast forests, some meadows at slopes and uplands. During the days we will search Nutcracker, Crested Tit, Hawfinch and Ring Ouzel in the forests. while above the open areas we can look for Lesser Spotted Eagle and other raptors.
With a day long excursion we can visit various areas including a limestone gorge with Wallcreeper & Alpine Swift.
On the way back we can stop at upland open areas, meadows where we can look for Lesser Spotted Eagle and other raptors. Also this is a good area to take photos of Red-backed Shrikes, White Storks, Stonechat & Whinchat and some more species.
After a birding and bird photography in the morning on one of the afternoons the highlight will be surely the visit of the bear hides to photograph European Brown Bear.
The bear hides we will use are one of the best ones in whole Europe.
After saying goodby to this enigmatic area we have a long transfer back to Bucharest Otopeni Airport.
Wildlife species expect to see:
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, Purple Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black Stork, White Stork, White Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican, Ferruginous Duck, Shoveler, Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Montague’s Harrier, Red-footed Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Goshawk, Honey Buzzard, Lesser-spotted Eagle, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Black-winged Stilt, Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Common Snipe, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, White-winged Black Tern, Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Little Owl, Long-eared Owl, Ural Owl, Common Nightjar, European Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Roller, Grey-headed, Black, Syrian, Middle- and Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers, Wryneck, Crested Lark, Tree Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Gray Wagtail, Common Nightingale, Savi’s Warbler, River Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Barred Warbler, Common Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit ssp. caudatus, Penduline Tit, Bearded Reedling/Bearded Tit, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, White-throated Dipper, Wallcreeper, Short-toed Treecreeper, Common Treecreeper, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Golden Oriole, Corn Bunting, Hawfinch, Tree Sparrow
Mammals: Eastern Hedgehog, Red Squirrel, European Souslik, Brown Bear, Wildboar, Red Fox, Chamois, Otter, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Brown Hare and some more
Various Dragonflies, Butterflies, Wildflowers will be around during the tour, including many rarities as well and during your stay at Kondor Ecolodge we can run a professional moth trap or detect bats as well.
What is included?
- All lodging based on double/twin occupancy
- All meals from dinner on arrival day and breakfast on leaving day. Generally full breakfasts, packed/picnic lunches, 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 photography hides and wildlife watching hides at the Danube Delta Lodge
- One photography session in a professional Bear Photo Hide
What is not included?
- Any Airfare
- Alcoholic beverages and drinks during evenings
- Any personal expenses
- 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.
- Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
We are fully licenced professional photographer and tour guide couple, also owners and hosts at our home at Kondor EcoLodge in Hungary where we also created several photo hides. Our life is sharing the knowledge and ethusiasm we accumulated about wildlife, photography, history & culture of our homeland since our childhood. Because of our style 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. We have been visiting Transylvania since the 80ies and Danube Delta since the 90ies. We have more than 25+ years experience of organizing & leading tours not just locally but internationally as well, especially Latin America and some in Africa & Asia as well.
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. At this tour the lodge at the Danube Delta is the best in the whole region and offers 30+ excellent photography hides. The small 3star family style hotel in the Eastern Carpathians is at the edge of a superb forest and extremely close to the professional Bear Hides.
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. At the Danube Delta we use professional small boats, 4x4 for transfers and golf carts between the lodge and hides.
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. At the Danube Delta we use small boats to discover channels and lakes. 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.
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.
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.
Breakfast generally includes juice, coffee or tea, local whole-meal bread, toast, either cold cuts & cheese, or yoghurt, muesli, vegetables, fruits, 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 during the day Dinner At the end of the day we offer local Transylvanian & Delta food which range from the famous Fish Soup through substantial portion of main dishes till local desserts if possible. Drinks at dinner are not included.
May-June-July-Aug-Sept But please note each months offer a bit different chance for most of the species. Obviously during May you have more birdsongs, June is generally characterized by birds feeding busy their chicks which makes it easy to observe them, June-July-August is excellent not just for the birds but butterflies, dragonflies, wildflowers and other wildlife, while second half of August and September is spiced with the migration and Bears start to prepare for the Winter. So the best if you tell us what is your main focus and based on that we can suggest the best for you.
We have had guests with 80+ years without difficulty. The Danube Delta is a perfectly flat area where we refer a molehill as a mountain. :-) Most of our trails are sandy here and you can use a golf cart instead of walking. In the Transylvanian Hills & Carpathian Mts. there are some trails which have some elevation difference but wherever it is possible we drive up to a point from where we can walk down where you will be picked up again. Alternatively it is always possible to split the group or even rest closer to the van/bus if you feel tired. But generally with an average fitness it is an easy walk, sometimes a moderate effort. Since we visit 2 major areas it involves some longer drives but all on generally good roads.
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.
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. Certain areas including some of the areas like the mountains tick-carried diseases are possible to encounter (Lyme, Encephalitis, etc). At certain time of year and areas mosquitoes can be a minor issue. Other areas with loads of farm animals can have horseflies and other bugs. Otherwise Transylvania and Romania are safe and pleasant countries to visit.
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. Deposit 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 Romania generally you can pay with credit card or local cash, LEI. Bar bills you can pay by cash, Ł, $, EUR and LEI 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.