Bears, Bustards and Vampires!
Summary and recommendation: A 15 day
photography and birdwatching trip to Hungary and Romanian
Transylvania (Prince Charles favourite spot!) with some cultural
"...On his first visit to Transylvania, Prince Charles
was immediately struck by the precious legacy of this area
and said he was “totally overwhelmed by its unique beauty
and its extraordinarily rich heritage..."
countries: Hungary, Romania
(Transylva-nia). Arrive Budapest,
15 days + extension available.
... GBP + ... GBP single supplement. Price
includes: accommodations and meals (lunch is typically
picnic!), drinking water, vehicle hire with fuel and driver
guide, park entrance fees and ranger guides. The price
exclude: bank transfer loss, international flight,
visa, tips, drinks, personal travel insurance and any other
activities of personal request e.g. laundry, toalet fees,
phone calls, etc.
Three-star hotels with all rooms en suite.
Min. 3, max. 6 tour participants.
2 x 4WDs.
"...We begin our Spring season with a visit to
the displaying grounds of the magnificent Great Bustard
- the so-called Hungarian Ostrich - which is also the national
bird and emblem of BirdLife Hungary. From here we continue
birding in classic Hungarian habitats looking for woodpeckers,
raptors and other local specialities before we head for
the Count Dracula trail in the ancient land of Transylvania.
This is also the home of the largest European population
of Brown Bear and many special birds..."
Great Bustard, Pygmy Cormorant, Little Bittern, Bittern,
Squacco, Purple and Grey Herons, Black-necked and Red-necked
Grebes, Great White and Little Egrets, White and Black Storks,
Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Red-crested
Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Saker, Peregrine and Red-footed
Falcons, Imperial, Golden, Short-toed, Lesser Spotted and
White-tailed Eagles, Montagu's Harrier, Hazelhen, Capercaillie,
Quail, Little and Spotted Crakes, Corncrake, European Common
Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Stone Curlew, Kentish
Plover, Dotterel, Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover,
Curlew, Marsh Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Black, Whiskered
and White-winged Black Terns, Scops, Short-eared, Ural,
Eagle, Long-eared, Little and Barn Owls, Nightjar, All 9
European woodpecker species including White-backed, Three-toed
and Black Woodpeckers, Woodlark, Dipper, Alpine Accentor,
Kingfisher, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Bluethroat, Redstart,
all "Locustella" warblers, Moustached and Barred
Warblers, Bearded, Penduline, Willow and Marsh Tits, Wallcreeper,
Rock Thrush, Golden Oriole, Red-backed, Lesser Grey and
Fgreat Grey Shrikes, Ring Ouzel, Nutcracker, Jackdaw, Rose-coloured
Starling, Wheatear, Tawny and Rock Pipits, Crossbill, Grey
Wagtail, Serin, Siskin, Collared Flycatcher, Red-breasted
Flycatcher, Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Firecrest, Serin, Siskin,
Twite, Corn Bunting and Rock Bunting.
Buda Hills, Danube shore, Kiskunsag and Hortobagy National
Parks, Lake Tisza, Bihor Mountains, Turda Gorge, Ghiorghiu-range
(Carpathians), Bicaz Gorge, Sinpaul fishponds, South Carpathians
at Brasov. Extension:
Lake Velence and Börzsöny and Vértes Hills.
Pre-extensions (see below).
Arrive Budapest. Budapest birding
for early arrivals at Margaret Island, Buda Hills and Danube
shore. Optional full-day sightseeing: visit Heroes Square,
Castle District, Parliament building and St. Stephen's Basilica.
Kiskunsag National Park.
Visit the wetlands and forests of Ócsa
and experience some of the most charming countryside while
birding at Apajpuszta and Kunpeszér
looking for typical steppe birds.
Kiskunsag NP (shallow lakes).
We keep en eye out for shorebirds, "puszta" specialities
and raptors around the finest shallow and alkaline lakes of
this beautiful national park.
After an en-route stop at Lake
Tisza we spend the rest of the day birding
at our so-called "Birding Mecca" of the Hortobagy
Fishponds, where we shall see billions of
wetland and water birds.
National Park. A full day
birding the seemingly endless open steppe and shallow lakes
of the Hortobagy puszta region.
to Romania with
en-route stops for birding. First we stop for some Ortolan
Buntings. Relaxation and palinka (plum-brandy) tasting at
arrival to Rimetea
Birding in the Moc-lands
(Secler-rock, Trascau, Posaga de Sus). This is probably the
most remote part of Eastern Europe with completely intact
limestone hills, forests, forest hermitages and medieval fortresses
on abandoned rocky outcrops. Many local villages still have
no electricity. Excellent for birding and a cultural adventure.
We spend the day birding at the best spots in western Romania.
Turda Gorge is possibly the richest nature reserve in the
country with innumerable endemic plants, rare insects and
excellent birds. To Praid for bear watching at dusk.
Mountain birding in the Ghiorghiu-range
(Carpathians) in search of Capercaillie and
Hazelhen. More bear watching and photo opportunities at dusk.
"Outer space" visit to the unique deep salt mines
To Bicaz Gorge
in search of Wallcreepers followed by bear watching at dusk.
"In search of the Dracula myth". We visit the unique
medieval Saxon heritage of Sighisoara
Birding en route.
Wetland birding at Sinpaul fishponds,
one of the finest migration stop-overs in western Romania.
Bear- watching at Poiana Brasov.
High-altitude birding at Mt.
Bucec and Piatra
Craului for Alpine Accentor, Water Pipit,
Shore Lark. We also visit the local large-carnivore project
to see Wolfs and Brown Bears.
Depart or optional sightseeing post-extension.
Budapest sightseeing plus the
Danube Bend and Szentendre. 1-3
days on request.
Bucharest sightseeing plus Snagov.
1-2 days upon request.
Danube-Delta birding; for sample
itinerary please click here >>>
Yellow dots=trip stations