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ROMANIA PHOTO TOURS > Brown Bear Hide-photography Tour (5 days)
Carpathian Brown Bear photography in Autumn

Transylvania is a fascinating place within the Carpathian Basin with its varied habitats and it is also one of the last strongholds for bears in Europe. The estimated population is around 5000-8000 individuals! This is a fantastic tour to photograph the Carpathian Brown Bear from our specially-built hide network in the mighty Hargita Mountains where about 350 of these wild creatures still live.

Timing:
Fixed dates but also available upon request
Recommended period between 20th August to 15th September

Dates:
4 – 8 September 2017 – FULL
5 – 9 September 2018 – 6 places available

Duration:
5 days (4 nights)

Itinerary:
We have three full days for photography allowing plenty of chances to have an intimate insight of the private life of these large mammals. We have three different hides with different surroundings but our actual usage of hides depends on the current bear activity. It is possible to use a different hide every day but this is all subject of discussion with the guide on the first evening when up-to-date information will be available.

Day 1 The tour begins at Bucharest, from where we will transfer to Zeteváralja (Sub Cetate) at the base of the Hargita Mountains where we will stay in the Hargita Bear Lodge. The Hargita area is primarily inhabited by Székely Hungarians. Upon arrival we will have a discussion of plans for the next three days. The local forester will supply us with all necessary information about the bear activity.

Days 2 - 4 We will have three full days of photography. This will allow us to have ample opportunities for Brown Bears. We will have two photo sessions daily and it is optional if somebody want to devote all time for bears or take some other excursions too. The optional excursions include hides and non hide-based photography. We have two non-bear hides available for birds in the vicinity of the Bear Lodge.

Possible optional excursions:

  1. We can arrange early morning (dawn) landscape photography in the Gyergyó (Gheorgeni) Basin.

  2. Visit to Szentpál (Sanpaul) fishponds which is located along a superb migratory route and we shall experience a great early spring migration. This tiny fishpond system boasts an impressive bird list of over 250 species! Past visits have produced plenty of regular migrants and a wide range of scarce and exciting birds. From photography point of view Bearded Tit is one of the top target.

  3. Visit to Békás Gorge (Bicaz) which is one of the most beautiful and scenic of all Carpathian gorges, and well worth seeing in its own right, its dramatic limestone cliffs also host the region’s biggest population of Wallcreepers. In many parts of Europe, finding these unique, crimson-winged birds requires considerable walking and climbing so it is quite a luxury here to be able to drive right into the heart of their domain. Often they allow close approach for photography but by late summer they have finished the breeding.

Day 5 After early morning photography (depending on flight times) we will return to Bucharest where the tour will end. For more information (about the hides, comfort, hide technical information, bears, bird species) visit our hides menu item or contact us!

Logistics:
Our daily routine is variable. Normally the bear hides are occupied around early afternoon and photographers stay there until dusk (5-6 hours). We have hides and different optional excursions for the mornings but if somebody want to devote the time for the bears it is also possible. The morning sessions in the bear hides would be from 05:00–11:00.

Recommended equipment:
We suggest that you bring along lenses which range from 200mm to 500mm but wide angle lens can be good for landscape photography.

Expected number of birds species photographed on this tour:
Brown Bear; if additional excursion taken up to 5-15 species of birds.

What to bring:
torch, binocular, tripod, proper clothing

Accommodation & Road Transport:
Our accommodation is the Hargita Bear Lodge which is owned and run by our bear expert Zsolt. They make sure your stay in this remarkable area will be unforgettable. The lodge is located close to the bear hides to minimize travel. The hotel has en-suite facilities. Transfer from airport car or minivan (depending on group size) while road transport during photography days is by minivan or car (4x4 if required) depending on weather conditions and group size.

Walking:
The walking effort is minimized for short uphill walks to some of the bear hides. Some hides can be reached by car but no more than 300 meter walk to any of the bear hides. On the various excursions the walking effort is easy to moderate.

Climate:
In August and September we have usually nice and settled weather. Early mornings can be distinctly cool and mist is possible too for landscape photography. Daytime temperature can range from 10C to 25C from late August to early September.

Group size and prices:
The minimum group size is 2 photographers
The maximum group size is 6 photographers
Tour price is 890 euro/person
This price is based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is 72 euro/person

Deposit: 400 euro (due with booking)
As soon as you fill out a booking form we will send you a deposit invoice and information of the final payment.

Booking
Booking conditions

The price includes:
Bucharest-to-Bucharest all inclusive
The use of our unique bear hide system
All transportation throughout the tour
All meals
All accommodation
All entrance fees
Local guides

The price excludes:
International flight to Bucharest
Alcoholic drinks
Services of personal nature (telephone calls, laundry etc.)
Tips to guides

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