(The Danube Delta and Brown Bears)
Saturday 17th – Saturday 24th May
Day 1 We depart on a scheduled flight from London Heathrow to Bucharest and transfer to Zarnesti in the Carpathian Mountains. After we have arrived at our ideally situated Pension and had time to get settled, we will have our first opportunity to see the most powerful carnivore in Europe – Brown Bear. There is every chance of seeing one of these mighty animals, although nothing is ever guaranteed, but if we are lucky then this could just be the highlight of the holiday.
Day 2 After breakfast we will embark on a full days’ birding in the local forest and mountains. There are a number of possibilities here including Goshawk, Collared Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Fieldfare, Nutcracker, Crested Tit as well as a chance of a surprise or two along the way! In the evening, we will have the opportunity to spend another evening bear watching.
Day 3 This morning we will leave our Pension and travel through the Romanian countryside towards Tulcea, gateway town of The Delta, where we will arrive in the early evening. During our journey there will be plenty of opportunity for some great birding in Greci Forest and Lake Traianu. Birds to look out for on our journey today include White Stork, Honey Buzzard, Short-toed and Booted Eagle, Serin, Red-rumped Swallow, Golden Oriole, Hoopoe, Roller, Bee-eater, Lesser Grey Shrike, Icterine Warbler, Collared and Red-breasted Flycatcher; Short-toed and Calandra Larks. After crossing the Danube, we will enter the region of Dobrudja where there are a variety of habitats, such as lakes, fishponds, reeds and marshes that could produce Spotted Crake, Spoonbill, Collared Pratincole, and Paddyfield Warbler. On arrival at Tulcea, we will board The Avis, which is our home for the next five nights. This floating hotel has an air-conditioned dining room and bar, as well as an excellent 33 square metre viewing deck for birdwatching and relaxing in equal measure. On arrival we will be greeted by our hosts with some welcoming champagne and caviar!
Days 4 – 7 During these next few days we will be afforded a unique insight into the bird life of this magnificent area - seeing places and birds just not accessible by any other means of transport. Exactly where we land and visit will depend on the water level, but we will begin by heading towards the oldest and most beautiful branch of The Danube, Sfantu Gheorghe. There are numerous marshes, ponds and fish farms to visit and we are likely to see a wide variety of birds including the sought after Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian and White Pelicans and White-tailed Eagle. In the marshes, we are likely to see colonies of Common, Whiskered, White-winged and Black Terns, Black-winged Stilt and Bluethroat. At the mouth of the Erenciuc Channel, we make a visit by rowing boat to Lake Erenciuc to search for wildfowl such as Ruddy Shelduck, Garganey, Red-crested Pochard and the eastern form of Greylag Goose. Other possibilities include Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco and Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Great White and Little Egrets, Little and Great Bittern; Avocet, Marsh Harrier, Red-footed Falcon, Hobby, Great Reed, Savi’s and Moustached Warblers.
Day 8 After breakfast, we leave The Avis and transfer to Bucharest Airport and on the way there should be time for some last minute birding. There will also be a short sightseeing tour of Bucharest before our afternoon departure back to London, where we arrive in the early evening.
Leader: Birdseekers Leader plus local guide
£995.00 per person
Breakdown: Airfare £195.00
Ground arrangements £800.00
Single supplement £100.00
Maximum group size: 14 excluding leaders
Included in cost: Return flight from London to Bucharest. Full board accommodation in twin/double bedded cabins, rooms en-suite, all soft drinks, beer and wine with meals on board our floating hotel,. Two nights full-board accommodation at the three star Pension Craiasa Muntilor, packed lunches, transport throughout the tour in air-conditioned mini-bus and services of all the guides and leaders.
Not included: Insurance, drinks (apart from mealtimes) items of a personal nature and optional tips for the local guide.
Note: sightings of bears are likely but cannot be guaranteed.
ATOL Holder No.5429
For more information, contact Steve Bird at email@example.com
or visit the Birdseekers website.