Autumn bear photography in Transylvania

This photography trip combines bear photography with capturing the natural beauties of Transylvania. We will nestle in the bear observation hides—some of which were built and used for hunting by the former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu—in the afternoon, for bears become more active in the afternoon hours. During the rest of the days we will also explore places where we have a good chance to observe and photograph bears—this area provides habitat for 60% of Europe’s bear population. Pictures taken at this time of the year will be dominated by the colours of autumn. Besides bears, we will have the opportunity to take pictures of other wildlife species: European roe deer, red deer and foxes can be seen from the hide, and with a bit of luck we can take photos of wolves, wild boars, wildcats and lynxes. Bird photographers will also find plenty of things to take pictures of in front of our hides.

Dates:

2014, 17 – 22 October  Places available!

For more information please contact me if you are interested in this tour.

The cost of this trip is 975 Euro/person. It is included: transfer from and back to the airport (Targu Mures), accommodation, guiding, entrance fees, food, all travel and fuel during the trips. It doesn’t include insurance, air tickets and alkoholic beverages.

Day 1

Our meeting point is the Transylvania International Airport in Targu Mures. After a 90-minute journey by car, we will arrive at our accommodation in Lupeni, a village near Odorheiu Secuiesc. Should we have some time after our arrival, we explore the surroundings of the accommodation. This little excursion will be just sort of a gentle stroll after the long flight, nothing strenuous. On the way we will visit the village of the so called Szekler gates, offering a wide array of the wonders of local architecture. During the meal following this excursion we will discuss the programmes of the following days.

Day 2

Following a peaceful night’s sleep, we have breakfast, and set out to explore the Varsag farm region—an example of the harmony between man and the environment. There are several opportunities for landscape photography, including rural life, forests, creeks, waterfalls and the creatures living in the environment surrounding us. Besides landscape photography, one may find many other photo subjects here—the European dipper, the Ural owl. After admiring all the natural beauties of the valley, we will set out for the bear hides. We will stay in the hides from late afternoon until darkness, and—hopefully—we can photograph bears energizing themselves for the winter ahead

Day 3

On day 3 we will climb (by car) the Madarasi Harghita Peak (Harghita-Mădăraș), the highest mountain of the area, providing a magnificent view over the snow-capped peaks around. During the trip we cross a landscape of pine trees, and we will take our time for some photography. Besides the fabulous landscape the Ural owl, the crested tit, and the spotted nutcracker can be photographed here, and with some luck we can take pictures of the Pygmy and the Boreal owl, and even the three-toed woodpecker. After admiring the beauties of Harghita-Mădăraș, we will set out to the bear hides, where we will watch bears appearing in front of the hides from late afternoon till dusk.

Day 4

After getting up at dawn, we set out to the monumental rock formation of the the Bicaz Canyon (Cheile Bicazului). This canyon with its walls of 200 to 300 meters is a unique natural treasure of Europe, offering a variety of themes to the lovers of landscape photography, and a special opportunity to those who are keen on capturing the beautiful Wallcreeper. On our way back we stop at the fabulous Red Lake (Lacul Roșu). What is special about this lake is that there are conserved remains of pine trees pointing out of the water. With some luck we can take pictures of Chamois. After returning home and replacing the wide-angle objectives, we can set out to the bear hides.

Day 5

During our 5th day we will stay in the Forest Hide, where the bird feeder and the drinking pool are visited by hundreds of birds daily. In the morning we will have a chance to take pictures of the Middle spotted Woodpecker and other daily guests including the Goldfinch, the Greenfinch, Brambling, Crested Tit, Nutcracer and Red Square. In the late afternoon after leaving the hide we will take a short drive to the Bear hide.

Day 6

Should we have some time—and depending on the departure of our flight—we will visit the Praid Salt Mine (Salina Praid). The micro-climate of the salt mine is beneficial for people with respiratory conditions. The vast halls of the mine are breathtaking, and they are an unforgettable memory.

 

The above programme is a plan, and is subject to any modification due to the actual weather conditions and bear activity; however, any such modification will be made with the sole purpose of ensuring that our clients get as much out of it as possible, irrespective of the causes of such modifications.

 

Accommodation: in a local pension (Ábel bölcsöje pension)

Meals: breakfast—in the pension before setting out

lunch—packed lunch

dinner—before or after the bear photography session, in the pension or at the local restaurant