Wildlife Tours


Atu Travel organizes a great variety of nature holidays, bear and birdwatching tours, and of course cultural trips for small groups, so each tourist can have our guide’s special attention.

Our team doesn’t offer only pre-made birdwatching tours and nature holidays in Romania, so if you have a special request or you wish tailor-made trip, just let us know and we will come up with an interesting offer.

The main season for nature observation and birdwatching begins in April and lasts until late November. Trips during the period of bird migration (April-June and August-September) are very much in demand and understandably so, since you could easily see more than 180 species in just seven days. All this is possible because our tour leaders have a vast knowledge of the areas they explore.

Nature and Butterfly Program (June - July) - 9 days

Focus:
butterfly, plants and birds

Grading:
Mostly easy walks of a couple of hours or so taken a leisurely pace. There will be a couple of longer walks in the Carpathian Mountains, however, where the paths are uneven in places and undulate. This holiday is suitable, therefore, for anyone with average level of fitness.

Highlights:
Possible to see butterflies like:
Scarce Swallow Tail, Fanton’s Wood White, Eastern Bath White, Lesser Fiery Copper, Cardinal Fritillary, Weaver’s Fritillary, Camberwell Beauty, Freyer’s Purple Emperor, Nickere’s Fritillary, Lattice Brown, Great Banded Grayling, Delatin’s Grayling etc.
Macin wooden step – wonderful landscapes!
Evening Imperial Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk and Long-legged Buzzard from the Babadag Plateau.
Bear watching in the Carpathian Mountains.
Gorges of Zarnesti –a good place for Wallcreeper.
It is possible to see Bran Castle, alleged haunt of Vlad the Impaler.

Nature and Butterfly Program (June – July)

Departure date: 23rd of June – 1st of July 2018

Program tour
Day 1: Transfer Bucharest – Tulcea (4:30 hours drive) with one stop. Dinner and accommodation at Ibis Guesthouse 4* in Tulcea.

Day 2: Today we will explore Dobrogea steppe. You will visit the National Park Macin Mountains. You will have a picnic lunch.
In the afternoon you will visit Ciucurovei Forest (Oak – Silver lime – Wooded steppe). Dinner and accommodation to Ibis Guesthouse.

Day 3: Trip to Babadag plateau. You will visit different areas from the Babadag Nature Reserve, Slava Rusa. Picnic lunch.
In the afternoon you will visit Cape Dolosman. Dinner and accommodation to Ibis Guesthouse.

Day 4: One day boat trip to Danube Delta. You will explore the Delta with a motor boat following the route: Cannel Milla 36, Sireasa Cannel, Nebunu Reserve and back to Tulcea. Dinner and accommodation to Ibis Guesthouse.

Day 5: Transfer Tulcea – Zarnesti. On the way you will make a few stops in the areas, which are interesting for butterflies. Late in the afternoon you will reach Zarnesti and you will be accommodated at Elena Guesthouse 3* where you will spend the next 4 nights.

Day 6, 7, 8: You will explore the areas of National Park Piatra Craiului and Bucegi in search for butterflies. You will visit different habitats from alpine meadows to mixed forests, as well as gorges, subalpine meadows and forests edges. On one evening we will go to the bear hide located deep in the forest in order to watch the bears (optional).

Day 9: Transfer Zarnesti – Bucharest (3 hours drive).

Price
The price for this 9 days tour is 980 euro/pers/tour.
Single supplement 200 euro/pers/tour
The price is calculated for a group of 6 – 7 persons.
The price includes: transfers from and to Bucharest airport, transport, accommodation at guesthouses 3 and 4* with full board, motor boat, specialist guide, local taxes.
The price does not include: soft and alcoholic drinks, entrance fee to castles and museum, access to the bear hide (35 euro/pers/tour), entrance fee to the Danube Delta Reserve (5 euro/person/tour).

Bear Watching in Carpathians and Bird watching in Danube Delta and Dobrogea - 10 days

Focus: birds and mammals.

Grading:
Mostly easy walks of a couple of hours or so taken a leisurely pace. There will be a couple of longer walks in the Carpathian Mountains, however, where the paths are uneven in places and undulate. This holidays is suitable, therefore, for anyone with average level of fitness.

Highlights:
Evening Bear watching in the Carpathian Mountains, Wolf also possible!
Imperial Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk and Long-legged Buzzard from the Babadag Plateau.
See Castle Bran, alleged haunt of Vlad the Impaler Wide variety of migrating waders, warblers and other species heading south.
Explore the reed-fringed waterways of the Danube Delta, one of Europe’s most important wetlands.
4 nights exploring the Danube Delta on a floating hotel Large numbers of pelicans, herons, Pygmy Cormorant & Glossy Ibis in the Danube Delta.
Black, White-winged and Whiskered Tern all likely.

Bear Watching in Carpathians and Bird watching in Danube Delta and Dobrogea (June & September)

Departure dates: 19th of June – 28th of June 2018 & 11th of September – 20th of September 2018

Program tour
Day 1: Transfer from Bucharest Airport to Zarnesti (2.5 – 3 h). Welcome dinner to Guesthouse Elena 3*.

Day 2: After breakfast we’ll visit the Gorges of Zarnesti in the Kingstone Mts. National Park.
Bear tracks, deer tracks are almost always seen. Here possible birds are: Wall Creeper, Tree Creeper, Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Serine, Crossbills, Black Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Honey Buzzard etc. Dinner and accommodation to the local Guesthouse 3* in Zarnesti.

Day 3: In the morning we will make an easy walk on the edge of the forest to an ancient Christian site, Coltul Chiliilor. This area represents a good spot for spotting: Ural Owl, Nut Cracker Three Toad Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a large amount of passerines. In the evening we will go to the bear hide located in the forest where we will have the chance to watch the bears from the shelter of a small hut. Dinner and accommodation to the same guesthouse in Zarnesti.

Day 4: After breakfast they will be transferred to Bucharest. Another option is to make the transfer to Tulcea. In the evening they will have dinner and will be accommodated on a floating hotel 4*, in Tulcea, the gate of Danube Delta.

Days 5 – 7: During these days we’ll explore Danube Delta with its narrow channels and lakes, bird colonies, reed beds and large willow forests. You will have the chance to see colonies of White Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican and Cormorants, also many Locustella and Acrocephalus warblers (Savi’s, Sedge, Paddyfield, Moustached, Marsh, Reed, Great Reed), egrets, herons, Common Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers and Greenshanks, Kingfishers, Penduline Tits and other reed bed species (including Little Bittern). We will also visit a few traditional villages from the Delta, like Letea village.

Day 8: Exploring Dobrogea region, the route: Parches, Macin Mountains National Park, will be done by car.
The picnic lunch will be on package in the heart of nature. We can expect bird migration depending on weather.
Birds like Long legged Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Marsh Harrier can be seen. We will reach Macin Mountains, where are some interesting species like Long-legged Buzzard, Isabelline Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting, Hoopoe, etc. Also the scenery here is wonderful, these mountains being the oldest in Europe. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Ibis 4* in Tulcea.

Day 9: After breakfast we shall travel southwards, passing through small villages. On our way we will make a stop to Babadag Forest where several species of woodpeckers, Hawfinches and raptors such as Honey Buzzard, Imperial Eagle are commonly seen and also there are many rare plants to be seen. The Sinoe-Razelm lake complex lies to the south of the Danube Delta, where herons and ducks can be seen in large numbers, Acrocephalus warblers can be seen quite well here, other birds possible are, Balkan yellow wagtail, some waders etc. This is also the main feeding area for the small delta population of Dalmatian Pelicans. On our way back we will make a stop to Dobrogea Gorges. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Ibis 4* in Tulcea.

Day 10: Leaving early in the morning, we will make the transfer from Tulcea to Bucharest (4 – 4.5 hours’ drive with coffee stop).

Price:
The price for this 10 days tour is 1380 euro/person/tour, single supplement – 230 euro/person/tour.
The price is calculated for a group of 13 – 14 persons.
The price includes full services: transfer by bus from Bucharest airport and back, accommodation with full board in the Danube Delta on floating hotel 4*, accommodation with full board at pension/hotel 3* in Tulcea, transport on water with exploring boat, transport by bus, English speaking specialist ornithologist guide.
The price does not include: soft and alcohol drinks, museum and castles fees, and other personal expenses, entrance fee to the Danube Delta Reserve (5 euro/person/tour), access to the bear hide (35 euro/pers).

Bear Watching in Carpathians - 4 days

Bear Watching in Carpathians Program – Carpathians (April – October)

Day 1: Our guide will make the transfer (2.5 – 3 h drive) from the airport over the Carpathians to Zarnesti, at the border of Kingstone Mountain National Park well known for it’s richness in big carnivores like wolves, bears and lynx. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Elena 3*.

Day 2: After breakfast we will begin our bear and wolf tracking in the woods and after a packed lunch we will reach the bear hide for a season of bear watching. Here we can observe also other species of mammals and birds. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Elena where you have the chance to taste our traditional dishes.

Day 3: In the morning we’ll take a walk in Zarnesti Gorges where it is possible to see birds like Wall creepers, Alpine Swifts, Nutcrackers, Three-toed Woodpecker and Honey Buzzards. After lunch we will continue our wolf and bear tracking in King Stone Mountain National Park and will make another visit to the bear hide.

Day 4: On our way to Bucharest airport we can visit one of our medieval castles from the aria: Bran Castle known as Dracula Castle or Rasnov Castle built by the Teutonic Knights.

Bear Watching in Carpathians and Bird Watching in Danube Delta Program - 8 days

Bear Watching in Carpathians and Bird Watching in Danube Delta Program (April – October)

Day 1: Transfer (3 hours) from the airport over the Carpathians to Zarnesti, at the border of King Stone Mountain National Park well known for it’s richness in big carnivores like wolves, bears and lynx. Welcome dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Elena 3*.

Day 2: In the morning we’ll take a walk in Zarnesti Gorges where it is possible to see birds like Wallcreepers, Alpine Swifts, Nutcrackers, Three-toed Woodpecker and Honey Buzzards. After lunch we will begin our wolf and bear tracking in Kingstone Mountain National Park and we will observe the bears (bear watching) from a special made hide, at their feeding place in the forest.

Day 3: After breakfast we will go for tracking bears and wolves in the woods and after a packed lunch we will reach the bear hide of the feeding aria. Here we can also observe other species of mammals (deer, wild bore and lynx) and birds (owls, wood peckers, raptors). Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Elena where you have the chance to taste our traditional dishes.

Day 4: In the morning we will visit one of our medieval castles from Transylvania: Bran Castle known as Dracula Castle or Rasnov Castle built by the Teutonic knights. Afterwards we leave the mountains and head for lower land, our final destination Danube Delta. On our way we will visit a very interesting and unique location from geographic and geologic point of view, the muddy volcanoes. Here is also a botanical reserve. In the evening we’ll have a welcome dinner in Tulcea, on the floating hotel 4*.

Day 5 – 7: For the next three days we shall be aboard the floating hotel exploring the delta. The Delta is incredibly rich in breeding birds, the best place for birdwatching, and the outline given below is merely a sampler; no doubt we will encounter additional surprises. Romania hosts the world’s largest population of the “Globally Threatened” Pygmy Cormorant with over 7000 pairs, and most are here in the Delta. There’s also Europe’s largest population of Eurasian White Pelican (3500 pairs), crucial numbers of Dalmatian Pelican and the core European population of Ferruginous Duck. Many Locustella and Acrocephalus warblers (Savi’s, Sedge, Paddyfield, Moustached, Marsh, Reed, Great Reed) have their largest European breeding populations in Romania. The Danube Delta comprises a vast complex of reed beds, willow forest, and wetland, crossed by an intricate network of channels. We shall explore as wide a variety as possible of these habitats, both on foot and using a combination of the floating hotel and a small motorboat.

Day 8:
Transfer to Bucharest airport by bus, a 4 hours drive but we’ll stop on the way in some nice places for coffee beak or to stretch our legs.

Birding Trip for Small Groups Danube Delta and Black Sea Coast – 7 days

Birding Trip for Small Groups Danube Delta & Black Sea Coast (April – October)

Day 1: Arrival in Bucharest. Transfer to Tulcea by car. Dinner and accommodation in the new Ibis Guesthouse 4*.

Day 2: Departure in the Danube Delta through small channels and lakes. Red-necked Grebes, Kingfishers, White-tailed Eagle, Glossy Ibises are just a few of the birds that may appear on this day. Dinner and accommodation to holiday apartment 3* in Maliuc.

Day 3: After breakfast we depart for a day trip for birdwatching in the most remote places of the Delta. Lunch will be on the boat in the middle of the wilderness. In the evening dinner and accommodation in Maliuc. This is a good day for Waders, Woodpeckers, Pelicans etc.

Day 4: After Breakfast we’ll turn back to Tulcea also floating through vast reed beds and white willow forests.
In the evening dinner and accommodation at Ibis Guesthouse 4*.

Day 5: In the morning departure by car to the lagoons near the Black Sea Coast. One of the highlights of the day will be the small lakes of Histria, one of the best places for birding in Eastern Europe. Birds like Marsh Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Dalmatian Pelican, Little Bittern, Paddyfield Warbler, Collared Pranticole and many others can appear. Dinner and accommodation in Tulcea.

Day 6: After the morning meal we’ll leave for the National Park of Macin Mountains. Situated in the place where Danube meets the oldest mountains in Romania, it is a very good place for birdwatching Raptors like: Levant Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Saker Falcon, Eagles and others. In the evening traditional dinner at guesthouse.
Day 7: Driving back to Bucharest. On the road we’ll have time for a few stops for birding in Dobrogea region.

Wildlife Tracking and Red-breasted Geese Tour - Carpathians and Black Sea Coast – 8 days

Wildlife Tracking and Red-breasted Gees Tour – Carpathians and Black Sea Coast (December – February)

Departure date: 8th of December – 15th of December 2018

Focus: winter birds and mammals.

Grading: Mostly easy walks of a couple of hours or so taken a leisurely pace. There will be a couple of longer walks in the Carpathian Mountains, however, where the paths are uneven in places and undulate. This holidays is suitable, therefore, for anyone with average level of fitness.

Highlights:
White-fronted Gees, Red Breasted Gees, Lesser White-fronted Gees, White-tailed Eagles, White-headed Duck, Pintails, Greater Spotted Eagle, Long Legged Buzzard and Rough-legged Buzzard.
See Castle Bran, alleged haunt of Vlad the Impeller Wide variety of migrating waders, warblers and other species heading south.
Explore the reed-fringed waterways of the Danube Delta, one of Europe’s most important wetlands.
Evening Bear watching in the Carpathian Mountains, Wolf also possible!

Day 1: Transfer (3 hours) Bucharest – Zarnesti (Brasov). Welcome dinner and accommodation at the hospitable Guesthouse Elena 3*.

Day 2: After breakfast we will make an easy trek in Zarnesti Gorge where you will admire spectacular views. After lunch we will do more wildlife tracking and walk on a Shepard path in the middle of the National Park forest. Here is usually a very good place for chamoix. After we reach one sheep fold we turn back to Elena Guesthouse to have dinner.

Day 3: We will make a medium trek for wildlife tracking in the aria Barsa – Coltii Chiliilor – Ursilor Valley. Here we will search for wolves and dears tracks in a mixed forest (coniferous and beech trees). In the evening we turn back to the guesthouse where we’ll have a traditional dinner.

Day 4: After breakfast and a visit to the Bran Castle we will make the transfer for the Black Sea Region. Welcome dinner at Ibis Guesthouse 4*.

Day 5: After breakfast we will depart by car towards the Black Sea Lagoons. Here we check the wheat fields around the area, the main feeding places for the gees wintering here. Big number of ducks and other birds winter in this area. Dinner and accommodation at Ibis Guesthouse 4*.

Day 6: In this day we pay a visit to the Histria Region, more south as the previous day. We can see here huge flocks of mixed White-fronted and Red Breasted Gees. White-tailed Eagles and Lesser White-fronted Gees can always appear. Dinner and accommodation at Ibis Guesthouse 4*.

Day 7: In this day we’ll make a trip to the Southern Lakes of Dobrogea (egg. Techirghiol) where apart of the Red-breasted Gees we can spot some other species like: White-headed Duck, Pintails etc. Dinner and accommodation at Ibis Guesthouse 4*.

Day 8: Transfer from Tulcea to the Bucharest Airport (4 hours).

The price for this 8 days tour is 870 euro/pers/tour.
Single supplement 180 euro/pers/tour
The price is calculated for a group of 6 – 7 persons.
The price includes full services: transfers and transport by mini bus from Bucharest airport and back, accommodation with full board at Guesthouse Ibis 4* in Tulcea for 5 nights, transport on water with exploring boat (optional, depending on weather), English speaking specialist ornithologist guide.
The price do not include: soft and alcohol drinks, museum and castles fees, entrance fee to the Danube Delta Reserve (5 euro/person/tour), access to the bear hide (35 euro/pers/tour) and other personal expenses.

Carpathians & Transylvania – 7 days

Carpathians & Transylvania

Day 1: Our guide will make the transfer (2.5 – 3 h drive) from the airport over the Carpathians to Zarnesti, at the border of Kingstone Mountain National Park well known for it’s richness in big carnivores like wolves, bears and links. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Elena 3*.

Day 2: After breakfast we will begin our bear and wolf tracking in the woods and after a packed lunch we will reach the bear hide. Here we can observe also other species of mammals and birds. Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Elena where you have the chance to taste our traditional dishes.

Day 3: In the morning we’ll take a walk in Zarnesti Gorges where it is possible to see birds like Wallcreepers, Alpine Swifts, Nutcrackers, Three-toed Woodpecker and Honey Buzzards. After lunch we will continue our wolf and bear tracking in Kingstone Mountain National Park.

Day 4: On our way to Malancrav village we will visit one of our most famous medieval fortresses: Sighisoara. After lunch, we’ll visit Breite Reserve where we will enjoy walking through a very old pastured forest. The oaks here can reach 800 years, the most of them having between 350-400 years. Dinner and overnighting in Malancrav village.

Day 5: Today we will visit the saxon villages of Malancrav, Floresti and Cris with their fortified churches and typical houses. Between these villages we’ll walk through forests and meadows where locals are bringing their sheep and cows for grazing. Songbirds as well as a long list of woodpecker species can be spotted. Dinner and accommodation in Malancrav.

Day 6: After breakfast we’ll start the walking day crossing the famous Malancrav apple orchard, towards the villages of Copsa Mare and Biertan where the fortified churches are declared Unesco World Heritage Sites. The way to these villages crosses outstanding nature far away from the urbanized areas. Time seems that has been stopped in these places. Dinner and accommodation in Malancrav.

Day 7: Transfer to Bucharest Airport.

Transylvania & Danube Delta Tour - 7 days

Transylvania & Danube Delta Tour

Day 1: Arrival from Bucharest. Transfer to Malancrav by car. Dinner and accommodation will take place in the authentically Saxon Village of Malancrav.

Day 2: After the breakfast we will leave up to Malancrav Valley and Cris Valley for a special birdwatching day. In Cris village we will visit the Benthlen castle and its dendrological park where we could find a pyramidal oak (Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’) but also other rare tree species. We can see during this first part of the day beside a lot of wildbirds many kinds of orchids and eurifolum latiforum (bumbacarita). On the south part of the Cris valley we will find steppic vegetation and we will visit Stejar Pufos Reserve from Cris. The lunch will take place in a famous local sheepfold where we can taste different kind of local cheese and see the tradition of milking sheep. In the afternoon we will familiarize with the traditional style of life of the Saxons and with their handcrafts. In the evening a traditional dinner will end the day.

Day 3: After the breakfast we will go crossing the hill, through the apple orchard to Noul Sasesc village. Here we could see the old saxon village and after this we will continue our way over the forested hills toward Copsa Mare and Biertani villages. These two villages are famous for their fortified churches, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. A car will pickup us and return us to Malancrav. Dinner and accommodation will take place in Malancrav.
Day 4: Today we leave Transylvania and head for lower land, our final destination Danube Delta. On our way we will visit a very interesting and unique location from geographic and geologic point of view, the muddy volcanoes. Here is also a botanical reserve. In the evening we’ll have a welcome dinner in Tulcea.

Day 5 – 6: For the next two days we shall be aboard the floating hotel exploring the delta. The Delta is incredibly rich in breeding birds, and the outline given below is merely a sampler; no doubt we will encounter additional surprises. Romania hosts the world’s largest population of the “Globally Threatened” Pygmy Cormorant with over 7000 pairs, and most are here in the Delta. There’s also Europe’s largest population of Eurasian White Pelican (3500 pairs), crucial numbers of Dalmatian Pelican and the core European population of Ferruginous Duck. Many Locustella and Acrocephalus warblers (Savi’s, Sedge, Paddyfield, Moustached, Marsh, Reed, Great Reed) have their largest European breeding populations in Romania. The Danube Delta comprises a vast complex of reed beds, willow forest, and wetland, crossed by an intricate network of channels. We shall explore as wide a variety as possible of these habitats, both on foot and using a combination of the floating hotel and a small motorboat. Day 7: Transfer to Bucharest airport by car. A 3.30 hours drive but we’ll stop on the way in some nice places for coffee beak or to stretch our legs.

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