This tour is timed for fantastic activity of bird rarities like Pygmy Owl, Hazel Grouse, White-backed, Three-toed or Grey-headed Woodpeckers, as well as Wolf tracking and mammal watching for Bison, Elks (Moose) and Beavers.
- Visit the Primeval Białowieża Forest and Biebrza Marshes
- Watch European Bison, Elk (Moose) and Beavers
- See the rare Pygmy Owl and Hazel Grouse
- Watch up to 9 species of Woodpeckers
- Search for Tengmalm’s Owl, Wolf and Lynx at night
- Visit the traditional Eastern Poland and Warsaw
Early spring all the Woodpeckers, Owls and Hazel Grouse just go mad. Wolves would have just mated and Lynx just start. Bison, Elks, Beavers and other large mammals become very active and easy to watch. This tour is timed for a fantastic activity of many rare species which are a lot more difficult to see later in the year.
We will visit some of the wildest areas: the Primeval Białowieża Forest and vast Biebrza Marshes. We will go after Bison, Elks, Beavers, tracking Wolves and Lynx as well as the season’s best birds.
Did you know it is possible to see 9 species of Woodpeckers here? Seeing Pygmy Owl and Hazel Grouse is almost guaranteed and Tengmalm’s (Boreal) Owl – highly likely. But there is so much more! Larger Owls, Cranes, Eagles, Whooper and Tundra Swans, Otters, Martens or hundreds of amphibians on the move. If the weather is right, we may even witness a rare spectacle of Moor Frogs turning blue for a few days of spawn.
Finally, the eastern Polish traditional landscape with small, wooden houses and local, gorgeous food as well as a half-day visit in the Warsaw old town will add a unique taste to this tour.
This tour is timed for resident birds. Only the first few early migrants are here at this time. Please check our tables with bird arrival dates in NE Poland › for reference.
Day 1: Pick up from Warsaw Airport and transfer to the Białowieża Forest
Days 2/3/4: Białowieża Forest
Day 5: Transfer to the Biebrza Marshes, several birding stops en route
Days 6/7: Biebrza Marshes
Day 8: Transfer to Warsaw, visit at a park and lunch
FB: hearty Polish breakfasts, packed lunches and plentiful 3 course dinners
Quality family run guesthouses. Twin or single rooms with private facilities.
This tour requires basic fitness to walk 4–12 km a day, divided between 2–3 walks, at a moderate speed of 3–4 km/h.
The tour starts and ends in Warsaw. Participants arrive in Warsaw F. Chopin Airport Okecie (WAW) at their own expense. We pick you up in Warsaw downtown or WAW airport on day 1, no later than 13:00. If you fly into Warszawa Modlin (WMI), you should account for ca. 2 hrs to get to WAW airport.
See our How to prepare for the trip › page for more info and many other practicals.
Knee-high wellington boots are an absolute must on this tour
The tour starts and ends in Warsaw. Participants arrive in Warsaw F. Chopin Airport Okecie (WAW) at their own expense. If you fly into Warszawa Modlin (WMI), you should account for ca. 2 hrs to get to WAW airport.
Day 1 – Sat
13.00 (at the latest) pick up from Warsaw F. Chopin Airport Okecie (WAW) and transfer to Białowieża Forest. After ca. 4 hrs drive we will check in at an atmospheric and comfortable guesthouse in the Białowieża village.
After a hearty Polish dinner the guide will introduce you to the area and talk about the plans for the next days.
Days 2-4 – Sun-Tue
For the next three full days we will be exploring the Białowieża Forest in search of the wild European Bison, Woodpeckers, Hazel Grouse, Owls and more. We will try to find and follow the tracks of Wolves, Lynx, Pine Marten and other predators.
As usually on our tours, we will set out early and stay out late to fit into bird and mammal activity and thus maximise our chances of spotting wildlife. We will use the mornings searching for Bison but also Hazel Grouse and Woodpeckers. Here is a short list of Woodpeckers possible to see in these 3 days:
- Black Woodpecker
- White-backed Woodpecker
- Green Woodpecker
- Grey-headed Woodpecker
- Great Spotted Woodpecker
- Middle Spotted Woodpecker
- Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
- Three-toed Woodpecker
In the evenings we will go after the miniature Pygmy Owl. Optionally, we will also go out at night searching for the Tengmalm’s (Boreal) Owl as well as driving and spotlighting for Wolves and Lynx.
On one of the days we will also visit the Strict Protection Area of the Białowieża National Park for a few hours walk with a National Park guide. We will enter the core area of the forest, the Man and Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Seeing several species of Woodpeckers on this single walk is not rare.
Day 5 – Wed
After an optional early morning mammal patrol in the forest and a yet another hearty breakfast, we will set off for a journey to the Biebrza Marshes. We will drive through traditional wooden villages and have a chance to stop and experience the pristine landscape of natural flooded meadows with White Storks, Cranes, Geese, Whooper and Tundra Swans as well as other Waterfowl in abundance. We have often seen Elks, Beavers and even Otters on this day.
We shall arrive at our cosy guesthouse in the Biebrza on time for dinner after which we will again have a short talk about the plans for the next days over a pint or desserts. The next two days we will spend exploring the Primeval Biebrza Marshes and the National Park.
Day 6 – Thu
After an early breakfast we will spend this day walking in the Red Bog area of the Biebrza National Park. We will drive into the reserve as far as possible and have a walk in Wolves’ and Lynx territory that will take us to the next level of wildlife tracking. It is here where Wolves and Lynx freshly killed prey is often found.
Surrounded by Elks, vast marshes, forests, sounds of Moor Frogs, Woodpeckers, Snipe, Black Grouse and otherwise – silence, you will feel like you had travelled in time a few centuries back.
Day 7 – Fri
This early morning we will go for an Elk (Moose) safari driving through the willow shrub and vast fens. We may also have a short walk to one of the wooden hides overviewing the marshes. Seeing several Elks is possible while Marsh Harriers, Common Snipe and even Eagles are likely.
After a hearty Polish breakfast we will continue visiting the best sites of the flooded Biebrza Marshes for thousands of migratory Geese, hundreds of Whooper and Bewick’s (Tundra) Swans, flocks of Cranes, Ducks, Waders as well as White-tailed Eagles, Harriers and Storks. In fact the first Ruffs may already be here at this time.
We may also pay a short visit at a picturesque raised bog with its variety of rare flora and check our a few Beaver lodges where not only Beavers but Otters and Minks have also been seen on similar occasions before.
Day 8 – Sat
This morning, after our last hearty breakfast (don’t worry, you will get used to it by the end of the holiday) we will set off for a ca. 3 hours journey back to Warsaw. We plan to arrive at Warsaw by 12:00 and visit one of the parks to find the Syrian Woodpecker and thus, complete our all European Woodpeckers list. Afterwards, we shall finish the tour at a small restaurant for a traditional Polish lunch.
The tour ends after lunch in Warsaw. Participants book a hotel there and flights home at their own expense. Around 16:00 we will drive you to the WAW airport or drop you off at a hotel, if you stay in Warsaw.
Please also take a look at how to prepare for the trip ›
Knee-high wellington boots are an absolute must on this tour
Just a sample of photographs from our previous Early Spring Tours to give you an idea of what it’s like here.
For videos, please visit our YouTube channel here ›
I can say I liked and enjoyed everything during our tour. Regarding animals we saw many new species like Bison, Elk, Beavers as well as many bird species. The food was nice and our guide Andrzej was excellent.
I can highly recommend this company for the excellent service and moneywise was worthwhile.
– John Borg, Malta – 16 April 2016
We were amazed by the richness and the variety of species we have seen and by the knowledge of our guide Piotr. He is an excellent guide and a bird wikipedia. Whenever a bird makes a sound he can immediately tell what and where it is. Białowieża and Biebrza National Parks offer the real wilderness.
– Philip Holoch & Natascha Leisi, Germany, 9 April 2016
Absolutely fantastic! The guide was very knowledgable. Saw Bison, Lynx, Wolf, Wild Boar, Moose and many more. I would highly recommend this company!!
– Chris Pollard, UK – 26 March 2015
Absolutely fantastic. Saw 14 species of mammals in just two days. Brilliant guide who shared a lot of knowledge on the animals, the area and it’s history. Would recommend this to anyone wanting to see a decent amount of wildlife in an amazing country! Thanks again for an unforgettable trip!
– James Ford, UK – 26 March 2015
The best wildlife trip yet! A fantastic guide who put more than enough hours into our days, Białowieża Forest could not have turned up more wildlife! Mammals and Birds galore, with a few Inverts and Amphibians thrown in. Would highly recommend!
– Luke Brannon, UK – 24 March 2015
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