This tour is timed for breath-taking scenery of Białowieża Forest and Biebrza Marshes, bird rarities like Pygmy Owl, Woodpeckers, Ruffs or Bluethroat as well as Wolf tracking and mammal watching for Bison, Elk (Moose) and Beaver.
- Visit the Primeval Białowieża Forest – UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Watch European Bison, Elk and Beavers
- See the rare Pygmy Owl and up to 9 species of Woodpeckers
- See thousands of waders in the Biebrza National Park
- Search for Wolf and Lynx at night
- See the traditional Eastern Poland
- Visit Warsaw old town
Spring is by far the best time for wildlife in Poland and we will visit some of the wildest areas: the Primeval Białowieża Forest and vast Biebrza Marshes. We will go after Bison, Elks and Beavers as well as the season’s best birds like the rare Woodpeckers, Owls, Waders or Warblers.
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.
April – early birds and mammals
Best time for flooded meadows with Marsh Marigolds filled with thousands of Ruffs in breeding plumage and other waders. Good for mammals, early migrants such as Collared Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, Wryneck, Bluethroat, Marsh Terns as well as Woodpeckers and Owls. We may still miss a few species that usually arrive late April and in May, please check our tables with bird arrival dates in NE Poland › for reference.
May – all birds, some mammals , some butterflies and dragonflies
Best time for birds, especially for the late arrivals mentioned above. Seeing all the woodpeckers can be tricky or more difficult once they fledge. Many mammals including Bison, Elk and Beavers are still possible to see. First butterflies and dragonflies emerge.
Day 1: Pick up from Warsaw Airport and transfer to the Białowieża Forest
Days 2/3/4: Białowieża Forest + Siemianówka Lake
Day 5: Transfer to the Biebrza Marshes, several birding stops en route
Days 6/7: Biebrza Marshes
Day 8: Transfer to Warsaw, walk and lunch in the Old Town
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.
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. For the next three full days (days 2 to 4) we will be exploring the Primeval Białowieża Forest and surrounding areas.
Day 2 – Sun
After a substantial breakfast, we will go for a few hrs walk to get you accustomed with the forest and local common birds like Wryneck, Lesser Whitethroat, Collared Flycatcher or Hawfinch. Woodpeckers like Lesser Spotted, Grey-headed and even White-backed are also possible on this walk.
We will have our lunch in the middle of the forest and continue visiting the best sites in the afternoon. You will see some of our favourite trails that wind through a variety of different forest habitats deep in the centre of the Białowieża Forest. Species seen on such walks include some of the rare woodpeckers, birds of prey or mammals such as Bison, Deer, Wild Boar and Pine Marten.
This day, we will also visit one or more Pygmy Owl territories trying to spot these miniature predators.
Day 3 – Mon
Early morning (ca. 4:30 am) we will explore some glades and meadows in search for wild European Bison and we will also have a short birding stroll in the forest to get you some of the local bird rarities.
After another substantial breakfast we will go for a few hrs walk
in the Strict Protection Area of the Białowieża National
Park. We will enter the core area of the forest, the Man and
Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The forest of huge, centuries-old trees of over 20 species that host thousands of creatures on the verge of extinction. Species seen here include Black, White-backed, Middle Spotted and Three- toed Woodpeckers.
In the evening, we will set off for a journey through the forest visiting some of our favourite patches of forest where Collared Flycatchers and Wood Warblers are plentiful and Hazel Grouse or Woodpeckers are likely species along with Bison, Deer or Boar. At dusk, we may once again stop at some Pygmy Owl territories or decide to go for a dusk mammal watch with chances for Bison, Boar or Beaver.
Day 4 – Tue
After the usual hearty breakfast we will set off for a full day birding trip up north of the forest towards the famous Siemianówka Reservoir. Species seen here in late April and May include White-winged and Whiskered Terns, Great White Egrets, White-tailed and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Citrine Wagtails and numerous waders and waterfowl. Some other typical birds like Marsh and Montagu’s Harriers, Hoopoes or Great Grey Shrike are also often seen there.
Furthermore, in April and May many rare amphibians like Fire-bellied Toads or Tree Frogs can be found and reptiles like Sand Lizards are plentiful.
After a substantial Polish dinner we will spend an unforgettable and atmospheric evening at a Great Snipe lek at a vast fen near the forest edge. Elk, Roe Deer, Short-eared Owl and plenty of Snipe as well as Woodcocks have been our usual sightings there.
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 visit numerous small ponds with abundant White-tailed Eagles, Harriers, Whopper Swans, Black and Red-necked Grebes, Marsh Terns, waders, Great Reed Warblers and a lot more.
We may also have one or more short walks in the heart of the Biebrza National Park to see if Aquatic Warblers have arrived. Chances of spotting Elks are high.
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
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 and Montagu’s Harriers, Common Snipe and even Aquatic Warblers are highly likely.
After a hearty Polish breakfast we will continue visiting the best sites that Biebrza has to offer for Lesser and Greater Spotted Eagles, Hoopoe, Black Stork and other common birds. We may also pay a short visit at a picturesque raised bog with its variety of rare flora. We will get back for an earlier dinner and in the evening we will set off for a boat trip to watch Beavers.
When the time is right, just about sunset, we will board our stable flat-bottomed boat for a gentle cruise down the river. You will spend a good hour or more on the water having chances to spot several Beavers as they swim across the river, get out to the shores to mark the territory, groom their fur and feed on twigs. We have run this very popular trip for several years now and never missed a Beaver sight!
Day 7 – Fri
After another substantial breakfast we will go on a full day drive around Biebrza’s top spots. We will start off with a gentle stroll in the marsh, the best possible site for a multitude of warblers and wetland birds of the area in April and May. Bluethroat, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Penduline Tit, Savi’s Warbler and even Little Crake have been seen on this walk.
Later, we will visit a few more sites, have a walk in the marsh, see the flooded meadows full of Ruffs and other waders, White-winged and Whiskered Terns, Cranes and a lot more. We will finish the day at a vast, tranquil fen, surrounded by the multitude of water birds with good chances of spotting more Elks or Short-eared Owls and Aquatic Warblers at dusk.
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, have a short walk in the Old Town and sit at a small restaurant for a traditional Polish lunch.
The tour ends when we arrive 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.
Just a sample of photographs from our previous Spring Birds & Mammals Tours to give you an idea of what it’s like here.
For videos, please visit our YouTube channel here ›
This was one of the best trips our group and I have been on, excellent guide, excellent sites, food and hotels.
– Mick Clay, UK, 23 May 2016
Perfect guidance, particularly with respect to birds. Beaver tour was top. I enjoyed wide areas of undisturbed habitats.
– Bruno Bruderer, Austria – 10 May 2016
The enthusiasm and great knowledge of our guide Peter – on par with that of renowned ornithologists in our party. The whole group very much enjoyed his positive approach to everything. His eagerness to show us everything nature holds in store and first and foremost his overwhelming friendliness. This holiday was a lifetime experience for everybody in the party.
– Dietrich Traitler, Austria – 10 May 2016
The experience and enthusiasm of our guide made the week to something very special. Very rich birdlife, beautiful landscape.
– Christina Zuna-Kratky, Austria – 10 May 2016
Impressive, beautiful landscape, very rich wildlife. Dense but very fruitful programme, led by a very experienced guide well familiar with the area (Peter).
– Thomas Zuna-Kratky, Austria – 10 May 2016
The excellent knowledge of guide, his helpfulness, nothing was too much trouble. Great views of the wildlife.
– Rosemary Richards, UK, 4 May 2016
Fantastic scenery, lots of gorgeous birds and mammals, great company and excellent guide, very knowledgable & with great sense of humour. Would recommend it to friends!
– Elisabeth Grynberg, USA, 4 May 2016
I have had a wonderful holiday. Nice guide with a good sense of humour and big knowledge!
– Berit Brolund, Denmark, 4 May 2016
We had a wonderful trip to see birds and mammals in early spring in the Bialowiesza Forest and Biebrza marshes. We had excellent views of bison, elk, beavers and other mammals. The boat trip to see beavers at work was fantastic. We also saw lots of birds, the most memorable for us being the white-tailed eagle, all three types of spotted woodpecker plus black, white-backed, grey-headed and three-toed woodpeckers – quite a set!
Lucasz Mazurek is a knowledgeable naturalist and superb guide. Food and accommodation were very good. We recommend the holiday!
– Anne and Robin, UK, 26 May 2015
Brilliant trip to the Białowieża Forest and Biebrza Marshes. Lots of stunning close-up wildlife encounters expertly led by Wild Poland (Lukasz).
– Jeff Lunn, England, 19 May 2015
My party of 3 had a wonderful wildlife experience and enjoyed super weather too. 15 beavers in an evening’s river trip; lesser spotted eagles; sea eagles hunting; blue throats in the sun and aquatic warblers in the dawn. All the expected woodpeckers called out and scoped with panache by Lukasz. Experiencing the remnants of the once vast wildwood of northern Europe was moving. The whole package put together professionally and no viewing opportunities were wasted.
I wrote an article for the Teesmouth Bird Club about our trip: http://www.teesmouthbc.com/Newsletters/tbcn061.pdf (see page 10)
– Alistair McLee, UK, 5 May 2015
A first rate wildlife experience in a fantastic environment. Many thanks once again!
– Rob Scaife, UK, 1 May 2015
We had a wonderful week in two magical areas with some incredible sightings. The B&Bs were amazing too, by which I refer to Bison, Beavers and Bitterns, of course!
– Ros Coward, UK, 1 May 2015
These guys are real experts. Lukas was even stopped on the road by a visitor wanting him to autograph his guidebook!
– John Ellis, UK, 1 May 2015
Perfect tour! Excellent guide and a fantastic view into wildlife in Poland. Feeding Beaver 10 m from the boat, grazing Elk and Bison very near and around 130 bird species and a lot of different habitats visited. Highly recommendable!
– Jørgen Nielsen, Denmark, 24 Apr 2015
This was an action packed tour that contained every ingredient for success – wonderful outdoors, an abundance of interesting wildlife, a fantastically knowledgable and expert guide, and a carefully chosen and researched itinerary.
– Buzz Carter, UK, 24 Apr 2015
Our guide made us feel very welcome, his knowledge of the wildlife was excellent and he never tired of answering our questions. We got fantastic views of the wildlife – I would highly recommend it!
– Emily Smith, UK, 24 Apr 2015
What a fabulous week we had under the expert guidance of Lukasz. His attention to detail was superb and his knowledge of the area was second to none.
He was able to take us to numerous wildlife sites in both the Biebrza Marshes and the Bialowieza Forest which allowed us to maximise the number of bird species (145) and mammal (9) sightings. He was able to find us Elk, Bison, Wild Boar and Beaver among others. The trip was intensive (early mornings and late evenings) but was very rewarding.
Lukasz is very client focused, nothing is too much for him. We cannot thank him enough and would recommend both him and his company to anyone.
– Ray & Ruby Lumley, England, 2/9 May 2014
Hi Lukasz, would just like to thank you for the great holiday we had, from 2 to 9 May. In six days to see 145 species of birds and 9 species of mammals, including elk and the three B’s — bison, boar and beaver was incredible.
This was totally due to your knowledge, expertise and your dedication to wildlife. Once again many thanks.
– Dave & Jean, UK, 12 May 2014
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