This winter adventure focuses on watching wild European Bison, Elk (Moose), Beavers and Otters in a picturesque snowy winter landscape. Winter is by far the best time to watch these mammals!
- Watch wild European Bison in the Białowieża Primeval Forest
- Watch Elks, Beavers and Otters in the Biebrza Marshes
- Go tracking for Wolf and Lynx
- Learn advanced animal tracking skills
- Experience the beautiful, snowy landscape
- Taste the traditional Polish food
- Visit Warsaw old town
Winter is a very atmospheric season in the traditional Eastern Europe. This tour focuses on spending quality time in Poland’s great wilderness areas: the Primeval Białowieża Forest and the Biebrza Marshes.
Walking and driving through the Białowieża Primeval Forest for three full days we will search for European Bison, Red Deer and Wild Boar. We will also spend a lot of time tracking Wolves and possibly Lynx and you will learn an awful lot about them and about wildlife tracking. Additionally, we will set out early as well as try howling at night to maximise our chances of finding these elusive predators.
Biebrza Marshes hold a strong population of Elk (Moose) and while there, it is possible to see several each day in short distances. We will also spend one day tracking Wolves in the famous Red Bog reserve. Beavers and Otters are common, too and can often be found feeding out of the water. We will search for them driving along the river banks.
Birds possible to see on this tour include White-tailed Eagle, Great Grey Shrike, Waxwings, Hawfinches or several species of Woodpeckers. 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.
You will be accompanied by our experienced nature guide who will keep you informed and enthused about everything you see. We hope for beautiful snowy scenery and temperatures below −10°C but even on a milder winter our chances of spotting mammals are high.
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 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 a cosy guesthouse in the Białowieża village and 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, Wild Boar, Red and Roe Deer.
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 mammals activity and thus maximise our chances of spotting wildlife. Seeing several Bison in the wild each day is highly likely. Boar and Deer are also often spotted. Optionally, we may go out at night for short drives spotlighting and howling for Wolves.
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. The forest of huge, centuries-old trees of over 20 species that host thousands of creatures on the verge of extinction.
Our guide will share his great knowledge with enthusiasm that may change your view of nature.
Day 5 – Wed
After the usual hearty Polish breakfast we will transfer to the Biebrza Marshes with several wildlife watching stops en route.
Firstly we will try to find Beavers and Otters along the river, White-tailed Eagles over waters and Rough-legged Buzzards in the fields. Later, we shall drive and walk through the boreal Pine forest where spotting several Elks on a single afternoon is highly likely.
In the evening, we will accommodate in a small, family run guesthouse at a tiny village of Dobarz in the heart of the Biebrza National Park, just on time for another delicious home cooked dinner.
Day 6 – Thu
After another substantial 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 vast marshes, forests and silence, you will feel like you had travelled in time a few centuries back.
Day 7 – Fri
After an early morning Elk spotting drive and a usual plentiful breakfast at our lodge we will fill our flasks with hot teas and coffees and set out to find Beavers and Otters feeding on the ice at the edges of frozen Biebrza and Narew Rivers.
Having located the best areas two days earlier, we will try and get you better and closer views of all these mystical animals.
We have seen Elks on all our trips. On most of our trips we have also seen both Beavers and Otters, while on some, we have missed one of them but seen the other.
Other likely species on this day include Red Fox, American Mink, Goosander, Goldeneye, Whooper Swans or White-tailed Eagles and Great Grey Shrikes.
Day 8 – Sat
This morning, after our last substantial 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 short video from 2014 and a sample of photographs from our previous Winter Wildlife Tours to give you an idea of what it’s like here at wintertime.
More videos are available at our YouTube channel here ›
…the chance to see signs of animals on the forest tracks, their footprints and ‘shit’. There was always the anticipation that the tracks you were following were fresh and the animals were close by…
– Phil Gretton – 6 February 2016
We wanted to see Bison, which we did. But this holiday was so much more than this. Lots of great memories – getting close to Elk, Lynx footprints, the first Crane of the year all made possible by our excellent guide.
– Lesley Gretton – 6 February 2016
Poland turns out to be a new star on the ecotours firmament! The excellent guiding by Lukasz Mazurek opened the unknown/unexpected beauty of Polish wildlife. Close encounters with Bisons, Elks, Otters & Beavers were magical moments!
– Marc & Kris Dauwe, Belgium – 15 February 2015
A great winter mammals tour with lots of animals seen thanks to a superb guide in Lukasz, his attention to detail and knowledge are second to none.
– Ian Nixon, UK – 3 March 2015
For more than 35 years, I have travelled through Europe to watch wildlife and I made more than 20 wild trips in this continent. To practice this activity, the guide (if possible a local one) is very important.
Lukasz is one of the three or four best guides I met in my life; He is very competent and very friendly. All the members of the group were impressed by his knowledge.
We hope to be back soon in Poland and meet him again in these beautifull notheastern Polish landscapes.
– Jean François Birckel, Rennes, France – 13 February 2014
I am just back from a wonderful winter wildlife watching holiday in remote North East Poland with naturalist Lukasz Mazurek, owner of Wild Poland.
We were based in two places: Bialowieza forest, one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe, and the Biebrza marshes, one of the largest European wildlife refuges. These areas are the home of wild European bison, wolves, lynx, elk, beavers, wild boar, otters, eagles, to name just a few species.
We walked and drove on special routes through the forest and marshes designed with great insider knowledge by Lukasz. It was stunningly beautiful, and full of wildlife and their tracks in the snow. We did not see wolves or lynx (you would have to be insanely lucky), but pretty much everything else (e.g. bison, elk, otter, and white-tailed eagles from close-up), and we saw loads of fresh wolf tracks and followed them through the snowy landscape.
Lukasz is a superb naturalist and guide, always finding animals, birds and tracks, but also sharing his large knowledge and insight in the history, culture, and politics of the areas you are in. The week-long trip was very well organised (if you fly to Warsaw you are picked up there), we were a small group of 5 from different countries, and we had a lovely time. We stayed in two lovely Polish guesthouses, and ate brilliant food. I did not know Polish food was so good, and I am vegetarian too!
If you are looking for an authentic, richly rewarding (and affordable) wildlife holiday in a remote European region, you have found it. Check out the Wild Poland website for their wildlife trips at other times of the year too.
– Francoise, UK – 28 January 2014
Lukasz more than exceeded the brief we gave him when asking for his help in designing and helping to deliver our wildlife tour, throughout the process he was attentive to the needs of our company and our clients. This attention to client care is equally as important as knowledge of the wildlife one hopes to encounter, luckily Lukasz also has this knowledge in abundance.
He is also extremely familiar with the landscape in which he works enabling him to put the client in exactly the right spot.
In a nut shell Lukasz can organise a first rate tour in stunning locations regal you with facts about Poland wildlife and be generally good fun to have around.
– John Rhyder, Woodcraft School Ltd, UK – 5 March 2013
Just got back from a week with Lukasz. What he doesn’t know about the Bierbza and Bialowieza National Parks is probably not worth knowing.
We saw otter, beaver, elk, bison, red deer, roe deer, boar, red squirrel, various woodpeckers, corvids, raptors and passerines, and saw/heard and smelt tracks and signs from beech and pine martens, mice, voles, badger, fox, racoon dog, stoat, wolf, owls, and on and on. The landscapes were stunning and his jokes were terrible!
What more could you want? how about a very fresh wolf kill? Fantastic dude I highly recommend you to anyone after an authentic European wildlife experience.
– Toby Williams, UK – 3 February 2013
100% Money Back Guarantee with Wild Poland
By booking, you will be asked to pay a small deposit to confirm your place. In a rare case that we have to cancel the departure because of insufficient number of participants, you will be refunded the full deposit amount. If your card is held in EUR or GBP small differences in the refunded amount may occur because of exchange rates.
We use PayPal processing for the transactions and charge in PLN. You can use a debit/credit card and don’t need to have a PayPal account for this.