Join us in the wildest part of Polish Eastern Carpathians at the most picturesque time of the year. Go tracking large mammals and immerse in the unspoiled landscapes. Experience the silence and unscathed nature at your own pace..
- Visit Poland’s wildest area, the Bieszczady Mts in Eastern Carpathians
- Go tracking Bison, Bears, Wolves and Lynx with a local expert
- Watch the rich birdlife including Ural Owl, Nutcracker and Woodpeckers
- Extend your stay and visit Kraków, Auschwitz and more
This is by far the most affordable and fun way to join wildlife watching trips. We will spend this week in one of the wildest parts of Poland, the unscathed and undiscovered Bieszczady Mts in the Eastern Carpathians.
Bieszczady belong to the lowest mountain ranges of Eastern Carpathians (max. 1346 m/4416 feet). Scarcely populated and largely forested these mountains are now teeming with wildlife and have become the most important Polish refuge for Brown Bears, Wolves, Lynx and even Wild Cats. Moreover, there is a large herd of wild European Bison living here as well as plenty of Beavers and we will aim to see them all.
Early autumn also offers some birdwatching opportunities and we will provide short trips for the season’s best – Woodpeckers and Ural Owl. Other resident birds include Nutcrackers or Crossbills and you may see them on a daily basis.
For those that like to hike, the ridges reach well above the tree line and present a fantastic scenery. If you’d rather stay on (comparatively) flat, the open river valleys are still rich in wildflowers, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles and offer equally good views.
We provide quality accommodation and food at a comfortable hotel and most importantly – quality wildlife guiding by our staff. Our experienced and enthusiastic nature guides will point out all the wildlife and wildflowers around as well as keep you informed about the region’s history and ethnic diversity.
Finally, we will also point out a few options for self guided walks so you can see the pristine Carpathian forest at your own pace and have some private time.
We don’t use any hides or artificial feeding or other ways of altering wildlife behaviour. Instead, we offer an unscathed nature and real wildlife experience.
Day 1: Join us in Kraków at 11:00 and transfer to the Bieszczady Mountains
Days 2–7: Wildlife watching trips in the Bieszczady Mts – do it yourself or join our guided trips
Day 8: transfer to Kraków, finish by 15:00
HP: hearty Polish breakfasts and plentiful 3 course dinners
Quality, 3*** hotel, twin or single rooms with ensuite facilities.
Children must be at least 15 years old to join this festival. If your children are younger, please contact us and we’ll see how we can help organise your trip.
Fitness & footwear – important!
This festival can be physically intensive and trips offered require fitness to walk for several hours a day in the mountain area, on very steep and slippery slopes, uneven terrain and often at a quick pace. You are also highly likely to get your feet wet and boots muddy.
Above-ankle trekking boots are necessary to join the trips offered. Gaiters are highly recommended and walking sticks may be useful.
The main price includes accommodation, HP food and transfer
The festival starts and ends in Kraków. Participants arrive at Kraków at their own expense, preferably the day before the festival – 11 Sep 2020 (see a few hotel suggestions below ›).
We meet at 11:00 in the morning 12 September downtown Kraków in front of the Sheraton Grand Hotel › and transfer to our hotel in the Bieszczady Mts. If you arrive by train or a car – contact us for detailed directions.
Our hotel is a comfortable 3-star venue, beautifully located in the forest, 2.5 km (30 mins walk) from the small town of Czarna. A perfect location for our daily outings and self exploration, with Wolves and Bears visiting right behind the hotel at night.
On the 8th day, we transfer you back to Kraków. We plan to arrive by 15:00. Basic participation costs include the transfer, accommodation, plentiful breakfasts and 3-course dinners. If you feel like watching wildlife on your own – it’s all you pay for. You will even receive a detailed map of the area and suggestions for self guided walks to help your personal exploration.
Wildlife watching trips are optional; charged on the spot
On the grounds of our hotel we will run the Festival Office where you will be able to find out and subscribe to our guided wildlife watching trips on a daily basis. We will offer at least 3–4 different trips each day according to current wildlife situation and weather. These trips include transportation, guiding and all entry fees.
This way you compose your own itinerary on the spot and are charged for the trips you choose, separately. Only debit or credit cards are accepted (Visa and MasterCard), so no cash is needed. All trips start and finish at the lodge.
A variety of reasonably priced trips will be offered
The trips will be priced according to their length and driving distance. A typical trip is 3-6 hrs long and costs PLN 150–250 (€40–60). There is no limit to the number of people taking part in a festival but our guided trips always run in small groups, 3–12 persons.
The costs of a single trip always include:
- transport in a comfortable minibus
- guiding by an English speaking passionate naturalist
- all entrance fees and National Park tickets
Below is a small selection of typical trips offered at this Festival. According to the current wildlife situation and your suggestions we may offer additional short trips, even for single species or a historical tour of wooden villages.
Our goal is to make the trips affordable to everyone and we will do the uttermost to keep the prices as low as possible.
Many trips will take place at dawn and dusk for best wildlife activity, leaving enough time in the day to rest.
Dawn & Dusk Patrol, 4-6hrs
A drive and a walk at the best time of day for large mammals at some of our favourite sites – the wildest and most remote. We run these trips on a daily basis as each year they bring us some Bison, Wolves and Brown Bear sightings. But there is so much more to see!
A thrilling dawn or dusk trip trying to spot Europe’s rarest owls: Ural Owl and the smallest of them all – Pygmy Owl. Tawny and Tengmalm’s (Boreal) Owls are also common in the area and we may see them, too. This time of day is also best for general wildlife activity and we will visit some unscathed patches of the forest.
A drive around various habitats with short walks to find, Black, White-backed and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, Nutcrackers, Lesser Spotted Eagles, Great Grey Shrikes and a lot more.
Undiscovered Forest, 3-4hrs
A slow walk off trails in the pristine Carpathian forest that will change your view of Nature. Travel back in time and experience the Forest from a different perspective. Learn to read Nature and become one with it.
Verdant river valley, 5–6hrs
A long but reasonably flat walk in the river valley along the border with Ukraine. We will be looking at all the abundant birds, frogs and snakes. Wildflowers are also plentiful and evidence of former villages, small wooden churches as well as obvious wolves and bears activity and fantastic views of an unscathed landscape add a unique taste to our walks here.
Night drive, 2–3hrs
Isn’t it smart to go our when mammals are actually most active? Join this easy drive for an unforgettable experience of forest at night with chances of sporting some of the most elusive mammals.
Hiking the treeless ridges, 6–8 hrs
A full day trekking along the Połoniny – beautiful subalpine meadows atop the long ridges typical to this area. Stunning, dramatic views of the forested Carpathians and chances to mix with locals.
Here are a few short videos by our local guide (Polish subtitles only) and a few photographs to give you an idea of what it’s like here.
All footage was recorded in nature, without feeding, calling or any artificial attracting.
Wonderful to see European Bison in the wild. Thrilled to hear two wolf packs howling and to see a wolf. Wonderful forests and beautiful scenery – good exercise! Nice people.
– Lavinia Grant (UK), Sep 2019
The guides and staff were enthusiastic, fun and very accommodating. I loved the tracking aspect of the tour, particularly wolves & bears. I really enjoyed the hill walking too.
– Dan O’Loughlin (IE), Sep 2019
A unique experience. I liked the flexibility to choose what you wanted each day. Fabulous locations and a rich variety of wildlife.
– Kevin Warburton (UK), Sep 2019
A very special adventure! Highly intelligent guides with thought provoking conversation really made the holiday. Their warmth, friendliness and humour made each day a joy… as well as spotting incredible mammals and birds in the beautiful landscape. Add the odd spot of vodka and you will find yourself falling in love with Poland by the end of the week!!
– Julie Warburton (UK), Sep 2019
Knowledable expert guides sharing their passion and trails. Wild nature made easy with all the planning done for me. I don’t need to think just follow my guide and tune into my senses. Wild Poland guides opened my eyes to their native wildlife and landscapes. Guides were very accommodating and flexible with itinerary.
– 2018 festival participant
Before the trip we did not appreciate the excitement of seeing a bear foot print, somehow more powerful than we had imagined – you have to experience it!
– Paul & Roz from Essex, Sep 2018
– Sam Plompen, Belgium, Sep 2018
The guides were exceptionally knowledgable and we loved the no-nonsense approach to trekking which allowed us maximum time in the field. We felt the guides did everything they could to locate wildlife.
– Elta & Nick, UK, private tour in the Bieszczady Mts, 10 Oct 2017
Also, a few reviews from our previous spring festivals and other tours in this area, just to give you an idea:
Flexibility and choice of expeditions, extensive knowledge of guides, small groups and very personal experience. Thanks a million for all your dedication, hard work, care, patience and attention to detail. I had the most unforgettable experience, nature in its pristine form… I cannot thank you enough.
– Lorna Mikhelson, UK, 23 May 2017
Excellent organisation, handing out self guided tours, room for requests, knowledgable guides in the most beautiful part of Europe! Thank you so much!
– Danielle, The Netherlands, 23 May 2017
What an amazing experience! I went there on my own and felt looked after every step of the way. There was such a variety of bird and mammal life to be seen and amongst all I saw were bison, elk, lynx and wolf!! The meals provided were hearty and delicious. The guides were fantastic, helpful and super knowledgeable. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it so peaceful and informative. I can’t praise this trip highly enough from accomodation, guides, BEAUTIFUL scenery and wonderful wildlife.
– Sailí Ní Dhroighneáin, Ireland, 23 May 2017
Complete flexibility to pick and choose daily itineraries to suit personal requirements. Enthusiastic and competent guides dedicated to providing the very best service.
– Maurice Wilby, UK, 23 May 2017
Guides were very knowledgable, could locate and point out dozens of things we would just have not seen. Although there is a bird & mammal emphasis on the trips the guides took time to see we were interested in plants and identified these when they could.
– Kevan Horne, UK, 23 May 2017
Take advantage of every opportunity offered to you – no matter what time of day! You never know what you will see and experience. The best holiday I have ever had!!
– Wendy Burnett, UK, 22 May 2016
100% Money Back Guarantee with Wild Poland
By booking, you will be asked to pay a 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. We charge in PLN, so if your card is held in EUR or GBP small differences in the refunded amount may occur because of exchange rates.
|12 Sep – 19 Sep 2020||available||3850 PLN||Book now|
Could you pick me up at the hotel in the morning of day 1 in Kraków?
No, we are sorry. We tried this in the previous years but it takes a few hours to pick everyone up and we would spend the whole day in the bus, arriving at our hotel late evening.
Instead, we suggest that you book a hotel near the meeting point and either walk or take a taxi there in the morning. This way we minimise the time spent on the bus and should arrive at our hotel in the mountains in the afternoon.
A few hotels within 5 minutes walk from the meeting point are suggested below.
Can I join your trips without booking accommodation? (I will be in the area in these dates and have my own accommodation)
Yes, the Festival is open to other visitors who just ‘come by’ but priority is given to our customers. You will only be allowed to join a given guided trip when there are enough spaces available.
We think this is fair towards the participants who plan their holiday in advance.
Can I easily communicate in English?
Yes, the Festival language is English and all our guides speak it well. What we cannot guarantee, however, is that all the hotel staff are fluent. Therefore our staff will be there to assist you in a rare case that you may require help.
Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes, we accept VISA and MasterCard on the spot. In fact – we do not accept cash at all
Not all the hotels and bars accept cards, though, so you may wish to have some PLN in cash to pay for your drinks, souvenirs etc. Cash machine will not be easily available in the area.
Can I pay in EUR or GBP?
Yes, but we don’t accept cash. When you make a bank transfer to pay for the basic participation costs, we can accept EUR.
When you pay for the guided trips on the spot, we only accept card payments and charge in PLN.
I travel alone but wish to share a room. Is it possible?
Yes, you may opt for a shared room option but in case we do not find you a room mate of the same gender, you will be charged an additional single room supplement.
It is a common practice here that hotels charge more for a single room and unfortunately, we cannot avoid this.
But there are dozens more 10-15 minutes walk from the meeting point.