I’ve been on two trips: Spring Wildlife Festival & Carpathian Mammals tour. Both really different and excellent. My main goal was to see wolves & bison. But in the end I’ve seen much more and learned so much. For example, I learned a lot about tracking which is actually much more exciting than I expected. Seen so many birds in Białowieża which got me much more excited than I would have guessed. The guides do really their best so you would see what you want to see.
– Gregory, BE, Oct 2020
Explore the wildest parts of Polish Carpathians
Join our crazy guide in a tireless search of Wolves, Bears, Lynx and European Bison. Spend exciting and intensive days in the wilderness with chances of actually seeing these elusive mammals!
This is a short but intensive tour in the wildest part of Poland, the unscathed and undiscovered Bieszczady Mts in the Eastern Carpathians.
Bieszczady belong to the lowest mountain ranges of 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.
This is a large area so each day we will travel by minibus and long distances on foot. We will also spend some time at good vantage points at dawn and dusk. It can be intensive in terms of little sleep and a lot of walking but for us this is the best way to do it. 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.
We will stay at a small, family run wooden guesthouse or a modest hotel, depending on availability and distance to the best sites at a given time to save on driving. All the venues have comfortable twin or single rooms with en suite facilities and serve gorgeous traditional Polish food.
Our local guides are experienced, have access to the best areas and see the large mammals regularly. Our customers say they are a wealth of knowledge and even fun but best to check it out yourselves.
See real wildlife in a respectful way
Day by day itinerary
click ⊕ to expand
Day 1: Pickup at Kraków, transfer to Bieszczady Mts
11:00 (at the latest) pick up from Kraków and transfer to Bieszczady Mts. After ca. 5 hrs drive we will check in at our guesthouse/hotel and following a hearty Polish dinner our guide will introduce you to the area and its fauna and talk about the plans for the next days.
Our local guides are experienced, have access to the best areas and see the large mammals regularly. We are also in touch with local National Park mammal researchers and are up to date with animal movements and recent sightings.
Arnika guesthouse or similar
Meals included: lunch en route, dinner
Days 2/3/4: Dawn & dusk trips in search of mammals
We will be leaving early morning, when it is still dark, to be at the right spots at dawn. We will take our minibus for a short drive and take a walk in the mountains and river valleys, up to a vantage point or a series of them, trying to spot the large mammals in the distance. A safe distance of course – as our priority is never to disturb wildlife in the first place but watch them without altering their behaviour.
On most days we shall be back at the guesthouse for a hearty breakfast/brunch followed by a few hrs break at midday. On some days we will take a packed breakfast with us to eat in the field and be back at our lodge for lunch. You can use the midday break to catch up with sleep (suggested), enjoy the silence chilling out in the garden or go for a short walk in the forest.
In the afternoon, after an early dinner, we will meet up again and continue our exploration of the area in the minibus and on foot, until dark. We usually see at least some of the mentioned large mammals and we can guarantee that our crew does their best to get you close to these elusive beasts. You are also likely to see their tracks, droppings and other signs of activity.
This is an undeveloped area so most trails are narrow and muddy. The trips take between 3-6 hrs each, 2-12 km (measured on flat) with up to 300m ascent/descent and some stretches as steep as 40°.
On top of chances to see the large mammals in the wild, you can expect to gain an understanding of the pristine Carpathian forest and the whole natural ecosystem complexity as our guides are passionate naturalists and well trained general biologists.
Although our focus will be seeing Wolves, Bears, Lynx and Bison, other wildlife will not be left behind. We usually see good numbers of Red andRoe Deer, while other mammals like Beaver, Pine Marten or even a Wild Cat are likely.
Birdlife of this area is equally rich and includes Black Stork, Lesser Spotted and Golden Eagles, Nutcracker, the resident Pygmy and Ural Owls, White-backed Woodpeckers and numerous warblers.
These three days will be intensive but hopefully also rewarding in terms of wildlife and certainly – natural, unspoiled landscapes. What is more, dawn and dusk are the best time of day for beautiful light, mists and picturesque sunrise and sunsets.
Arnika guesthouse or similar
Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
Day 5: Transfer to Kraków
This morning we may offer an optional short trip and after our usual substantial breakfast we will set off for a ca. 5 hours journey back to Kraków. We will stop for lunch en route and plan to arrive at Kraków Airport by 15:00. The tour ends when we arrive in Kraków. Participants book a hotel there and flights home at their own expense. If you choose to extend your tour and stay in Kraków (a good idea) we can drop you off at your hotel.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch en route
Reports from previous tours
You should bring the following necessary items:
- above-ankle waterproof trekking boots,
- waterproof jacket & trousers,
- sunhat (summer),
- warm hat & gloves,
- small torch/headlamp.
You may consider bringing the following useful items:
- walking stick,
- scope on a sturdy tripod,
- thermo flask/cup.
Eating & drinking
Polish food is very good, usually made from fresh produce. We are certainly meat eaters, not shunning from the fatty cuts. Pork and poultry are most popular. Soups are also a very Polish dish and while we do like our broth and borsch, many other soups are a full meal in itself.
Breakfasts tend to be hearty and often consist of fried or scrambled eggs, boiled or fried sausage, cold cuts, cheese, tomatoes and bread. A sweet version consisting of cheese/jam filled pancakes or racuchy (pancakes with apples) is also quite common.
For lunches we will take packed sets (two sandwiches, piece of fruit, chocolate bar, water) to eat in the field or stop at a local cafe where possible.
Dinners are a substantial 3-course meal served back at our guesthouse.
Vegetarians & vegans
These days vegetarians are usually well catered for, but please let us know at the time of booking. However, it can be difficult for vegans, as dairy produce and eggs occur in the vast majority of meals. Therefore we recommend that you bring some supplementary items.
Travel & medical insurance
We (Wild Poland) are fully insured tour operator as required by Polish and European law. However, all participants must additionally be covered by personal travel and medical insurance, preferably from the time of booking. This should cover you fully against the cost of cancellation by you, lost baggage, medical care and repatriation.
We do not provide or check personal travel insurance policies. See our booking conditions › for more details.
How is my money protected?
First of all, we are a registered tour operator in Poland. All holidays by Wild Poland are protected by the Mazovian Province and our AXA tour operator insurance. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Province executives guarantee to refund any money you have paid to us for any future booking.
Secondly – you get 100% money back guarantee with Wild Poland. By booking, you will be asked to pay a small deposit to confirm your place. It allows us to book the hotels etc. in your name. 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 varying exchange rates.
Finally, we use Poland’s leading online payments gateway called PayU ›. Any critical credit card details are only entered at their secure pages and we have no access to, nor do we withhold any credit card details.
Dates, prices & booking
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.
When booking a guaranteed tour within 30 days of departure you will be asked for a full payment instead of just the deposit.