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Primeval Forest & Marshes

8 days in the Białowieża Forest and Biebrza Marshes

Primeval Forest & Marshes

8 days in the Białowieża Forest and Biebrza Marshes

Primeval Forest & Marshes

8 days in the Białowieża Forest
and Biebrza Marshes

Visit the two greatest gems of Polish nature

Let our most experienced local guides take you to the best sites of Białowieża Forest and Biebrza Marshes. Go birdwatching, tracking Wolves, see the wild European Bison, Elks and Beavers. Visit places you wouldn’t find on your own and see a tremendous variety of wildlife.

Białowieża Forest is the last remaining primeval forest in the lowland Europe. It covers an area of over 1500 km2 in the tranquil corner of Poland and Belarus. Saved from logging, this forest became home for hundreds of rare species of birds, insects, mushrooms. Most importantly, it became world’s last refuge for European Bison – the largest land mammal on our continent. Centuries old trees grow here together in a tremendous variety of habitats making it recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site now visited by thousands from all over the world.

We will spend four nights at a comfortable, family run guesthouse/hotel in a centrally located Białowieża village and go on daily walks tracking Wolves, Bison and birdwatching after rarities like White-backed  or Three-toed Woodpeckers, Pygmy Owl or the rare Flycatchers and Warblers.

Biebrza Marshes are one of Europe’s last natural lowland river valleys. They cover an area of over 1000 km2 of wetlands, peat bogs and bog forests in the far north-east of Poland. Saved from drainage by the non-intensive local farming, these fragile habitats became home for hundreds of rare species of birds, insects and plants that are now difficult to see anywhere else in Europe. This area also holds a huge population of Elk (Moose), European Beavers as well as a few packs of Wolves and several Lynx.

We will stay here for three nights and go for Elk (Moose) Safari, take a boat cruise down the river watching Beavers and watch some of the world’s rarest birds like Ruffs, Aquatic Warblers or Greater Spotted Eagles, depending on the season.

Our local guides are experienced, have access to the best areas and all the recent sightings. Our customers say they are a wealth of knowledge and even fun but best to check it out yourselves. What is more, the eastern Polish traditional landscape with small, wooden houses and locally grown, gorgeous food as well as a short visit at the Warsaw old town will add a unique taste to this tour.

Duration

8 days, 7 nights
Start and end: Warsaw

Board & lodging

7 nights guesthouse/hotel
All meals included

Transport

Minibus

Activities

Walking (flat surfaces)

Small groups

5-11 persons
Minimum age: 15 yrs

Price

5250 PLN per person
Deposit: 500 PLN
Single room: +400 PLN

See real wildlife in a respectful way

What our customers say

Day by day itinerary

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Day 1: Pickup at Warsaw, transfer to Białowieża Forest

13:00 (at the latest) pick up from Warsaw F. Chopin Airport Okecie (WAW) or your hotel in Warsaw and transfer to Białowieża Forest. After ca. 4 hrs drive we will check in at a comfortable guesthouse/hotel 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 three full days (Days 2 to 4) we will be exploring the Białowieża Forest and the surrounding areas.

If time allows, our guide will offer a short evening walk already on the 1st day so that you can get accustomed to the area and possibly see some wildlife!

Wejmutka guesthouse or similar

Meals included: lunch en route, dinner

Day 2: Bison Safari in the Białowieża Forest

At dawns and dusks we will go after wild European Bison, trying to get you close to these magnificent animals.

There are over 500 Bison living in the wild here and we have the best local knowledge on where to find them. We will transfer in our minibus through the forest and go for a few short walks and visit a number of different lookout sites in a more safari style. We may see individual old bulls, small herds of younger animals or large mixed herds of cows with calves. We have seen wild Bison on all our previous trips so far and have had some really close encounters, especially in early spring and autumn.

At middays, we will take you further into the wild. You will see some of our favourite trails that wind through a variety of different habitats deep in the Białowieża Forest. Species seen on such walks include some of the rare woodpeckers, birds of prey or mammals such as Bison, Red Deer or even Wolves and Lynx.

Wejmutka guesthouse or similar

Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 3: Primeval Forest Reserve - Unesco site

On one of the days in the Białowieża Forest our expert nature guide will invite you for a walk through the only accessible part of the Strict Protection Area of the National Park in Białowieża, the Man and Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a must-see for every visitor in Białowieża.

This trip takes you back in time a few thousand years, when most of Europe was covered with a similar forest. The dense forest of huge, centuries-old treesthat host thousands of creatures on the verge of extinction. Our expert guide will share his great knowledge with enthusiasm that will change your view of nature. This excursion will awaken and educate. You will feel as if you have been transported into a BBC wildlife documentary.

You will also have a chance to see some of the rare woodpeckers like Black, White-backed or Three-toed as well as other birds, depending on the season. All our guides are experienced birders and will point out everything that there is to see.

Wejmutka guesthouse or similar

Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 4: Wolf tracking, birdwatching and more

Our guide will take you for a few more walks in the Białowieża Forest and the surrounding areas to show you season’s best at a variety of habitats.

Early spring you will have a chance to watch the Three-toed and White-backed Woodpeckers, Hazel Grouse or Pygmy Owl while late spring is the best for Thrush Nightingale, Collared and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Rosefinch or the numerous Marsh, Barred and River Warblers.

In summer you will spend some time at the shores of the lakes where Black Stork, White-tailed or Lesser Spotted Eagles can be seen. Finally, autumn brings the numerous colourful fungi and rutting season of Bison, Red Deer and Elk.

But there is so much more to see: wildflowers, plentiful frogs and toads, snakes and lizards, butterflies, dragonflies and underwater invertebrates. Your days will start early and finish late – all to give you a full experience of the unscathed nature of north-eastern Poland.

Wejmutka guesthouse or similar

Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 5: Transfer to the Biebrza Marshes

After the usual hearty Polish breakfast, we will set off for a few hours journey to the Biebrza Marshes.

Driving through the countryside you will see some traditional wooden architecture and we will also have a chance to stop at one of the many colourful villages for a short walk and a full eastern Poland experience.

At spring and summer we will visit a few small ponds with abundant White-tailed Eagles, Marsh Harriers, Black and Red-necked Grebes and a lot more (the usual frogs, toads and insects).

We will end the day with a short walk in the Biebrza National Park and try to spot our first Elk (all seasons) or one of the rarest birds in the world – the famous Aquatic Warbler (spring and summer) at one of the largest peat-bogs of Europe.

We shall arrive at our guesthouse in the Biebrza on time for a substantial dinner after which we will again have a short talk about the plans for the next days.

Dwór Dobarz guesthouse or similar

Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 6: Elk & Beaver safari in the Biebrza Marshes

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. There are over 1000 Elks in this area and our guides know the wetlands like the back of their hands. We have had some fantastic close encounters with Elks on most previous trips, especially in early spring.

After a hearty Polish breakfast we will continue visiting the best sites that Biebrza has to offer at a given season. We may take a walk in the bog alder forest for woodpeckers or scan the vast marshes for White-tailed, 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 shall get back for an earlier (but still plentiful) dinner on this day and in the evening we will set off for a Beaver safari. 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! It actually became a highlight of the whole tour for many of our previous participants.

Dwór Dobarz guesthouse or similar

Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 7: Red Bog trek, birdwatching and more

This morning our guide will take you into the restricted area of the Biebrza National Park, the famous Red Bog Reserve, home for one pack of Wolves and plenty of other wildlife. You will learn the advanced tracking skills and see some of the most stunning landscapes. We will spend some time on the glacial sand dunes at the edge of the marsh where snakes and lizards are often found and we will have our packed lunch in the heart of the National Park overviewing the vast marshland.

In spring and autumn we may change the red bog trek for a drive around a few other sites in the Biebrza National Park where a lot more is likely to happen – the spectacle of lekking Ruff and Snipe, breeding White-winged Terns, Black-tailed Godwits or spawning frogs and flocking Cranes.

Dwór Dobarz guesthouse or similar

Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 8: Transfer to Warsaw, visiting Old Town for lunch

This morning, after our usual 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.

Hotel: none

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Key information

Board & lodging

We will spend 7 nights at a comfortable family run guesthouse or a hotel, depending on availability and distance to the best sites at a given time to save on driving. All accommodation is based on twin-share, with private facilities. Additional single room suplement rate applies if you travel alone. We do not offer twin rooms to share for single travellers. Please note that some of our guesthouses host dogs and cats and may not be suitable if you have a severe allergy.

All the venues serve gorgeous traditional Polish food. Breakfasts are a hearty continental treat that can set you up for the day. We will take packed lunches to eat in the field or take a midday break at a local cafe. In the evenings we will once again dine at our guesthouse.

Transport

Our professional driver and tour leader will pick you up at the airport or a hotel in Warsaw with a comfortable minibus that will accompany us for the rest of the tour.

Fitness level - is this tour for me?

This tour can be intensive and requires basic fitness to walk for several hours a day. On average, we will walk between 2–12 km a day, divided between 2–3 walks, at a moderate speed of 3–4 km/h. NE Poland is generally flat so altitudes are not a problem. Most of the time we will walk on decent tracks but we may walk short distances off trails on uneven terrain where you are likely to get your boots wet and muddy.

Tour leader - an experienced local guide

You will be accompanied by an English speaking Wild Poland guide, an experienced naturalist and birder throughout this tour. We may take on additional local guides for a visit in the National Park (entrance tickets also included).

Joining & departure

The tour starts and ends in Warsaw. Participants arrive in Warsaw at their own expense. We will pick you up at the WAW airport or your hotel in Warsaw 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.

The tour ends on day 8 after lunch in Warsaw. Participants book a hotel there and flights home at their own expense. After 16:00 we will drive you to the WAW airport or drop you off at your hotel, if you stay in Warsaw. Your plane home should not leave earlier than 18:00 from WAW, please make sure with us you will be on time for your flight back.

What to bring - essential luggage & clothing

It is particularly important that your outer clothing is in dark colours: green, brown, black etc. Please avoid bright colours like white, yellow, blue but also bright green or pale sand brown. This includes a hat and gloves as well! A pale hat sticks out and can be seen in a long distance.

You should bring the following necessary items:

  • above-ankle waterproof trekking boots,
  • gaiters,
  • waterproof jacket & trousers,
  • sunhat (summer),
  • warm hat & gloves,
  • binoculars.

You may consider bringing the following useful items:

  • wellington boots,
  • walking stick,
  • scope on a sturdy tripod,
  • thermo flask/cup,
  • small torch/headlamp.

Common questions

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.

5 – 12 Sep 2020

Guaranteed 

SPACES
available

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

10 – 17 Oct 2020

SPACES
available

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

17 – 24 Apr 2021

SPACES
available

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

8 – 15 May 2021

Guaranteed 

SPACES
full

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

19 – 26 Jun 2021

SPACES
available

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

24 – 31 Jul 2021

SPACES
available

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

21 – 28 Aug 2021

SPACES
available

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

10 – 17 Sep 2021

SPACES
available

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

23 – 30 Oct 2021

SPACES
available

PRICE
5250 PLN

SINGLE
+400 PLN

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