Guides: Andrzej Petryna (Andy), Piotr Dębowski (Peter), Bartek Smyk (Bart), Tomasz Jezierczuk (Tom), Łukasz Mazurek (Luke), Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Ewa Zin, João Ferro (UNESCO site), Tomasz & Kamil (Beaver boat), Irek Ruczyński (Bats), Tomek (Dawn patrols) plus our trainees – Marta, Zuza, Oliwier and Michał
Participants: Polly and Mary (AU), Sam (BE), Roman (CH), Storm (DK), Luca and Veronica (IT), Pim and Stuart (NZ), Paul & Janette, Douglas, Roger, Alan & Margaret, Mark, Mike, Ian & Carol, Andrew & Sheila, Claire & Chris, Helen, Peter, Mary & James, Tom & Barbara, Mary & Richard (UK) and others.
Text by Łukasz Mazurek
Photos by Wild Poland team
This year’s spring wildlife festival has, once again, become a huge success. We have hosted over 40 participants from 9 different countries. A total of 16 local guides and 8 drivers have worked dawn to dusk for 9 days taking small groups around the wildest sites of the north-eastern Poland.
We were based in the Białowieża village, in the center of the 19th c. park, right next to the Białowieża National Park headquarters and the NP Museum, a comfortable hotel, great Polish restaurant located in the amazingly peaceful and quiet surroundings. The weather has been fantastic and our team well prepared. Within the first two days most participants have already had a few trips in the forest, visited the UNESCO core area of the National Park, seen European Bison in the wild and got a headache from all the bird songs around. We have even had a private alarm clock in the form of a Greenish Warbler singing its head off right in front of our hotel windows.. starting as early as 4 am.. every single day.
Take a look at the best sightings of Day 3 (2nd full day) below. Bison seen on every outing plus one Wolf at the end of the day!
Everyone enjoyed learning about the natural forest and seeing the best preserved, oldest patches of it during our walks. For us it is always more about the whole habitat and overall experience but in case you were interested in numbers, in the course of 9 days we have recorded 161 bird species, 21 mammals, 12 amphibian and reptile species, 27 butterflies and 23 dragonflies.
Traditionally, we have also offered trips to the Siemianówka Lake, Great Snipe lek and the Biebrza Marshes for a more thorough understanding of Poland’s nature and a tremendous variety of unspoiled landscapes. As usual, we have seen numerous Elk, Beavers, Aquatic Warblers, Bluethroat, White-tailed and Spotted Eagles, Black Stork and a lot, lot more.
Our traditional Polish farewell campfire received surprisingly good comments, despite everyone being already filled up with sausage, cake and Polish beer. Anyway, the group have safely reached Warsaw for a short walk in the old town and lunch at a small Polish restaurant before departing home.
Please enjoy a a few more photographs below. We hope they will bring back fond memories in those who have been here with us this week. A truly amazing and unforgettable week. For us, it has become the best week of the year and we are already looking forward to the 2019! Next year Spring Festival dates are 18-26 May 2019 and there are many spaces available (at least at the moment of writing this).