Join us late summer in the wildest part of Polish Eastern Carpathians. Go tracking large mammals, birding for rarities, immerse in the wildflowers and fantastic landscapes. See the 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, rare Woodpeckers and Eagles
- 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.
Late summer also offers some birdwatching opportunities and we will provide short trips for Woodpeckers, Ural and Pygmy Owls or raptor watching. Other resident birds include Black Storks, 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 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 and a local National Park large mammals expert. 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 several 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 by 12:00 and transfer to the Bieszczady Mountains
Days 2–6: Wildlife watching trips in the Bieszczady Mts – do it yourself or join our guided trips
Day 7: transfer to Kraków, finish by 15:00
HP: hearty Polish breakfasts and plentiful 3 course dinners
Quality lodge, 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.
The main price includes accommodation, HP food and transfer
The festival starts and ends in Kraków. Participants arrive at Kraków at their own expense. We will pick you up at 12:00 at the latest at your hotel in Kraków or the KRK airport and transfer to our lodge in the Bieszczady Mts. If you arrive by train or a car – contact us for detailed directions.
Our lodge is located at a small village of Muczne near the border of the National Park and not far from Ukraine. Surrounded by dense forest this area used to be a restricted hunting ground for communist dignitaries that stayed at this very hotel in the late ’70s. Renovated just a few years ago our venue still lies off the main tourist tracks and offers a comfortable base for daily outings in the area.
On the 7th 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 lodge we will run the Festival’s 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 2–3 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 3-4 hrs long and costs PLN 160–240 (€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. This is the trip that offers the best chances of spotting Brown Bear, Wolf, Bison or even Lynx, if you’re lucky. 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 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 forest habitats with short walks to find, Black, White-backed, Middle-spotted and Grey-headed Woodpeckers. Other forest birds are also very likely.
Birds of prey, 3–4 hrs
An after breakfast outing with a short walk to a vantage point with best chances of spotting birds of prey. Lesser Spotted Eagle, Black Stork, Hobby, Common and Honey Buzzard and are fairly common. Other species may include Golden Eagle or some of the other Falcons and Harriers.
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 and butterflies are also plentiful and evidence of former villages and small wooden churches add a unique taste to our walks here.
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 views 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.
We are honest and only publish real customers reviews. This will be our first summer festival in this area so there are no reviews of it, yet, but here are a few from our last spring festivals and other tours in this area, just to give you an idea:
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
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
– Sam Plompen, Belgium, 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 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.
Could you pick me up at the hotel in the morning of day 1 in Kraków?
Yes, no problem at all. We will pick you up either at the airport if you arrive in the morning of day 1, or at your hotel in Kraków if you arrive earlier and stay here overnight.
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.