BALKAN TOUR: FRIDAY 21 APRIL – FRIDAY 28 APRIL 2017
Orcadian Wildlife is pleased to offer a new venue for 2017: Bulgaria – a Balkan state where east meets west, from the shores of the Black Sea in the east, through its mountain ranges of the Balkan and Rhodopes Mountains which straddle the country. Raptors and wetland birds will feature prominently, and we also take care to absorb the culture of this fascinating country, visiting Thracian tombs and mountain villages. In early April 2016 on a reconnaissance tour we saw some 165 species of birds, which is as rich a biodiversity as you will find anywhere in Europe. We will be using knowledgeable local guides in association with our partner in Bulgaria: Wild Echo.
Where: We will use the central and Bulgaria’s 2nd city of Plovdiv as our entry and departure point, and first head south into the Rhodope Mountains where we will explore native forests and gorges for hazel grouse, black woodpecker and wallcreeper; and also do our best to see a brown bear; then turning east to the Black sea shore at Burgas for wetland birds such as Dalmatian pelicans and pygmy cormorants (including Poda and Pomorie Nature Reserves); before finally heading west again for some last-minute sites on our return to Plovdiv and home.
What will we see: There is always an element of surprise, and indeed luck, but we hope to see such ‘difficult’ birds as hazel grouse and wallcreeper; raptors such as booted, golden, lesser spotted, Imperial and short-toed eagles; Egyptian and griffon vultures; and a whole variety of wetland waders and wildfowl. We may see as many as 170+ species of birds, and some amphibians, mammals and reptiles. As usual, we will take care to include some of the cultural sites, including 2,500 year-old Thracian tombs and quaint mountain villages. The limestone towers of the Trigrad Gorge are truly spectacular! Early butterflies will also be on the wing and may include festoons, swallowtails and Camberwell beauties. We could also be persuaded to take lunch at a winery since Bulgarian wine is little known but exceptionally good!
At Trigrad: There is the possibility of seeing a brown bear, in hides managed by our Bulgarian partner, Wild Echo. Bears are difficult to see, unless you dedicate much time to watching and waiting, and we have just a limited opportunity. Nevertheless, the brown bear is an important component of the Bulgarian eco-system, and we will at least give it a go! In any case, spending a couple of hours ‘quiet time’ in a hide is a great way of seeing what else is around, and we won’t be disappointed…
When: Late-April 2017, dates Friday 21 April – Friday 28 April 2017 (7 nights) travelling by Ryanair from London Stanstead – Plovdiv return.
Group Size: Limited to six only – we’re watching wildlife and we like very small groups!
Cost: £1,300 per person. Single supplement (if applicable) will apply of £105. NB Cost of flight EXCLUDED. Sofia arrival also possible.
Further Details: For further information and a detailed itinerary please contact Steve on firstname.lastname@example.org or click Bulgarian Tour Enquiry for an online enquiry form.