Bookmundi
Check Availability

Bulgaria: Realm Of The Brown Bear

From US$ 1,395 US$ 1,325
Based on 1 Review
  • No booking or credit card fees
  • E-ticket/Mobile voucher
highlights
  • Brown bear conservation project in the remote Rodopi Mountains
The Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown bear tour starts and ends in Sofia. The Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown bear is a Wildlife tour that takes 8 days taking you through Sofia, Bulgaria and other destinations in Bulgaria.

Spend a week in the Rodopi Mountains discovering the realm of the Brown bear. Joined by European Brown bear expert Julian Perry, this holiday gives a unique insight into the behaviour and ecology of these most iconic yet secretive carnivores. During the course of the week we make daily hikes through the heart of prime Brown bear habitat, recording tracks, scats and other signs of bear activity as part of an on-going Brown bear conservation project. On two evenings there will be the chance to visit a specially constructed bear watching hide from where there are good opportunities to see some of the bears whose activity we have been monitoring during our days in the mountains. In addition, we will also be collecting and collating images from several camera traps that will be set up in the surrounding forests. By the end of this holiday we hope you will not only have seen Brown bears in the wild but also have an understanding and appreciation of the fascinating way of life of these mysterious and often misunderstood animals.
Day 1 Start Sofia. Transfer to the village of Yagodina in the remote Rodpi Mountains.

Setting off from Sofia airport we begin a long but interesting 4 hour transfer to the Rodopi Mountains. Our destination is the remote mountain village of Yagodina, where we will be based for the next 6 nights. During dinner, our leader will give an opening briefing about the week ahead and the work of the local NGO ‘Wild Rodopi’ whose Brown bear research and conservation project you will be assisting. Information will also be provided about safety in bear country, and about the specific issues of responsible tourism connected with bear-focused ecotourism.

Day 2 Visit the caves at Yagodinska Peshtera. Circular bear tracking walk in the forests above Yagodina; set camera traps.

After breakfast, we start the day with a visit to the nearby Yagodinska Peshtera to discover the rich variety of cave formations and cave life that are found within, including some rare cave invertebrates and several species of bat. It is also the ideal place to learn about the evolution of bears and their relationship with early Man. Returning to the village, we then set off on our first bear tracking walk, which will lead us into the surrounding forests searching for, recording and interpreting evidence of Brown bear activity such as scats, prints and various feeding signs. During the walk, we will also set up a camera trap at a suitable site in the hope of filming any passing bears or other wildlife over the coming week. This evening the group will be divded in two and half of the group will visit the bear hide for their first observation of night time activities in the forest clearing. Visiting the hide usually necessitates having an early dinner so that we can be in position at around 6:30 - 7pm. Bears are attracted to the hide by the prescence of corn, but are not dependant on this for their diet. Depending on the amount of activity in the clearing we may stay until around 11pm, or with permission of the group earlier or later.
2.5 hours walking, 10KM, altitude gain 300m, altitude loss 300m

Day 3 Panoramic walk in rugged and rocky karst terrain, rich in birds, butterflies and orchids; evening visit bear hide.

Setting off on foot from our hotel, we make a steep, steady climb up the stony flank of the mountain ridge above the village. Here in spring and early summer there are several interesting species of orchid to be found, as well as numerous butterflies. On reaching the ridgeback, we then climb up to the highest peak where we are rewarded with a wonderful cliff-top viewpoint. The rocks here are home to several typical cliff dwelling species of bird including the beautiful wallcreeper, Peregrine falcon, Rock thrush, Crag martin and Alpine swift. It is also possible to spot other raptors gliding over, such as Golden eagle, Short-toed eagle, Booted eagle, Long-legged buzzard, hobby and kestrel. The wonderful views remain with us throughout the day as we continue our walk, zig-zagging steeply down into the depths of the Buynovsko Gorge on a rough and stony path. This evening, the second half of the group will have their first visit to the bear hide.
3.5 hours walking, 11KM, altitude gain 400m, altitude loss 600m

Day 4 Visit the Game Breeding Reserve, home to several species of ungulate, the main prey for the regions large carnivores.

The focus of today is an exploration of a State Game Breeding Reserve, located about 45 minutes drive from the village. Here combining exploration by 4WD and on foot, we hope to observe and discover more about some of the other wildlife with which Brown bears share these mountains, including Wild boar, Roe deer, Red deer, Balkan chamois and mouflon. This gives us a chance to understand more about critical contemporary conservation issues such as hunting, poaching, rewilding and species’ reintroductions. Another opportunity to visit the hide for the first half of the group.

Day 5 Circular bear tracking walk through forests and meadows; evening visit bear hide.

After breakfast, a short drive brings us to the trailhead for the start of a beautifully varied walk in a little visited part of the region. Following a series of old forestry tracks that are also used as a convenient network of trails by Brown bears. This area is not only rich in butterflies and birds, but also of great historical interest. During our walk, we will visit a site, which according to some historians and archaeologists, was the place where Orpheus was torn to pieces by the wild Maenads, the female followers of Dionysus. It certainly seems a suitably mystical and atmospheric spot that fits in well with Ovid’s poetic description of these dramatic events. Another opportunity to visit the hide for the second half of the group.
3.5 hours walking, 14KM, Alt gain 420m, alt loss 420m

Day 6 Bear tracking walk through habitat of Brown bear, Pine marten, Beech marten, European badger, Red fox and Grey wolf.

After breakfast we set off from the hotel on foot, beginning a strenuous but highly rewarding bear tracking walk. Having left the village pastures behind, we begin a long steep climb that sees us enter a densely forested region that is roamed not only by several Brown bears, but a variety of other carnivores. Especially exciting is the fact that Balkan lynx, a species considered extinct in Bulgaria for almost a century, has very recently been recorded here again! The forests here also harbour many secretive birds such as Hazel grouse, Black woodpecker and Crested tit. The midpoint of our trail brings us out onto some wonderful rock outcrops from where there are stunning views towards Greece, across waves of forested ridges that make a perfect trans-border corridor by which the large carnivore populations of Bulgaria and Greece can intermix. Our descent then leads us down through more silent forest, and what is the heart of core Brown bear habitat. Here we should see plenty of signs of bear activity, including several trees that they have bitten, scratched and rubbed, giving us a chance to learn more about other fascinating aspects of Brown bear behaviour. During our walk we will also collect our camera traps, so that later back at the hotel we can analyse the pictures and see what bears and other wildlife we have managed to capture on film.
3.5 hours walking, 12KM, Alt gain 550m, alt loss 550m

Day 7 Forest and riverside walks in search of rare orchids, Eurasian otter and butterflies; to Sofia.

Leaving Yagodina on foot, we start the day with a short walk along a beautiful forest path, which in spring and early summer is renowned for its exceptional variety of orchids. Formerly an ancient Thracian packhorse route, this path is often used by Brown bear when feeding in the surrounding forests on beech mast and ants. After meeting our bus, a 45 minute drive brings us to beautiful valley of the Devinska Reka, where we will spend a couple of hours walking a delightful riverside trail. As well as being home to typical riverine birds such as dipper and Grey wagtail, the valley also forms the heart of a specially designated Prime Butterfly Area, and provides the perfect habitat for many rare and beautiful butterfly species. Having enjoyed a picnic lunch beside the river, we then complete the transfer (3 hours 30 minutes) back to Sofia.
3 hours walking, 10KM, Alt gain 190m, alt loss 290m

Day 8 End Sofia.

For those on the BA group flight, we will check out of the hotel straight after breakfast and drive into the city centre where there will be time for a short sightseeing tour on foot to see some of Sofia's main sites, before transferring to the airport for the flight to London.

what’s included
  • All breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 7 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Arrival & departure transfers
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Sofia are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown bear tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 8 days
Tour Type Group Tour  
Minimum Participants 4 people
Age Requirement 16+ yrs
guiding method Live guide/instructor
guide language English
Starts/Ends Sofia, Bulgaria/Sofia, Bulgaria
image description
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown bear
customer reviews
5.0 - Excellent Based on 1 review
Bulgaria, The Realm of the Brown Bear
5 - Excellent
“We had an excellent trip, learning about the evolution, distribution, habitat, food and habits of bears. We studied and measured " bear " trees and scats and were able to deduce the age and sex from these! The walks were well varied through stunning scenery.”
Availability
  • Best price guarantee
  • {{data.start_date | inDate }} from {{data.start_city}}
  • {{data.finish_date | inDate}} in {{data.end_city}}
  • Only {{(data.seats > 10 ?'10+':data.seats)}} seat{{data.seats >1?'s':''}} left Sold Out
  • From {{symbol}} {{formatNumber(data.discounted_price)}}/pers {{symbol}} {{formatNumber(data.original_price)}} Save {{symbol}} {{formatNumber(data.discount_amount)}} + {{symbol}} {{priceSeperator(data.local_payment)}} Local Payment
{{data.booking_type}} -{{data.discount}}%
{{getRoomType(data)}}
Good to know Payment

A deposit of 191 USD is required to confirm this tour. For any departures within 19 August 2017 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown bear tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown bear tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Cancellation No additional cancellation fees apply for this Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown bear tour. You can cancel the tour up to 57 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 56 days of departure.
other information
Exodus / Product Category: Wildlife
image description
{{(chatView=='product' || chatView=='viewoffers')?activeuser:getFirstName(activeuser)}}
{{productTitle}}
View Offer

Hello! from, {{activeuser}}

Replies will be sent directly to your email address, if offline.

  • Confused?
  • Queries?
  • Or just feeling alone?

Communicate with {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}

  • Replies will be sent to your own email address, from where you can continue the conversation.
  • 1. Your enquiry is sent directly to the company.
  • 2. They will reply to your own email, from where you can continue the conversation.

Communicate with Communicate with {{activeuser}}

  • 1. Your enquiry is sent directly to the company.
  • 2. They will reply to your own email, from where you can continue the conversation.
No conversations yet :(
Bookmundi
Hi ,
Thanks for your trip input. We will shortly connect you with a travel expert, usually within 24 hours. We will do our utmost to make sure that you get a trip of a lifetime.
Hi ,
We have a new trip planning request from the customer {{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}}.
You are receiving this request because you have been hand-picked as one of Bookmundi's Travel Experts. We only hand-pick a few Travel Experts per destination. Being a Travel Expert comes with these important .
Having been selected as one of Bookmundi’s travel experts, please keep in mind the following important tasks and responsibilities:
  • 1 Please always answer the customer as soon as you get a new trip planning request.
  • 2 We appreciate that you take extra care in guiding and helping this customer.
  • 3 The customer's trip requirements are given above. With the trip requirements in mind, please help {{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}} with customising a perfect trip itinerary.
  • 4 Being a Bookmundi travel expert the customer will expect that you are knowledgeable about the trip and that you will respond swiftly. Thus, if you feel that the customer’s trip requirements are out of your scope, please do let us know and we will assign another travel expert to help the customer, if needed.
{{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}} has the below trip requirements. Please help and guide him in the best possible way. When you and {{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}} have created the perfect trip plan, please submit a travel offer to {{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}}. Please see this video on how to submit a travel offer.
We've noted down your trip requirements below. You can easily them.
  • {{myRequest.title}}
  • Group Type: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{(myRequest.group_type!='Single' && myRequest.group_type!='Couple')?'(':''}}{{myRequest.group_type}}{{(myRequest.group_type!='Single' && myRequest.group_type!='Couple')?')':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
  • Travel Budget: {{myRequest.budget | budgetfullName}}
  • Trip Details:
Bookmundi
Here's a quick overview of how our travel expert service works:
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
  • 3 When you feel that your trip is exactly per your wish, you'll be able to book the entire trip here on Bookmundi.
Bookmundi
You will receive an email when the travel expert joins the conversation. If any further input or questions, please feel free to contact us at customerservice@bookmundi.com.
Bookmundi
{{myRequest.reject_reason?myRequest.reject_reason:'Sorry, Your trip request has been rejected.'}}
img description img description
{{getFirstName(activeuser)}} has joined the conversation {{msg.message}}
img description img description
{{getFirstName(activeuser)}}
seen

{{(duplex.offer_mode==1 && messages.length==1 && iamagency==1)?'Messaging this user is blocked momentarily':settings.bolcked_message}}
{{qResponse.message}}
{{errorMessage}}
The message you are writing will be delivered as an email because {{getFirstName(activeuser)}} is currently offline.
  • {{files.file_name}}
Bookmundi
{{myRequest.title}}
Bookmundi
Hi ,
Thanks for your trip input. We will shortly connect you with a travel expert, usually within 24 hours. We will do our utmost to make sure that you get a trip of a lifetime.
Hi ,
We have a new trip planning request from the customer {{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}}.
You are receiving this request because you have been hand-picked as one of Bookmundi's Travel Experts. We only hand-pick a few Travel Experts per destination. Being a Travel Expert comes with these important .
Having been selected as one of Bookmundi’s travel experts, please keep in mind the following important tasks and responsibilities:
  • 1 Please always answer the customer as soon as you get a new trip planning request.
  • 2 We appreciate that you take extra care in guiding and helping this customer.
  • 3 The customer's trip requirements are given above. With the trip requirements in mind, please help {{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}} with customising a perfect trip itinerary.
  • 4 Being a Bookmundi travel expert the customer will expect that you are knowledgeable about the trip and that you will respond swiftly. Thus, if you feel that the customer’s trip requirements are out of your scope, please do let us know and we will assign another travel expert to help the customer, if needed.
{{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}} has the below trip requirements. Please help and guide him in the best possible way. When you and {{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}} have created the perfect trip plan, please submit a travel offer to {{getFirstName(duplex.udf.name)}}. Please see this video on how to submit a travel offer.
We've noted down your trip requirements below. You can easily them.
  • {{myRequest.title}}
  • Group Type: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{(myRequest.group_type!='Single' && myRequest.group_type!='Couple')?'(':''}}{{myRequest.group_type}}{{(myRequest.group_type!='Single' && myRequest.group_type!='Couple')?')':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
  • Travel Budget: {{myRequest.budget | budgetfullName}}
  • Trip Details:
Bookmundi
Here's a quick overview of how our travel expert service works:
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
  • 3 When you feel that your trip is exactly per your wish, you'll be able to book the entire trip here on Bookmundi.
Bookmundi
You will receive an email when the travel expert joins the conversation. If any further input or questions, please feel free to contact us at customerservice@bookmundi.com.
Bookmundi
{{myRequest.reject_reason?myRequest.reject_reason:'Sorry, Your trip request has been rejected.'}}
No conversations yet :(
person
{{agReviews.agency.name}}
{{agReviews.ratings.rating}} - {{agReviews.ratings.rating>4.5?'Excellent':agReviews.ratings.rating>3.5?'Very Good':agReviews.ratings.rating>2.5?'Average':agReviews.ratings.rating>1.5?'Poor':'Very poor'}}
{{review.product_review_title}}
For {{review.productt.trip_title}}
{{review.name}} From {{review.country}} At {{review.edit_date?review.edit_date:review.add_date | date:'mediumDate'}}
“ {{review.total_score>4.5?'Excellent':review.total_score>3.5?'Very Good':review.total_score>2.5?'Average':review.total_score>1.5?'Poor':'Very poor'}} ” “ {{review.product_score>4.5?'Excellent':review.product_score>3.5?'Very Good':review.product_score>2.5?'Average':review.product_score>1.5?'Poor':'Very poor'}}”
Back to top