The Primeval forest of Bialowieza with European Bison
Mammals and birds of Biebrza Marshes
Spectacular landscapes of Winter in the Polish countryside
Small group size
Use of specialist photography hides
Fully escorted by UK photographic guide
Departure Dates18 - 25 February 2017
1. Depart UK to Warsawi. Transfer to Bialoweiza to overnight.
2. In search of bison and other wildlife for photography
3. A day at photographic hides
4. A day at photographic hides
5. Morning bison photography and visit to strict reserve. Transfer to Biebrza
6. Safari in search of elk, beaver, otter and perhaps wolf.
7. A second day of photography in Biebrza.
8. An early search for elk then return to Warsaw to depart Poland.
From £1935 per person including international airfares from the UK.
The Wildlife of Poland has become a major draw for European nature photographers. The combination of beautiful wild landscapes, varied birdlife and some spectacular mammals promise a diverse and rewarding tour.
A visit to Poland whilst it is held in the frozen chill of winter is a magical and unforgettable experience. The advantage of travelling in winter is not only the snow cover, which makes tracking wildlife so much easier, but also the cold weather forces many creatures to shun their natural fear of man and to appear less shy. Very often this wildlife is met close to villages where there is a ready food source and they feel safe. Snow cover can be deep, lakes and even rivers may be frozen and daytime temperatures just a few degrees above zero. The snow can also make every picture opportunity that much more enchanting!
After arrival at Warsaw, you will be met by your local guides and transported by private minibus to the famous Bialowieza National Park. Our accommodation in Bialowieza is Wejmutka, a large manor house with plenty of character and built solidly of wood. There are 20 en suite rooms and the locally inspired food is excellent. We will spend the first evening discussing the photography plans for the following 3 days.
Our first day will be spent exploring the forest in search of European Bison, Wild Boar and Roe Deer. Mammals such as Otters are also often out early feeding and you could pick up tracks of Wolf, Lynx and Pine Marten. Regular bird sightings in this area include Nutcracker, Hawfinch and Hazel Grouse. Without fail our local guides will help locate groups of European Bison and we hope to capture images of them in the picturesque winter landscape. Single bull Bison may also be encountered and they are often less timid and may be seen very close to the tracks. It is a great experience to see these rare mammals at only 20m.
For our second and third days of photography in the Bialowieza area we will be using some excellent, specialised photographic hide locations where we hope to achieve images of a number of iconic species. Over the 2 days, each guest will have use of at least 2 different hide locations and we will take advice from the local guides as to which positions might be most productive. Species visiting the hides include White Tailed Eagle, Raven, Buzzard, Goshawk, Crane, European Bison, Wild Boar, Red Deer, Red Fox and Elk. There is even a chance of a visit from Wolves if they are in the area and the weather is harsh!
After an early start on Day 5 we will spend the morning once again in search of Bison and Elk in the area before making the drive to our second location for the trip at Biebrza National Park. Our accommodation here will be at Lesniczowka Biebrzanska, another comfortable guesthouse where we will spend 3 nights. After an evening meal we can again meet the local guides and plan our excursions for the following 2 days of photography.
Biebrza is one of Europe's last natural lowland river valleys and a RAMSAR site. It covers an area of over 1000km2 of wetlands, peat bogs and bog forests in the far North East of Poland and will provide a wonderful location for the second stage of our tour.
Our next 2 days of photography will start with a hearty breakfast and then we will head out for a full day in the beautiful surrounding area looking for Elk, Beaver, Otters and other wildlife. We will make particular use of the early sunset to capture landscapes in the winter light. We will then return each evening to our accommodation for a leisurely dinner and the chance to review the results from the day.
We will start our last day early with a final drive in the Biebrza area looking for Elk before making the trip down to Warsaw and the return flight to the UK.