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  1. Romania
  2. Sighișoara

Private Brown Bear Watching Experience near Odorheiu Secuies

Product ID: 107191
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Experience the Carpathian wilderness and see wild brown bears in their natural habitat from the security of one of the many wildlife hides operating in the area. An experienced local ranger, will take you with his 4WD car deep into the forests.
About this activity
Duration 4 hours
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English, German, Hungarian, Romanian

Pick-up included

You can be picked up within a 30 kilometer from the surroundings of Odorheiu Secuiesc
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants, date and language:

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Experience

Highlights
  • Fabulous 3-hour close encounter with native wildlife in their natural environment
  • Spot brown bears and possibly other species like deer, wild boar, fox, badger or game birds
  • Enjoy the Carpathian forests silence and the excitement of waiting for bears to come
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Perfect for professional or amateur photographers, naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts
Full description
Your Carpathian Brown Bear experience starts in the small Szekler town of Odorheiu Secuiesc (47 kilometers from Sighisoara) where your guide awaits you to set off with his 4WD car into the forests at the foothills of the Harghita Mountains. This area has a long tradition of hunting, and in recent years has become a popular destination for wildlife watching.  After a 15-45 minute drive (depending on which spot has the greatest chances for watching on that day), you will be safely escorted down a roughly 500 meter long trail. Occupy your place in the hide, stay quiet, listen to the forest wildlife sounds and enjoy the excitement of waiting for bears to come. Usually you will see bears, but nothing is guaranteed. If you're lucky, you may observe bears feeding themselves, playing together, courting and mating, and even other species like wild boars, roe deer and red deer, foxes, badgers and some game birds.

In the past there have been a few sightings of lynx and wolves, but although these animals live in a great number in the Carpathians, they're very secretive and rarely seen. After approximately 3 hours watching, head back to the car accompanied by your guide and ride back to Odorheiu Secuiesc. The entire trip takes 4-5 hours and watching from the hide can be complemented with stalking or following the animals footprints in the forest upon request. Be prepared and wear hiking boots, weatherproof clothing and bring binoculars, camera, extra battery and memory card to record this fabulous experience.

According to official data, between 50-60 % of the present European brown bear population east of Russia lives in the Carpathians of Romania. During and after World War II, bears were ruthlessly slaughtered in Romania, and by the beginning of the 1950's, the population fell drastically to an estimated all-time low of 860 individuals. At this time, a significant change occurred as the Communist regime declared bears a protected species. Hunting was practically prohibited, with only a few special exempted persons. By the end of the 1980's there were about 8,000 bears in Romania, exceeding the sustaining capacity of the natural habitats, which resulted in an increase of bear-caused damages.
At the beginning of the 1990's poaching increased, partly as a response to bear-inflicted damages. Locals often used poison to kill off damage-causing bears. As a result of this practice and the liberalization of hunting quotas till 2016, bears have dropped to an estimated 6- 7,000 at present. Wildlife watching tours in the Carpathians allow wildlife to be viewed in close proximity without being disrupted and generates revenue to being them back into the wild.
Includes
  • Local wilderness guide during the whole itinerary
  • Round-trip transport by 4WD car
  • Photo fee for non-commercial purposes
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off in Odorheiu Secueisc and Cristuru Secuiesc
What’s Not Included
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off in Sighisoara can be offered on request
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Food and drinks
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments

Prepare for the activity

Important information
What to bring
  • Comfortable shoes
Know before you go
• Generally, children should be around 8 years old to participate and understand the importance of the environment we operate in
• Children must be accompanied by an adult
• A moderate amount of walking is involved
• Maximum of 9 people per booking
• Subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather and less chances to spot bears, you'll be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
• Your forest ranger guide accompanying you may carry a handgun for your protection in extreme situations
• The tour usually ends around 09:30-10:00, so please plan your dinner time accordingly