This is an 8-day tour, focusing on the rich bird and wildlife diversity and the beautiful scenery of the Eastern Rhodope Mountains and the Eastern Balkan range in Bulgaria. The highlights for photography include the Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Cinereous (Eurasian Black) Vulture, White-tailed Eagle, Black Kite, Eurasian Golden Oriole, European Turtle Dove, European Green Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Red-backed Shrike, Woodlark, etc.
The tour starts from Sofia at 14.00 h in the afternoon at the latest. The tour participants will be picked up either from Sofia Airport, so they need to arrive there until 14.00 h (2 p.m.), or from their accommodation place within the city of Sofia if they have arrived earlier.
Then we will be driving southeast to the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, located in southern Bulgaria, near the state border with Greece. There we will check in at a lodge in a local game reserve for the next four nights.
Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4
We will spend these three days aiming to photograph different species of raptors, such as the Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Cinereous (Eurasian Black) Vulture, White-tailed Eagle, Black Kite and other species of birds of prey. It sometimes happens a Red Fox, Golden Jackal, Wild Cat or Wolf to turn up at the feeding table too. We take shots from a permanent (fixed) hide, accommodating up to 6 photographers. You can see detailed information about the photo-hide on our Vulture Hide Photography page.
During times with less activity at the hide we can go off to explore the region looking for other wildlife. We will surely visit the nearby reserve where reintroduced Red Deer and European Bison roam in the wild – a setting that makes for good photography.
Today we will drive northeast for 4 hours, to the Eastern Balkan range, where we have a setting of 4 wooden bird photography hides, established in different forest and farmland habitats. The hides are at a walking distance from one another. Each hide can accommodate 2 or 3 photographers.
If time and weather allow me way stop on the way to photograph some interesting birds and wildlife, such as European Bee-eater, Black-headed Bunting, Isabelline Wheatear, European Souslik, etc, using mobile (tent) hides.
Our accommodation for the next 3 nights will be in a traditional guest house in a small village 15 min drive away from the hides.
Day 6 and Day 7
This is the best time for Eurasian Golden Oriole and European Turtle Dove photography in spring. Apart from them, in these two days there will be excellent opportunities to photograph a good selection of woodpeckers, including European Green Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, as well as Woodlark, Red-backed Shrike, Corn Bunting and others.
Here you can find more information about our forest bird photography hides.
If time allows we can make a short early morning photo-session. Then we drive either to Bourgas airport (for a couple of hours) or to Sofia airport (4 hours) for departure.