Your Carpathian brown bear experience starts in the small Szekler town of Cristuru Secuiesc (22km from Sighisoara) where your guide awaits you to set off in his 4wd car into the forests at the foothills of the Harghita Mountains. In recent years, it has become a popular destination for wildlife watching as the population is most dense in Harghita, Covasna, Vrancea, and Brasov counties. After a 20- to 45-minute drive (depending on which spot has the greatest chances for watching on that day) you will be safely escorted down a roughly 500m long trail.
Occupy your place in the hide, stay quiet, listen to the forest wildlife sounds, and enjoy the excitement of waiting for the bears to come. There is usually success in seeing bears, but as there are wild animals involved, nothing is guaranteed. If you are lucky, you may observe bears feeding, playing together, courting, and mating. You may even see other species like wild boars, roe deer and red deer, foxes, badgers, and some game birds. In the past a few sightings of lynxes and wolves were had as well, but these animals, although in great numbers in the Carpathians, are very secretive and rarely seen.
After approximately 3 hours of watching, head back to the car accompanied by your guide and ride back to Cristuru Secuiesc. The entire trip takes 4 to 5 hours and watching from the hide can be complemented with following the animals footprints in the forest upon request. Be prepared by wearing hiking boots and weatherproof clothing, and bring binoculars, a camera, an extra battery, and a memory card to record this unique experience.
Wildlife watching tours in the Carpathians allow wildlife to be viewed in close proximity without being disruptive, and generates revenue for local rewilding efforts.
- Your forest ranger guide accompanying you may carry a handgun for your protection in extreme situations.
- The tour usually ends around 9:30-10:00pm, so please plan your dinner time accordingly.