This tour will be lead in French by Patrick Dieudonne, professional photographer, assisted by local guides.
PRICE: 1 820 EUR
Single supplement: 135 EUR
Booking deposit: 200 EUR and final payment 30 days before the trip.
Arrival at Sofia airport and five hours transfer to bring us to the village of Brushlian where we will be based for the next five nights.
The first part of the trip will take place near the Danube, which hosts colonies of Bee-eaters and Rollers. We will have here excellent photo opportunities for these wonderful birds in flight. At this time of year these birds are very colorful and since it's early in the breeding season, and we can shoot them in seductive postures, offering food and mating. We will have plenty of time to make action shots in the air and poses perched with prey such as dragonflies, beetles, lizards and even small rodents .
During these four days, we will focus on Rollers and Bee-eaters to get the most out of these magnificent birds. Other birds will include Red-backed Shrike, Isabelline Wheatear, Syrian Woodpecker, and we will have much work. There are also several wetlands around and if the water levels are good, they can be very productive, with species such as Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Ferruginous Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Whiskered Tern and many others.
In the morning we will have one more session in the area before heading south for the second part of our trip. The transfer is approximately 3 hours. Our main sites in the coming days will be grasslands areas near the Central Balkans National Park. Depending on arrival time we'll be okay or not for a photo session in the evening.
Bulgarian countryside (Mike Lane)
We will spend three days in an area not far from our hotel. Here we know Hoopoe pairs at the end of the reproductive cycle, just before fledging, so we expect a lot of activity. Concerning Wryneck, they will still probably hedging, which means less activity, but the birds are in perfect plumage. For both species we will use mobile hides.
Other species available in this area: Black-headed Bunting, Isabelline Wheatear isabelle, the Red-rumped Swallow and Yellow Wagtail of the Balkans (black head). The suslik is present here as well. We have built also two permanent hides near small water holes, we will also do some photo sessions there. In a hot, dry country such as Bulgaria, water holes are a very effective way to attract many species of passerines. We can expect to photograph Syrian Woodpecker, Sombre Tit, Hawfinch, Nightingale, Cirl Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, Chaffinch, etc..
Three hours drive to Sofia airport. Departure.
Apollo (Dobry Domuschiev)
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• Ground transport
• Full board
• Hides and chairs
• No hidden fees
What is not included:
• Travel Insurance
• Photo Equipment (except Beanbags)
• Alcoholic beverages and personal items
• SLR digital or film
• Stable tripod, etc.
• Lenses from 300mm, 500 mm is ideal. 1.4 x converter is very useful. An SLR camera and a tripod is highly recommended. For flowers and butterflies, a macro lens or a lens with extension rings are recommended.
• The bean bags are provided by us.
We will use hides or mobile hides comfortable for 1 or 2 people. The permanent hides are very comfortable and can accommodate up to three photographers.
Walking and fitness:
Fairly easy and short walks, as most sites and hides will be reached by vehicle. If we photograph in wet areas we'll need to walk a little in reed beds, adequate footwear will be provided.
In early June it's becoming to get hot in Bulgaria, with temperatures up to 30 degrees at noon. Rains are rare but possible.
Light clothes, dark and thus better camouflaged, light shoes, hats and sunscreen are recommended.
Accommodation and food:
Accommodation is of good standard, single or double rooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast will be primarily a picnic with hot drinks available. Lunch will be in restaurants and roadside cafes, or picnic on the basis of our daily schedule. Evening meals are in restaurants and hotels. We'll have a free choice from the menu. Bulgarian food is very good, with lots of fresh vegetables at this time of year.
Depending on group size, we will use a 4x4 and / or a 9-seater van. We can also shoot from the windows of the car in some cases.
Pre-booking is made on this site (please use the form above), we will arrange booking and final payment with our partner Spatia Wildlife / Voyages et Nature, which we represent in France.
About 240 euros, taxes included.
Any other questions?
Contact us using the form above or call if you need additional information.
Patrick Dieudonne Photo
9 rue de Sampigny
55300 Han sur Meuse
Tel: + 33 (0) 3 29 92 08 89
Mobile: +33 (0) 6 79 63 27 25
We speak French and English.
All photographs © Patrick Dieudonné except otherwise credited