" It was great! One of our best trips yet. Huge thanks to our guide Matei. He was fantastic and really did a good effort in giving us the best experience. "
- Natascha Nielsen, July 2019
Located in the 52.000 hectare Tarcu Mountains Natura 2000 site in the Southern Carpathians, the Bison Hillock is home to an ambitious project aimed to rewild the European bison and conserve this remaining wilderness stronghold in Romania.
At the southern end of Romania's arcing Carpathian Mountains some of Europe's largest wilderness landscapes are now being created. This is the perfect place to experience a true European safari, with rugged landscapes, fast flowing rivers, diverse wildlife experiences and the opportunity to really connect with nature. Led by expert guides, bison tracking experiences will give you a unique insight into the behaviour and ecological importance of these magnificent creatures.
The days are spent tracking and trailing wildlife with an emphasis on trailing European bison.
Since 2013, Rewilding Europe, WWF Romania and the local association AMZA have been working together in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area to bring the European bison back into the wild. The first bison releases took place in 2014 and 2015.
In June 2016, the third bison release took place, now part of the “LIFE Bison” project funded by the European Commission. During the next four years, annual releases of at least another 80 bison in total will take place in cooperation with the local community.
Access the area via Timisoara airport, and takes roughly three hours by car.
Iris de Winter has always been interested in nature. After her Master’s Degree in Biology (Wageningen University, the Netherlands), she finished her doctoral research on the consequences of anthropogenic habitat changes for the health of lemurs and published multiple scientific articles on this subject.
Meanwhile, Iris was chair of the student staff council of the university and incubation manager, supporting start-up companies who were working on sustainable solutions.
She currently coordinates the course Wildlife Conservation at Utrecht University, is primate-expert and research coordinator in a conservation project on blue-eyed black lemurs for Apenheul, has been organising student conservation excursions in southern Africa over the last nine years, and is a hiking guide in mountainous areas throughout Europe.
A tour leader of (conservation) tours for several travel agencies, Iris completed an intensive tour guide training program in which safety during travel, orientation, Basic Life Support and respect for culture and the environment were central.
Iris de Winter
Rewilding Europe - Major Donor Relations