Have you ever cooked a meal on an open fire and slept out in the wild? Had a picnic in the remote Tarcu Mountains or tracked bisons on foot? All these new and unique experiences are awaiting you in the Romanian Southern Carpathians.
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.
This exclusive and personalized experience is privately guided throughout by expert private guide Simon Collier. It is a unique chance to understand the importance of rewilding in Romania and learn more about this ambitious project aimed to rewild the European bison and conserve this remaining wilderness stronghold in Romania.
Day 1: Travel to Timisoara by car, train or plane, where our guide awaits you.
You will then travel another two hours further to the starting point of the trip at Armenis village.
Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay in the rural guest house. In the evening, attend a presentation on the bison project and expansion by Bison Ranger Matei.
Day 2: After breakfast, visit the new bison release location.
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.
Meet up for lunch before heading into the Plopu Valley. Hike up the valley to the tented camp. Enjoy sundowners & dinner around the fire. Spend the night in one of the four safari tents.
Day 3: After an early morning coffee, get ready for a full day bison tracking on foot. With the help of GPS equipment you can track these creatures actively.
Enjoy a picnic lunch in the wilderness. Depending on your fitness and ability, the bison tracking will be adapted to your needs and wishes by our expert guides.
After a full day tracking, have a discussion on how the bison project is going so far with our Rangers around the campfire and have another good night’s rest in the tented camp. Or, enjoy the unique experience of having dinner and overnight on a sleep-out in the wild.
Day 4: Full from an early morning breakfast, prepare to track bison and hike in the valley. Lunch will be eaten at some point en route.
In the afternoon wrap up the day with a session at the guest house. Enjoy a final traditional Romanian dinner and overnight stay in the Southern Carpathians.
Day 5: After breakfast, your guide will safely bring you back to Timisoara for your trip home - full of learning and stories to tell after some incredible days experiencing Romania’s wilderness.
Rewilding Europe Levy: 5% of your booking sum goes towards the local rewilding organization.
Bringing bison back: The European bison (or wisent) disappeared from Romania about 200 years ago. Since 2013, Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania have been working together in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area to reintroduce this iconic species.
The first two bison releases took place in 2014 and 2015. The total number of bison in the area, taking into account deaths and births, was 30 by the end of 2017.
Growing community-based enterprises: The economic focus of rewilding efforts in the Tarçu Mountains involves supporting local enterprises and the development of a nature-based economy, with jobs and revenue connected to wild nature.
Supporting future nature entrepreneurs: In and around the Southern Carpathians rewilding area the ongoing bison reintroduction is already having a significant economic and social impact. A refurbished visitor centre in Armeniş now educates people on bison ecology and trophic chains and sells locally produced handicrafts and souvenirs. A refurbished wilderness cabin near Armeniş opened in 2017, with another cabin, two wildlife hides and a larger “hillock retreat” in the village of Plopu all in progress.
Simon Collier was born in South Africa and started his safari career over twenty years ago at &Beyond Phinda, moving to Londolozi where he not only worked as a guide but also as a camp manager. He continued his career at Wilderness Safaris, as General Manager for Wilderness Explorations.
Currently living in The Netherlands, Simon is keeping a very strong connection to eco-tourism and nature, maintaining a strong role in guide training and mentorship within Europe.
Simon spent five years developing the wildlife & tourism industry across Europe and became an expert in developing sustainable businesses in rural areas in many countries.
He launched the European Safari Company in 2017 and started his own business in 2019: Nature Tourism Development.
Simon is passionate about wildlife & nature and has real experience in the field. He has excellent people skills and has hosted guests, media and partners.
“A day in the wild is a blessing, and the ability and opportunity to share this with other people a privilege. Europe’s wild has so much to offer and backed with a combination of local communities and cultures provides a dynamic experiences not to be missed.” ~ Simon Collier