Tracking bisons in the snow in the beautiful and unknown Tarcu Mountains. End your day in front of the fireplace enjoying the hearty local Romanian food that warms your stomach.
Led by expert guides, this activity will offer you the opportunity to understand the behaviour and ecological importance of the bison. Identifying signs and tracks on the bison helps to understand their movements better, and hopefully lead you to a glimpse of these amazing creatures. Often in the forested areas, tracking needs to be well coordinated and very sensitively done to not impact the animals natural behaviour. Like all wild animals, there is no guarantee of what you may see while out in the mountains. Keeping your eyes open for tracks and signs is critical to succeed!
The groups are purposefully kept small, to allow for easier navigation and a more silent manner of movement. At the end of each experience the welcoming fire and home style cuisine await you at the local guest house.
Day 1: Arrival in Armenis. Meet your guides at the Visiting Centre. Drop off your luggage in the guesthouse and prepare for a 4x4 drive to the bison release area. There you will go on an observatory hike to explore the area and orientate. Packed lunch. Bison tracking activity until 04:30 p.m. Drive back to the village and enjoy dinner in the guesthouse.
Day 2: After a nice breakfast in guesthouse you will ride in a 4x4 to the bison release site to walk the meadows trail. Packed lunch including hot tea or coffee. Bison tracking activity until 04:30 p.m. Return for a local dinner in the guesthouse.
Day 3: Breakfast in the guesthouse and departure
-Extra night in the guesthouse before or after the experience- (dinner and breakfast included)
-Extra day of bison tracking
-4x4 drive towards Tarcu Mountain for a hiking with snowshoes activity. Packed lunch and dinner in the guesthouse included.
The cost includes: Full-board from lunch on the first day till breakfast on the third day, in double rooms with services. Support of official nature guide. Internal transfers
The cost does not include: Alcoholic beverages. Anything not mentioned. Transfer from and to Timisoara Airport or Trainstation. Flights
What to bring: We recommend you to dress in warm layers. Hiking shoes, sun hat, water bottle, daypack, long pants, warm hat and wool gloves, warm jacket, raincoat or poncho, sun protection cream, non smelling mosquito/tick repellent and camp shoes (sandals). Binoculars, personal toiletries/medicines and a sense of adventure!
Rewilding Europe Levy: 5% of your booking sum goes to the local Rewilding Europe 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.
Matei was born in Armeniș and grew up around the Bison Hillock area in Romania. Matei’s guiding career started when he began working for the Bison Reintroduction Project initiated by WWF Romania and Rewilding Europe in 2014, when the first group of bison were brought into this area to give them the chance to roam free again.
The hope was to develop a network of community beneficial tourism businesses to support conservation and allow a new economic stream into the area.
As the vice-president of a local association AMZA, which was created to help people develop through eco-tourism, Matei has taken on a multifaceted role in developing tourism experiences around the free-roaming bison.
As part of the community development plan, Matei assisted in promoting the local food and traditions with the aim to increase the living standards in the village through small enterprise support and development, centred around bison conservation and reintroduction.
With a firm stance and belief that the community plays a vital role in the success of the bison reintroduction, Matei is constantly looking for new ways to assist the community, all while maintaining his critical role as a bison ranger and hosting guest experiences.
'It's great to be part of such a great and ambitious project as the bison reintroduction and also to be able to help your community to grow in the right direction with conservation.'
Matei Adryan Myculescu
Bison ranger & guide