Hike along the Tarcu Mountains tracking down the European bison in an unique experience led by expert guides.
The mountainous area of the Tarcu region is vast, rugged and wild. Bisons await there, blending into their surroundings. Other wildlife species such as bear and chamois can also be spotted with a little luck.
Led by expert guides, this experience will offer you the opportunity to understand the behaviour and ecological importance of the European bison. Identifying signs and tracks of the bison helps to understand their movements better, and hopefully leads you to a glimpse of these amazing creatures.
The tracking experience is best done in small groups of between two and four people, but larger groups can be accommodated and split into smaller tracking groups if necessary. Your guides Matei and Florin are passionate about this area and with them you will spend an adventurous couple of days in this remote area.
Day 1: Welcome. Arrive in Armenis, meet at the Visiting Centre. Drive in a 4x4 to our basecamp and luggage drop. Short area exploring activity. Lunch in camp. Bison tracking activity. Dinner at the camp.
Day 2: Tracking bisons. We wake up before sunset and do some wildlife spotting in a meadow with a snack. We'll go back to the camp for a late breakfast at 10-11:00 and rest before the bison tracking activity. Packed picnic lunch. In the evening return to camp –packing- and going back to the village. Dinner in the guesthouse.
Day 3: Time to say goodbye. Breakfast at the guesthouse and departure.
-Extra night in guesthouse before or after: 45 eur/ person/ night with dinner and breakfast incl.
-One extra day: explore further deep in the bison hillock and spend the night in our light camp or just beneath the stars further away from human activity
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 deaths and births into account, 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