Bird Watching Photography Wildlife watching Wildlife photography, Bulgaria

1390€ per person
7 Days
More than 1
1 Reviews
5 out of 5

ESCAPE COMPLETELY Exceptional Rhodope Mountains

Raptors, vultures and passerine birds photography - Birds of prey photography from a hide in Eastern Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria
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What's included

Bulgaria , Eastern Rhodope , Europe , Madzharovo , Studen kladenets Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Sofia International Airport, Sofia, Bulgaria
Return Location
Sofia Airport, Sofia, Bulgaria
Additional Information
Photography type: Fixed hides Best period: Springtime, April to June
Price includes
  • Accommodation in twin room
  • All meals
  • Rental car/bus, driver included
  • Specialist English speaking tour guide
  • Wildlife Feeding (for hide observation)
  • Wildlife observation in a hide
Price does not include
  • Flights to Bulgaria and back
  • Medical insurance and emergency insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to guide and driver
Egyptian vulture, adult
Egyptian vulture, adult, Madzharovo, Eastern Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Staffan Widstrand

The Eastern Rhodope Mountains

Eastern Rhodope Mountains is the kingdom of raptors and vultures – an area of high valued nature and biodiversity of global importance. Especially constructed wildlife hides offer the best opportunities to create exclusive photos. In addition you enjoy the scenic landscapes, relax in a peaceful countryside with magnificent lake views and explore traditional lifestyle and local cuisine. Great mix for your unforgettable adventure.

Wildlife from a hide


East Rhodope’s fauna

Located at the crossroads of the European and Asian continent, influenced by the Central European and Mediterranean climate and harbouring diverse and pristine natural habitats, the Eastern Rhodopes are home to many animal species. No less than 4,329 species belonging to 410 fauna families, typical for continental Europe, the Mediterranean and Anatolia, occur in the region, including many rare, endemic and relict species.

The actual number is probably higher due to low intensity monitoring of various fauna families. Most numerous and abundant are various insect groups of which the colourful butterflies and dragonflies perhaps are most adored and biting, stinging and poisonous spiders, scorpions, scolopendras, bees and wasps probably are most feared.

Deer Photography
Deer observation and photography. Photo credit: Bistra Angelova


Flora in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains

The geographical position on the European continent (near the Mediterranean and near the Asian continent), its geology and its climate determine the region of Eastern Rhodopes as one with the richest biodiversity in Europe. In the Eastern Rhodopes typical species of the flora of both Europe, the Mediterranean, Caucasus and Anatolia may be found.

Loose-Flowered Orchid
Loose-Flowered Orchid, Green-winged Meadow Orchid, Jersey orchid, Orchis laxiflora, Bela Reka, Eastern Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Staffan Widstrand


Natural Resources & Rare Birds

Landscapes in Eastern Rodope Mountains in Bulgaria consists of rock complexes, mixed oak woods, shrubs and pastures. Here, a large number of species included in the national Red Book are to be found as well as such that are vulnerable on a European and world level, too. Rare birds like the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the long-legged buzzard (Buteo rufinus), the Spanish wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica), the big olive mocking-bird (Hippolais olivetorum), the blue rock thrush (Monticola solitarius) are only part of the huge birds diversity

  • Day 1
  • Days 2 and 3
  • Day 4
  • Days 5 and 6
  • Day 7
Day 1

Studen Kladenets birding area

Transfer from the Airport Sofia to the lake Studen Kladenets in Eastern Rhodope Mountains. Accommodation is at a beautiful guest house in a lovely rural setting. The house itself is a great birding spot providing opportunities to watch flying Griffon vultures and black storks, as well as little owls, black-eared wheatear, black-headed bunting, golden oriole, hawfinch, and masked shrike directly from the veranda. Lake Studen Kladenets and surrounding nature territories are an Important Bird Area - home to the Egyptian and Griffon vulture, as well as long-legged Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Golden and Short-toed Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Hobbies, Black Kite, and the Levant Sparrowhawk. Eastern Rhodope Mountains have one of the highest bird diversity in Europe - a true paradise for wildlife and birds photography. Wildlife photography tours are organized in cooperation with Bulgarian Society for the protection of the birds and part of the incomes go to support nature conservation.

Days 2 and 3

Photography of birds of prey from a hide

After early morning breakfast (package food is an option), the guide will drive you to the hide site (40 min). This is a special photography hide which is fixed, stone built, with special window glass and inside toilet. Wildlife photography is focused on birds of prey including Egyptian and Griffon vultures, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, and black kite. Fox and wolf are also frequent visitors. Sometimes the black vulture from the nearest nature reserve Dadia in Greece also comes at this feeding station. Impressive fights between raptors can be shoot as well as flying and landing birds.

Day 4

Passerine birds photography

This day is for passerine birds photography. Your guide will lead you to a photography site where you will be able to shoot at Olivaceous, Barred, Subalpine, Orphean and Sardinian Warblers, Red-backed, and Woodchat Shrikes, Rock Nuthatch, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Cirl and Rock Buntings.

Days 5 and 6

Wildlife Photography

Lake and reserve Studen kladenets are home to rare birds and spectacular wild flora and fauna. The wildlife photography includes Griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Golden eagle, Imperial eagle, Raven, White tailed see eagle. Besides the raptors, other interesting species to photograph are the Red deer, Fallow deer, Roe deer, Wild boar, European bison, beech marten, Hermann’s and spur-thighed tortoises.

Eastern Rhodope mountains is an area of exceptional beauty and scenery landscapes. Every day view is different - a combination of magnificent rocks, green slopes rising from the blue lake water, impressive mountain ridges, and unbelievably diverse and unspoilt nature.

Day 7

Departure travel

Time to travel back to the city of Sofia for your departure flight.

More about Bulgaria Discover Bulgaria

Bulgaria occupies a strategic location in the Balkans, locked between the Black Sea and the Danube river. Since Ancient times, the country has served as a major crossroad between Europe, Asia and Africa. It is the oldest land in Europe that rose from the warm sea more than 35 million years ago. Rocks, caves and biodiversity in Bulgaria rank as one of the best in Europe.

More about Eastern Rhodope Discover Eastern Rhodope

The Eastern Rhodopes are a truly mosaic of various landscapes – grasslands, waterlands, deciduous woods, coniferous forest and rocky cliffs. Our nature areas have particular habitats for plants, birds and animals offering unique opportunities for wildlife observation.

More about Europe

More about Madzharovo Discover Madzharovo

Madzharovo is a small Eastern Rhodopean town with approximately 500 inhabitants. Madzharovo is literally located in the center of volcano’s crater, erupted over 35 million years ago. As a result of the volcanic activity, in the rocks around the city are found precious and semiprecious stones. It is this natural wealth that has determined the city's development under socialism as a mining center. And even today, traces of the active work in the mines are still visible.

More about Studen kladenets Discover Studen kladenets

Surface – 15 995 hectares. A water reservoir established in the rocky defile of the Arda River, with vertical cliffs, steep banks covered by scant vegetation and the adjacent maintain hills. It is located between the town of Kardzhali and the village of Studen Kladenets. The Natura 2000 site Studen Kladenets supports 219 bird species. Seven rare species, typical for the Mediterranean zone, occur there: Black-eared Wheatear, Olive-tree Warbler, Sub-alpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Rock Nuthatch, Masked Shrike and Black-headed Bunting. Studen Kladenets reservoir hosts 21 migrating and wintering waterbird species - few colonies of Griffon Vulture breed on the cliff banks of the reservoir, as well as Black Stork, Egyptian Vulture, Stone Curlew, Eagle Owl, Olive-tree Warbler and Masked Shrike. The area holds a significant on a European scale population of the Blue Rock Thrush.

User Reviews & Comments

  • Marvin Cooper
    5 out of 5

    My friend Schub and I had a very pleasant week with Mihaela and guide Lyubo, walking and birding in the East Rhodopi Mountains of Bulgaria. We walked, photographed the flora and butterflies and scanned the sky for eagles and vultures. As Americans, we were there without our own vehicle but Mihaela came through with both car and driver (often herself!) and we traveled from village to village and to the ruins at Perperikon. And did I mention that Mihaela is also an excellent cook? The birds were abundant and Lyubo knew where to find them. We topped off our week with a great day in Sofia, with city guide Marina. We loved the country and highly recommend it as a nature destination. Nobody better to help you plan it than Mihaela - and the cost is amazingly modest!

    July 10, 2019


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More about this tour

Eastern Rhodope Mountains are the kingdom of raptors and vultures - an area of high valued nature and biodiversity of global importance. Especially constructed wildlife hides offer the best opportunities to create exclusive photos. In addition you enjoy the scenery landscapes, relax in a peaceful countryside with magnificent lake views and explore traditional lifestyle and local cuisine. Great mix for your unforgettable adventure.

Mihaela Lake Retreat
New Thracian Gold
Rewilding Rhodopes
Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of birds
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Wildlife photography, Bulgaria

1390€ per person
7 Days
More than 1

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