Hiking FOLLOWING THE BEAR FOOTPRINTS
April to October
LENGHT & ELEVATION
Slovenia is one of the few European countries where three large carnivore species can be spotted in their natural habitat, i.e. the brown bear, grey wolf and Eurasian lynx. The brown bear population here currently stands at 400 to 500 individuals, which makes Slovenia a country with one of the highest brown bear population density in the world. Most animals reside in Kočevski Rog, a densely forested karstified plateau extending over the Kočevje highlands. The karst landscape featuring abysses as well as eroded limestone pitted with sinkholes is covered mostly with beech and fir trees. There are six primeval forests preserved in Kočevje, with the total area of 220 hectares. The primeval or virgin forest is a forest that has attained great age without any disturbance by humans, which means no trees have been cut or sawn down.
Forests of this type have a significant meaning when it comes to teaching people about nature. We developed this unique programme in collaboration with the Life DinAlp Bear project and the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, according to sustainable tourism standards and with the smallest possible impact on the environment, especially the wildlife. A large part of the programme is dedicated to learning about the life of wild animals and understanding their natural environments as well as the correct and controlled visits made to habitats. We assure you that you will see real bear footprints along the trail, and much more.
The adventurous program is designed for the lovers of nature, hiking, photography and adventure. The route runs along the secluded paths of the Kočevje forests, which are home to bears and other wild animals and offer views of the mystic nature that the group can soak in with all their senses. The hiking trail offers many opportunities to take photos and observe animal life. In the evening, hunter-guided bear watching can be organised from the lookout tower.
Accommodation is provided in forest hut without electricity or running water, which is situated in the midst of a forest, far from the civilization. This adds special charm to the adventure. Each day begins with a traditional “forest” breakfast and ends with dinner prepared on a charcoal grill. There is even a bread-baking workshop held during the tour.
Highlights: Lake Kočevje, Željnske jame caves, Pugled–Žiben forest reserve, Roška žaga sawmill, Rog forest reserve, Rajhenavski Rog virgin forest, Queen of Rog fir tree, Prelesnikova koliševka forest reserve, predators and other wild animals observed in their natural habitat, forest huts, traditional grilled food, bread-baking workshop.
The programme includes all meals and non-alcoholic beverages.
Photo credit: Marjan Artnak