IN THE HEART OF THE BEAR LAND
Families with older children, couples, individuals, small groups
The possibility of meeting
Bear, wolf, lynx, owl, forest and water birds.
The tour is designed for real gourmands who are passionate about observing wildlife and photography. The tree days are packed with experience and photo opportunities of a lifetime. Watching and photographing bears from the hunting observatory designed for photo hunting is combined with experiences in learning and understanding the bear and other wildlife environment.
Understanding is crucial for a responsible visit, which is also the main objective of the tour. Excessive human contact with wild animals can have a number of negative effects on the animals, which is why a properly controlled and guided visit is even more important. With the help of experienced hunters, guides and photographers, one can learn interesting stories and gain information that will place bears and other wildlife in a wider context.
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 densities 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.
In the Notranjska Regional Park, more than 270 different birds have been spotted, which represents ¾ of all bird species found in Slovenia. Out of this number, about 100 have nesting grounds in the area. The main landmark here is Lake Cerknica, one of the largest intermittent lakes in Europe. It appears every year on the karst polje (plain), caught between the Javorniki hills and the Bloke plateau on one side, and Mount Slivnica on the other. During the dry season, the lake disappears, which enables paddling, fishing, hiking or grass mowing in the same area in just one year. The importance of intermittent Lake Cerknica goes far beyond the Slovenian borders. Along with the Rakov Škocjan valley and the Križna jama cave, Lake Cerknica has been designated a wetland of international importance – a Ramsar Site, and a Natura 2000 Site because of its importance for the preservation of endangered birds.
It was the Slovenian Karst that lent the name to the karst landscapes and phenomena all over the world, for it was here that scientists were first able to explain the numerous karst features. Speleologists discover new caves in Slovenia every year, and the number of the recorded ones now amounts to more than 8000. However, only about 20 of them are show caves. The magical attraction of the Križna jama cave is hidden in its little lakes. The underground lakes that are up to 7 metres deep were formed behind sinter barriers. The latter emerged because calcareous sinter gets deposited faster in rapids than in slow waters.
The traditional cuisine experience complements the entire programme.
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.
Photo credit: Marjan Artnak