“Exclusive bear watching and hiking holiday in Slovakia, hiking with a national park ranger well off the beaten track. A week of Carpathian wilderness.”
Bear watching | Slovak Paradise National Park | Kamienista Valley | Krisna peak | Carpathian wildlife | Spisska Sobota village | Poprad
Description of Carpathian Mountains holiday, walking with bears
This week long walking holiday in the Slovakian Mountains, part of the great Carpathian range, is a journey into some of the great landscapes where you can go bear watching in Slovakia. Not just a walk in the woods, however, there are some fairly challenging hikes on this holiday, from the stunning limestone gorges of Slovak Paradise National Park to the sweeping upland swathes around the Kamienista Valley.
We are the only tour operator organising wildlife watching trips of this nature here in Slovakia, working closely with a national park guide who accompanies us into terrain where tourists aren’t allowed to enter unless with a park professional. So, you are in safe hands as you go in search of the country’s most magnificent mammals, foraging and roaming through these beautiful landscapes that are perfect for hiking but which are, first and foremost precious habitats.
In order to make the most out of this bear watching in Slovakia, we limit the group number to eight people, thus minimising our impact in terms of noise and general presence. You will also have time to enjoy some traditional rural village life, as well as some more urban culture in the historic Tatras city of Poprad.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Responsible tourism: Carpathian Mountains holiday, walking with bears
Walking With Bears was set up to offer a handful of visitors a unique insight into the struggle to protect pockets of raw nature within Europe, and all of its proceeds go to funding understanding of bear behaviour through collaring individuals. The information collected is essential in understanding the relationship between the community and its wildlife, forming best practice for waste management, winter feeding programmes and more. The end goal is to protect one from the other and create an environment for a new model of wildlife tourism, until now unavailable in Europe. The Walking With Bears team work directly with the Slovak director for the environment in formulating policy, and creating a framework for new wildlife tourism.
The essence of the tour is walking in mountains, using ranger cottages for accommodation, and this includes a no waste policy under strict environmental guidelines. The success of the Walking With Bears model is essential to improving environmental protection, reducing reliance on logging, and other consumptive forms of economic activity, and improving the understanding between community and nature in Slovakia.
Slovakia is a Euro zone country, without the pervasive poverty which runs deep in many countries visited on adventure based tours. As such, the main responsibility of Walking With Bears is to reduce the prevalent human-bear conflict and to create an awareness of what a powerful economic resource wild bears, free to roam their natural habitat, can be to a community and nation. Without a financial value, it is very difficult for those who are on the front line of bear conflicts, experiencing income damaging losses through depredation or damage to equipment, to wish to protect this species.
A remarkable number of well-educated Slovaks still believe that bears will prey on humans given the chance, and as such, the Walking With Bears team are heavily involved in educating the mountain resort villages about the realities of wild bear diet, behaviour and general ecology. Currently, a television series is being discussed to follow the bears of the High Tatras mountains, in the hope that it will improve understanding and instil a much more positive attitude towards them from local people.