Canoeing & wild swimming holiday in Poland
Description of Canoeing & wild swimming holiday in Poland
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWe are a small but growing wildlife watching tour company, made up of several experienced wildlife local guides, fanatic nature lovers, keen photographers and birders. Many are academics, others work in National Parks or nature conservancy NGOs. All of us share one thing a great passion and care for wildlife. This way, on our tours we visit the best places and sites for wildlife that most other tours never reach.
For the last 10 years we have worked hard to show European Bison, Elk (Moose), Wolves, Lynx, Beavers, Otters and plenty of rare birds up close in their natural habitat with minimum disturbance. We teach our guests how to do this in the most nature-respectable way. We cooperate with local National Parks, University and a Mammal Research Institute, reporting observations of Wolves, Lynx, Elks and other wildlife of a particular interest at a given time. Moreover, many of our guides actively take part in many current bird surveys and research studies.
This tour visits rural north-eastern Poland with precious Wigry National Park and undiscovered Augustów Forest. Apart from canoeing and scheduled activities, we pay attention to wildlife, and tremendous variety of natural habitats. Our guides explain complexity of different ecosystems and emphasise the relations among their components. We believe this is the best approach to spread knowledge and help saving the endangered nature of Eastern Europe and in the long run our planet.
Our groups are small, 4 - 6 participants, thus ensuring a great atmosphere and a more intimate contact with nature.
The guesthouses we use recycle their rubbish and use renewable energy sources to supplement - local woodfuel and solar panels. Local wood has always been the most important energy source in these areas while solar panels now become increasingly popular, being subsidised by the EU projects and local governments.
We encourage travellers to bring their own reusable water bottles and flasks for hot drinks out in the wild. We also inform everyone on our policy of minimising water use and production of litter.
PeopleThis tour is led by a local tour leader who is experienced, environmentally trained and socially aware (and funny :). Furthermore, we will be additionally accompanied by a local bushcraft instructor, who knows this wild, rural area like a palm of his hand.
Our guides will explain the local history, culture, customs of the places you visit and will help you understand the historical ethnic minorities that contribute to the specificity of eastern Poland. Of course visiting local nature protection sites is an important part of all our tours and our guides explain the details of nature protection problems as well as conflicts and relations between people and nature in certain areas. We work with several local guides, actively seek for new, dedicated people and educate them about our eco-tourism policy.
During this tour, we stay at small, wooden family run guesthouses and agro-tourist farms where the hosts are nature friendly and engaged and the atmosphere is always very cosy. They all use not only local products (including wild mushrooms and berries) but often grow their own food, too. This ensures local job opportunities in rural areas and provides you with a much more authentic experience of eastern Poland. Many of our previous customers have reported they had no idea Polish food was so good.
Moreover, we will visit one or two local farms for lunch (locally produced) or just hot drinks and wildlife viewing. We make sure all these local farmers are paid fairly for their service, even if we only use their grounds for wildlife watching. Visiting local communities is an important part of all our tours, we encourage you to chat to locals and buy their local produce, souvenirs etc.
Occasionally, we also hire local minibuses from local companies that employ local bus drivers - and one of the bus drivers, having been on a few of our tours, has now bought himself a pair of binoculars and become an active birdwatcher!