I f you are a fan of wildlife, the great outdoors, and photography, you will find this tour a perfect experience. Guided by Krunoslav Rac, a local photographer and tourist guide, you will be deep in the Park and its serenity, where Krunoslav will do his best for you to discover its wildlife (brown bears, deer, various birds, mountain goats, wild boars, foxes) in their natural habitat. As this is nature in its pure form, there can be no guarantees of sightings, but in Krunoslav’s experience there is always some wildlife to photograph. The population of brown bears in Croatia is around 1000.
This is a walking tour that begins in the afternoon hours of the first day, with an overnight in a mountain lodge, and a continuation the next morning. The times of day have been chosen to maximize the opportunity of encountering and photographing wildlife in Northern Velebit National Park. The timing is also beneficial for mountain sunsets overlooking the Adriatic Sea, as well as sunrises. The maximum number of guests per tour is 3, in order to decrease noise created and increase chances of wildlife sighting. You can also extend the tour with visits to Kuterevo Bear Sanctuary, Gacka River Springs, griffon vulture watching on Prvić Island and others, upon request.
Established in 1999, Northern Velebit is the youngest of eight national parks in Croatia. This part of the Velebit Mountain is also covered by the Nature Park Velebit, a true patchwork of the most diverse habitats that are home to countless plant, fungus and animal species – a wealth that is yet to be explored in its entirety. Tour runs only in June and July, organized by Trek Croatia agency. Joining this tour requires guests to sign a waiver of responsibility.
Required experience and equipment
All levels of photography experience are welcome, the tour leader will adapt to your knowledge and needs. Bring comfortable shoes for walking and moderate trails. Your camera bag, tripod and any other equipment should not be too heavy or large. Avoid rolling photo bags, use smaller backpacks. Polarizing and ND filters, as well as macro lenses are recommended, but not necessary. The absolute requisite for wildlife photography are telephoto lenses, with extenders if possible or necessary. Nights in the mountain are always cooler than elsewhere, so pack several layers to keep warm.
Krunoslav Rac is a tourist guide, but also a NatGeo photographer, naturalist and writer. He was born and raised in Đakovo in the eastern parts of Croatia, but his love of nature, Velebit and bears brought him to this region and Sveti Juraj. Now, he lives in the village with his family, having dedicated his life to the promotion of the amazing wildlife and nature around him. His stories always enrich the entire travel experience.
Available only in June and July.
The trip starts at 3:30 p.m. either in Sveti Juraj or Krasno Polje (transportation from other towns can be arranged). Planned arrival at a location is around 5 p.m., until sundown. You will proceed to a mountain hut for dinner and accommodation. Wake up time is around 3:30 a.m. Arrival in Sveti Juraj or Krasno Polje is planned at 11 a.m.
TOUR DURATION: overnight, between 3:30 p.m. and 11 a.m.
DEPARTING FROM: Sveti Juraj or Krasno Polje (transportation from other towns can be arranged).
GROUP SIZE: 1-3 guests (single guests can join for price of two).
200€ per person, payable at the start of the journey. Fee includes transportation from Sveti Juraj and Krasno Polje to start of trail and back, photographer guide fee, Northern Velebit NP entrance ticket, overnight in mountain lodge, dinner and breakfast.