The stunning scenes caught on tape by wildlife documentaries make us witness the greatness of nature and the complexity of life. Nowadays, those who want to experience in person what is usually shown on the screen have fewer and fewer places to choose from. Besides the South American equatorial forests, the African National Parks and a few other oases of wilderness in Asia and North America, there aren’t many spots where you can to enjoy the beauty of wildlife. In Europe, unfortunately, due to human pressure, the natural areas were drastically reduced over time and the endless forests that long ago covered the continent are nowadays mere memories.
What Europe lost, Romania is now trying to preserve in wild areas which shelter most of the lynxes, wolves, and bears living in Europe. The natural treasures of Romania’s wildlife are one of the most important attractions. About 60% of Europe’s bear population and 40% of its wolf population are located in the Carpathians.
Romania's unique wildlife sanctuaries
An entire food chain still survives in the Carpathian forests,where nature managed to hold out against industrial progress. In Romania, there are no less than 14 national parksexpanding over 1.6 million hectares (4 million acres), one of the most famous being the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. This reserve is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is unique in Europe for its wide variety of flora and fauna. The Retezat and Piatra Craiului National Parks are impressive especially due to the contrast between the wild scenery of calcareous defiles and the peaks and gentle meadows full of hundreds of species of plants.
A bear-tracking weekend in Romania is a great opportunity for nature-lovers to experience a slice of pure wilderness. That is because Romania is home to several thousands of brown bears – nearly half of the entire European population outside Russia.
The ultimate hot spot for a perfect expedition into the wild is Zarnesti, a small rural town in the Carpathian Mountains. It is right in the heart of the bear realm in an area that boasts one of the greatest expanses of unbroken forest in Europe and is teeming with wildlife: not just bears, but wolves, lynxes, wild boars, pine martens and many other species.