Join one of the very few nature holidays focused on the European herpetology fauna, in search of reptiles and amphibians in southern Bulgaria!

Reptiles and amphibians

Wednesday 1st - Thursday 9th May 2024

Bulgaria is inhabited by 24 species of amphibians and 40 species of reptiles and the biggest majority of them are represented by healthy populations, thus being among the richest European countries in terms of herpetology. Many of the species that occur here can be seen only in that part of the continent. The reason for this richness is the bio-geographical situation of the country, as well as the well preserved habitats. Within the twelve days of the tour we expect to see over of 35 species, including some rare ones or with restricted distribution.
Our tour will cover the three best areas for reptiles and amphibians in Bulgaria. Some of the rare species occur in all of them, so we will have more than one chance to find those. The period of our tour coincide with the beginning of all the species reproduction cycle and this gives us more chances to find them. The frogs can be located and identified by their calls. Some of the rare species (Syrian Spadefoot Toad, Leopard Snake,sand boa) are nocturnal and will be sought after dusk, so some evening observations are necessary.



ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to small town of Harmanly, about two and a half hours of driving. Accommodation for the next 3 nights. Depending on the arrival time, short walk in the surroundings of our town.

Days 2 and 3 Both days we will explore different sites in the area, close to the hotel. The longest distance we will cover in a single day will be less than 20 km one way. We will visit the abandoned military base of Ostar kamak vilage and the sites around Dositeevo damm. The species we can see here are European Glass Lizzard, Worm Snake, Sand Boa, Dahl's Whip Snake, Blotched Snake, Montpellier Snake, Smooth Snake, along with many of the common species in Bulgaria.

Days 4 and 5 On the 4th day we continue further east with a transfer of about one and a half hour of driving to our next base for a two nights stay in Ivaylovgrad, next to the Greek border. Again we will have several stops on the way and upon arrival shall explore the southernmost part of the Eastern Rhodopes Mountains - the only locality of the Snakeeyed Lacertid. Here we can see also some more common species like Yellow-belly Toad, Large and Dahl's Whip Snakes, Aesculapian Snake, Montpellier Snake, both species of tortoises and some orchids.

Days 6 to 8 On the 6th day we  have a transfer to the Black Sea coast, and our base for the next three nights will be in Primorsko. Again we will have few stops on the way where will look for reptiles and amphibians.

Both days we will explore the Ropotamo Reserve and "Strandzha" Nature Park. It is the largest protected area in Bulgaria and has extremely rich biodiversity, including 9 species of amphibians, as well as 23 species of reptiles. Again, we will make short trips during the day. We will visit Ropotamo river , as well as the sand dunes near Arkutino reserve. We will also search the foothills of Strandzha Mountain covered by deciduous forests.

If the weather is favourable, we can have another evening trip looking for the Syrian Spadefoot Toad. Here we have the option to look for most of the species we have seen so far, or those we have missed. The only species which can be seen only in this area is the Reddish Wip Snake, so we need to pay special attention to that species in order to find it.

Day 9 Transfer to Sofia airport. Departure.




Photo and video gallery

Reptiles and amphibians

Reptiles and amphibians

Reptiles and amphibians gallery