Romania Photo Tour of the Danube Delta

Tour Intro

A Photo Exploration Sponsored by Houston Audubon Society

Europe’s best preserved delta, the Danube Delta in Romania is one of the world’s most beautiful reserves and included in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage. Rich with self-sufficient farmers and fisherman, they still work like they did centuries ago, keeping their traditions alive. It will make you feel like you are stepping back in time. This is the prime time to be in the delta, where the region is coming to life – it is truly a spectacular time to be here.

Cross the labyrinth of lakes and channels to spot the birds migrating over this rich land and water. Photograph them and the many species of fauna. This photo tour will take you to the best places and hides from where you can spot the different species of birds in the Danube Delta and you will also have the opportunity to discover Romania’s quaint fishing villages of the delta and Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

What to expect: This tour is outdoor oriented and there will be a moderate amount of walking involved as well as traveling in boats along the Danube Delta. Some of the paths are off-track and we recommend waterproof walking shoes. There may be a limited amount of uphill walking. If clients have health issues they should tell us in advance so we can plan activities for them with an easier level of walking. Romania is a very safe country, and you will find the people very welcoming. The days will be long in the field, with photo discussions and lectures in the evening when given time.

Accommodations
We have chosen all locations with the most important thing in mind – getting to the right location at the right time. Guesthouses are available in the Danube Delta to be at these prime locations. Accommodations outside of Bucharest do NOT have elevators. Each participant will need to be prepared to handle his or her own luggage, and camera gear.

Food
While on the Danube Delta majority of lunches and dinners will be fish based. Those whose diet needs to exclude fish we will note vegetarian meals or you may wish to take a bit of food from stores in Bucharest with you.

Tour Highlights

  • Limited to twelve tour participants.
  • Travel with photo instructor, naturalist, and a local Romanian tour guide.
  • Architecture from Bucharest Palace of Parliament at sunset, and the old town neighborhoods of the city with winding cobblestone streets.
  • Unesco World Heritage Danube Delta, photograph the channels, lakes, forests, villages, and the diverse wildlife from boats and blinds for seven days.
  • The town of Tulcea houses an exhibition about the delta where you will start your exploration of the best-preserved delta.
  • Photograph the traditional fishing houses in preserved villages in this amazing region, along with meeting the fishermen and families.
  • A donation will be made on your behalf to the Houston Audubon Society.

Tour Itinerary

May 26: Home

Your journey begins with your overnight flight to Bucharest (OTP). (meals on plane)

May 27-28: Bucharest
Bucharest

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Romania

Welcome to Romania! You are in for a treat of great photography to capture the delta coming to life. The first day is a day to rest and get over jet lag. There will be an introductory meeting (time to be announced), followed by a welcome dinner.

The next day explore the capital city of Bucharest starting with the Palace of the Parliament, the second largest administrative building in the world. There will a photo walk of what is referred to as ‘the little Paris’, the old town of Bucharest featuring narrow streets with beautiful historic buildings, quaint restaurants, and welcoming atmosphere. Return to the parliament building for a shoot  during sunset and blue hour. Overnight Bucharest (D; B)

May 29-1: Tulcea-Danube Delta

Leave Bucharst behind as you travel to Tulcea, located on the edge of the Danube Delta The town serves as a starting point for boat transfers to the channels and villages of the delta, but also a place to be introduced to the biodiversity of the region. There is a wonderful tourism center with an exhibition of the different habitats specific to the delta. Learn about the different species of birds and animals that you will be photographing over the coming week.

Continue by boat (2-2.5 hours) through the channels until you reach Mila 23, a typical fisherman village, searching for birds to photograph along the way.

Each morning you will have the option to rise early and capture sunrise, a good opportunity to photograph the birds in the warm light of the morning, after which return to the guesthouse for breakfast. Then depart on your explorations each day to capture the impressive diversity of the living habitats. The delta is mostly known for the important species of great white pelicans, pygmy cormorant, and also red-breasted goose. Over 3400 species of animals have been identified in the Danube Delta territory including rare species of birds searching for the proper environment to survive, such as the Dalmatian pelican and the white tailed eagle.

The local guide will take in to account the water levels and where the birds are feeding in order to navigate the route each day and make the most of your photographic opportunities.

Over the next couple days in addition to the birdlife there will be photography of the fauna and unique forests of Letea and Caraorman. The village of Letea has traditional fisherman houses and is the best-preserved village in the Danube Delta. The village of Caraorman has sandy beach and a bird sanctuary, which offers a very good opportunity to photograph and observe from hides. (B, D; B, L, D three days) Overnight Mila 23

June 2-4: Danube Delta
Robin Erithacus Rubecula

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Romania

Continue exploration of the delta from Dunavat village. In this part of the delta you will get to see birds specific to the water from the nearby Black Sea and salty lakes. Nearby Murighiol is one of the 20 protected areas of the delta and hosts a colony of black winged stilt, pied avocet, red crested pochard and other waders’ species. In the afternoon there will be a photo session either at a salty lake or a souslik place. Enjoy another two days with photography using mobile hides at salty lakes with black-headed gull, little ringed plover, collared pratincole, Eurasian spoonbill and many other birds.

There will be another photo opportunity at a bee-eaters’ colony where you should also see blue roller, starling, little owl, kestrel and hoopoe. Overnight Dunavat (B, L, D all days)

June 5: Danube-Bucharest

After seven full days in the delta you will return to Bucharest. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon around the hotel, prepare for your departure tomorrow, and then share one last dinner together (B, D)

June 6: Bucharest - Home
Dalmatian Pelican

Photo By: I. Goean

Photo Location: Romania

Flights homeIf your flight schedule allows there will be time for photography this morning. Everyone will be transferred to the airport at the appropriate time for flights. (B)

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark
read more
Kathy Adams Clark

Kathy Adams Clark has made her living as a professional nature photographer since 1995. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, Nature’s Best, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work may be viewed weekly in the Houston Chronicle’s “Nature” column, written by her husband, Gary. She is Past-President of the North American Nature Photography Association.

Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in an easy-to-understand language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun. Kathy is an accomplished naturalist as well as a photographer, skilled in many different digital cameras. She is very passionate about nature, birdlife, and wildlife.

Gary Clark joins Kathy as co-leader on some of her tours. He is an acclaimed naturalist guide in his own right will co-lead some trips each year with her. A lifelong naturalist, Gary Clark has studied birds, mammals, and butterflies in North, Central, and South America and in East Africa. He is an award winning professional writer whose column “Nature” appears weekly in the Houston Chronicle. He has authored feature articles in state and national magazines and has written ten books that include photographs from his wife, Kathy. He frequently conducts birding workshops and leads birding tours. He is founder of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society of Texas, former president of the Houston Audubon Society, and former vice-president of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. Gary is a full professor at Lone Star College. Because of both Kathy & Gary’s love of nature, and the work they do, Strabo Tours is proud to make a donation to the Houston Audubon Society for each trip they take part in.

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. I was challenging myself to learn all sorts of new things, photography, a new culture, and was immersed in it. It surpassed my expectations and I met so many beautiful souls along the way. Kathy was fantastic, I give her a 10++!!!

D. Whitney

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 6-7 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

Kathy is the best. So patient and kind with beginners, as well as helping those with lots of experience at the same time. Every night she helped with processing photos and explaining different programs. She is just a wonderful instructor. And Romania was a wonderful trip!! Worth every penny!

K Tirlia

Really great trip to Romania. I enjoyed the itinerary and had a fantastic time. Great instructor and very knoledgeable and good about working with all people in the group. I really enjoyed what the local guides added to the trip as well.

M Stanton

Many highlights to the tour. My favorite parts were probably the cities in Transylvania. Local guides showed us a couple of cool spots to shoot and was able to get locals to pose for us. Accommodations were great and some good - but all great for photogprahy opportunities.

S Litoff

This trip was more than i expected, with some really nice experiences. The breakfast visit with organiz farmer and the spontaneous encounters with gypsies working their fields were equal highlights for me. Local guide was very helful in allowing us to stop when we saw something we wanted to shoot, and facilitated our interactions with local people. The lodges were amazing and in perfect locations. This was my second trip with Strabo and locations are well chosen.

 

K Bates

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations

Accommodations We have chosen all locations with the most important thing in mind – getting to the right location at the right time. Clients literally just walk out of your lodge and start taking photos. Due to the regions included in the itinerary the lodges outside of Bucharest do NOT have elevators. Each participant will need to be prepared to handle his or her own luggage, and camera gear. They will range from 3* to a 4 in Cluj & Bucharest.

loading icon