Bear spotting in Slovenia
March, 9 2020
More and more people are choosing Slovenia as a holiday destination. That’s not surprising, as it’s a top destination with lovely campsites and impressive countryside. One of the reasons the countryside is so unique is that real live bears still walk around in the wild! No, you don’t need to worry about them, but you can certainly spot them. Let me tell you more.
Can you hear a rustling in the undergrowth?
Have you ever seen bears in the wild? You don’t need to go all the way to Canada, you can do that right here in Europe. And without any danger at all. You can book a tour at several places in Slovenia where you can observe bears from inside a camouflaged shelter called a hide. It’s a great and really unusual trip out. Waiting together in the shelter until a bear passes by… Maybe you can already hear a rustling in the undergrowth?
There is plenty of open countryside in Slovenia. About fifty percent of the country is covered by forests. About 900 bears live among the mountains, rivers, and the vegetation. Most of them are to be found in the south of the country, for example in the Loški Potok forest in Notranjska Regional Park. Several tours can be booked , including one about an hour’s drive from Ljubljana Resort. It’s a great place for a bear watching tour or you could even book a day with the bear. It may take some time before you see a bear, but it will be worth the wait! Your guide will tell you all about the European brown bear on your way to the hide. This trip out is especially enjoyable to do with older children. Who can wait the longest without moving, and who will be the first to spot a bear?
Is it safe to camp if there are bears nearby?
Absolutely, you don’t need to be afraid of meeting a real bear on the campsite. Bears live in the forest and they are really quite shy. That means they will avoid you if they know you are close by. As bears have a good sense of smell, they will know when you are near. The guides who run the bear-spotting tours will ask you not to take any food with you, and possibly not to wear perfume. Moreover, you must be very, very quiet, because a bear will walk away as soon as he hears you.
Even more wild animals, can you identify the footprints?
There are plenty of other types of animals in Slovenia which you can spot in the wild. These include deer, wild boar and ibex. You might even see a wolf’s footprint. Wolves are very rare in Slovenia, so you would be very lucky! If you prefer to look at animals while you are safely behind a fence, then you should pay a visit to Ljubljana ZOO in the middle of the country. You can watch the bears from close quarters while they are being fed. You can also take part in the photo safari, where you can photograph bears (and other animals) in safety behind glass. A visit like this to the zoo is also enjoyable for smaller children, and probably just as exciting!