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For starters

For maximum enjoyment of the Lower Danube region (Bessarabia), we recommend a tour of ten days. This provides enough time to see and appreciate a wide range of the region's attractions at leisure, with opportunities for free time to explore, shop or just relax. However, short trips can also be rewarding - for a long weekend, or simply a day out - if you are already in or close to Odessa, just contact us for more information.

The best times to visit the Lower Danube for wildlife is from the last week of April to the end of September. The period to mid-May is good for most steppe flowers and migratory birds, while the later period affords most of the aquatic plants in flower and a multitude of breeding birds, especially colonial species like pelicans, cormorants and herons.

For the more hardy, Salix also organises winter tours of seven days to the Danube Delta and Crimea to see the huge flocks of wintering waterfowl and geese (in particular red-breasted goose) and thousands of great bustards coming from Russia.

Salix can also organise tours in Crimea and the Carpathian regions of Ukraine. Please enquire for more information.

Ten days exploring Bessarabia

One Arrive Kiev Borispol or Odessa Central; met at airport; transfer to Odessa by car (approx. 6 hr from Kiev on motorway). From Kiev only: Picnic tea in Uman oak and hornbeam woodlands for woodpeckers, finches and warblers. Check-in to hotel in central Odessa.
Two Depart for Dneister river and liman. Marsh harrier, herons, warblers, ashy-headed wagtail. Picnic at Dneister liman / Belgorod fort: migrant passerine site. Lake Kitai and Aliaga steppe / Traian's wall / Samartian tumuli: red-footed falcon colony, lesser grey shrike. Suvorovo: spotted suslik colony and traditional Bulgarian meal. Accommodation at Salix property in Reni ~ be our guest to pick your own fruit in the garden!
Three Walking and boating at Lake Kugurlui Ramsar wetland site. Dalmatian pelican, red- and black-necked grebes, spoonbill, pygmy cormorant, ferruginous duck, marsh terns; beds of submerged, floating and emergent waterplants. Picnic at Russian Imperial Army monument at former USSR border. Dinner in Reni.
Four Walking around steppe and woodlands of Lake Yalpug, the largest natural freshwater lake in Ukraine. Pied wheatear, golden oriole, tawny pipit, ortolan bunting, with a huge diversity of flowers and feathergrass. Picnic in the field, and visit to Bolgrad Basilica. Dinner in Reni.
Five Breakfast and departure from Reni; check-in to Korchma Hotel at Stara Nekrasovka. Visit to Isles of Izmail Landscape Park by boat: cormorant colony, penduline tit, black woodpecker, and potential for white-tailed sea-eagle; pristine riverine forest. Picnic on island, with fresh-caught fish. Bessarabian dinner at hotel.
Six Walk in Danube riverine forest. Woodpeckers, thrush nightingale, icterine warbler, flycatchers. Lunch and free time at Korchma Depart for Vilkovo. Good opportunities to photograph nesting white storks en route. Settle in to Salix accommodation. Dinner in Vilkovo.
Seven Boat trip to Zhebryanski Bay area of Danube Biosphere Reserve. White and Dalmatian pelicans, grebes, herons, Caspian gulls, gull-billed tern, potential for white-tailed sea-eagle. "Shashlik" barbeque on beach. Dinner in Vilkovo. Stroll around historic old town area.
Eight Boat trip to Potapov Island area of Danube Biosphere Reserve. Shoreline waders, hobby, tern colonies, Savi's and marsh warblers, migratory passerines. Fresh fish lunch at local fisherman's camp. Dinner in Vilkovo.
Nine Departure from Vilkovo. Return to Odessa via Tuzli Liman complex for waders, waterfowl and slender-billed gull. Picnic lunch en route Arrive Odessa. Dinner at Ukrainian restaurant. Night sleeper train "Chernomoritz" to Kyiv / Accommodation in central Odessa.
Ten Arrive Kyiv 08.00; to hotel to freshen up and have breakfast. Sightseeing in Kyiv / Odessa. To airport for departure.

Tour itineraries may change to suit local weather conditions, the composition and interests of the group or at the discretion of the leaders.

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Salix Ltd, registered in Kilia, Odessa, no. 328588, is a Ukrainian subsidiary of FIELDFARE International Ecological Development plc.
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