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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Hungary: A Photographic Tour

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for Hungary: A Photographic Tour. It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space. The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

ENTERING HUNGARY: US Citizens need a passport valid for at least three months after their scheduled departure from the Schengen area and with at least one blank page for an entry stamp.  No visas are required for stays off fewer than 90 days within each 180 day period. 

Citizens of other countries may need a visa and should check their Hungarian embassy.

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information for Georgia at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/hungary.html, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Georgia at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/hu.html

PACE OF TOUR:  The tour is not a strenuous one. Leisurely walking, occasionally over moderately rough terrain, is the only physical requirement. Some longer walks may be necessary for a chance of specific species, however the vehicle is never far away if anyone wants to return early or sit out any particular walk. 

Our drive from the airport to Kondor Ecolodge is about two hours where we’ll be based for six nights. We’ll have a longer travel day mid-tour, birding en route, to reach our hotel close to Bükk National Park. On days where we cover considerable distances there will be comfort and birdwatching stops en route. Many of the smaller country roads have not been well-maintained and as a result are quite bumpy. Our driver is an expert at ensuring that the journeys, no matter how long or short, are as comfortable as possible. 

Daybreak is at around 05.30 so we’ll offer a few optional pre-breakfast local walks, and on most days we will stay out taking a packed lunch with us. Dinner is between 19.00-20.00 however on a few days we’ll have an earlier evening meal and return to the field to look for owls or nightjars. 

HEALTH:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A.

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations for Georgia can be found on the CDC’s Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/hungary

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

Miscellaneous:  Water is safe to drink at all the accommodation. 

There may be mosquitoes in marshy and forest areas, especially if we go into the forest at dawn. In this instance it is best to cover as much of yourself as is possible and use insect repellent.  

In a few areas where there is long grass we may encounter a small number of ticks but they are very scarce, however it is always advisable to tuck trousers into socks before entering such areas. The leader will advise. 

If the weather is fine, the sun can be surprisingly strong.

ACCOMMODATION:  We’ll stay in good quality accommodation with comfortable rooms, close to birding sites. The privately-owned Kondor Eco-Lodge is situated in the middle of Kiskunsag National Park. It has its own bird and wildlife-rich garden with several ponds, bird feeders, nest boxes and hides. The thatch-roofed main building has a library/bookshop, restaurant, bar, and wine-cellar. All rooms throughout the tour have ensuite

facilities with towels provided. Mid-way through the tour we’ll spend three nights at a traditional family-run hotel which is known for its excellent local food. 

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for the Hungary: A Photographic Tour. It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space. The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

Internet Access: WiFi is available at Kondor Eco-lodge, and mobile phone signals are present throughout Hungary, although strength varies. 

CLIMATE: We can expect almost any kind of weather during this trip. Mornings can be cold, while it can be warm around midday, so relatively high daily temperature fluctuations can happen. If we get sunny days it can get very hot (30°C) but we expect those to be tempered with a pleasant breeze. A good waterproof jacket is needed as is a warm sweater but it is advisable to bring a sun hat as well. 

FOOD: The standard of food in Hungary is excellent with a wide variety of dishes available. There will be many local dishes including lots of varieties of wholesome soups. Breakfasts typically consist of a selection of bread, cold cheeses and meats, and most will provide something cooked as well, typically boiled sausages or eggs. We will have packed lunches or provide a picnic at a suitable birding site. These consist of a variety of meats, cheese, vegetables, and fruit. Picnics also include tea, coffee, soft drinks and water. Dinner is likely to consist of soup, followed by meat or fish dish such as Goulash with rice, mixed vegetables and various salads. 

Drinks:  Bottled water, a soft drink or a beer will be provided at lunch and dinner and bottled water will be available on our vehicle during the day. Bottled water for use in your room at night is the responsibility of the individual tour participants.  

Food Allergies/Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.

TRANSPORT: We will be using a large minibus throughout the tour. The main road infrastructure is good, with several dual carriageways that take you over flat countryside. Although some local roads are bumpy we will, wherever possible, use the main highways, but it will be necessary to travel on dirt roads to get to some of the birding sites. Participants should be able and willing  to ride in any seat in our tour vehicles.

Created: 23 November 2015