Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Romania. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.
ENTERING ROMANIA: A valid passport is required. At time of writing, tourist visas for stays of up to ninety days are not required for citizens of the United States. Citizens of other countries can obtain information regarding entry requirements from the Romanian Embassy at 1607 23rd St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone number (202) 232-4747, or the Romanian Consulates in Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York City. The Romanian Embassy maintains a web site at http://washington.mae.ro/en.
There are no vaccinations required of visitors for entry to Romania.
COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/romania.html, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Romania at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ro.html.
PACE OF TOUR AND DAILY ROUTINE: Some of the walks – a few over moderately rough terrain - can be a mile or two long at most, but our vehicle is never far away if anyone wants to return early or sit out any particular walk. Most mornings will have optional pre-breakfast birding, and on some days, we’ll stay out taking a picnic lunch.
There are several long drives, but 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.
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.
Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure.
The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/romania .
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 nonsmoker, 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.
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.
CLIMATE: Daytime temperatures normally vary from 15°C to 28°C (60°F to 80°F) but can, and do, reach 40°C (100°F). Evenings and pre-breakfast birding sessions are cooler. It is possible that we may encounter some rain; however, the area is one of the driest in Europe, receiving a very low annual rainfall.
ACCOMMODATION: Romania is possibly the poorest country in Europe and has an infrastructure more comparable to many third-world countries. Even so, all our hotels and the houseboat will have private en-suite facilities (toilet, shower or bath, etc.).
FOOD: A typical breakfast consists of omelettes, bread and jam, curd cheese and ham, washed down with herb or china tea, or coffee. A picnic is usual at lunchtime, with local salami, pâté, ham, feta cheese, tomatoes, and cucumbers. We make a special effort over our picnics. Dinner is usually a three-course meal; soup is the usual starter. The abundance and quality of fish is another attraction of being in the delta, and our diet while afloat will reflect this.
The boat crew are keen fishermen, and fish are bartered from the villages we pass. There are a number of Romanian desserts - small doughnuts with sour cream and fruit jam is always a favorite. Various cakes or pastries or perhaps pancakes with fruit compote and sour cream may be served or fresh fruit. Coffee or tea is always served.
Drinks: Bottled water and/or a soft drink or a beer is provided at lunch and dinner, as is coffee or tea. Bottled water is available in our vehicles during the day. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room is the responsibility of the individual.
TRANSPORTATION: Our transport will be minibuses or small coaches with trailers for luggage. The leader will arrange a seating rotation. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles.
Updated: July 2015