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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Bulgaria in Spring

Birds and History

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this 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 BULGARIA: Citizens of USA, UK, Canada, and Australia will need a passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of departure and with at least one blank page for an entry stamp. No visa is required for tourist visits of fewer than 90 days in a 180-day period.

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html. Review foreign travel advice from the UK government here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and travel advice and advisories from the Government of Canada here:  https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.

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 and B.

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/list

Bring all the special medication you are likely to need during the tour as it may be difficult to obtain a resupply. 

Altitude:  We’ll reach a maximum elevation of just under 5000 feet. 

Drinking Water:  Water is said to be safe to drink at all the places we stay, but bottled water is widely available. 

Insects: Insects shouldn’t be too much of a nuisance during our tour. It is worth checking yourself after walking in long grass in case of ticks.

Smoking: Smoking or vaping is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc.  While in the field or traveling, use of a smokeless alternative such as nicotine gum is requested. Please do not smoke at short stops while traveling. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group and leave ample time between smoking and getting back into the vehicle. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If any lodge, accommodation or location where the group is staying or is gathered has a more restrictive smoking policy than WINGS’ policy, the more restrictive policy will prevail. The leader reserves the right to modify this policy if the situation warrants it.

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. 

Miscellaneous:  In a few areas we may encounter small ticks but they are very scarce. The sun can be surprisingly strong so some sun block is a good idea. 

PACE OF TOUR:  Some days will start with an optional pre-breakfast excursion which will last between one and two hours. After breakfast we will usually head out for the day. Some days we will spend one night in a hotel so please have your luggage ready to go with us after breakfast. Provided the weather is fine, we’ll have a picnic lunch. Some days we may return to the hotel for a break in the afternoon, but generally we’ll be out birding until about an hour before dinner, the time of which will vary depending on our itinerary.

The tour is not strenuous and is designed to be taken at a relaxed pace. However, in a couple of places we will walk on stony ground and up rocky valleys. Leisurely walks of up to 1 or 2km over easy terrain will be all that is required.

CLIMATE: It is generally warm and pleasant in May with temperatures ranging between 17°C (63°F) and 27°C (80°F) in the daytime, but cooler in the early morning and evenings. The weather is usually stable during May but rain could occur along the Black Sea coast and in mountainous regions near the start of the tour.

ACCOMMODATION: Throughout the tour we will be staying at comfortable, good quality hotels and a guest house owned by our Bulgaria agent. All rooms have a private bathroom with a shower. Hairdryers not provided, bring your own if you think you need one.

There are nice (outdoor) swimming pools at a couple of the hotels, and guests are welcome to use them, but we are seldom if ever at the hotel at a time of the day when the temperature is conducive to swimming.

Please note that none of our hotels on this tour will have an elevator.

Internet and Mobile Phone Access:  Our hotels have reasonably good Wi-Fi connection, and guests can use this on their own devices free of charge. Mobile phone access is very good throughout most of Bulgaria.

FOOD: Meals at all our hotels will be plentiful with a variety of local foods. Our picnic lunches will also consist of local meats, cheeses, salads, and breads. Each evening we will have a meal at our hotel or a local restaurant nearby. Vegetarians are well catered for.

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 provided in the vehicle during the day. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room is the responsibility of the individual. 

TRANSPORTATION: Transportation will be in minibuses driven by the leaders. Bottled water is provided on the minibuses. The leader will arrange a seating rotation. Participants must be willing and able to ride in any seat in our tour vehicles.

Updated: 05 June 2024