The Kočevje Bears
Get ready for a very special adventure: pick up your camera and follow the tracks of the bear, the mightiest inhabitant of the forests of Kočevje. But fear not! Our experienced guides will keep you safe on your journey.
About the Bear
The brown bear is the largest European beast. It can be found in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, northern Greece, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and throughout Scandinavia. Initially, the brown bear inhabited all the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, but was exterminated in many lands as time passed. Like elsewhere, it was also chased away in Slovenia, but it managed to survive in the vast Kočevje-Snežnik forests. Careful management of the Slovene bear population has led to the fact that we can proudly say our forests boast the most numerous bear population, while at the same time we are aware of the importance of heritage, and therefore continue to do our best to ensure a satisfying coexistence. The Bear has been a Protected and Preserved Species since 1993, is on the Red List of Endangered Species in Slovenia, and is also protected by numerous other international conventions.
Although the bear's appearance makes one think of a great and bulky creature, it is actually a rather quick, nimble and extremely powerful beast. As a cub, it weighs barely 300 grams, but as an adult it can reach up to 300 kg. Usually, the bear's weight ranges from 180 kg to 250 kg; the females are smaller, weighing from 100 kg to 150 kg.
It is omnivorous and especially an opportunist. Its diet changes depending on the season, but its menu includes almost everything there is to eat: grasses, ramsons, ants, wasps, dead deer, forest fruits and berries, etc.
Encountering a Bear
Although there are many bears in our forests, one seldom encounters one. Bears are extremely retiring animals and usually avoid humans. When encountering a bear, it is very important to remain calm. Do not shout or flap your arms, as this might aggravate or frighten the animal. Use a quiet voice to let the bear perceive us in a calm manner and withdraw.
If the bear stands on its hind legs, it is merely sniffing the air to check the surroundings; it is in no way aggressive. Speak in a calm manner to let it know you are there. The bear will detect your proximity and withdraw.
When exploring our woods, keep your dogs on a leash and if you are travelling in company, we encourage you to talk to prevent any unpleasant situations where you might surprise a bear.
Following the Bears Trail
Kočevje is a world of bear-related experience and activities. Bears are wild animals that enjoy their peace. In order to ensure their undisturbed lifestyle, we must follow certain guidelines when enjoying all the activities.
Kočevje invites you to join a photographic exploration of its remarkable woodlands and beautiful nature. Experienced guides will lead you to interesting locations and familiarise you with important aspects of photography in our areas of pristine nature. They will share their experiences and help you capture your most beautiful photos.
The bear is difficult to catch on camera due to its retiring nature. But the bravest of you can ascend our dedicated observatories, where the chances of spotting and photographing this charismatic animal are greater. Moreover, you will be watching from a safe distance, accompanied by our experienced guides.
If you wish to have a closer look at the Kočevje wilderness and test your photographic skills, join our photohunt.Photohunt