Tracking the Beasts of Kočevsko - Bears, Lynx and Wolves
Duration: 3 days (2 overnight stays)
Suitable for: small groups, families, couples
Minimum number of persons: 2
Maximum number of persons: 8
Mandatory equipment: hiking boots, warm and waterproof non-noisy clothing
The forests of Kočevsko are full of life! Discover the wild nature and its inhabitants up close in forest adventures with an experienced guide. Observe, discover clues, take pictures and gain lots of new knowledge. Give yourself a forest experience that will delight both adults and children.
- On the first day you will hike along the Bear Trail and learn about the habitat of bears, wolves and lynx;
- You will visit the Bear Room and;
- You will observe bears from an observation stand in the forest;
- On the second day you will go for a trek on the Rog hiking trail;
- You will end the day with a picnic.
- On the third day you will continue trekking along the Borovec hiking trail;
- You will conclude the tour with a trip to the Reško Lake and the Eagle Trail.
Day 1: All about bears
You meet your local guide at the Bearlog Hostel in the morning. After comfortable accommodation in rooms named after animals and trees from the forests of Kočevsko, you will embark together on a morning hike along the Short Bear Trail, where the habitats of all three great beasts – bears, wolves and lynx are intertwined, with an emphasis on the presentation of bears, our largest forest beast.
After lunch, a visit to the Bear Room follows and a lecture in Kočevska Reka, aimed at getting to know the environment of wild beasts (wolves, bears and lynx) present in the forests of Kočevsko, their habits and a presentation of the rules of behaviour while observing bears on observation stands.
In the evening, with the help of a local hunter, you will observe the bears from one of the adapted observation stands. With some luck, you will be able to observe this charismatic furry creature during its evening stroll and activities from a safe shelter.
Day 2: Rog hiking trail
After breakfast, you will go trekking on a part of a 64-kilometer stretch of the Rog hiking trail, marked with guide markings in the shape of a bear paw, which connects most of the natural and historical sights of the forests of Kočevsko. You will look for the presence of wildlife in their natural habitat, and in the meantime, learn about many of the attractions along the way. Not far from the former Rog sawmill, you will see the "Queen of Rog" itself, the second largest fir tree in Slovenia and the mightiest by far, measuring 6 metres across and more than 50m in height, and you will also walk on a trail along the edge of the Rajhenavski Rog virgin forest, from which you will admire an area where the "axe has never sung" and where only nature rules and learn the difference between a forest and a virgin forest. Along the way, you will eat a packed lunch and end the day with a picnic in the wild.
Day 3: The virgin forest and eagles
In the morning, after breakfast, you will drive to Kočevska Reka, the central village in a valley that was inhabited 3,000 years ago and by German and Tyrolean farmers in the 14th century, who began to emigrate at the end of the 19th century due to economic conditions. This process ended during and mainly after World War II. Decades after the war, Kočevska Reka was also part of the enclosed area, so the landscape around it remained all the more preserved and untouched. Today, it is known for the widest walnut tree in Slovenia, measuring 434cm in diameter and an artificial lake below the village, which is an important natural habitat. Together with the surrounding forest, the area is declared a forest reservation, which nests one of the few living pairs of white-tailed eagles. According to the latest information, only about 8 pairs of this rare species supposedly live in Slovenia.
You will walk the Eagle Trail in the afternoon, designed to raise awareness of the complexity of ecological processes and the importance of protecting end predators, such as the white-tailed eagle. The trail directs visitors to visit a part of the reservation that does not present a major disturbance to the white-tailed eagle. You will climb the eagle observation stand, where you will have an opportunity to observe this mighty eagle, the wingspan of which reaches up to 250cm.
Before lunch, which you will enjoy in Koče near Kočevska Reka, you will take a stroll along the Borovec hiking trail that leads us to the Krempa Forest Reservation. On a grassy saddle, you will be able to admire the blooming of many daffodils in the springtime, which have the southernmost habitat in this area, and enjoy beautiful views of the canyon of the River Kolpa and views of the mighty trees of the Forest Reservation of the Krokar Virgin Forest on the slope of the Borovec mountain, the largest of the six forestry remains in Slovenia, which is also entered in the UNESCO List of Natural Heritage, all year round.
The following can be included in the package before or after the tour:
• Transportation to Kočevje and back to your chosen destination
• Tour of Ljubljana
• Additional overnight accommodation
• Additional activities