Bisons, wolves and wild boars (oh my!)

Bialowieza Travel Blog

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European Bison. Żubr in Polish. They were extinct here after ww1 - but were reintroduced thanks to specimens in zoos.

April 19, 2009

 

Well... I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until this morning, so midnight Orthodox Easter services will have to wait until next year.  I’m sorry about missing that • never should have lain down.  Anyway.... I’m rested and ready to go see the bison and other animals living here and then will have to drive back to Warsaw... Work awaits me tomorrow....

 

First stop • the hotel’s dining room for breakfast. A great breakfast I might add with a large buffet with a large selection of things to choose from.

Orthodox Church in Białowieza
  After breakfast I got my things out of the room and checked out.  I was a little surprised that you have to pay a special environmental surcharge • in cash • when checking out of the hotel.  It wasn’t much, but good thing I had some cash with me.  After the hotel I drove around Białowieża, stopping at the Orthodox Church to take a couple pictures and checking out some interesting old buildings in the town.  I made a large loop around the whole town. There are some fantastic wooden houses as well as farms and fields.  I headed towards the Belarus border, but chickened out before getting too close - I don't have my passport with me and there's no point in tempting fate!

 

Finally I left Białowieża and headed down the road, back in the direction of Hajnówka.  About a mile down the road there’s a little turnoff to the nature reserve in Białowieża National Park.  We parked, paid the parking fee and then the 6 PLN entrance fee and headed in to see the bison and other animals.

  (I hope all of these fees are really going to protect the park!)  This is a very interesting place, situated in the eastern part of Poland, just by the border with Belarus (aka Byelorussia or White Russia). It is one of the most valuable woodland regions in Europe and is the kingdom of the biggest mammal in Europe - the bison. 

 

Visiting the reserve takes as long as you want it to, but you should expect to stay there for about two hours. You basically just follow arrows around the grounds, and pass by areas where wolves, deer, moose, boars, wild horses and bison live.  There are also some hybrids which are a cross between a domestic cow and a European bison which are enormous, impressive animals.  They don’t seem too interested in the people walking around, but the guide we had yesterday advised us to get there early because when there are a lot of tourists around the animals tend to move away from where they’re easily visible.

  There were some extremely cute baby deer and a baby bison to see too.

 

After that visit we decided to head back to Warsaw.  We stopped in Hajnówka and a couple other places to check out Orthodox Churches, but were back in Warsaw by 4 p.m.  I tried heading back via Białystok this time thinking that the better road would make the trip shorter, but it more or less took just as long as the other route did.  This is definitely one of the excursions from Warsaw that I most highly recommend.

 

We'll see if anyone get's the "oh my!" in the title....  No, I'm not in Kansas anymore...

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European Bison.  Żubr in Polish. …
European Bison. Żubr in Polish.…
Orthodox Church in Białowieza
Orthodox Church in Białowieza
Interior of the hotel
Interior of the hotel
This is a hybrid between a domesti…
This is a hybrid between a domest…
A wolf. Wilk in Polish.  There are…
A wolf. Wilk in Polish. There ar…
wild boars (Dziki) are also common…
wild boars (Dziki) are also commo…
Konie Dzikie / Wild horses
Konie Dzikie / Wild horses
Konie Dzikie / Wild horses
Konie Dzikie / Wild horses
Orthodox church in Bialowiezaw
Orthodox church in Bialowiezaw
a moose / Łoś
a moose / Łoś
Wild Boars / Dziki
Wild Boars / Dziki
Deer (Sarny or Jelenie... not sure…
Deer (Sarny or Jelenie... not sur…
Bialowieza Hotels & Accommodations review
Hotel designed like a traditional Polish manor house
This is a nice place to stay while visiting Białowieża National Park in Poland. Its location is fine, just a short walk from Park Pałacowy and Bia… read entire review
Bialowieza
photo by: boxinbcn