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Dalmatian Pelican moving

Winter Pelicans of Greece Photography Tour

£2,095 (Members price £2,045), Deposit £500
Pelican reaching for a fish

Duration & Dates

5 days (4 nights)

2nd to 6th February 2024

Arrival & Departure

International flights to Sofia, Bulgaria

Highlights

Wonderful picture opportunities

Small group for individual attention

Includes all boat and hide trips

Fully escorted by local guide

Fully escorted by UK photo guide

Price

£2,095

Members price £2,045

Deposit £500

Group Size

6 people per tour per 1 guide

Not included

Alcoholic drinks

Camera equipment

Travel insurance

Guide Tips

Optional excursions

Any visa's required

Meals not specified

 
Description

The majestic Dalmatian Pelicans of lake Kerkini in northern Greece have become an iconic subject within European bird species. These large and impressive water birds have all the characteristics of a great photographic subject being both visually impressive and highly tolerant to being approached. The local fisherman on the lake, have a long history of working alongside the birds, and this provides superb opportunities for images at very close quarters. Our ‘Winter Pelican’ trips offer the chance for expert guided access in small and friendly groups to see these amazing birds, resulting in memorable images for everyone attending.

After arrival at Sofia airport, we will be met by our expert local guide and then transferred south by minibus to the town of Kerkini in northern Greece. We will spend four nights in a small family run hotel and use this base to explore the water birds of the surrounding area. The accommodation for the trip is offered on a single occupancy, full board (as specified) basis for the convenience and comfort of our guests.

Our key target species for the whole trip will be Dalmatian Pelicans, which can be photographed at close quarters from both the shore and a specially adapted boat. Each day we will have the services of both a local nature guide and an expert boatman to take us right out into the lake, for the best possible locations for the birds. We will also be able to feed the Pelicans fish to entice them into the best positions for pictures. This will hopefully enable us to capture some stunning close range, low angle images of these magnificent birds in groups on the water.

The intention would be to make the most of the available light, not only reaching the lakeshore as the sun is rising, but also considering the weather and cloud cover for the best locations for the remainder of the day. Early morning conditions can be superb with the chance of no wind, calm water and rising mist, complemented by the snow-capped mountains in the background of the images.

We will also be able to use the local guides experience to find the best positions to capture pictures from the lakeshore. This provides the chance of laying right at the water’s edge and capturing ‘eye level’ images of the birds as they swim towards us.

During the full three days of photography, we also hope to see White Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Greater Flamingo, Great Egret and various waterfowl.

On the morning of day five, we will be transferred back to Sophia airport for the return flights to the UK.

 

This trip is a great chance to capture superb images of a spectacular European bird species and the small group size combined with expert tuition and guidance should ensure everyone makes the most of these opportunities. As always, the UK based Wild Arena photography guide will be on hand throughout the trip to assist with the challenges of getting the best from our cameras and we pride ourselves on running inclusive, friendly and informative trips.

Pelican at sunset
Reflection of a pelican
Pelican group with mountains
Reflection of a pelican
 
Key subjects for the week should include:

Dalmatian Pelicans are the key subject, but we also hope to see White Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Greater Flamingo, Great Egret and various waterfowl.

 

 
Venue

This tour will be based in a small and very friendly, family run hotel very close to the shores of lake Kerkini. Guests will have 4 nights, full board (as specified in the itinerary) accommodation on a single occupancy basis for maximum convenience and comfort.

 

Pelican landing

Itinerary
 
Group of Pelicans at sunset
Pelican in flight
Day 1


(D) After arrival at Sofia Airport, we will be met by our local guides and transferred south (for approximately 4 hours) to Lake Kerkini in Northern Greece, where we will be staying for four nights in a small family-run hotel.

 

Day 2 & 3

 

(B,L,D) For the next 3 days will be occupied with bird photography at Lake Kerkini, where the focus will be the Dalmatian Pelicans. We will try to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans both from the lake banks and from a specially adapted boat. The lake also offers opportunities to photograph the White Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Greater Flamingo, Great Egret and various waterfowl. Each day we will have the option for 2 boat trips, in the first light of the morning and in the later afternoon, when we hope to experience the best lighting conditions. In the evening we will return to our accommodation for dinner and the chance to review the days pictures.

Day 4

 

(B,L,D) On our final full day of photography, we will have the option to re-visit the lake for Pelicans but also potentially venture slightly further afield in search of alternative opportunities. We will conclude in the evening with a final dinner and a chance to reflect with guides and fellow guests.

Day 5

 

(B) After breakfast we will be transferred back to Sofia airport for the return flight to the UK

Please note: – The itinerary is provisional and subject to change depending on local conditions. Not all wildlife mentioned can be seen well at all times of the year & some activities mentioned may not always be available.
 
Meals included are as shown – B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

 
Who should attend

Wild Arena Tours are not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

 

Fitness level: Some light walking will be involved, you will need to be able to get in and out of a boat.

 

Camera Knowledge: You should have a good working knowledge of your camera, but the Wild Arena guide will be on hand to talk through settings.

Learning outcomes

We try to tailor all our sessions to suit our guests, so we do not always cover all the topics depending on the individual needs.

Typical topics we can cover in this session are: Composition, shooting moving subjects, using backlighting, fill in flash for close subjects, shooting from a boat, Fully Manual versus speed or Aperture priority.

 

DS1-Dalamton Pelicans- 2023-greece-108022023-3675.jpg

Thank you for the most wonderful few days at Lake Kerkini. Everything was as described, only better! The accommodation was beautiful and the food amazing. The birds were just a joy to behold – I can't wait to process the thousands of images, as itvis clear that I have some brilliant pictures. Thank you David, a quiet genius who encourages and inspires, thanks too to Vlado and Nikos, the local experts. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough, it was simply perfect.

Miles. Feb 23

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