I can heartily recommend Martin Bailey’s winter wildlife trips to the Magura National Park in Poland. The location is fantastic – we stayed in a remote house within the park boundary, and during our stay a foraging wild boar left its tracks within yards of the door.
Hay meadows stretch up to the edge of the forested hills.
It’s like travelling back hundreds of years, with the full European large mammal fauna – e.g. wolves, lynx, martens, wildcats, beavers – intact and around you*.
I suspect it’s a better place to follow wildlife than the more famous and touristy parks where access may be a bit more regulated.
We spent seven full days roaming in across the snowy hills and streams, coming back to the house to enjoy the hospitality of Jacek and Agnieszka’s family. Their home cooking is based on local food in generous quantities – including fresh eggs, village milk and forest mushrooms, and various meats.
During the week I was there the weather conditions weren’t ideal for using the trail cameras, but the scenery was great, we did a lot of mammal tracking, and we saw some fine birds such as golden eagle, pygmy owl and white-backed woodpecker.
Martin is a thoughtful and cheerful host, and the trip is very good value. I expect it’ll be even better in the summer!
*Not that you’ll see most of them in a short trip, of course.