Our brand new and exciting two centre tour is designed to discover some of the best and most hidden places in northeast of the country for butterflies and other wildlife!
One of the best areas in Central Europe to go butterflying is in the Bükk and Aggtelek National Parks in Hungary. Our brand new and exciting two centre tour is designed to discover some of the best and most hidden places in northeast of the Country for butterflies and other wildlife!
Hungary is in the Carpathian Basin surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains with many attractive mountain species while within the huge basin you can find an amazing variety of different habitats ranging from special wet meadows, alkaline marshes, steppes through extensive oak, beech, evergreen woods, limestone slopes and volcanic hills. No wonder that Hungary is one of the richest countries in the Old Continent in terms of butterflies and dragonflies.
Hungary has almost 200 butterfly species and about another 3,400 moth species, including some endemics and special variations found only here. The Dragonfly list also contains an impressive 65 species. The main reason for the abundance in biodiversity is an extreme richness in diverse habitats and thus plant species. More than 55 species of orchids feature amongst the 800 protected plant species, just an example of the unique natural heritage Hungary boasts.
During the week we will visit Bükk and Aggtelek National Parks. We may also venture to either Hortobagy or Kiskunsag National Park for a short visit, depending on our schedule. The scenery is excellent and you will be able to experience some of the local culture of the areas visited as well. Our local guide will be Gabor, a talented and experienced local zoologist and a specialist in the natural history of the areas we plan to visit. We will use a small, rural hotel, literally in the woods within the borders of the National Parks with plenty of great butterfly and moth species just around us! We place a great emphasis on supporting local communities and National Parks by using these services. The hotel offers quality rooms and excellent local cuisine plus a caring service. We hope to see very good number of species including many rarities, check the detailed itinerary for more of the highlights!
We shall explore a mixture of habitats ranging from very dry hillsides to wet valleys. In one of the valleys alone, all nine Hungarian Hairstreaks occur and there is also a long list of Blues including Chequered, Chapman’s and Turquoise, with an outside chance of picking up the rare Iolas Blue. Amongst the Satyrids are Woodland Brown, Dusky Meadow Brown and Dryad. Eastern Dappled White and Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow have both been recorded at this time of year, while the valezina form of the Silver-washed Fritillary and False Heath Fritillary are both common in the area. One of our target species, the beautiful Pallas’s Fritillary should be one of many highlights of the week. In addition we’ll look for Map, Camberwell Beauty, Hungarian and Common Glider, Purple and Lesser Purple Emperor and the enigmatic and amazing Poplar Admiral!
The whole region is of outstanding natural beauty and is famous for its huge cave systems: over 700 caves have been discovered so far! An optional extra programme could be a tour of the amazing Baradla dripstone cave system, which is now a designated World Heritage Site, with a music and light show in the “Giants Hall” which comes highly recommended. Picturesque valleys with meadows still cut by hand and attractive small villages characterize the region where the traditional way of life remains pretty well intact.