Chamois

A trip to observe high altitude species of High Tatra Mountains

The High Tatras or High Tatra Mountains are the smallest alpine type mountain range on the planet with a unique endemic fauna. Among these, one of the most prominent example is Tatra chamois that became a symbol of Tatra National Park (TANAP).

The Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica) is an endemic subspecies of the chamois of the Rupicapra genus (Rupicapra rupicapra) living only in High Tatra and Low Tatra Mountains (where it was artificially introduced between 1969 and 1976). Like all mountain goats, chamois are also well adapted to life on steep rocky terrains. Adult males are taller (70 – 80 cm) than slightly more gracile females. Chamois horns are short and the tip pointed slightly backwards. Their dark fur becomes lighter in winter times. Facial fur is light with prominent dark stripes below eyes, black strip along the back and whitish buttocks. They graze mainly on herbs and lichens. Their life span is approx. 20 years. Females and with calves create small herd, while adult males prefer solitary life throughout the whole year.

Chamois rut starts at the end of October. Dominant males create a harem of 20 – 30 females, ferociously protecting it from other suitors while constantly checking their mating readiness. This time of the year provides spectators with a unique opportunity to observe breathtaking fights between males, hitting their horns with thundering sounds echoing in nearby valleys.

Ticha dolina Jan Dobsovic panorama

characteristics: Our trip will take us to Tatra National Park (TANAP). The oldes national park in Slovakia, established in 1949, protects the area or Slovakia’s highest mountain range – High Tatra Mountains, which is also the highest part of Carpathian Mountain Range. We will be situated at the altitude of approx. 1250 m, walking in spruce tree, alpine pine and alpine meadow level. Because many parts of the Park suffered from 2004 tempest, we will, between chamois observation, talk also about broader ecological relations of TANAP’s nature.

points of interest of the area: glacial relief, glacial lakes, calamity area

protected areas visited: Tatra National Park, Protected bird sanctuary Tatras

target species: mammals: Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica), Tatra alpine marmot (Marmota marmota latirostris), red deer (Cervus elaphus), fallow deer (Capreolus capreolus), red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), area also provides sanctuary for red fox (Vulpes vulpes), gray wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and brown bear (Ursus arctos)

birds: golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), common buzzard (Buteo buteo), black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), water pipit (Anthus spinoletta), white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus), Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), dunnock (Prunella modularis), alpine accentor (Prunella collaris), robin (Erithacus rubecula), goldcrest (Regulus regulus), common firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus), coal tit (Parus ater), European crested tit (Parus cristatus), willow tit (Parus montanus), Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius), Eurasian nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), common siskin (Carduelis spinus), red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

Trip duration: 1 day

Difficulty: difficult

Route is difficult one with length of maximum 21 km and superelevation of maximum 1600 m. It will lead on walking paths throughout the whole time. Trip may be adjusted according to snow thickness and actual animal occurrence.

Important notifications and conditions: Participants undertake the trip at their own risk. Tour operator does not provide participants with specific tourist insurance. Tour operator provides professional guiding and gear to observe chamois and others. Chamois will be observed only from, or close to, footpaths. Because of their conservation status (endangered species), it is very important NOT to disturb them beyond a very limited level. We do not recommend participants to be accompanied by children below 10 and/or dogs.

Required accessories: warm clothes, food and drinks for the entire trip, ideally also own binoculars and/or camera

Prices for guiding in English for 1 person:

Chamois

Recommended term: June – September

110,- € / 1 participant

65,- € / 2 participants

55,- € / 3 – 4 participants

45,- € / 5 – 7 participants

35,- € / 8 – 10 participants

Price includes: full guiding service, binoculars, spotting scope

Price does NOT include: food, individual travel insurance

Chamois rut

Recommended term: October

130,- € / 1 participant

80,- € / 2 participants

65,- € / 3 – 4 participants

55,- € / 5 – 7 participants

40,- € / 8 – 10 participants

Price includes: full guiding service, binoculars, spotting scope

Price does NOT include: food, individual travel insurance

If you are interested in this trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by email to info@watching.sk or give us a call at +421 948 495 111. We can then discuss the date that suits your needs the best.

Genereal terms and conditions