Photography Expedition with Tomáš Hulík: Birds and autumn in NP Hortobágy

3-day photoexpedition and workshop focused on birds, autumnal atmosphere and cultural traditions in Hungary

Tour date: October 9 – 11, 2015


This photoexpedition is tailored for photographers who are interested in photographing nature, man, and their mutual coexistence. You will find use for your telephoto zoom lenses, wide angle lenses as well as lenses portraits. When choosing the right lens, please bear in mind, that we will take pictures also under worse light conditions. We will shoot mainly migrating Common Cranes (Grus grus), as well as other birds living in water and steppe habitats. We will focus also on shooting morning mists, sunsets with cranes in the foreground and flying birds. If you are interested in shooting night sky, this place provides perfect conditions – Hortobágy was designated a dark Sky Park as well.  Besides cranes, we will try to shoot also other birds from much closer distance. Last but not least we will witness a herdsmen parade with their herds (racka sheep, Hungarian Grey Cattle, water buffalo) on the famous nine-arch bridge in the very hearth of the national park.

Whereabouts: Hortobágy National Park was designated in 1973 and in 1999 was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This national park represents an unique preserved central European steppe landscape. Numerous species of waterbirds live at fishponds in the national park live or use them as stopover places on their migration. Certainly the most spectacular of all is one amazing show that repeats every year – tens of thousands of Common Cranes (Grus grus) stop here during their autumnal migration to the South. It was the large number of fishponds and other water bodies that led this area to be included also on the List of wetlands of international importance according to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Last but not least – this steppe area was designated also a Dark Sky Park (Hortobágy Starry Sky Park), an area with very low level of light pollution. This national park is as well a biosphere reserve according to the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program, which takes into account areas, where man and nature live in harmony. In Hortobágy this means most of all the life of herdsmen and their animals and thanks to that this steppe area provides conditions for many interesting animal and plant species.


Target species: Common Crane (Grus grus), geese (Anser sp.), ducks (Anas sp., Aythya sp.), Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), herons and egrets (Ardea sp.), Pygmy Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pygmeus),  waders (Charadriiformes), Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus), Coot (Fulica atra), Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), European Hare (Lepus europaeus), traditional domestic animal breeds (racka sheep, Hungarian Grey Cattle, mangalitsa pigs) and many more.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1, October 9, Friday:
early in the morning: meeting in Bratislava, transfer to the Hortobágy National Park, (lunch break on our route) afternoon: arrival to Hortobágy, accommodation, instructions of the leading photographer, photo shooting in the field until late evening hours
after the dinner: Possibility to take pictures of the night sky.

Day 2, October 10, Saturday:
morning before breakfast: transfer to the fishponds and photo shooting of cranes taking off from their night roost, shooting of atmospheric phenomenons and bird living in reeds. Transfer to the village Hortobágy where a parade of herdsmen will take place. We will see herds of sheep, proud horses and their masters, wagons pulled by horses and oxen and a traditional cracking of the whips will surely not be missing.
lunch break: rich lunch in a local famous csárda (restaurant) offering delicious Hungarian cuisine (every participant chooses dish and pays for it individually – the price of the lunch is not included in the tour price)
after the lunch: transfer to the places with the occurrence of cranes
evening: photo shooting of the arrival of cranes to their night roosting places
after the dinner: Possibility to take pictures of the night sky.

Day 3, October 11, Sunday:

morning before and after breakfast: photo shooting of cranes and birds living in reed stands
afternoon:transfer to Bratislava, scheduled arrival at 6:00 – 7:00 pm

The itinerary may be a subject of revision according to the occurrence of animals, actual weather and light conditions or the possible clearance of the fishponds.

Recommended equipment: DSLR camera (not required) with a full charged battery and empty memory card and telephoto zoom lens with minimum 150 mm of focal length, wide angle lens, other lenses and filters, monopod/tripod, external flash.

In case of interest we can individually provide a paid rental of photo equipment (DSLR, lens, filters or tripod).

Level: intermediate – advanced

All terrains during this trip are easy walking, the area of the trip is lowland.

Number of participants: minimum 4, maximum 12

Price: 295,-€ / person

Price includes: full time guidance and advice of Tomáš Hulík, transport, accommodation for 2 nights, half board for 2 days (2x dinner, 2x breakfast), recreational fee, national park entry fee, corporate insolvency insurance

Price does not include: photo equipment rental, lunch, individual travel insurance

Application form: Birds and autumn in NP Hortobágy 2015

The deadline for registration and payment is extended till October 5, 2015. Please send the application forms to, you can contact us also at +421 948 495 111.
General Terms and conditions

In case of questions concerning trip, please contact us at: e–mail:, tel.: +421 948 495 111, or +421 903 751 330 (Ján Dobšovič)