"Around the primeval forest" Top 5 Page for this destination Bialowieza by evaanna

Bialowieza Travel Guide: 68 reviews and 134 photos

The first time I went to Bialowieza was with my school trip many years ago. I was twelve and enjoyed the 20 km walk around the primeval forest very much. I remember having to climb over enormous trees that had fallen blocking our way. The National Park rules would not allow them to be removed.
I promised myself to go back there and in 2000 we took an English visitor on a day trip to see the bisons. The amazing thing about this great unique area was that even in high season there were hardly any tourists where one would expect crowds.
A year later we decided to visit this miracle of nature again. This time we made the mistake of visiting the place in extremely hot weather. The 20 km walk was out of the question - even more, any walk in the forest was out of the question. The still air and the heat had activated the insects - not only the mosquitoes but also the much bigger gadflies and many other rare species, not that we cared about how rare they were when they stung us...

We stayed at Gruszki (literally: pears) a small village on the edge of the forest, but not at the forester's house as we had planned - the flies had driven us away to a more civilised hunting lodge, which was much more expensive but also cleaner. It wasn't the time for hunting and we were the only visitors there for the first three days. The forest, though not the strict nature reserve, was at hand. And it was there, in that place, so overshadowed as to be completely dark, that we encountered the masses of insects for the first time. Try avoiding the forest when it's all around you but this is exactly what we were forced to do. There were no insect-repellents in the only shop in the village. Worse, there was hardly any food to be bought there. We couldn't believe it - we didn't want to travel the 18 or so kilometres to Bialowieza just to get some bread. We limited our stay to just four days, but I still think the experience was worth the sacrifice. You will see why from my tips.

This year a cousin of mine went to Bialowieza with her friends to welcome the New Year. They have given me permission to use their pictures, which are the more valuable that they show the place in winter. Many thanks!

Photograph: courtesy of Hanna Gesciak-Wojciechowska

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A chance to see fantastic primeval forest with its wildlife: the European bison, the wolf, the lynx and many more
  • Cons:Masses of aggressive insects in hot weather, problems with provisions
  • In a nutshell:A unique experience
  • Last visit to Bialowieza: Jul 2001
  • Intro Updated Jan 10, 2010
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Reviews (12)

Comments (18)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Just the type of place I'd love to visit - huge ancient trees & a mix of interesting wild animals! Halina Szkuta B&B sounds like a fantastic find for next time. Bison caught up in politics - what next? Nice winter pics - it is snowing in Regina now!!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    I heard of the buffalo in Poland, and you found them. What a wonder. You did a fine job of describing the sites and the pictures are very good.

  • trvlrtom's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Looks like a fascinating place. I live near some old grove trees that escaped the woodcutters in California. Bialowieza would be an interesting comparison.

  • Sep 15, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Ewa You don't warn us which restaurant near Bialowieza made you ill ?

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Arrived at this page via a question in the Travel Forum - what a little treat! Unique wildlife and a St Nicholas church. I was in Poland in 1971, looks like I've found another reason to come back some time. leyle

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Looks like a fascinating area with the primeval forest and all the wildlife. The Folk Museum sounds very interesting, too.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2009 at 2:58 PM

    Interesting page! I forget about borders, the ocean is ours! A nice folk musem, and your accommodation tips are good ones, worth remembering, thanks

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2009 at 11:37 PM

    I love the painted Orthodox cross! And the folk museum ground looks beautiful, the little chapels and the windmill. Oh my, I get hungry when I read your description of the B&B food! Sounds like a magic place :-)

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2009 at 6:24 AM

    Thanks for yet another virtual tour of a lovely Polish village. Interesting windmills.

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2008 at 10:14 PM

    A great page! I'm hoping to see bisons in another part of Poland this year, on Wollin, but Bialowieza seems to be the best place. I can do without the masses of flies, though.

evaanna

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