Get your lens ready – here comes a brown bear!
Slovenia is a country rich in forests, as no less than 60% of its area is covered in green forests. The most vast forests are in southern Slovenia. Due to their density and scarce population, these forests are an ideal habitat for numerous animal species, from various varieties of birds to beasts, such as the wolf, the Eurasian lynx, and the brown bear. If you would like to learn about their life in their natural habitat from up close, join organised observational groups or photo hunts. To experience a genuine encounter with brown bear, head to the forests of the Loka Valley. SlovenianBears is a bear-friendly and human-friendly boutique photo hunt experience which won the Sejalec 2018 Award.
The brown bear – the king of the Kočevsko and Notranjska forests
The brown bear can mainly be found in the forests of the Notranjska and Kočevsko regions. According to estimates, approximately 560 brown bears live there. This is an ideal opportunity for everyone who wishes to learn about the life of brown bears in their natural habitat. Join a guided observational expedition and photo hunt for the brown bear. This way, you can learn that it is quite possible for humans and brown bears to coexist.
A bear-friendly photography experience
Miha Mlakar, the man who created the unique boutique brown bear photo hunt experience SlovenianBears, has been excited about these furry brown beasts since he was little. During guided tours, which are limited to a maximum of 6 people, guests follow the migration paths of the brown bear from Čaber to Cerknica and try to get the best possible photograph of this animal in its natural environment. The experience is safe and animal-friendly. There are 20 observation posts, which have the best conditions for filming and taking photographs of brown bears. At these observation posts, there are camera stands and supports, and only 2–4 guests can be in a single observation post at a time. The best conditions for observing and taking photographs of brown bears are in the afternoon. You can enjoy the brown bear photo hunt and observation experience from May to September.
When you visit the Loka Valley, do not forget to put on your hiking shoes. Among the many trails that you can take, there is also an international long-distance trail that takes you across the Dinaric Alps and through seven countries in the Balkans. In 2017, National Geographic Traveler ranked it among the best destinations in the world. In Slovenia, the trail will take you from the Nanos Plateau to Babno Polje Field, and on the way, you can witness many special features of the karst world.
Did you know ...?
The Loka Valley and its immediate vicinity is home to some interesting features you may not have heard of.
Babno Polje Field is the coldest inhabited place in Slovenia. It is known as Slovenian Siberia. The lowest recorded temperature was -36.4ᵒC.
Ostrnice hay-drying poles are a special feature in the Loka Valley. They are trimmed spruce tops intended for drying hay and other farming products.
Lož is Slovenia’s smallest medieval town. Above the town, you can find the remains of Pusti Grad Castle.
From the brown bear to the special features of karst landscape
The Loka Valley is only a few kilometres from Ljubljana. From the valley, you can follow the footsteps of bears towards the Kočevsko region or explore the mysterious beauty of karst phenomena on or beneath the surface of the ground.