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Birding holidays


Activity level:

easy/moderate walks

Wild Cat, Souslik © Csonka Péter

Europe/Hungary, Slovakia

Ultimate small mammal holiday

Bükk National Park, Slovak Karst National Park, 7 days

Why not take part in our specialist bat and small mammal watching holiday which offers an exciting opportunity to see at least 20 species of European bats and a host of small mammals? If you choose to join the 2-3 days extension, this gives the potential of adding another 6 species. The basic tour visits one of the most bat-rich areas of Europe. We will be based at two locations; 3 nights in Hungary and 3 nights in Slovakia. Our local guides are National Park rangers with expert knowledge and many years of experiences in monitoring and protecting bats in their habitats. We will ensure you see the most exciting sites of this scenic area. In addition you can sample the best local wines and enjoy the famous Hungarian cuisine and special Slovak dishes.

Bükk National Park is situated in the North-East of Hungary. It is characterized by vast beech woods and open limestone meadows with different karst forms produced by erosion. It is a perfect area for bats, birds and butterflies. The Slovak Karst National Park is situated in the South-East of Slovakia. The warm climate and the caves provide a perfect habitat for bats, resulting in a high abundance of species.

The wide variety of birds, butterflies and wildlife is also exceptional in these national parks we visit and although the holiday focuses on bats, there will be many opportunities to look for Imperial Eagle, owls and woodpeckers, or Camberwell Beauty, Pallas’s Fritillary and Hungarian Glider. Wolf and Lynx are also present in the area, although they are very secretive.

As bats usually prefer old buildings and churches we will select the safest places and provide protective helmets for your additional safety. Sometimes it may be advisable to visit the colonies in groups of 4-5 in order to minimise disturbance of the mammals.

Latest reviews

“Dear Sandor, Thank you for looking after us so well and for showing us this lovely part of Hungary and its wildlife. The bats were amazing and such close views of two dormouse species and a Ural Owl were a fantastic bonus. Last night’s Particoloured Bat and your enthusiasm will stay in our memories – bats need ambassadors like you!”

Vicky Graham and David Holberton-Jones, UK


  • 7 days in Hungary and Slovakia
  • begin and end in Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 bases, one in the Bükk Hills, one in Aggtelek on the border to Slovakia


  • 3 days in Bükk National Park
  • 1 day in Aggtelek National Park
  • 2 days in the Slovak Karst National Park
  • up to 20 species of bats
  • 3 species of dormice, trapping of rodents
  • rare bird and butterfly species


3 nights at Noszvaj in Bükk NP

3 nights in Jósvafő, Aggtelek National Park

Departure Dates

Ask for possible dates


from 2,080 EUR + 250 EUR (single room supplement)

Ask for the actual price

Optional programmes, extensions

Visit to Baradla dripstone cave

Visit to the Hortobágy to see Lesser Mole-rat



After arriving at Budapest Airport we travel to Bükk National Park. We stop en route to look for Eastern Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon. Our hotel is situated in a small village in the Southern part of the Bükk Hills. We explore some of the exciting summer roosts of bats found in local buildings, churches and caves. Alcathoe Whiskered, Whiskered, Daubenton’s, Pond, Common Pipistrelle, Pygmy Pipistrelle, Nathusius Pipistrelle, Leisler’s, Noctule, Parti-coloured, Western Barbastelle, Brown Long-eared and Schreiber’s Bat are all possible. Our hotel is just five minutes from one of the best mist-netting site for bats in the area, where up to 14 species of bats are possible. There is a dormouse nest box scheme, which we visit in the hope of seeing three species of dormouse. We visit the scenic Hor Valley and a nice pasture woodland in search of Lesser Spotted and Short-toed Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Bee-eater, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Short-toed Treecreeper and butterflies. One day we visit the famous Hortobágy that is home to Great Bustard, Red-footed Falcon, Roller and Lesser Grey Shrike. The main reason of our visit though is Lesser Mole-rat, a rarely seen mammal of the Eastern steppes. On one evening there will be an opportunity for an optional visit to a wine cellar to taste local wines including the famous Bull’s Blood.


We travel north to Aggtelek National Park bordering Slovak Karst National Park in Slovakia. We stay in a pension in a picturesque village, which is close to several significant bat colonies both in Hungary and Slovakia. According to the movements of bats we visit these colonies, but for sure we spend 1-2 days in Slovakia. In the foothills of the Karst region we visit a cave hoping to find colonies of Greater and Lesser Horseshoe Bats. We visit roosts of bats in church attics and caves to see Geoffroy’s, Brandt’s, Natterer’s, Mediterranean Horseshoe, Bechstein’s, Greater and Lesser Mouse-eared, Serotine and Grey Long-eared Bat among others. With the help of a local expert who is conducting a trapping study, we get a chance to trap rodents and see them in the hand. Six species of shrew, Harvest Mouse and other mouse and vole species are all possible.


We travel on to Budapest to catch our return flight to London. If time permits we can have a snapshot tour of this beautiful city and view the majestic river Danube.