Virtual outings: An online dose of Romania’s nature and wildlife
A walk in the park or a trip to the mountains might not be possible these days but a virtual outing to some of the most beautiful corners of the country is. And it comes with sightings of wild cats hunting, wild boars at nature’s spa, beautiful sunsets and views of quiet mountain tops. From documentaries to photos and videos, we outline a selection of resources featuring local nature sites.
Probably the best-known series about Romania’s nature landscapes and customs, Wild Carpathia explores “the fragile glory of Europe’s last surviving wilderness and shows why it needs to be preserved for the benefit of future generations and the survival of our most endangered carnivores.” The series started after presenter and producer Charlie Ottley made a first visit to Romania in 2011. Covering spots such as the Danube Delta, the region of Maramureș, Moldavia or the little known parts of the southern Carpathians, among many others, it is a visual feast and an invitation to take more care of our surroundings. The first three parts of the series can be watched here.
The 2018 documentary Untamed Romania also celebrates the country’s ancient forests and the diverse wildlife inhabiting them, offering the views of “a show filled with splendor, grace, ferocity, candor, and humor” that millions of plants and animals put on. The documentary is currently available on Netflix.
Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC), which aims to create a wilderness reserve in the Southern Carpathians, also offers nature videos and photos. Their work covers the wider Făgăraș Mountains Natura 2000 site, Piatra Craiului National Park and Leaota Mountain. On their YouTube channel, available here, various videos of wild animals captured in their environment are available, while another recent project was the “Carpathia” photo exhibition, launched last October at the Bucharest Photofest 2019, and showcased at the beginning of this year at Alpin Film Festival. The exhibition documents the work of the FCC team of rangers as they undertake a wildlife monitoring program spanning some 100,000 hectares. The photos were taken by Nicholas J R White, and some of them are available here.
The national forest administration Romsilva regularly posts on its Facebook page numerous photos taken in the nature parks it administers but also many videos featuring the wild animals roaming the forests it manages: bears, wolves, bison, deer, foxes, and many others. We have compiled a selection of videos here.
An extensive collection of nature photos and films from across the country is offered by the România Sălbatică project, initiated by photographer Dan Dinu in a partnership with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). For three years, between 2010 and 2013, spectacular corners of 28 of Romania’s large nature and national parks, geo-parks and biosphere reservations were photographed and the result is now online here. In addition to photos of wildlife and flora, the site also makes available several films showcasing spots such as Brașov county, Apuseni mountains, Ciucaș mountains during winter or the birch tree forest in Reci, in Covasna county.
Channeling some travel inspiration, tour operator Via Transylvania Tours has on its website snapshots of animals in the Carpathians, birds in the Danube Delta, wildflowers, winter landscapes – including photos of the narrow-gauge steam train running in Maramureș - or fall landscapes. Other photo collections are dedicated to castles and towns in the country or to winter traditions. You can see them all here.
A spot nature reclaimed in the middle of Bucharest, Văcărești Nature Park is one of the most photographed sites in the city. Photos of the park’s wildlife and nature are available on its Facebook page and website, where a stream offering an aerial view of one corner of the park is available here. Meanwhile, the Anastasie Fătu Botanical Garden in Iași offers a virtual tour, leading visitors on a stroll through its alleys and greenhouses. The tour is available here.
Nature NGO Milvus has been organizing since 2010 a yearly photo competition and the galleries of the winning photos and of those selected for a wider exhibition can be viewed on the organization’s website, here. There are plenty of photos to delight in as the contest covers three categories: nature (landscape, plants, fungi), wild animals, and Romanian nature, a section dedicated to local photographers.
Photography competition Fotogeografica, which is open to young photographers, also has sections dedicated to nature and wildlife. The winning photos of the 2010 to 2019 editions can be seen here.
Photographer Dorin Bofan, the winner of numerous prizes, has made available on its website several galleries of his work, among which a project that focuses on the diversity and richness of the forest ecosystems. The photos can be viewed here.
(Photo: Barsan Attila | Dreamstime.com)