Carpathia Guiding Academy – The finest guides in Romania – Part 1

As part of our continuous efforts to provide our guests with the best possible experiences, we have started our very own Carpathia Guiding Academy. The idea behind this long-term programme is to provide our guides with the specialised training they require in order to be the finest guides in Romania. For us, this is not a new endeavour, the roots of this programme can be traced back 4 or 5 years. These years of experience grew into what we now call the Carpathia Guiding Academy.

It is our firm belief that our guests deserve to have an unrivalled experience. Our guides are just as much part of that experience as the amazing wilderness, food, accommodation and all the other main elements of their stay.

Of course, all of our guides are already fully licensed and have a great deal of experience and passion. However, our view is that a true nature guide’s learning journey never ends. We think that no matter how good the knowledge foundation of our guides may be, there is always room for improvement. As such, we’re always hard at work, training our guides through periodic sessions throughout each year.

Tree Nursery Tour with Our Guides

We kicked off the first round of our programme with a visit to one of Foundation Conservation Carpathia’s tree nurseries in the Dâmbovița Valley. It was a particularly cold morning for the end of March, but everyone came well prepared. We were met there by Flavius Răzvan Răuță, the Foundation’s on-site expert, who gave everyone an introduction to the reforestation efforts. This was followed by a brief on the great variety of trees currently growing in the nursery. Luckily, the snow wasn’t deep enough to completely cover all the saplings. So far, the Foundation has managed to plant 3,717,992 trees in clear-cuts, riverbanks and restoration areas of spruce monocultures. You can read more about the Foundation’s conservation efforts in the latest monthly Field Report, from March.

Photos by: Andrei Alexandru Popa

Training Seminars at the Richita Centre: Enhancing Skills and Expertise

We then headed off to the Foundation’s Centre for Activities and Nature Exploration at Richita. The Richita Centre is the largest of its kind in Romania. It proved once again to be the perfect hub for staging educational activities and specialised workshops. The guides were met by the Foundation’s executive director, Christoph Promberger, who led the day’s training seminars. The main topics of the day included wildlife and forest conservation, restoration efforts, community outreach programs, conservation enterprises, eco-tourism and much more.

Photos by: Andrei Alexandru Popa

Hands-On Training: A Look at our Field Workshop

Once the extensive introductory presentation was done, we set off for our Bunea and Comisu wilderness cabins. On the hike up, we stopped by one of the Foundation’s bison acclimatisation enclosures. Here, we caught a glimpse of the largest land mammal in Europe. We then discussed its importance as a key element in the revitalisation of the ecosystem. These bison are part of the reintroduction project developed by Foundation Conservation Carpathia through the European Commission’s Life programme. The Foundation aims to release a total of 75 bison in the Făgăraș Mountains by mid-2024.

Photo by: Călin Șerban

Unfazed by the bear tracks on our way to Bunea wilderness cabin, we arrived just in time to admire the sun’s rays shining over the Pecineagu Lake. It was a wonderful, if brief, moment during an otherwise generally overcast day. Discussions surrounding the logistics of the tours we have on offer ensued, along with talks about the importance of hospitality.

Photos by: Andrei Alexandru Popa

From here, we explored the area around the hide and the lake. We spoke about the fantastic wildlife and natural biodiversity of this beautiful area, but also about the Foundation’s struggles with illegal loggers who used to operate in this area.

View from Comisu 1 wilderness cabin
View from Comisu 1 wilderness cabin
Comisu 1 wilderness cabin
Comisu 1 wilderness cabin

Late in the afternoon, we set off for the Comisu wildlife hides. These are situated high up on the mountain side, at an altitude of around 1600 m. The hike up was a breeze despite the winter conditions, as you’d expect from a group of mountain guides. As the sun began setting, we all basked in the views of the looming snow-covered Piatra Craiului mountains with a hot cup of tea in our hands. Before deciding to wrap up for the day and head back down to the Richita Centre for the night, we finished the introductory tour of the hides for our new guides.

Sun, snow and future developments

The following day was quite a treat, with clear blue skies and the sun shining brightly. The guides got to see our soon-to-be-ready campsite and renovated shepherd hut located in Tămaș meadow. We hope to be able to offer our guests an amazing, comfortable camping experience at this site in the near future. The views of the surrounding mountain ranges are truly breathtaking.

Photos by: Andrei Alexandru Popa

Wilderness adventures with a purpose at Travel Carpathia

We’re excited to continue this journey of providing our guests with the finest wilderness experiences in Romania. Also, we’re proud of our guides’ commitment to ongoing learning and improvement through the Carpathia Guiding Academy. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on their progress as their training continues over the next couple of years.

We invite you to experience the unparalleled beauty of the Carpathian Mountains with us. By booking a conservation journey with Travel Carpathia, not only will you have the opportunity to explore one of the most breathtaking regions in Europe, but you will also actively contribute to the preservation of its unique ecosystem. Join us in our mission to create a sustainable future for the Carpathian Mountains, while enjoying a truly unforgettable adventure. Book your conservation journey with Travel Carpathia today.

You can read the second part of this article by clicking HERE.

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