Pavel Simeonov is among the leading Bulgarian naturalists and ornithologists and one of the founders of Branta-Tours. He is a professional musician who loves birds. Graduated High school of music (Bulgarian Conservatory) in 1981 he is one of the representatives of the Bulgarian Flute School, specialized in multi-instrumental composing. He speaks Bulgarian (native tongue), fluent French and English. His good command of the Russian language is of great advantage in operating birding trips in many former Soviet bloc countries. Being actively involved with conservation programmes at national and international level Pavel is able to provide a wealth of background information on wildlife matters, and indeed on cultural topics. He leads most of our tours personally. His unerring sharp-eyed vigilance ensures that you will not miss a thing and his no-nonsense-don't-easily-suffer-fools approach to traffic situations instils the greatest of confidence. He has conducted numerous trips as a bird-guide and leader throughout Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Central Siberia, Ural, Greece, Romania, Norway and Southern France, including Corsica. Qualified as an international expert on environmental and biodiversity conservation projects he is the founder and the actual president of the Le Balkan-Bulgaria non-profit organization. Since 1998, Branta-Tours and Le Balkan have been project partners with Swarovski Optik regarding the conservation of the Dalmatian Pelican colony in Srebarna Biosphere Reserve (Bulgaria). Pavel is also involved in different studies on marine mammal and bird species in the Western Mediterranean, as well as numerous monitoring programmes on the autumn migration of soaring birds on the ´Via Pontica´ flyway, several conservation projects on globally threatened species including the wintering Red-breasted Geese in Bulgaria, mid-winter counts of water birds and raptors and many other international activities for the development of the eco-tourism concept. Pavel is also an enthusiastic photographer. He provides most of the photographs presented in this site.
Tatyana Simeonova is the owner and manager of
the Branta-Tours Birdwatching Company.
Thanks to her numerous contacts with experts of the Council of Europe
and their joint work on the territory of Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve
in Belarus, Les Vosges du Nord National Park in France, Peak District
National Park in the UK, as well as her visits to several national
parks in the USA aimed at studying their ecotourism development
models, she has acquired a great deal of experience in this field. She spent more than 10 years of her life in the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve in Belarus being in charge of overseas communications and working as a group leader and interpreter. She also worked as a Consulting Assistant to the Pripiatsky National Park and Belovezhskaya Pushcha Biosphere Reserve in Belarus, in elaborating programmes on wildlife-watching tourism for foreign visitors. Her many years working in the field make her an expert in several areas. She speaks Russian, Bulgarian, fluent English and fairly good French. Her Byelorussian nationality and a good command of the Russian language are of great advantage in organizing birdwatching trips throughout Belarus and other former Soviet bloc countries. Tatyana is also responsible for the development of Professional Birding Tours and General Nature and Wildlife Holidays in Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Hungary, Azerbaijan and Far-Eastern Russia. She is now the managing director of the Premier Bulgarian Birding Lodge located on the northern Black Sea coast, near Durankulak Lake.
Jeko Spiridonov is one of the top Bulgarian birders
and has an extended experience indeed in the field of Conservation
Biology (more than 35 years): He is the President of the nature
conservation NGO “Wilderness Fund” and Head of the Branta-Tours
Mountain Programme. He is actively involved in Biological and ecological
scientific investigations, biodiversity inventories and monitoring;
Establishment of Ecological networks; Development of nature conservation
legislation; at high position in Governmental and international
nature conservation bodies - Vice-Chairman and Chairman of Steering
Committee (SC) of Bern Convention (1993 – 1997). Jeko has
been birding all of his life and now he is a head guide of Branta-Tours
Tisho Russinov is one of the leading ichthyologists in Bulgaria working actually at the National Natural History Museum. He speaks Bulgarian (native tongue), fluent English and Russian. He is involved in several biodiversity conservation projects in Bulgaria such as the establishment of Natura-2000 network. Being also one of the most experienced dragonfly specialists and keen birdwatchers in the country, Tisho is developing now the Branta-Tours Dragonfly Programme and is leading most of our Birdwatching and Wildlife Trips across the former Soviet bloc countries, including Azerbaijan, Belarus and Russia.
Nikolai Spassov is a well known zoologist and
palaeontologist. He holds an MSc in Vertebrate Zoology at the Faculty
of Biology in the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He specialised
in Lab. of Paleontology at N.M.N.H. - Paris and the Inst. of Paleontology
and Evolutionary Morphology & Ecology of Moscow. He is Head
of the Dept. of Fossil & Recent Mammals in the National Museum
of Natural History – Sofia.
Nikolai is actively involved in huge scientific activities, nature
conservation projects and important field works such as inventories
of the Mammals & Birds in the Central Balkan Range, investigation
on the Bulgarian threatened carnivores etc. He is the Team Leader
of numerous National Projects on the conservation and status of
the Brown Bear, the Wolf, the Otter and the Marbled Polecat. At international
level he is the co-organiser of a Zoological Expedition of the N.M.N.H.
– Sofia in Mozambique in 1983 and a Zoological expedition in
Gobi Desert – Mongolia in 1990.
He has become the winner for Bulgaria in the Henry Ford award for
the conservation of the cultural & natural heritage in 1997.
Since 2005 Nikolai is a tour leader of Branta-Tours Carnivore Programme.
Dmitry Shamovich - Dima is a well-known
Byelorussian ecologist and conservationist with a wide range of interests. His passion is scientific research of the community of vertebrate predators and their preys. He has finished post-graduate course at the Zoological Institute in the National Academy
of Science in Minsk and now he is completing his PhD on owl assemblage in condition of boreal forests in Northern Belarus with Ural Owl, as main investigated species. He speaks Russian (native tongue) and fluent English. He is also the author of numerous scientific works and now he is one of the top guides of Branta-Tours, co-leading most of our Birdwatching and Wildlife Trips in Belarus.
We provide comfortable accommodation at very well located and clean family hotels, charming birding lodges and cosy village guesthouses. Although single rooms are not always available, such accommodation gives guests an experience of traditional local hospitality which integrates perfectly with the setting. We have
used these places on many occasions with very favourable feedback from our guests.
Meals will be taken at folk-taverns and national restaurants, which offer delicious local and pan-European cuisine.
B & B in twin rooms and evening meals;
Packed lunches except for days 1 and last
Drinks: mineral water, fizzy drinks including Coca Cola, tea/coffee
Transportation by 5, 7 or 15-seater vehicles (4WD);
All excursions plus transfers;
We also provide:
Spotting scope Swarovski 20-60 (AT-80),
Svensson field guide (English and French editions),
We will assist you with any of your electronic needs such as: computer, laptop, printer, power converters, cameras, batteries and software (Canon ZoomBrowser EX, Adobe Photoshop CS for Windows…)
Many of the locations that we will visit during the trips will have Internet access.
* The listed prices are valid till August 30. Rates are subject to change without notice (i.e. +15% in winter time)
Lunch on days 1 & last;
Alcoholic drinks and tips;
Transportation by motor boats;
Single room supplements;
Visa and health insurance.
This is entirely optional leaving you completely free to make your own flight reservations and to pursue your travel arrangements with an
airline company or your own travel agent. Please contact us if you would
like further clarification: firstname.lastname@example.org
Method of payment:
Easier way to make your deposit
PayPal made out to Pavel Simeonov, Branta Tours, Branta Birding Lodge, BG-9670 Durankulak (Bulgaria) or by Bank Transfer to:
DSK Bank PLC (Bulgaria)
Beneficiary: Branta-Tours EOOD
* If payment is made through a bank the payment should be made in Euro and all bank charges should be paid by the customer, including the beneficiary´s charges.
BANK: DSK Bank PLC - City of Dobrich (Bulgaria)
BIC code (SWIFT): STSABGSF
For U.K. customers only you can pay your deposit directly to the following Branta-Tours account
(Cheques or Internet banking only – NO CASH):
Name of bank: HSBC (www.hsbc.co.uk)
Account name: Branta-Tours
Branch Sort Code: 40-30-24
Account Number: 22820870
For more details please contact our U.K. representative:
81 Beacon Road
Leicestershire LE12 8RW
Tel: 01509 890944