"I had a great time volunteering at the project"
Jacob Haddon, from the UK, joined for 2 weeks
I had a great time volunteering at the project. Coming from an ecology background, it was still very fascinating to learn a new skill in snow tracking. I was also refreshing to see a more untouched, in some ways, environment than in the UK, with a plethora of species commonly found that we no longer have, especially the large carnivores! We had signs of wolf and/or lynx every day for the two weeks which was incredible, and were also lucky or unlucky enough to have a close encounter with a bear. Robin, Peter, Viera and Katka were great guides and in general the trip was very well organised.
"Terrific accommodations, team leaders and team members!"
Steve Van Winkle, from the US, volunteered for 2 weeks
It was great! Had hoped to see wolves, lynx and bears and prey, but owing to the terrain, hunting and logging pressure not encountering the above is reasonable. Terrific accommodations, team leaders and team members! Thanks to Aaron and staff.
"I loved learning about the art of tracking and being a part of the research"
Elly Cernohorsky, from Australia, joined the project for 3 weeks
I found it a fantastic experience and something that I would consider doing again. I did find it hard at times, coming from Australia I had never experienced that type of climate before. But I did climatize and came home very fit! The people running the program were great and meeting them and the other volunteers made the whole experience all the more enjoyable. I loved learning about the art of tracking and being a part of the research. The accommodation and host family were fabulous and very accommodating. I am gluten intolerant and that wasn’t a problem at all. I would definitely recommend it.
"The mountains were beautiful and there was plenty signs of wildlife"
Tracey Halpin, from the UK, joined the project for 1 week
I was in Slovakia for a week doing the White Wilderness trip which I thought was brilliant! Robin and the other group leaders were very friendly and helpful. Their knowledge and experience is vast and they were only too happy to share some of that knowledge explaining what we were seeing. The mountains were beautiful and there were plenty of signs of wildlife. The accommodation was nice, Robert couldn’t have been more welcoming and nothing was too much trouble for him. The meals were very generous portions and it was delicious food. Overall it was a very enjoyable trip and well worth doing!
"Everything was very professional and comfortable at the same time"
Ran Finkelstein, from Israel, joined as a volunteer for 2 weeks
The White wilderness project was fulfilling a dream for me, since I looked for a long period for a project that concentrates on lynx populations. I was surprised in a positive way from the project. Everything was very professional and comfortable at the same time. I learned a lot and very enjoyed those 2 weeks. All the leaders were very kind and professional.
"Walking with snowshoes in the silence of the Tatra Mountains was one of the best experiences of my life"
Arezia Ginebri, from Italy, joined the project for 2 weeks
The White Wilderness project was more than great! Everything from the meeting point at Bratislava Station till the last day was well planned and organized. Walking with snowshoes in the silence of the Tatra Mountains was one of the best experiences of my life, I felt myself reconnecting with the planet. The team was friendly, professional and full of enthusiasm, they made me feel part of the project.
Again, I was involved in every part of the day, choosing based on my physical abilities and the activities and routes that were offered. I deepened my knowledge on large mammals and in particular on lynx (I already had a good knowledge of wolves) and on sampling techniques. A separate merit goes to accommodation, really lovely, friendly, clean guest house where I felt pampered and welcomed (and the food was amazing!). I highly recommend this experience to people like me who sometimes feel “trapped” in the city life and struggle to have a true and deep contact with nature.
"The guides were knowledgeable and patient"
Michelle Welch, joined as a volunteer on the project for 3 weeks
I was involved for three weeks and am so glad I did, because I could immediately put into practice what I had learned from the previous week, to help cement the skills. We were fortunate to have such good weather conditions to permit almost perfect tracking and data collection opportunities.
The programme was ‘rustic’ but well run and was an amazing opportunity and experience. The guides were knowledgeable and patient and were happy to encourage and teach so as to provide the best experience, and therefore achieve the goals of the program.
The living and sleeping arrangements were adequate, the food plentiful and good (good catering for vegetarians). The equipment provided was adequate and I felt safety was well addressed on each outing.
Overall, I was thrilled to have had this opportunity to participate in such a worthwhile program and would encourage anyone to join in future years.
"Pristine nature, tracking one of the most impressive European animals"
Josep Maria Cerdà, from Spain, joined the project for one week
I was there only one week, too short. However, I appreciated very much the experience. The project is serious, well scientifically managed, with devoted and enthusiastic people. Volunteering is great there, as you are all day in pristine nature, tracking one of the most impressive European animals.
"Everyday we were surrounded by incredible scenery"
Caitlin Bubb, from Australia, joined the project for 2 weeks
My two weeks spent in Slovakia on the ‘Carpathian Wolf Volunteer Tracking Project’ were absolutely incredible. All the group leaders were amazing and very knowledgeable, and great at training the volunteers. Everyday we were surrounded by incredible scenery while getting the chance to contribute to a worthwhile project alongside people from all over the world. Definitely an opportunity I would recommend to anyone, no matter their prior experience.
"Excellent accommodation and very attentive and friendly hosts"
Bart Libaut, volunteered on the project for 3 weeks
I would say the set-up of the project was pretty professional and well taken care of, such as the presentation on the internet, travel info, practical arrangements, documentation, mountain security the evening before starting the work, the wide range of field materials, etc.
At the site itself, there was smooth coordination and also quite some autonomy and responsibility for/from the participants. It was definitely a good choice to have 3 ‘team leaders’; Robin overlooking it all (+ some focus on wildlife/tracking issues, of course), Dan taking good care of the ‘social’ and ‘people’ side of things (and throwing in his field experience from over the years) and Peter sharing his skills as an outdoor person and experienced tracker.
I was also very pleased to see that in Slovakia itself we had excellent accommodation and very attentive and friendly hosts. The delicious meals (always nicely ‘adapted’ for vegetarians), liters of tea and warmth of the stove/fireplace were key and welcome ingredients to keep us going and carrying out the daily work in winterish conditions and often extreme temperatures.
Group-wise things went rather smoothly and I believe we had a good mix of people. There was enough room for participants to choose in which kind of field work they wanted to step into the next day (transects, scrutinizing tracks) and with whom.