Slovenia is one of the best bets in European region for sighting of Brown Bears. With recent conservation efforts, the Bear population is bulging and the sightings are regular. The sightings happen through the Bear Hides, which are small wooden rooms made inside the Bear habitat.
The bear hides are located in the heart of the forests of the Notranjska and Kočevska Regions, an area protected by Natura 2000 and located near Notranjska Regional Park and Risnjak National Park. The area is known for fascinating karst phenomena, such as Lake Cerknica, the largest intermittent lake in the world, and Križna Jama Cave, a karst cave with a chain of underground lakes. The forests of the Dinaric Karst, host the populations of brown bear, lynx, wolf, Ural owl, and three-toed woodpecker with shelter.
Usual routine is we wait at one of the Bear hides entire morning and evening session, and hope (and pray) for the Bears to come out, and they often do! Also surprise visitors may be a Red Fox and some birds. This region also hosts Ural Owl for which we need to take a separate birding trail.
When to go
The best time to visit is from May to September, when Bears are active and regularly seen.
Due to hunting, Bears were nearly extinct from Slovenia in early 20th century.