Brown Bear Watching


We offer the possibility to spend a night in Alutaguse Brown Bear and Wildlife watching hide. Alutaguse is a huge taiga forest and bog area in N-E of Estonia where live about half of Estonia’s 700 brown bear population.

The new hides have windows opening to two sides. Northern windows overlook a taiga forest and the most common mammals to see would be the Raccoon Dogs and Brown Bears. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, Crested- and Willow Tits and jays visit feeders.

Southern windows offer a view of a stream and a flooded meadow. Sometimes Elk and Roe Deer come to feed on the meadow and beavers or otters can occasionally swim by. Ural Owl and Red Fox come here to hunt for mice and sometimes also Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle and buzzards come by and look for food. Rare visitors to the scenery include wolf, lynx, otter, mink and wild boar.

Hides are simple, comfortable and cosy, they have separated cabins with bunk beds and dry toilet. It is possible to take pictures through glass windows.

Hides are located in Alutaguse, N-E of Estonia. It takes 1,5 hours drive from Tallinn or Tartu to Alutaguse.

Look at the French TV 2 story –


Book brown bear watching with us: or by phone: +372 5622 5943

Participants are saying..

Ursula Zeilinger 4/08/2018 

Dear Bert, it was a great experience. We saw one or more Brown Bears and a Raccoon Dog family. We were really happy that we had so much luck. We left both binoculars back in the hide. Thank you for organising it and greetings to our friendly guide. Kind regards, Ursi.

Luc visited the new Brown Bear hide in July 2017:

I just wanted to thank you very much for the night. It was amazing! The bear came many times! Better than the zoo 😉

Kalevi  21/09/2013

Thanks for your mail and thanks for stay at the hide. The week has gone by so fast since I got back from Estonia.

I had a succesful two nights. Yes saw bear on both nights. First night came about 7.30 pm and second night some time after 8pm.

The weather was great too.

George 28/06/2013:

We found the starting point with no problems –  I had downloaded it from your website to my phone before we left. Andres was waiting for us and so we knew we had arrived.

The weather was not great as it was raining and the overcast sky made it a little too dark for photographs. It also made the mosquitoes particularly troublesome. However, we found the hides and once we had changed our wet clothes we settled in.

We saw what we came to see.

About 21.30h, a raccoon dog visited 4 or 5 times staying a few minutes each time (searching out the bait that had been left). The light was good enough for viewing through binoculars and we watched it for a about 30 minutes in total. That was really good as I didn’t expect to see a raccoon dog. Each time it visited, it took away some of the bait  it could drag from where it was placed under the fallen tree.  Had the light been better, it would have been easy to photograph. Even though the light was quite good for viewing but for photography – iso set to 2400 and with F4.5 lens – the resulting shutter speeds were still too slow.

About 23.30 a large brown bear visited. We had a good view of the bear for about 1 hour. Even at this time of the day it was not very dark and so we could watch the bear easily  (Even though it was too was too dark for photography – 1 s exposure times at ISO 3200). Again, it took the bait that was left (the bait the raccoon dog had left behind). Clearly the bear found no problem in moving the tree and revealing the bait. Again, the bear would take some bait and go and eat it a few meters away and then return.

We also saw a fox 3 times and had a visit from a group of 3 wild boar – they looked young to me and were quite entertaining.

Also seen, 3 visits from a fox, a small bat, and pair of woodpeckers.

So, overall we were very satisfied. Clearly, if we want to see bears in daylight, we need to think more about the best time for a possible visit in the future.

Dipl. Biol. Sebastian Rogahn in May 2011:

Watching time really was great! The adult male (Brown Bear) came out at 21:03 PM and stayed there for almost half an hour! Before there only was one red fox, a goose hawk, ravens and one magpie.

Ben Hoare from BBC Wildlife visited Natourest Brown Bear hide in May 2010:

I was determined to see my fist brown bear. Not least because bear tourism has become big business in Europe, with hides in Sweden and Finland offering success rates of higher than 90 percent. By now, our party had recorded bear prints, scats and claw marks raked across tree bark, and even the remains of a boar that had been stripped to the bone by these opportunist omnivores. So we were quietly confident of observing the real thing. Waiting for the bears to appear was nerve-racking. Two ravens and, bizarrely, a nuthatch of the ghosty northern race visited the site to pick at its flesh, while a pine marten zipped across the cleaning and vanished up a tree. And then, illuminated by the setting sun, a mother bear and her cub ambled into view. Read article




View Natourest Brown Bear Watching and Photography Hide in a larger map



Season End of April – mid-July and mid-August – October. It is possible to stay in the hide every night

in Spring 17.00 – 8.00 and

in Autumn 16.00 – 8.00


About 15 hours, including a night in the Brown Bear hide.

Level Easy walking from the car to hide 1,7 km.

What to wear Warm clothes and comfortable (preferably waterproof) footwear are necessary to walk to hide. Warm clothes, socks and indoor footwear to wear in the hide.

Getting there Hides are located about 1,5 h drive from Tallinn in Alutaguse. You can go there on your own or by rental car. After booking you will get specific instructions how to drive to the meeting spot in Alutaguse. There you will meet Natourest staff member who directs you to the hide.


There are 2 identical hides:

One hide has 2 private cabins and room up to 9 people. Hides have bunk beds, a dry toilet, viewing windows, photo hatches, chairs and sleeping bags.


Hiring a guide for security is not necessary. Normal walking, talking noise ( not too noisy, though) will keep bears out of your way.



Price for watching hide:

105 EUR per person,

60 EUR per child

235 EUR per family ( 2 adults, 3 kids),

700 EUR  group up to 9 persons.


Price includes:

  • Brown Bear and Wildlife Watching from the hide
  • Sleeping bags in the hide


Book brown bear watching with us: or by phone: +372 5622 5943



EU Leader Virumaa Koostöökogu (VIKO) supported Natourest Inc for buying nature observation optics and trail cameras.

EU Leader Virumaa Koostöökogu (VIKO) supported Natourest Inc for buying nature observation optics and trail cameras.