Bear Watching and Photography

1 Day

Brown Bear and wildlife watching/photography hide

We offer the possibility to spend an unforgettable night in our Brown Bear and wildlife watching hide. The hides are situated in Alutaguse, which is area mostly covered with western-taiga forests and vast bogs in N-E of Estonia – home to about half of Estonia’s 1000 Brown Bears.

The hides have windows on both sides of the hide. Northern windows overlook a taiga forest and the most common mammals to see would be Raccoon Dogs and Brown Bears. Woodpeckers, Red Squirrels, Nuthatches, Chaffinches, tits, and Jays visit the feeders.

Southern windows offer a view of a stream and a flooded meadow. Sometimes Elk, Wild Boar, and Roe Deer come to feed on the meadow and European Beavers or Otters can occasionally swim by. During summer motnhs, the creek can almost dry up. Ural Owl and Red Fox come here to hunt for mice and sometimes also Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, and bussards come by and look for prey. Rare visitors to the scenery include Badger, Wolf, Lynx, and Mink.

We have also made a list of species that have been seen or heard from the hide

There is also a very sensitive microphone outside the hide. It catches the soundscape of the surrounding and you can listen to it through speakers installed inside the hides. You can hear birds singing in the spring, branches crack under bear feet, or animals going through the water. Our guests have also heard Elk mating calls, Wolves howling, and Raccoon Dogs fighting with each othe. This makes the whole experience even more immediate and powerful.


The Brown Bear and wildlife watching hides are simple, comfortable, and cosy. There are 2 hides, each one of them has room for 9 persons. Both hides have separated cabins with bunk beds and a dry toilet.  One cabin has room for 4 persons – 2 bunk beds/4 sleeping places in total. One bed is situated between the 2 cabins.

If the visitors wish, they can take pictures through the windows (without flash) and photographers are allowed to take photos through special photography holes.


There are 2 identical hides:

One hide has 2 private cabins (4 beds in both) and room up to 9 people. Hides have bunk beds, sleeping bags, pillows, viewing windows, photo holes, chairs, and a dry toilet.


Our hides are well ventilated and we clean the hides daily to ensure the safety of our visitors. There are also bottles with disinfectant liquid in our hides.

If you have a fever or feel ill on the day(s) before visiting our hide, please stay at home and contact us immediately.

Note: You’ll receive the exact location of the meeting point with the first confirmation letter after the booking has been made.



You’ll meet our guide at the given meeting point and walk with him/her to the hide. There you’ll stay for the night. The walk to the hide is about 1.5 km. If you have any questions, feel free to ask our guide. He/she will also make you a quick tour inside the hide, explaining what you should take notice of and how to act in the hide.

After arriving in the hide, you can first set up everything for the evening and night and then start calmly watching and waiting. The animals can appear on both sides of the hide, so you should keep an eye out for both sides. Usually, birds are the first ones who arrive. Often the most interesting period begins about an hour before the sunset, but at times, animals can appear much earlier. Every stay and experience is different. It’s possible to observe wildlife through the night because there are some faint lights under the forest canopy on one side of the hide.

Early morning after the sunrise is also an active time in nature. Sometimes the most interesting observations happen during the early hours and you should be espesically alert if the Brown Bears did not show themselves in the evening.

If no animals are around, you should leave the hide at 8 AM. The route back to the meeting point is the same one you took last evening.

Price includes:

  • Night in the Brown Bear and wildlife watching hide
  • Our guide taking you to the hide
  • Use of sleeping bags and pillows

Price Excludes

  • Transport to the meeting point
  • Food and drinks


What to wear?

Warm clothes and comfortable (preferably waterproof) footwear are necessary for the walk to hide. Warm clothes and indoor footwear/warm socks are strongly recommended to be worn in the hide.

What to take with you?

We suggest taking binoculars with you, as they help to spot wildlife from a distance and during the dark hours. We can also rent out binoculars for one night (8×56 Danubia Bussards – 5 €/night), which greatly improves sight in poor light conditions. You would also have to take your own food and water.

Things to do around the hide?

Here are some simple suggestions about places that you can visit when driving to Alutaguse or staying in the area.

Can I use a camping stove inside the hide?

No. Open fire is not allowed inside the hide.

Will the guide stay in the hide with us for the night?

No. The guide will not stay with you in the hide for the night unless there is a mutual agreement. He/she will just take you to the hides and make a quick tour inside the hide, so you would know what to take notice of.

What kind of food should I take with me?

We suggest taking things which are easy to eat and do not need any eextra preparations – premade sandwiches, fruit, chocolate. It’s better if the food or snacks are not packed in materials, which make a lot of noise when handled (such as some potato chip packages).

We send the exact meeting point after booking has been confirmed

Price and Booking

115 EUR per person

65 EUR per child (7-14 y.o)

260 EUR per family

770 EUR  group up to 9 persons

Extra services:

rent of binoculars which greatly improves sight in poor light conditions 8×56 Danubia Bussards – 5 €/night

Overall Trip Rating:
4.75 stars - Based on 4 reviews
😀 Excellent
🙂 Very Good
😕 Average
🙁 Poor
😡 Terrible
  1. Perfect
    Katharina 19/08/2021
    Our stay was one of the biggest highlights I had ever had! Also, our guide which led us to the hide was very nice! At first, we saw a bear- then a raccoon dog (so cute) and then a wildpig with many baby's! And the biggest highlight was a whole bear family with 3 young bears! It was so cute! In the morning we also saw a bear, a group of wild pigs, and a raccoon dog. I didn't think we'd see young animals too. do you know in which months the animals have young babies? I think we came at the perfect time! One day We will definitely come back/ it was so perfect! Thank you for this stunning experience!
    Date of Experience: August, 2021
  2. We saw what we came to see
    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.
  3. Watching time really was great!
    Dipl. Biol. Sebastian Rogahn
    from Germany
    he 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.
  4. I was determined to see my fist brown bear.
    Ben Hoare from BBC Wildlife
    from United Kingdom
    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.

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Covid-19 Safety

NATOUREST HAS JOINED GOODWILL AGREEMENT TO ENSURE SAFETY DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK With the COVID-19 safety label, trusted to us by Visit Peipsi we confirm that we follow the requirements and instructions of the Government and the Health Board of Estonia ( established for our industry or field, that we keep up to date with the information, and that we help visitors comply with the infection-prevention guidelines on site. You can be sure that we ensure:
  • all employees are aware of the guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus and follow them in their daily work;
  • the indoor ventilation system is working properly;
  • there are enough disinfectants, they are available in places visible to everyone;
  • frequently touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly;
  • employees and guests are required to wear a mask or alternative personal protective equipment in accordance with applicable national regulations;
  • the possibility to maintain the necessary distance both with each other and with the service providers is ensured;
  • people with signs of illness are not allowed to be in public places or in the service area;
  • people who have come into contact with a client or employee with signs of illness are informed of the exposure without disclosing personal data;
  • we are participates in COVID-19 prevention webinars organised by Enterprise Estonia.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Bear Watching and Photography

Trip Facts

  • 115€ per person  65€ per child 260€ per family 770€ group
  • May-October
  • By car from Tallinn or Tartu 1,5-2 hours
  • Easy walk 1,5 km to hide.
  • May, June, July and August 17:00 PM – 8:00 AM September and October 16:00 PM- 8:00 AM
  • About 15 hours
  • 5