Testimonials

Thanks to all of you for the trust you put in us, the wonderful memories and all the good words!





Mike Lane, UK

“When I found Emil's website listing his photo tours and the chance to do golden eagle in the wild I could not resist. It had long been an ambition of mine. Emil and his friend Dobry went to great lengths to ensure I got the pictures I required. While I sat in the hide they kept a constant watch out at the two feeding stations they run. When the eagle was approaching I got a text message on my mobile phone alerting me. A wonderful experience to see and photograph golden eagles close up and in great settings.

The accommodation was first class and Emil's company very enjoyable. The North Black Sea costal area of Bulgaria is one of the best places in Europe to photograph birds, especially with Emil's assistance on one of his tours. I hope to get into a hide at his famous drinking pool soon. For the bird photographer Bulgaria it is another Lesvos that has not yet been discovered.”

Mike is not only an excellent photographer, but he is also a very nice person. He is ready to share his knowledge with other photographers.
You will find many other interesting things at:

www.nature-photography.co.uk




Stefano Unterthiner, Italy

“Photographing in Bulgaria is a truly wildlife experience for a photographer. The country is particular rich in wildlife and scenery are amazing. I have been surprise by the number of birds and the diversity of species. Is quite easy to get good images to up to 7-8 different species in one day of work (in the right season and, of course, with the help of Emil!): an amazing number for Europe. Emil Enchev, is the best person to discover the Bulgaria: he have large knowledge of the Country and wildlife but he’s also a photographer, so an essential help for professional photographer. Finally, travelling in this Country is also a fine experience for the chance to meet the Bulgarian (very nice people…), for the excellent food and wine... a Country to visit for sure!”

Stefano is a great photographer. The way he works and his lifestyle are remarkable. Undoubtedly, Stefano makes one of the best picture stories. More about him at:

www.stefanounterthiner.com




Ron & Ellen van Rossum, Netherland

“We were looking for the perfect mix of birding/photgraphy. With Emil Enchev we found ourselves the ideal guide. We have had a very nice trip last summer. The bee-eater, the hoopoe, the dipper and of course the vultures were our favourites. We managed to take some very nices pics of them! Also Emil showed us the Bulgarian way of life. We tasted the very good food and drank the local wines and beers (not the bears). Music from the Rhodopa Mountains we highly recommend. If you ever want to visit Bulgaria you have to try the local brandy. Headache guaranteed! Thank you Emil for being such a good guide and pleasant company. The fun factor was also very important during our trip.
If you like to have an impression of the pics we took, look at:
www.birdforum.net(username: gaviao-real)

If you still have questions, don't hesitate to ask us by mail."
Ron & Ellen van Rossum
Uden The Netherlands
shar@pei.demon.nl

Ron and Ellen have started dealing with serious wildlife photography for not a long time, but the knowledge, perseverance and love for nature gave a fruitful outcome soon. By the way – if you are preparing a trip to the Amazon’s Jungle - Ellen and Ron have done many journeys to this world of magic and you can take advantage of their knowledge.





David Tipling, UK

"Emil and Dobry never give up! Placing hides in the dead of night, tracking down the Red-breast flocks and seeking the best places for photography meant we were in the best hands when it came to photographing one of europe's shyest but most beautiful of birds.
Unrivalled knowledge and a determination that we would not fail, mixed with great humour and comaraderie made it not only a great weeks photography, but one to remember for plenty of laughs"

David is a well-known full- full time photographer. I was happy to learn from him straight from the field. You can gain a lot from his knowledge, books or visiting:

www.davidtipling.com




Roger Tidman, UK

“Dear Emil, as winter approaches I am reminded of the wonderful 10 days we spent with you & Dobri last year.Your attention to detail, knowledge, good company & your capacity for hard work were inspirational & helped very much in our securing the photos we wanted. I hope very much to repeat more trips with you in the future, maybe in other seasons too.good luck with the coming winter.may your wildlife safaris continue to be successful; you deserve them to be.
Best wishes, Roger Tidman” roger.tidman@onetel.net

It is difficult to be bored spending time with Roger. As à real gentleman, he is always willing to help. Doing photography all around the world, Roger has not time yet for his own website but you can find his pictures easily in many books, magazines and on the internet of course.





Steven Mlodinow
Everett, Washington USA

"My wife and I joined Emil Enchev for a fabulous 2.5 week trip around Bulgaria during April/May 2006. We were stunned by the country's beauty and diversity, its friendly people and tasty food. The opportunities for birdwatching and photography were superb. Best of all was Emil. His incredible local knowledge allowed for a flexible itinerary, allowing for last moment adjustments based on weather and whim. Emil was ever energetic and unbelievably kind, making us feel like treasured guests. His knowledge of birding areas was great, and I learned much about photography from him. As a long-time addicted birder, I would never have guessed that the photography aspect of this journey would have brought me so much of the joy. I highly recommend visiting Bulgaria and doing so with Emil - a wonderful place and an unsurpassed guide."

Here you can read trip report written by Steve for his bird-watching tour in Bulgaria.

Steve is one of the most energetic people I know. Though he works as a physician his endless enthusiasm and love for birds make him one of the most competent birdwatchers in US.





Giancarlo Marconi, naturalist
Bologna, Italy

“At the beginning of june 2005, I spent a week in the central part of Bulgaria with te aim at photographing some natural aspects of that unusual, at least for me, region. Most of the time was spent in the valley near Kalofer (bordered with National Park ”Central Bolkan”) , a delightful place full of flowers and, of course, with some of the more attracting birds of the area. Thanks to the perfect organization offered by Emil Enchev, who mounted the hide in the strategic points, I was able to make close-up pictures of mammals, like the souslik, and many after-sought birds such as the isabelline wheatear, northern wheatear, Syrian woodpecker, little spotted woodpecker, woodchat shrike, red-backed shrike, lesser grey shrike, wryneck, little ringed plover, common wagtail, great reed warbler, and in areas not far away, the rock thrush, house martin, black-headed bunting. Other well seen species were the rock bunting, ortolan bunting, oriole, long-legged buzzard. The accomodation was excellent, in an old mill still in function, with some rooms adapted to bed and breakfast.The food was also delicious.
To people interested in Botany, the flowers were really rewarding, with some rarities like Heberlea rhodopensis and fields plenty of Moenchia mantica and Centaurea cyanus, two species almost completely disappeared in western countries. The kindness anf disponibility of the people encountered, not least of my guide Emil, completed the delight of my visit to Bulgaria, an experience that I heartly recommend to all the nature lovers and photographers.”

Professor Giancarlo has written numerous articles and books focused on the wild flowers of Europe. Even though taking pictures of birds, mammals and other wildlife is just a hobby for him, his profound knowledge about them is impressive. I agree with him that "if you love flowers and birds it is quite logical to take interest in all other forms of life as well. "





Peter Evans RPS, UK

“In 2005, John Knight and I went to the Birdfair, talking to people and collecting leaflets about promising areas in Europe for photographing wildlife. Somewhere in Eastern Europe seemed likely to offer the required challenge and, having been to our Poland last year, we decided we might try Bulgaria. Many e-mails later, exploring all sorts of options, we agreed on a project with Emil for three weeks in May- June. It emerged that he had already guided a couple of RPS members. When negotiating the trip we made it clear that we were poor specimens with limited walking ability, though it emerged later that he had not realised that we would be quite such cripples.
We took a cheap flight to Sofia and worked a radius of 150 miles around Sofia, mostly to the south and west, using Emil’s vehicle as transport and, sometimes, hide. The ground was rock-hard, so the hides we took could not be used, but Emil provided three, which just rested on the ground. There was little wind and they were quite comfortable. We had hides near Wryneck, Isabelline Wheatear, Syrian Woodpecker, Rock Nuthatch and Stone Curlew nests from which we were able to photograph the birds on perches. The hot, dry climate encouraged the birds to visit any shallow water and hides at some of these places gave us four buntings – Black-headed, Corn, Ortolan and Cirl buntings – three sparrows, two wheatears, Red-backed Shrike and Crested Lark, plus Barn and Red-rumped Swallows collecting mud for their nests. I have never been to Lesbos, but it was as I imagine Lesbos to be, but without the birders. Nowhere did we see any sign of anyone with any interest in birds or photography. Mammals were few, except for Susliks, which were abundant in one area and were, doubtless, the main food of the Common and Long-legged Buzzards. There were literally millions of newly emerged amphibians, probably Green Toads, a few Yellow-bellied Toads and Stripe-necked Terrapins and one Four-lined Snake.
Our accommodation was good, clean and cheap, even though we had a double room apiece. Being possessed of an unreliable memory, I like to have my gear where I can see it, so a double bed for the equipment and a single for sleeping in fitted the bill nicely. Food was cheap, plentiful and healthy. Huge platefuls of salad and cheese were always available, pork and chicken were the usual meats and we sometimes fed on fresh trout at a trout farm. I usually had a large issue of yoghurt for breakfast, whether we had it at our hotel or in the field. I can vouch for the excellence of the Fruit juices and was told that the beers were fully up to scratch.”

Peter is à photographer with à long and remarkable experience. Probably, besides Bulgaria, you also would like to learn about many other attractive and interesting nature places all over the world. Peter’s book “Where and How to Photograph Wildlife” could be your good guide:

“Where and How to Photograph Wildlife”




Philip Mugridje APPS
Helen Williams ARPS, UK

Emil Enchev/Spatia Wildlife looked after us from the moment we arrived in Bulgaria to the minute we left. Emil and Dobry had already located some prime sites for photography and they made sure we were there in the best light. One 'water spot' as they called it, which was in fact an overflowing cattle trough, produced 12 species in a morning including Red Rumped Swallow, Red Backed Shrike, Hawfinch, Ortolan and Black Headed and lots of Corn Buntings. Their Golden Eagle feeding site also warrants a special mention for its accesability, reliability and 'wow' factor. All in all we can thoroughly recommend Bulgaria and in particular Emil and Spatia Wildlife'.

In my opinion, Helen and Philip are good example for two wildlife photographers working as a team. I am happy that after many years of photographing in Finland they found Bulgaria as their next top destination.
See their pictures and articles at:

www.willridgeimages.co.uk




Nicholas Watts, UK

Hello Emil,
I enjoyed my trip with you very much, you always tried your best to take us to the birds and we were not disappointed. The situation of the Black sea means that the birds use Bulgaria a lot for the migration and with your knowledge of the birds you were able to show us the best of them. Good food, good birding and nice people, what more could a bird watcher want. Regards Nicholas

Nicholas is a good wildlife photographer and a keen birdwatcher. But he is mainly known as owner of Vine House Farm - who grows and sells wild bird food in his conservation award winning farm in Lincolnshire. Learn with what to, how to and when to feed birds, as well as other interesting things at:

www.vinehousefarmbirdfoods.co.uk




Rey Wilson, UK

Bulgaria is an excellent place for wildlife photography and you couldn’t wish for a better guide than Emil, who not only gives you the best chance to photograph a wide range of species but also to tirelessly take care of all the travel arrangements, leaving you nothing more to worry about than getting your subject in focus and pressing the shutter at the right time. My main priority was to photograph Wallcreepers and Emil certainly did not disappoint. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be able to photograph such a difficult species at such close range, with the birds often flying out of their nests and fluttering past our heads less than a metre away!
Apart from the Wallcreepers, Emil also gave me the opportunity to photograph numerous other species in a wide variety of locations. Among others, these included Rollers, Bee-eaters, Isabelline Wheatears, nesting Wryneck and Pied Wheatears performing a strange wing-flicking display. At the natural spring near Bratsigovo a total of 19 species came to quench their thirst and bathe in the extremely hot temperatures.
Thanks to Emil I ended up with many excellent images I would have had no chance of getting if I had been travelling on my own.

Ray came with his one intention to photograph birds and he did it outstandingly. He was out in the lawns and woods shooting plants and all those wonderful little creaturesall the time. Always silent and never bored. You will never get bored either if you visit:

www.raywilsonbirdphotography.co.uk




Gregory and Yvonne Dean, UK

Our plans to visit Bulgaria began when we met Emil at the Bird Fair in Rutland. His displayed photographs immediately caught our attention. His photographs had captured the essence of exciting European species mixed with artistry and flair. Our first exchanges with him left us feeling that a trip guided by him would fulfil our desire for a fantastic photographic holiday. With our wants list clearly identified we met up with Emil at Varna Airport and then relaxed knowing we were in safe hands. The trip was flexible, as Emil always discussed possibilities for further sightings and photo opportunities. Each day we were surprised by the experiences we enjoyed - the sheer quality of the encounters and Emil’s ability ” to set us up.” Emil was an extremely energetic, totally professional guide always aware of making us and our photography the highest priority. We thoroughly enjoyed Emil’s picnics in the field which maximised our photo opportunities. Emil was not only good company, his knowledge and love for Bulgaria and its wildlife was profound. We were set up in wonderful situations, never hurried and always looked after by him. We ate at restaurants offering both local and international dishes, and we stayed in very comfortable accommodation. We were delighted to be able to have wonderful opportunities on wryneck, black-headed bunting, bee-eaters and Paddyfield warbler. We photographed at least 30 species and have never filled so many flashcards. This was a most enjoyable and successful trip – we learnt and enjoyed so much and will definitely return for more!

List of birds photographed in Bulgaria 24th May - 04th June 2008
    Good images, little room for improvement
  • Avocet
  • Black-headed Bunting
  • Corn Bunting
  • Ortolan Bunting
  • Reed Bunting
  • Calandra Lark
  • Goldfinch
  • Crested Lark
  • Linnet
  • Little-ringed Plover
  • Red-backed Shrike
  • Spanish Sparrow
  • Tree Sparrow
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • White Stork
  • Red-rumped Swallow
  • Sombre Tit
  • Black-headed Wagtail
  • Woodlark
  • Short-toed Lark
  • Skylark
  • Great Reed Warbler
  • Lesser Whitethroat
  • Turtle Dove
  • Wryneck
  • Northern Wheatear
  • Semi-collared Flycatcher
  • Paddyfield Warbler
  • Pied Wheatear
    Nice images, but worth trying again
  • Cirl Bunting
  • Roller
  • Lesser Grey Shrike
  • Woodchat Shrike
  • Rose-collared Starling
  • Long-legged Buzzard
  • Middle-spotted Woodpecker

Smiling, energetic, knowledgeable, thinking positive.... and good results are fact. Thank you friends! It was also a big pleasure for me to be with you! Pictures from the Dean family you can see at:

www.WorldWildlifeImages.com




Andreas Lentfer, Germany

After having spent several trips in Europe’s northern countries such as Norway, Island and Shetland Islands enjoying bird photography, Bulgaria had been on my wish list for quite some time. It happened that I came across Emil’s website in early 2008 and I knew right away, that if I go to Bulgaria one day it would be with Emil. His way of describing the countries nature treasures was just exactly what I was looking for. In early June 2009 finally I travelled to Bulgaria and met Emil on the Black Sea cost of Varna. The plan that he had worked out based on input I provided re my preferences covered 9 days photographing Bulgaria’s wildlife, birds in particular in some of the most exciting areas of the country. It was very obvious from day 1, that he had put a lot of careful thinking into the itinerary in order to meet my desire to take good pictures AND enjoy some memorable hours in nature. Looking at the result I must say, that I’m extremely pleased on how successful these 10 days in Bulgaria have been. Almost every species, that he had planned to see and photograph, I got onto my chip. And as if that was not enough, every picture holds some really wonderful memories of spending time in some of Bulgaria’s most picturesque landscapes with unspoiled nature that holds so much wildlife. Emil’s extensive knowledge of Bulgarian wildlife is very impressive. And he knows how to turn this knowledge into productive photo sessions! His calm personality and deep respect for wild animals ensures, that no unacceptable disturbance takes place. This is an important factor since you can see the effect in more relaxed birds and you leave with a good feeling afterwards of not having “invaded” their territories. And finally: It’s hard to image that one could pay more attention to his customer than Emil. He is constantly checking whether everything is alright, making sure that you feel really taken care of – much more than I have experienced anywhere else. Thank you Emil for an outstanding trip, giving me this wonderful opportunity to experience Bulgaria’s nature, returning with unforgettable memories and of course a lot of fantastic pictures.
Andreas Lentfer, Germany July 2009

Going out in nature not just to get the best pictures. Be there as a part of everything, with pleasure, with a smile. Thank you Andreas!
Andreas is doing great photography and I hope he will soon share it with us through the web.

www.lentfer-naturephotography.de




David Robinson ARPS, UK

Emil is a first class photographer and his knowledge of Bulgarian wildlife is first class. This knowledge and ability as a photographer makes him an ideal guide for the area. He is good company with a great sense of humour. He spares no effort to make a trip with him enjoyable and successful with great images. I have spent two 10 trips with him and I eagerly look forward to my next trip.

I am lucky to have had the chance to be with David and learning from him about the new Canon equipment and all the new technologies related to the modern world of photography from him. Thank you David!

www.snap2000.co.uk




John Sheppard , UK

Bulgaria is a birders paradise if you are in the hands of an experienced and very knowledgeable guide and virtually impossible without. Emil Enchev is such a guide who will do whatever it takes to ensure a successful trip. His contacts and expertise are remarkable but his real quality is the fact that he is a delight to be with. Nothing is too much trouble and his attention to detail makes the whole experience worry free for the participant. All you have to do is take the picture of a lifetime. I have been in both summer and winter and I have enjoyed the different experiences equally. This country is changing constantly and now is the perfect time to go while the wilderness areas are so productive from a birding point of view.

johnsheppardmd@btinternet.com

Dear John, thank you for all your positive words, attitude and understanding! It has been my privilege to share your enthusiasm during our days in the wild.



Jean-Philippe Maurer, France

What a week…
Photography being literally writing with the light, we had plenty of ink that week in the Balkans. Once you have ink you still need a little inspiration and a good subject to tell a good story.
A sunny January sky provided the needed light and Emil provided all other ingredients for the good story. A great set-up (the snow covered Balkan Mountains), 3 eagles in the area and appealing bait were all we needed. On top of all this, we also got this little extra piece of luck you normally need to make the difference…
With several landings and takeoffs a day we got plenty of opportunities for flight shots of the eagles. To make the waiting time between two eagle landings more bearable, a goshawk came also several times a day trying to get his share of the eagle’s meals. A great opportunity to practice flight shots and to enjoy the observation of that rare raptor! During some days we had up to 3 visits of both the eagles and the goshawk and a cumulative presence of the birds of about 4 hours!
The famous cherry on the famous cake was a second goshawk landing and fighting with the first one in the evening… just when the sun was gone! You can’t have it all can’t you?
Spending a full day (from dark to dark) in the hide is a bit demanding given the winter (minus) temperatures. Getting up early and having short nights does not help either, but the reward is there! Having the opportunity to make pictures of those two species from the same hide in the same days is just gorgeous. Last but not least, a little tip: think about taking a big tele-zoom with you in that hide. You will have to cope with very different dimensions: a posing goshawk and the flying eagle wingspan.
Enjoy! I am sure you will!

Jean-Philippe is an endless source of valuable ideas, knowledge and smiles. If you are lucky and have the chance to meet him – be careful - his extra fine humor is very contagious.
And one piece of advice from me – get to know how big is European Souslick :0)

www.wildlife-picts.com




Peter and Renee Overbosch, Netherland

We came to Bulgaria in June 2010, hoping for some good photo opportunities and generally a good time. Emil took us to all the right places and we came away with the pictures we had hoped for: Roller, Wryneck, Golden Oriole, Rosy Starling, Larks, Shrikes and so much more. Everything on our trip was well prepared, but flexible at the same time. When Emil had set us up at a perfect spot, he usually went away again immediately to have a look at other opportunities nearby, so we constantly went from one great spot/species to another. Food – with very enjoyable breakfasts in the field – and lodging were good and Emil did all that could be done to make our trip a great success. All in all we had a great time, perfect photo opportunities, greatly enjoyed and appreciated Emil’s hospitality and professionalism, and we can wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Bulgaria with Emil.

Usually the preparation of a photo trip takes a lot of effort and energy. But when the photographers arrive, I feel like on vacation also.
Renee and Peter, thank you for all the fun and shared knowledge. If my landscape photography and photo editing work improve in the future – your advice will be the only reason for this achievement.

www.overbosch.de




Axel Halley, Germany

After numerous self organised photo trips around the world, I've been told by Andreas about his very successful journey to Bulgaria in 2009. Spontanous we decided to go there next winter for photographing Goshawk and Golden Eagle with Emil's support. Even though the weather often prooved to be very tough, we enjoyed memorial moments with Red-breasted Geese and Ravens among other birds. This widely genuine country with his great diversity of birds has shown his spirit to me, so a subsequent trip for the next winter was scheduled.
Beside the famous Kerkini Lake in northern Greece we visited the very impressive landscape of Bulgaria in January 2011. Golden Eagle, Dalmatian Pelican, Great Grey Shrike and many passerines presented themselves in perfect light conditions. Emil proved again to be a perfect guide and has taken care that our desired photos may come true. Also to experience the unforgettable impressions of the nature was about his concern. For accommodation the best was made possible as well as for most of our culinary wishes.
Emil's love for his country and the pristine nature of Bulgaria was testified by his first class photos. His calm and humorous kind provides an harmonious atmosphere.
Thanks for this unforgettable week and we will see you in 2012.

Thank you Axel!
After Antarctica, Canada, Japan and many other great places, now pictures from Bulgaria also found place in Axel’s gallery. Please visit his website and I am sure you will enjoy to be there.

www.axelhalley.de




Stefan Huwiler, Switzerland

Emil and Gradimir are two very nice people who know their country and it's nature very well. They have all the skills a good guide should have. All accommodation were carefully chosen and of high quality, offering great traditional food. Thanks to Emil, we were always in the right spot at the right time. His knowledge about the different places, animals and good light conditions is incredible. I have never been on a guided trip being able to take so many good pictures in such a short time. From this week I will keep some unique moments in my mind such as the fight between a Golden Eagle and a Fox or the Red-breasted Geese in flight and so on. Those are invaluable experiences in nature, that will keep bringing me joyful memories for the rest of my life. Again, I would like to thank you Andreas, Emil and Gradimir for your excellent organization of this superb workshop. Best regards Stefan Huwiler.

Stefan is great traveler with experience in many wild places. I am happy to know that he rate Bulgaria as great place for photography.

www.stefanhuwiler.ch




Evelyne Pellaton, Switzerland

I just want to tell you how pleased Alain, Paul and I are after this wonderful trip in Bulgaria with Miro. Thanks for your generosity because we had a lot of different opportunities, that were not planned before. Miro was an excellent guide and a very good fellow : we really enjoyed his company … but you know him … so you know better than we do how it’s pleasant to travel with him. He did his maximum in order to offer us all what was possible … even more ! I can assure all photographers that your organization is excellent for giving everyone the best opportunities to take very good pictures. So this is our second trip in Bulgaria with your organization. I am now looking forward a third trip either with you or with Miro.

Thank you Evelyne! For me it’s a pleasure to organize your trips. I am looking to see you again! If I not see you soon in Bulgaria…maybe it can happen in the Swiss Alps in close future

www.evelynepellaton.ch