Ecotourism, bird watching and canoeing – what can we offer for nature lovers?

 If    you would like to see the natural beauties of the Great    Hungarian Plain, especially Nagykunság, our ecotourism    selection is for you! Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation    Association offers nature-friendly birding trips with photographing    opportunities, excursions on horse-back or by horse-cart    across the grasslands and along the river, canoeing and    fishing tours on the silent but wildlife-rich waters of    Berettyó... Here you can read about our offer in more detail.   



Come and join the ecotours of Nimfea!


Leave only footprints and take only photographs


Nowadays ecotourism is becoming more and more popular. However, please keep in mind that ecotourism is more than visiting protected natural areas – your responsible attitude and behaviour is the key to environmentally friendly tourism. Doing ecotourism means making decisions about among others the vehicle we use, the food we eat and the souvenirs we buy, the way we respect the carrying capacity of nature, including the disposal of our waste, our behaviour at wildlife habitats or the respect towards local culture and traditions. Being an ecotourist requires responsible living, not only calling an excursion "ecotour".

Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation Association offers several tour opportunities around Túrkeve, enabling our visitors to see natural, cultural and historical values as well. Maps and information for these trips are provided in the Fekete István Educational Center, but is it recommended to ask a local guide, who knows the territory and the nature protection regulations. Choose an environment-friendly way of transportation, use recyclable packaging material and let's get started!


Bird watching  

Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation Association offers bird watching and nature discovery tours both for Hungarian and foreign visitors. The visitors can observe internationally or nationally protected bird species, among other spoonbills, little egrets, black storks, ferruginous ducks, Montagu’s harriers, red-footed falcons, sakers, imperial eagles, white-tailed eagles, short-eared owls, collared pratincoles, great bustards, stone curlews, rollers and many other species depending on the season. These tours are provided only with trained guides. The participants may travel by bikes, carts, canoes, motorboats or cars in case of long distance tours. These excursions provide opportunities for the observation of different phases of landscape-ecological succession, and also cultural and historical values. By participating in these tours, you support the habitat and species protection programme of Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation Association. The target areas are primarily the grasslands, forests and wetlands of Nagykunság and Nagy-Sárrét regions. Nature photographers may make use of our hides for successful wildlife pictures; these hides are mostly situated in wetlands or close to the winter feeding places of birds of prey.

Canoeing, fishing tourism

A trip on the river Hortobágy-Berettyó is an ideal programme for the lovers of water and water sports. At the end of the 19th century the original bed of the Berettyó was artificially changed; the original bed had much more bends and crooks but it was amended in many places during the regulation works, making it similar to an artificial canal. This refers especially to the lower part of the river near the estuary, protected by flood gates against the damming effect of the floods arriving on the river Hármas-Körös. The section between Bucsa and the Ballai-híd bridge still preserves its original state: rich in bends and crooks, surrounded by floodplains covered with aquatic plants and there are no dikes against floods either. Before the river reaches the river Hármas-Körös, it separates into two branches. The best choice for canoeing is the 26 km long section between the bridge at Ecsegfalva and Ballai-híd bridge, because this area offers the mot interesting sights for nature-lovers, and it can be freely visited. Those who would like to take a trip by a motor-boat should observe the rules of the Körös-Maros National Park, including the ban to use an engine with a cylinder capacity exceeding 125 cm3. River regulation works starting from the second part of the 19th century – destroying the beautiful wetlands and marshes of the Nagy-Sárrét – did not affect this part of the river. Therefore neither bends were cut through, nor were dikes built here right next to the shore. Consequently the grasslands embraced by the bends remained untouched, and they are used as meadows or pastures now. Usually there are two floods on the river Hortobágy-Berettyó every year, due to the melting snow in the catchment areas abroad, generally at the end of April and in the middle of June. During these periods the river Berettyó is especially beautiful because you canoe around not only in the bed but you can also visit the floodplain and the system of pits ("kubik") left from the time of river regulation, covered by shallow water. The maximum depth of the water is mostly between 3 m and 5 m and the fluctuation of the water-level can exceed 2 meters. The stream of the water – except for the narrow sections and the floods – is quite slow; therefore the bed is filling up, especially near the estuary. The natural shores are usually gently sloping. Here in the shallow water smaller or larger patches of reed and cattail mix with floating and rooted aquatic communities. The steeper shores are bordered by reed, and in certain areas the riparian plant community of willows and poplars appear along the floodplains. During bird migration in spring you can find a wide diversity of bird species here; then in summer fishing herons and egrets (grey, purple and night herons, little and great white egrets) can be observed. The river Hortobágy-Berettyó is the favourite place of local fishermen; for a successful catch you need to know the area very well. In addition it has become more difficult to find a good fishing site, because shore plants have been spreading fast during the last decade.  Disturbing and breaking up the shore vegetation is strictly forbidden and will be heavily fined by the national park! In certain places the floating seaweed can cause problems, because it is not visible from the board and the fishing-line can get caught and tangled. Therefore please seek advice on the appropriate fishing technique and use the appropriate equipment. Angling by a boat is more successful than sitting on the shore with a rod. The fish fauna of the river Hortobágy-Berettyó is rich and diverse containing about 40 fish species. The most common species are white bream, roach and in the flooded places and slower riverside waters the Prussian carp. Early spring carps migrate from the Körös rivers to their traditional breeding areas here in the Berettyó, so if you are looking for noble fish, you can also have some luck. Most of these migrating fish stay here until autumn when the water level is lowered. There is plenty of wels in the river, but most of them do not reach the minimum length of 50 cm, so they cannot be caught. Pikes are common in shallow waters; pikeperch usually can be found in the deeper parts of the bed. Please note that due to nature conservation considerations catching knife, crucian carp and tench is forbidden during the entire year in all sections of the river belonging to the national park. The usage rights of the area are held by the Körös Fishermens’ Association in Gyomaendrőd; for fishing permission you should contact the association.



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