Lynx in front of the lens, February 2020

"On my first trip to Naliboki Forest last year, I noticed that my camera was not good enough So for this trip I bought a new camera with a big tele.

I’m not a good photographer at all, and I don’t have the patience to read the entire manual, but I wanted to try to have at least photos of a higher quality.

The first day I didn’t bring my tele with me because it’s heavy to take along on the walk, and I was afraid to let it in the car. And I regretted, because the second day we could observe a pack of black grouse.

Luckily, I listen to Vadim who encouraged me to bring the tele the next day, because then Dirk saw the lynx, after we arrived from an exhausting walk As I was the only one with a tele, it was me who approached the lynx step by step, to try to memorize the unique encounter with one of the most difficult to spot animals in Europe. Because of fatigue and a lot of adrenaline, my hands were shaking a lot! On top of that I didn’t bring my tripod and a 500 mm lens is quite difficult to hold still in these circumstances. I went forward very slowly, following the lynx who was moving, while behind me everybody was following us with binoculars.

All of us were very excited !!

I took a lot of photos, that weren’t of a good quality at all, but nevertheless I’m very happy with these memories! It’s a good motivation for me to improve my skills for photography!

The following days I always took my camera with tele with me!

A good advice : always listen to Vadim :-) "

Annik Janssens


"We had already spent a very pleasant day enjoying several short walks through the Naliboki wilderness. Vadim still had a last tour in mind. Since I was in need of some quiet time for myself, I decided to skip this last walk and stay at the cars. In the vicinity there were several marshy ponds of which one had a beaver lodge. With some luck I would be able to see beaver and perhaps even otter. But unfortunately it did not turn out that way. After some twenty minutes I started feeling cold because of sitting still and therefore I decided to go to a big open space in the forest. Twilight started to fall, enhancing the chance of an interesting observation. Covered by the trees I was approaching the open space through the forest. With my binoculars I was scanning the edge of the forest and suddenly a lynx turned up.

Adrenaline was rushing through my body but I succeeded in staying still and started following this amazing animal till it reached the corner of the open space and disappeared behind the shrubs. I used this brief moment to drop myself on my knees and hide myself. A few - everlasting - minutes later it reappeared and started walking directly in my direction. To me, it became more difficult to keep my binoculars still. It was clear that it had not noticed me yet. It came closer and closer and just when it was only fifty meters from where I was, my friends started yelling at me. The rest of the group had returned from their final walk and were looking for me. Dilemma: I could not move and I could not answer, but at the same time I had to get the others to join me so they too would be able to observe this beautiful cat. Obviously the lynx was alarmed by the noise. It stood still, started looking around and finally noticed me sitting there. The lynx kept her calm, got seated as well and started staring at me. Since it had discovered me anyway, I could as well urge the group to join me with some subtle whistling. In the end we all spent approximately twenty minutes enjoying this wonderful cat. The whole time it stayed very calm and was as curious about us as we were about it. I wonder if it was also writing a report at night on its special meet and greet with these strange two-legged animals constantly keeping a strange object in front of their eyes when looking at other animals."

Dirk Fiers

#reports #generaltrip #winter #lynx