Drava Federation Programs
Volunteer in the picturesque Drava Region, one of the wildest natural jewels of Central Europe! The area offers a wide variety of habitats & ecosystems which are in need
Drava Federation Reviews
Orchid survey and its friends....
Submitted by Susanne - Roskilde University | June 06, 2017
I had the fortune to spend two weeks in the Transdanubian Hills, this area of diverse habitats, with several orchid species growing around! Since I study environmental biology in my university in Denmark, I have gained more experience and practical field knowledge about botanical surveys. Also got familiar with several species: the military orchid, the Jersey orchid, the early marsh-orchid, my personal favourite the bee-orchid, and several others such as white helleborine and Ophrys fuciflora.
The Federation's colleagues were really helpful, and overall the program was well-organised. Miki and Janka picked me up in the airport, and they organised the transport back to it when I left on my last day. I have received a pre-departure orientation document which included important, practical infos about the program. At my arrival I received a brochure about the organisation, and before the volunteer work I participated in a Health and Safety Instructions session. However, the Federation doesn't provide travel insurance, therefore I had to get it myself in my home country.
About meals and housing I was fully satisfied. Luckily I had the chance to use two accommodations in two different areas: one is a lovely guesthouse near the River Drava and Mura confluence, in between amazing views and lovely hills. The other is in the city of 4500 inhabitants, a complex with statue park and cultural elements, such as a traditional yurt. Since we spent almost all of our time outside, usually I had my meals packed, but the colleagues always arranged me at least one warm meal a day.
After the volunteer activities - botanical surveys and some invasive plants' eradication - there was a fun activity organised: we have bathed in Lake Kotró, which was absolutely refreshing after the work done in the fairly hot weather! I have also tried kayaking and canoeing. Also a trip was organised to visit Lake Balaton - while we checked on an abundant mead with dozens of protected species nearby, and had a study tour in the highly protected Little Balaton, we also had some fun time for ourselves: checking on the lake itself and cultural values of Keszthely and Tapolca. Luckily few afternoons, I could just be myself: I made a tour around my accommodation, and walked around to see my surroundings.
I have to say, the volunteer activity itself wasn't demanding at all: we didn't convey the surveys for more than 3-4 hours, and always enrolled some rest time to listen to the bird species, or having a short walk to the natural sights nearby. Miki said it is also the work of conservationist to follow changes in the nature!
The only thing which was first a little bit surprising: this time I was the only volunteer and I thought I will be bored or feel alone. But honestly I didn't have the time to feel that way, since every day was promptly organised with programs, and I met several experts, botanists and zoologist. I was transported by Miki and Janka every day. We also visited Croatia to check out the other side and the oxbows of Drava.
And one more thing, I would like to say thank for Tyutyu and Ilike and their organisation who showed me their traditional press-house specific to this area - a little museum with 100 years old tools and equipments people used during their every day life. And thank for tasting your home made liqueurs, and that delicious edelflower syrup!!
Program: Orchid Survey Program
Quite an experience
Submitted by Alex Stylianou - Tokyo Japan | January 12, 2017
Visiting the beautiful River Drava, where Hungary and Croatia meet, was quite an experience. The traditional "pince" houses were interesting and I was grateful for the opportunity to visit and enter one. Most important of all, everybody I met while in Drava was immensely hospitable. My only regret is that I didn't have enough time to stay longer.
The time I’ve spent was like a dream
Submitted by Köszönöm - Hungary | September 13, 2016
The time I’ve spent was like a dream.
One day I’m in Tokyo, Japan and the next thing I know, I’m in Hungary warmly welcomed to the Conservation Volunteer program. The program was professionally organized that I really had nothing to worry about.
Having a chance to travel around so many places within the short stay; Being able to feel and see the nature was a whole new experience for me.
Not only the nature but from the days spent, I’ve also got to learn about the culture and history. I already miss the wine haha
Can’t thank you enough for the unforgettable experience. I hope to come back another season and I hopefully by then, I’ll be able to somewhat communicate in Hungarian as well.