The guests of the Wanderhotel Gassner are wild about nature documentaries “in real life” and keep coming back for “wild watching” in the Hohe Tauern National Park, with more than 1,800 square kilometres the largest nature reserve in Central Europe. Hans-Peter Gassner runs the hotel together with his sister Sonja. Several times a summer he invites his guests to the Expedition Wilderness, which starts in the evening at their own hunting lodge.
High up on alpine meadows and craggy rocks, in the gentian-blue sky and between moss-covered boulders, live the animal inhabitants of the Alps. Sightings of one of the “Big 5” of the Alps, as ibex, marmot, golden eagle, bearded vulture and chamois are also called in reference to the Big 5 of Africa (lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, leopard), are the highlight.
Get to know the hotel’s own hunting, observe chamois, deer and marmots, enjoy a hearty Wildara snack at the Berndlalm and let the evening come to an enjoyable end – how does that sound to you?
Our wildlife watching dates for the summer 2023:
… if you want to get one of these shy animals in front of your binoculars. Virtues that do not always come easily to us noisy, hectic and impatient valley dwellers. The sense of achievement is all the more exciting and memorable for that. As a passionate hunter, hiking guide and wildlife observer, Hans-Peter Gassner, the landlord at the Wanderhotel Gassner, knows the “tricks” to better discover the animals.
“Often, warning calls from birds or marmots can be an indication of the proximity of another animal. So we have to listen carefully,” says Hans-Peter. The nice side effect is that you learn to listen really carefully. Suddenly you notice sounds that are otherwise so easily overheard: the gentle lapping of water, the rustling of the wind in the pines, the buzzing of bees or your own breath.
“Tracks, excrement or hidden burrows are also important signs of an animal mountain dweller. So we have to look carefully,” Hans-Peter knows. You discover so many things that are easily overlooked in everyday life: tiny flowers with artfully shaped blossoms, beautiful mosses in grey-green shades, stones, each unique in shape and colour, and the panorama with all its heights and depressions, peaks and precipices.
Whether you end up seeing one of the Big 5 or not doesn’t really matter. Wildlife watching is a deep dive into the world of the mountains and nature. It is an experience that is fulfilling and happy in itself.