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Not a straightforward country to go to for us Western Europeans! We still live with the idea of an isolated closed country. I knew that this is not the case anymore. The land is about the size of Belgium but with only 2,8 mi people, the majority living in the capital Tirana there has to be a lot of open space. I also knew from a friend of mine who cycled Albania some years ago that it is a beautiful country which has a lot to offer.

So when Jan Goddefroy came with the idea to explore the possibilities there of floating hide photography, I was in. This man is creator of these devices and if you want to see how they look like you can have a look here:

Jan is constantly exploring new possibilities for floating and so on one of his endeavors he came into contact with Mirjan Topi who is the man behind So if you are interested you can have a look on his website. Mirjan is a birding guide and he too was very eager to guide two strange guys who wanted to go into the water to photograph birds! Never seen that kind of thing before! How will they do it and how do the hides look like!

Jan brought 2 hides of the latest type with him and also a platform. We had ten days to get to know the possibilities and Mirjan showed us around. We saw Divjaka Karavasta, Narta Vlore, Prespa, Durres and an important water reservoir near Berat. We traveled almost 2000km to see it all, but still we managed to get into the water several times. Narta an Durres were on this occasion the most rewarding.

Albania is an important wintering area for waterfowl, waders, ducks, herons etc are present in large numbers. Flamingoes and Dalmatian pelicans stay all year round. Slender billed gulls are also abundant. More pictures especially from the birds can be seen here:

This was an exciting and interesting trip! Thanks to Mr. Jan for the initiative and company and to Mirjan for the excellent guiding. His main concern was our well-being and satisfaction. Thanks Mirjan; we certainly come back.

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