Danube Delta in brief

Danube Delta is so different from what foreigners might imagine. Danube Delta usually makes you think of the forking branches where tourists are taken for a boat ride. But Danube Delta is not just water – it is the land surrounding it, the land crisscrossed by water, the land that people and animals live off, the land that tractors plow, followed by crows and storks searching for food.

Although this landscape is generally called the Danube Delta, it is made up of many diverse parts. The landscape is dominated by never-ending views, rolling hills, wide-stretching fields, wonderful channels, small and large lakes, villages scattered here and there and, of course, the branches of the Danube. And everything is green, green, green.

Where Danube flows into the Black Sea

The Danube is the second largest river in Europe after the Volga. The Danube Delta, Romania’s main tourist attraction, is where the Danube flows into the Black Sea. It is a Mecca for researchers, ornithologists, fishermen and tourists. With an area of over 5,000 square kilometers, the Danube Delta is the largest wetland in Europe, offering a habitat for 5,400 species of plants and animals within 33 different ecosystems. Forty five percent of this land is water, and 5% is land. The remaining 50% is always forming new ecosystems, as a result of the succession of drought and rainy spells. In 1 990 the Danube Delta was designated a Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But what really matters, beyond these figures, is that the Danube Delta is an extremely welcoming land. The festive atmosphere is present here almost daily, and the tourists who come here to escape the great urban sprawls can easily find peace and relaxation. It is simply everywhere and the visitor has only got to let their hair down and enjoy it. Nature enchants. And if you allow yourself to be enchanted, you gain deep respect for animals and plants, for life in general. The visitor feels like a real guest here, grateful that they can take in the beauty of the Delta.

The grandeur of life in Danube Delta

The joy of freedom can be felt everywhere in the Delta, even among the birds, which have no other urge but to live and be free. They are not exploited by anyone and anything, and no man can take advantage of them. The birds that live here represent, through their splendor, the grandeur of life in Danube Delta, and they remind us that people must value, maintain, respect and guard these values.

The Danube itself has the feel of an old acquaintance, a dear old aunt. And the birds are therefore our cousins. From the first moment, the visitor has the feeling that everything is uncannily familiar. As if it were the image of a free and happy childhood, free of worries – like an idyll, an ideal situation come true.

But reality is not only idyllic. Life in Danube Delta is marked by its healthy nature on the one hand, and the bad roads and lack of jobs on the other hand. And the fact that the villages are so isolated has both its advantages and disadvantages,

Twenty different ethnic groups live here: Russians, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, Greeks, Aromanians, Macedonians, Turks, Tartars, Bulgarians, Armenians, Germans, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Italians, Albanians, Jews and Gypsies. They all coexist, just like the birds of the Danube Delta. There are only 1 5,000 inhabitants living in 28 villages and in the town of Sulina. With only 3.5 inhabitants/km2, this is the least densely populated area of Romania. There are far more birds than people. The most important bird migration routes towards Africa cross the Danube Delta. 325 species of birds stop here for a break, and over 1 60 nestle here.

Juergen Sieckmeyer