Thick carpets of leaves outside, endless cup of teas and woollen sweaters: no doubt, autumn is here. Cheer up: there is so much beauty to be celebrated this season. Here are a few ideas to make the most of nature in the South of Belgium
A powerful sound echoes through the forest. Full, throaty, vigorous. Another responds. Autumn is mating season for stags, these incredible solos an attempt to establish authority let alone impress does in his herd.
Witness this exceptional wildlife spectacle
Go to one of the to listen to the stags bellow
© Benjamin de Rothstein
- Between September 15 and October 8, 2023: at dawn or dusk, the hoarse and powerful cry of the king of the forest can be heard in the Caves of Han Animal Park. Conclude the day with a delicious meal in the restaurant Le Pavillon, on the banks of the Lesse river.
- Throughout the month of September 2023, a Guide-Nature® at the Observatoire Centre Ardenne will take on a wander through the fields
- In Jalhay, between September 22 and October 7, 2023, you can attend this exceptional event with a nature guide. Bonus: they also have a session designed especially for children. Booking is mandatory: by phone at +32 87 47 47 37 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- In Houyet, the roar of the deer at night can be heard on September 15, 22, 27 and 29 and October 7, 2023 or at daybreak on September 17 and October 7, 2023. Information and reservations can be done through the Tourist Office: by phone + 32 82 22 32 14 or email@example.com
Listen to the bellowing of the stags without a guide
As long as you keep the greatest respect for the forest and its fauna, you can go on an adventure alone to witness this majestic spectacle.
The best time to listen to the stags is mid-September to mid-OCtober.
- Check the dates and times of the hunting season
- Put as much luck on your side as you can: leave early in the morning or go in the evening, and favour cold nights with a full moon.
Where to go?
- In the Great Forest of Saint Hubert, hides have been set up for you to observe nature safely, without disturbing the animals
- Between Libramont and Libin (N40)
- On the outskirts of the Domaine des Amerois between Florenville and Bouillon
- Ban d’Alle between Corbion et Sugny.
© Les Globe Blogueurs
A few tips
There will be specific signposts during bellowing season: follow the arrows
Observe the stags, but stay at a reasonable distance to not disturb them.
Be discreet. Stags have a sharp sense of hearing and smell: walk quietly, wear dark clothes, avoid flashlights, sudden noises (car door, phone) and strong scents (tobacco, perfume)
Autumn holiday in the forest
A surprising night listening to the stag bellowings.
- The Quartier Latin organises centered around the stag bellowings or mushroom picking.
- The Domaine du Château de Freux invites you to a nocturnal walk to listen to the stag bellowings, followed by a night in a Sphair.
- To be even closer to nature, choose a night at camping Europacamp, the perfect place to listen to the King of the forest.
For those who love camping under the stars or seek a comfortable stay, there's something for everyone:
- Les Trappeurs: A cottage in the heart of the Ardennes with a warm decor, ideal for enjoying the forest and admiring the beautiful autumn colours that nature offers us.
- Mon lit dans l'arbre: Swap the sounds of your daily life for those of the wildlife by staying in one of the 8 unusual treehouses.
- Stay in the village of Lesse and treat yourself to a true escape from everyday life in these exceptional lodgings at La Grange de Lesse, nestled in nature.
Wallonia is an excellent destination to escape from the daily routine and combine relaxation with well-being.
Take inspiration from our suggestions to find a rejuvenating stay in the heart of the forest.
Go foraging for mushrooms
A feast for tastebuds! Fried with a little garlic and parsley, folded in an omelette… Don’t know where to start? Join one of the many mushroom walks, led by a specialist, taking place in Wallonia this season:
Where to find mushrooms in Wallonia?
- On the plateau of Hautes Fagnes, during a mushroom walk starting from Maison du Parc-Botrange. You can have the mushrooms found in the region identified during the .
- In the Saint-Hubert Forest.
- In the Eastern Cantons (Agenda available only in German).
- Departing from Francorchamps and Hockai, two guided walks to discover mushrooms are organised on and .
- On October 14th, from the Jalhay-Sart Tourist Office, a themed guided walk will appeal to connoisseurs. Booking is mandatory: by phone +32 87 47 47 37 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- In Houyet, join a mushroom walk on October 14th, 28th or November 11th. Info and reservations at the Tourist Office by phone + 32 82 22 32 14 or email email@example.com
Please note that dogs are not allowed on these walks.
- In Tenneville, immerse yourself in the forest, for the great delight of your senses and your spirit. This practice, originating from Japan, is perfect for rejuvenation.
- In the Ardennes, Ecosophia also organises Shinrin Yoku forest baths.
- In Villers-la-Ville, initiate yourself to sylvotherapy with an experienced instructor.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to go out and enjoy the vibrant colours of autumn!
The hiker's charter
Love nature? We do too. Please remember to be respectful of the environment.
Hunting period restrictions in Wallonia
The hunting period in Wallonia stretches from September to December, with additional short periods throughout the rest of the year. Some species, such as wild boar, can however be hunted all year round.
For safety reasons, walks in the forest or in the woods may be prohibited or limited during these times. Clear informative signs are placed at the exits of forest roads and public trails connected to the areas concerned. You may encounter two types of panels on your route:
- Red panels indicate that a hunt or stalking is in progress: walks are condequently prohibited.
- Yellow panels advertise hunting seasons throughout the year. Crossing the area is possible but vigilance remains essential.
Do not hesitate to contact the Maison du Tourisme closest to your location for more detailed information