Self-drive wildlife adventure
A self-drive holiday that makes you familiar with Finnish large carnivores - bears, wolves and wolverines.
Wild Taiga area is home to many wild animals, including large carnivores which are either very rare or extinct elsewhere in Europe. This tour includes five overnight excursions which offer the opportunity to observe and photograph bears, wolves and wolverines safely in their natural habitat.
price / person
May 1-Aug 5
6 days/5 nights
Lieksa - Kuhmo - Suomussalmi
1265 € on twin sharing basis.
Single supplement 200 € (limited availability).
Included in the price
*5 overnight wildlife watching and photographing nights in wilderness hides (viewing hides) *5 x dinner / late lunch (days 1–5) *5 x breakfast (days 2-6) *accommodation / room for rest on days 2-5
Not included in the price
*Accommodation/room for rest on day 1 *Overnights in professional photography hides *Transfers accroding to the program 1-2 persons 950 €/group, 3-7 persons 1000 €/group
Day 1: Arrival, wolverines
Arrival independently at Erä-Eero in Lieksa by 2 pm (distance from Joensuu airport approx. 85 km, from Kuopio airport approx. 185 km). In the afternoon you set off for your first wildlife watching and photographing night to the wilderness. The night will be spent in a small lodge which provides comfortable chairs and bunk beds if you wish to lie down for a while during the night. Wolverine is the most observed animal and it can appear year round. The possibility to see wolverines in this area is the best in Finland.
Day 2: Wolves
Return from the hide in the morning. Breakfast and drive to Kuikka lodge in Kuhmo (150 km). If you choose a bit longer route through Kuhmo, it is possible to visit Petola Information Centre which provides information on Finland’s large carnivores .
Base camp Kuikka is a former forest workers' residence situated close to the Russian border in Kuhmo. It is surrounded by boreal forest and Lake Kuikka. On arrival at Kuikka you are provided information about exciting nights that will be spent in the middle of the wilderness. Early dinner at the lodge and then departure to the hide.
The Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus) is a mammal living in packs mostly in the eastern forests, though it is found all around Finland. Wolves are not that common sight from the hides, but the probability to see them is the best in Kuhmo border zone area. Not only wolves but also bears, wolverines and various species of birds can be seen on a regular basis.
Day 3: Wolves
Return from the hide in the morning. After breakfast there is time for rest and talks about wildlife programmes. A room will be available for the rest during the day. After early dinner another wildlife watching and photographing night at the hide.
Day 4: Bears
Return to Kuikka lodge in the morning. After breakfast some rest and drive to Martinselkonen Wilderness Centre in Suomussalmi (185 km). The wildlife centre operates in the old ‘Pirttivaara’ border guard station, closed in 1990 and renovated into the guest house. The company has organized wildlife watching tours for over 20 years and is especially concentrated in bears that visit feeding places nearly every night during the season. Again, early dinner and departure to the hide which is situated near the border zone area of Finland and Russia. During the night you have a good chance to see bears but also other animals and birds.
Day 5: Bears
Return to Martinselkonen in the morning. Breakfast and time for some rest. In the afternoon departure for the last wilderness night.
Day 6: End of tour
Breakfast and check-out from Martinselkonen. End of services. Distance to Kajaani airport approx. 170 km.
Good to know
- This is a self-guided tour and no meeting with the tour operator is organized.
- The tour information package will be posted in advance or you will get it on arrival at the first hotel.
- Recommended airports for arrival are Kuopio and Joensuu, for return Kajaani.
- Distance from Helsinki to Erä-Eero (first accommodation) is approx. 530 km and from Martinselkonen (last accommodation) to Helsinki approx. 710 km.
This tour can be booked online here (a regional webshop at www.wildtaiga.fi).