Finland: Bear, Wolf, Wolverine, Eagles & More

17th - 24th April 2021

Max 6 photographers & specialist photography tuition from Trai Anfield

*This safari will be conducted with social distancing measures in place if necessary at time of departure.

8 day specialist 'nocturnal' photographic safari in Finland, focussing on European Brown Bear, Wolf, Wolverine, Golden Eagle and other birds of this boreal forest region. Nocturnal? Yes! We will be photographing from overnight hides to make the most of the extended golden hours and twilight conditions in which these iconic predators are mostly active. More details below.

Fitness level required:  Easy: mostly shorts walks from the vehicles to the hides.. You may of course walk around the lodge grounds in your free time too! 

Tour leader:  Trai Anfield - award winning wildlife photographer,  film maker, travel writer and broadcaster

Your Finland Highlights

 

  • Close to home - better for the planet!

  • Covid19 social distancing measures in place

  • Small group size - max 6 guests

  • Exciting range of iconic European predators in the wild

  • Brown bear

  • Wolf

  • Wolverine

  • Birds of prey in the area include golden eagle, white tailed eagle, great grey owl and eagle owl

  • Reindeer, moose, beaver and many smaller birds of the taiga may also be spotted

  • Glorious forest and lake landscapes of northeastern Finland

  • Outside chance of seeing the northern lights too

  • Fun and authentic husky dog sledding experience

  • Safari scheduled to ensure best photographic conditions for wildlife & landscapes

  • Beginner friendly plus great for intermediate/experienced photographers looking for new species

  • 1-2-1 technical tuition and creative inspiration with your tutor Trai Anfield

  • Expert local wildlife advice on up to date sightings and action

YOUR FINLAND ITINERARY

 

Apr 17 (Sat): Guests from UK are advised to travel outwards from London Heathrow on Finnair flight AY1332 to Helsinki, departs 10:20 and arrives at 15:15.  On arrival walk 10 minutes from the main arrival terminal via a walk way to the ‘Scandic Airport Hotel’ for your overnight accommodation.

Apr 18 (Sun): Depart Helsinki on a morning flight to Kajaani. On arrival you will be met and transferred 2-3 hours to Boreal Wildlife Centre (breakfast and lunch included). The wildlife centre operates in the old ‘Viiksimo’ border guard station renovated into the guest house. Lunch, check in and then an early dinner and departure for our overnight hide which is situated near the border zone area of Finland and Russia.  Making the most of the extended evening and morning golden hours and twilight, we will aim to photograph brown bears, wolves and wolverine.

Apr 19 (Mon): Return to the base camp in the morning.  Breakfast and time for rest / sleep during the day before another early dinner and a second night in a wilderness hide focussing our photography once again on the large predators of this area.

Apr 20 (Tue): Return to the centre for breakfast before a brief 30km transfer to the nearby Kuikka lodge in Kuhmo (all meals included). 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. Check-in, then an early dinner at the lodge and departure to your overnight hide. The Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus) are not that commonly from the hides, but the eastern forests here in the Kuhmo border zone are the area where you are most likely to see them. Not only wolves but also bears, wolverines and various species of birds can be seen on a regular basis.

Apr 21 (Wed): Return from the hide in the morning.  After breakfast there is time for rest, talks about wildlife and the chance to explore the grounds in search of birdlife.  Our rooms will also be available for resting up during the day.  After our early dinner we embark on another wildlife watching and photographing night in our hide.

Apr 22 (Thu): Return from the hide in the morning.  After breakfast there is time for rest or the chance to explore the grounds in search of birdlife.  Our rooms will again be available for resting up during the day.  After our early dinner we embark on another wildlife watching and photographing night in our hide.

Apr 23 (Fri): Return to the lodge in the morning for breakfast and check-out, then you will be transferred 1-2 hours to ‘Hotelli Vuokatti & Suites’ just outside of Kajaani, where we can enjoy an afternoon’s fun with Husky dogs and sleds (1-2 hour easy activity and fun to photograph too!)

Apr 24 (Sat): After an early breakfast in the morning you will be transferred to Kaajani airport. We suggest booking the flight to Helsinki, which departs 08:50 and arrives at 09:50 (approximate flight times). You may then connect with Finnair flight AY1337 to London Heathrow, departs 16:00 and arrives at 17:05.

Our Accommodation & Meals In Finland

This safari is a little different to our usual departures as we are going "nocturnal" for this one!
 

Our active shooting time will mostly be in overnight hides.  These include basic facilities such as bunks to have a snooze and a compost toilet.  During the day we have access to our own accommodation as usual to catch up on the sleep we lost during our exciting night shoots!
 

As a result of keeping the same time schedule as the bears and wolverines our meal times will be slightly different too: while we are staying at Boreal Lodge we will be served a well-earned hearty breakfast each morning when we return from the overnight hide.  Most of us will then want to catch up on some sleep, so lunch is not served here - when we wake up we will have a substantial early dinner at around 3.30 which will set us up for our next overnight stay in the hides.  

2021 Departures and Costs

 

DATES:   17 - 24 APRIL 2021 

RATES:  £2830 per person 

Based on 2 guests sharing a twin room throughout.  

Single room supplement £170

INCLUDES: all Finland road transfers, all hide rental, local expert wildlife advisors, expert photographic and post production tuition, full board accommodation and all meals as described.  

 

EXCLUDES: international flights to/from Kajaani; visas if necessary, gratuities, personal insurances, lunch/evening meal on 17 & 23 April.

We are happy to assist with booking flights and quote on request.

Please note - places strictly limited and immediate booking is essential to secure your place. 

Wildlife Trails logo.png

Our preferred partner agency Wildlife Trails was established in Cumbria in 1999 and is an independent travel agency specialising in responsible eco-tourism and tailor-made wildlife encounters.

Their experts have a wealth of knowledge, based on first-hand travel experience.  We combine this with our expert knowledge of photographic requirements to give you the ultimate photography experience.

*BOOK SAFELY & WITH PEACE OF MIND:  OUR COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES

A personal note from Trai

"The safety of my guests has always been uppermost in my mind, and I have given much thought to appropriate social distancing measures for my safaris.  Though these will be mandatory for the foreseeable future, you can still be assured of a wonderfully intimate experience with the wildlife we encounter.

Thank you in advance for complying with the measures below, and for keeping us all safe while we continue to explore new places and enjoy our photography!"

 

 

*COVID19 PROMISE & PRECAUTIONS

OUR PROMISE

Fairness and flexibility are always our watchwords when it comes to our client experience.  Our partner agent Wildlife Trails also understand the financial as well as practical uncertainties our guests face when arranging travel in the time of Covid19 and together we are responding with our Covid Promise: 

 

Wherever possible we will ask for a smaller deposit than usual and will also defer the balance payment to as close to departure time as possible.  We will always talk with you before requesting balance payments to review the latest advice and make sure you are comfortable with all your arrangements for travel.  If not we will offer a comprehensive range of flexible alternative options.  

 

Our clients this year have highly praised our performance, which in terms of fairness, flexibility, transparency and responsiveness has outshone many major companies.  

"Such a shame that we are not at Zimanga....hopefully next year!! I have certainly been more than happy with the service from Alan and yourself. Absolutely brilliant." P Duncan

"We were more than happy with the way and speed that you and Allan dealt with the cancellation and are only sorry we had to go down that route. Hopefully we can arrange something in the future" J Crook

"The service from yourself and Allan has been great with both of you being very understanding in these difficult times" J Shield 

  

OUR PRECAUTIONS

 

Please do not attend the safari if you or your family are showing any symptoms of Covid 19. 

 

Social distancing measures are expected to still be required for this safari, though you can still be sure of the usual wonderfully intimate experience with the animals and birds.

 

Please note that your booking constitutes acceptance of the need to prioritise safety for yourself and all others associated with the safari at all times.  This means you agree to adhere strictly to the relevant government's current Covid19 advice throughout, which may include the wearing of a mask when necessary. 

- This workshop will be held well away from crowds in the peaceful forests and lakesides of Finland

- Places are limited to 6 guests and 1 tutor

- Small hides for 1-3 photographers

- Participants should travel to Kajaani and on to our destination using all possible personal protection

- Please do not greet anyone by shaking hands and avoid physical contact at all times

- Only touch your own photography equipment

- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth

- Guests are asked to please arrive with your own masks (N95, R95, KN95 or surgical masks) and they must be    worn according to WHO safety standards.
- Hand sanitiser will be available at all times 
- 1m+ distancing will be maintained
- Masks will be worn whenever necessary
- Trai will also be wearing gloves when helping with guest cameras

Please note that your booking constitutes acceptance of the need to prioritise safety for yourself and all others associated with the workshop at all times.  This means you agree to adhere strictly to the government's current Covid19 advice throughout, which includes the wearing of masks when necessary.  Anyone not complying with safety measures will be asked to leave the workshop.  No refund will be offered in this circumstance.

We cannot accept responsibility for any subsequent infection.

Other than that it will be business as usual with the incredible animals and birds, and of course the most wonderful and creative photographic opportunities!

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