1. Journey to the peaceful setting of Suomussalmi close to the Russian border. 2. See and photograph Brown Bears in their natural habitat 3. Spend unforgettable nights in wooden hides observing Wolves, Wolverines and Bears 4. Get to know the work of Martinselkonen Wilds Centre 5. Martinselkonen is also a good place to photograph White Tailed Eagle and Black Kite
Martinselkonen Wilds Centre is located in peaceful setting of Suomussalmi close to the Russian border. It is one of the best places in Finland to see and photograph Brown Bears in their natural habitat. The package includes two nights in Martinselkonen Wilds Centre Bear hide and two nights in a Wolf and Wolverine hide in Viiksimo Kuhmo. Viiksimo is located between two nature reserves, Elimyssalo and Iso-Palonen and, because of their bigger population here, the best place to see Wolves and Wolverine. The package includes accommodation, meals and transfers. The viewing and photographing of predators is best during the night. Luckily, being the land of the midnight sun, Finnish summer nights are bright and you can see and capture the action quite clearly. It is usual to see several different bears in one evening. Around 10-20 bears visit the feeding sites every night. They start on the move quite early, so the action last a while. One of the most endearing sightings is the females with their small cubs. Martinselkonen is also a good place to photograph White Tailed Eagle and Black Kite.
Day 1: Arrival Transfer from Kajaani airport to Boreal Wildlife Centre. Accommodation in a double/single rooms. Shared toilet and shower.
Day 2 and 3: Wolf and Wolverine Breakfast is served in the dining area. After breakfast you have some leisure time to relax or go walking. A late lunch is served at 15:00. After lunch we will leave to the hide. The hides are located in a Finland-Russia border zone. As this is a protected area, and to keep it as undisturbed as possible for the wildlife, we need special permits to visit. The two nights are spent in small photography hides, that have room for 2-3 people. Individuals can also use the hides. The guide will take you to the hide and collect you in the morning. The Hide has a seat and place for sleeping. There are 6 camera holes in the wall of the hide.
Day 4: Martinselkonen In the morning you return to the Wildlife Centre for a hearty breakfast. Around midday you transfer by car to Martinselkonen Wilds Centre in Suomussalmi (approx. 2 hours). On the way we might see some animals or birds. Accommodation is in rooms with en suite shower and toilet. Lunch is served at 15.00. After lunch we will leave to the Bear hide. First by car and then a nice walk through undisturbed old-growth forest habitats to the wooden hides. Pro hides are similar to those in Boreal Wildlife Centre, and are in three different locations; swamp, forest and the edge of a small pond. You spend the night in the hide photographing bears then return to the Centre next morning.
Day 5:Night in the hide In the morning breakfast is served in the dining area. After breakfast you have leisure time to either go for a walk, photograph birds at the feeding station or sleep. Lunch is served at 15:00 and we leave for the hide at 16:00. Night spent in the hide watching the bears.
Day 6: Departure In the morning return to the Centre and breakfast. Later in the day you transfer to Kajaani airport.
Accommodation: During your trip you stay one night in twin or single room (with shared toilet and shower) in Boreal Wildlife Centre in Kuhmo, 2 nights in Viiksimo pro hide and 2 nights in Martinselkonen Bear pro hide. In Viiksimo pro hide there is a room for 2-3 people. Individuals can also use the hides. The guide will take you to the hide and collect you in the morning. The Hide has a seat and place for sleeping. There are 6 camera holes in the wall of the hide. The Martinselkonen pro hides are similar to those in Boreal Wildlife Centre. There is a single/double room in Martinselkonen Wilds Centre with ensuite shower and toilet.
Food: The Meals breakfast, lunch and evening snack are included in the price. The breakfast buffet consists of typical Finnish dishes such as porridge, bread, cheese, vegetables, eggs and fish and drinks; juice, milk, coffee and tea. The buffet lunch is served from 15: 00. There you can eat typical Finnish food with fish, meat and potatoes, noodles and reis as well as different kind of salads, bread and dessert. For drinking are served milk, water and kvass. There are some evening snack available in the hide, like bread and crackers and drinks like water, coffee and tea.