On arrival in Joensuu you will be met by your local guide and will be transferred to our wolverine site and accommodation, (Basic Wilderness Lodge – Keljanpuro Wilderness Lodge). The lodge is a refurbished log cabin set deep within the forest. There are 3 bedrooms all with shared facilities. Depending on the size of the group there is 1 room for 3 people, another room for 6-10 people and a large room for up to 17 people. You will have a briefing here about the wolverines and the area as well as the use of the hides here. The rest of the day can be used to spot some wildlife around the lodge (being wary that we are in bear country at all times) sometimes wolverines come right up to the lodge itself to take advantage of the bait here. We recommend a good nights sleep as the next couple of days will be long ones as we go in search of wildlife in Finlands wilderness areas.
As most of the wolverines do not visit the lodge and hide area until late afternoon we will have the days to spend looking for other wildlife nearby. This morning we will head to a black grouse lekking site in the early morning. Lekking is when males of a species gather together for competitive mating displays to attract females to mate. The black grouse have a very bold and beautiful display and watching the males strut their stuff in the morning light is a great way to start the day. Later in the day we will head out to a couple of areas where the local naturalists known ospreys sometimes nest. Hopefully we will find some of these magnificent fish eating raptors before we have to return to the lodge to get things ready for our first night in the pro-hide for a night spotting wolverines. The hides are located on the banks of the beautiful Uurolampi Pond and are around a 20 minute walk from the lodge. The hides are located in the perfect place for spotting the wolverines and bears as they come to the hides. The pro hides that we will be in have room for a maximum of 9 people and it is here that we will have dinner and sleep tonight, (Basic Hide Dormitory – Pro Hide). During April and May these hides average 2-4 wolverines per day as well as 1-3 brown bears. There is also the chance that golden eagles and white-tailed eagles will also pay a visit.
This morning you will return back to the lodge from the pro hide in time for breakfast, you will be left to rest for a couple of hours in the morning as most people are up almost all night in the hides and when you are ready we will head out to some nearby nature reserves. Here we will try to find mammal species such as forest reindeer, Eurasian otters, moose, pine martens, European roe deer, muskrat and Canadian beavers. The bird life is also wonderful here with species like black grouse, capercaillie, hazel grouse, willow grouse, osprey, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, black-throated dipper, whooper swan, three-toed woodpeckers and dozens others. As the afternoon draws on we will head back to the lodge and once again prepare for the night in the pro-hide (Basic Hide Dormitory – Pro Hide) and spend some more time observing wolverines and brown bears. Occasionally grey wolves or a northern lynx are also seen here but rarely.
Patvinsuo National Park
This morning after returning to the lodge, having breakfast and resting you will be taken to a couple of locations where there are beaver dams (they are usually in Patvinsuo National Park but the locations do change). After a few hours searching for beavers and other wildlife we will come back to the lodge and have dinner. After dinner you will leave the lodge and head to a capercaillie lekking site and your accommodation for the night, (Camping – Tent Hide).
Early this morning you will be in prime location for the stunning capercaillie lekking which occurs here from April – June. Then after breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in Joensuu in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.