Destinations:
Finland
Programmes:
Wildlife
Trip Code:
WBX
6 Days Flight Inclusive
6 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

As if impatient from the tortuously cold winter months, far Eastern Finland emerges from hibernation in full bloom with its wildlife keen to redress the balance. Delve into the wilderness to unravel and illuminate some of its remarkable wildlife: bears, beavers, wolves and wolverines.

At a Glance

1 night Kuikka Basecamp, 4 nights bear hide

Trip Highlights

Incredible photographic opportunities led by an expert photographer Spend four nights in comfortable hides observing Brown bears Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature Cosy camp in stunning wilderness setting

Is This Trip for You?

This trip has been graded as Leisurely with a safari rating of 4. Leisurely grade trips are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip packed with interest. As the location of this trip is not far from the Arctic circle, daylight hours are longer than that of the UK and can range from between twelve to sixteen hours of direct sunlight and two to four hours of twilight. When out in the sun care should be taken to drink plenty of water and protect yourelf, especially when out in the canoe as the suns intensity can be amplified by reflections off the lake. Please note that the facilities in the bear hide are fairly basic with dry toilets and no showers (please see accomodation section for further details) - they are designed in such a way as to fit in with the natural surroundings and not interfere with any wildlife.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
12

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Kajaani; to Kuikka Basecamp.

    Those on the group flights will be met at Kajaani airport and taken to Basecamp Kuikka. Land only clients should meet the rest of the group at Basecamp. When everyone is together, there will be a late dinner and a slideshow about the local flora and fauna.
    Basecamp Kuikka

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Guided wilderness hike; early evening transfer to bear hide

    After breakfast we head out into the Finnish wilderness for a 3 hour guided hike to discover the habitat surrounding Basecamp Kuikka. This hike is taken at a slow pace to allow time to soak in the surroundings and take photos along the way. In the afternoon we transfer to one of the many hides in the area. As the hides can only take a limited number of people the group may be split up into smaller groups. The rules are quite strict when in the hides; no perfumes, smoking, noisy wrapping paper and cameras that flash or go 'beep'. This may seem excessive, however the number one priority when in this area is to not disturb the wildlife. After all, you are a guest in their habitat. During your time at the hide you will be provided with sandwiches, fruit and refreshments to keep you going through the night. At this time of year there is between twelve and sixteen hours of direct sunlight and two or four hours of twilight, so remember to bring a good camera as this site offers excellent photographic opportunities. With everything set up to view the large predators that live in the area, all that is left is a little bit of luck.
    Overnight in a bear hide

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Bear observing with expert photographer

    /
    Overnight in a bear hide

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    To Kajaani airport; end.

    Our trip comes to an end after breakfast today. Anyone on the group flight will be transferred back to Kajaani airport in time for their flight home. Land Only clients are free to make their own arrangements today.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Basecamp Kuikka & Bear Hide

Basecamp Kuikka
Basecamp Kuikka is a run by wildlife photographer Lassi Rautiainen and his family, who are extremely knowledgeable about the residents who live in the surrounding wilderness. Located on the shores of Lake Kuikka, this former forest worker's residence close to the Russian border is a traditional Finnish rural log house. Although basic, the inside is cosy with clean running water, internet connection and satellite television. The Rautiainen family make it an extremely welcoming atmosphere and often hold evening lectures in the dining room about the wildlife of the area. Basecamp Kuikka has 8 dormitory style rooms with bunk beds fitting between 2-8 people in each room. Toilet facilities are communal, as are the shower facilities. As this is Finland, of course the accommodation wouldn't be complete without the traditional sauna and optional smoke sauna (which takes 6 hours to heat) free to use by all.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and dinners are included. For the nights in the bear hide you will have the opportunity to bring snacks and take a flask of tea/coffee with you. For any dietary requirments please inform our sales team at the time of booking.

Transportation

Transfer between the hotel and airport, and to/from the bear hide will be by private mini bus.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

Summer in Finland sees the mean daily temperature constantly above 10ºC. Summer usually begins in late May in southern Finland and lasts until mid-September.The highest summer temperatures in the Finnish interior are from 32ºC to 35ºC.

Weather Information

Summer in Finland sees the mean daily temperature constantly above 10ºC. Summer usually begins in late May in southern Finland and lasts until mid-September.The highest summer temperatures in the Finnish interior are from 32ºC to 35ºC.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Kajaani
Location end:
Kajaani

What to Take

Essential Equipment

As this a predominantly a photographic trip it is highly recommended that you bring a good camera and binoculars. A notepad might also be advised to record your various sightings. Other essential equipment: Walking boots (ideally waterproof - but if not Basecamp Kuikka have rubber boots that can be used). Casual footwear for evenings and travelling. Sleeping bag for night in the hide (alternatively this can be rented at Basecamp Kuikka for 10 Euros). Swimming costume (for saunas, and even a dip in the lake). As it is summer time it is also recommended that you bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen as the sun's intensity can be amplified when on the lake, however waterproofs are also a good idea. Mosquitos: Summer in Scandinavia is the time to see some of Europe's largest animals, but it also means the emergance of its smallest! Mosquitos (or the 'Finnish airforce' as they are locally known) are present at this time of year, but we have specifically chosen dates that traditionally mean less of them. In terms of equipment it is recommended that you take deet repellent and a head net (although you will only really need this for walking in areas with a more marshy environment). Camera: For photographing wildlife you ideally need a camera such as an SLR with a telephoto lens as animals may be not always be close by. Please note that your camera must be able to go on silent mode when in the bear hide as the noise of it whirring away will disrupt the wildlife. If you do not have an SLR and are not going for that 'wildlife photographer of the year' shot, then a normal compact camera will do the trick.

Practical Information

Passport

Finland

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Finland

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Finland

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Finland's Timezone:
Europe/Helsinki EEST (GMT +03:00)

Electricity

Finland's Electricity:

220-240V. European adapter required. 

Money

Finland's Currency

The national currency of Finland is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

ATM Availability

There are ATMs (cashpoints) at Kajaani airport and in Kuhmo.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.