Wolverine, Era Eero by Chris Townend

Tour Dates: Saturday 16th – Tuesday 19th May 2020 (Joensuu to Joensuu)
Tour Price: £999pp plus flight
Estimated Flight Price: London to Joensuu approx. £300 return
Deposit: £400 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £50 – £100
Minimum Number: 6 people
Maximum Group Size: 6 people

Target Species
Mammals: Wolverine, European Brown Bear and Eurasian Elk. Possibility of Wolf if we are lucky!
Birds: Red-breasted Flycatcher, Capercaillie, Black-throated Diver & possibly Great Grey Owl or Ural Owl

Tour Summary
This tour is designed specifically to see Wolverine and to give some exceptional photographic opportunities. Regardless of whether you are a photographer or simply happy watching the wolverines, the hides we visit give fabulous and very close views of what is usually a particularly difficult mammal to see in the wild. The time of year is good for Wolverine activity  and although not the peak time for Brown Bear, we usually see an animal during our stay. See videos from our previous tours below.

ACCOMMODATION: 3 nights in Finland
Night 1 Lieksa Hotel (and day time on day 2 to rest), plus 2 nights in Wolverine/Bear hides. Hides have shared long-drop toilets.
Inclusive Meals: Dinner on day 1 through to Breakfast on day 4. Evening meals whilst in the hide are of packed lunch style

Previous Trip Reports
Videos from previous tours

DAY 1: Arrival – Kontiovaara Region
Joensuu airport is a wonderfully small, rural and quiet airport and it is only a drive of around 1.5 hours to the Wolverine hotspot! On arrival, we will travel to the town of Lieksa and our hotel. If flight times allow, we will venture out for a drive locally looking for Eurasian Elk and a chance of Ural Owl. Overnight Lieksa Hotel

European Brown Bear, Finland by Chris Townend

DAY 2: Patvinsuo National Park – Wolverine Hides
We will spend the morning visiting the Patvinsuo National Park which is just a 45 minute drive from our hotel. Whilst birding this forest we have chances for Red-breasted Flycatcher, Black-throated Diver and outside possibilities of Owls dependent on the breeding season. After lunch, we will take a short drive of around 30 minutes to Keljänpuro Lodge and our first evening in the Wolverine hides. All of the hides give excellent opportunities to watch wildlife from the comfort specifically built cabins. They are well designed for photography in a natural environment and wolverines are fed throughout the year and are regular visitors. Brown Bear is also an occasional visitor at this time of year, though we have always been successful. If we are extremely lucky sometimes Wolves visit as one did during our 2017 tour. Overnight wolverine hide 

DAY 3: Wolverine Hide
Following a full night in the hides, we will return to our hotel in Lieksa for breakfast and take time to rest before meeting for lunch. We will then check out of our hotel and return to Keljänpuro Lodge where we can store our luggage safely before entering the hides for the final night. Once again, we will be be on high alert for mammals as you just never know what may appear and when! Overnight in wolverine hide

Wolverine, Finland by Chris Townend

DAY 4: Transfer to Joensuu
We will leave the wolverine hides early in the morning. Basic shower facilities and saunas will be available to use at the nearby Keljänpuro Lodge. We will then have breakfast at the lodge and depart for our transfer to Joensu airport where the tour concludes.

Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides

Leaders: Wise Birding leader and local guides
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin en-suite rooms at hotel, 2 nights in wolverine hides, breakfast, lunch and evening snacks in the hide, all entrance fees, ground transport and services of leader
Not included in cost: International airfare, travel insurance, drinks other than water and any airport/visa fees
Single Supplement: £100
Transport: Minibus throughout tour
Difficulty: Easy
This tour is very easy and involves very little walking. The walk to the Wolverine hides varies from 20 -100M through forest. Walking in Patvinsuo National Park will be short distances not far from our vehicle.
Climate: Changeable weather from warm to hot and cool and wet!
Tour Start Point: Joensuu airport, Finland
Tour End Point: Joensuu airport, Finland
Suggested Airlines: Finnair

Wolverine Hide by Chris Townend