After a hearty breakfast in the main building, we leave for a short walk in
Oulanka National Park. We'll likely visit the Old Mill which overlooks the
Myllykoski rapids, where White throated dippers are often seen. Our guide
will introduce us to some simple wilderness skills, such as how to make a
fire, orienteer and basic first aid.
Around 4pm, after we've had lunch at Basecamp, we set off towards the Russian
border zone for a short walk to a comfortable bear hide, where we will spend
the evening anticipating the arrival of Brown bears and hopefully watching
lots of bear interaction! Brown bears are very active in this area and there
are thought to be some 1,500 Brown bears in Finland's vast forests. After a
long period of hibernation over winter, the bears emerge from their dens in
spring, sometimes with cubs in tow. During the months of July and August the
bears are very hungry and so typically become nightly visitors to the area
where the hide is located as they are fed with carrion. As well as Brown
bears (and hopefully cubs) there is a good possibility to see White-tailed
eagle in this area.
The hide is warm and comfortable, with large windows for excellent views and
plenty of openings for camera lenses (ideal if you are a keen photographer).
There is a kettle, compost toilet and around 10 beds with sleeping bags which
you're welcome to use if you feel tired at any point. Depending on our
sightings and the amount of daylight left we will leave the hide around 11pm
or 12am, walking the short distance back to our vehicle. It is important when
in the hide and walking to/from the hide to keep voices to a minimum and
follow instructions from the guide - we always walk in a group to minimise
the likelihood of encountering a bear.
*Basecamp Oulanka *