In June I had the pleasure of co-leading the NaturesLens Wild Brown Bears of Finland Photography Holiday to Vartius.
Close to the Russian border lies an area of the Taiga forest as wild & untouched as it gets within Europe, & here roams one of the most magnificent predators in the world, the wild Brown Bear!
On our first day, we arrived at the primary camp location around mid-afternoon, the group settled into their rooms in a comfy wooden lodge & unpacked, preparing all their camera gear for the first night in the brown bear hides. When unpacked the group headed to the restaurant for dinner; dinner was served around 4 pm every afternoon before every hide session. The food was excellent, home-cooked & tasty, & set us up nicely before heading off to the hides. We left our lodge around 5 pm every evening, taking in the 30-minute walk to through the forest & swamps to get to our hides. The hides were some of the best photographic hides I have worked from, supplied with ground-level shooting holes & beds – what is not to like? We split the group up into various hides from 1 man to 3 man hides around the area which offered multiple views of the forest from open cotton field meadows, pine forest lakes & deep woodland hides.