Lynx expedition in wild Lapland

We just have to try this! Lynx aren’t easy to find but we believe this is the best place to give it a go. Even if we won’t see any lynx I am sure this will be an adventurous week out in the wilds of Swedish Lapland. This is surely our most adventurous Winter trip.
— Marcus Eldh, founder of WildSweden
 
 

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WHY ARE WE DOING THIS TRIP?

Many of our earlier guests have requested tours where there is a chance to see lynx. But lynx are not easy to find on demand and that's why we have chosen to not offer tours with lynx in focus.

Until now.

I've talked to many people across Sweden. I have talked to rangers, trackers, Sámi reindeer herders and nature photographers. There are actually a few specific places where there is a chance to see lynx.

I have finally chosen a location where the chance to see lynx may be better than anywhere else in Sweden. I've promised not to reveal the exact location so I can't tell you where we are going until you arrive.

We are now planning for our first tryout trip, scheduled for March 2019. March means it is lynx mating season, which makes it even more interesting. It is the only time of year when they call which makes it possible to hear if they are in the area.

The plan

This trip is actually much more than just lynx.

  • Good chances to see the Northern lights

  • Photograph wild reindeer and moose in a snowy landscape

  • Travel with likeminded people in a small group

  • Learn how to snowshoe and use Nordic skis to search for fresh tracks in the valley

  • Two nights at guesthouse and three nights in a remote wilderness cabin

HOW DO WE GET THERE?

The location is not easy to reach. It is a valley in the North-Western parts of Swedish Lapland with no road access. You will arrive at Luleå airport or by an overnight train from Stockholm to Jokkmokk. We will then drive by car for a few hours, then go with snowmobile on a sledge for another couple of hours.

We will finally reach a fantastic little mountain cabin where we will spend some days together. We will all help out to cook our meals together. In daytime we will search for tracks and watch for lynx through binoculars and spotting scopes.

WILL WE SEE ANY LYNX?

We can't promise that, but we will certainly try our best. Many people have seen lynx at this place. Reindeer herders talk about it, researchers and wildlife experts have done lynx research here, journalists and TV-teams have been here to see lynx. But we will definitively need some luck. Lynx avoid people and are well camouflaged.

You will also have a good chance to see other wildlife like moose, reindeer, mountain hare and ptarmigan.

Each day we will explore the valley on nordic skis slowly in a small group, keeping an eye out for the tracks and signs and peering up towards the mountain sides hoping for a sighting. Even if we’re not lucky with lynx, the location in itself is stunning and just being out there will be an adventure.

WILL WE SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

We certainly hope so! Each evening there is a chance to watch for northern lights. As long as the sky is clear we will dress warm to venture out and look upwards. We can never guarantee anyone to see them but northern Sweden has some of the most frequent and intense auroral activity on the planet… so our chances are as good as they can get.

WELCOME TO SÁPMI

Known as Lapland, the native name of this area is actually Sápmi. The indigenous Samis inhabit the region of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola peninsula of Russia.

STAY WARM & LOOK COOL

Sometimes it gets seriously cold, but we will make sure that you are well equipped so that you will stay warm during the entire trip. We provide high quality winter clothing that we try out on the first day.

>> Packing list for Winter tours

Day 1: Arrival in Jokkmokk

We will all meet up in Jokkmokk in the afternoon for a welcome dinner, introduction and equipment check.

We will make sure you are well equipped so that you will stay warm during the entire week. We provide high quality winter clothing that we pick up and try out on this first day. Temperatures may drop as low as -20℃, but you will be well equipped so no need to worry.

In the evening, if the sky is clear, we all go somewhere to look out for the aurora.

Night at Jokkmokk guesthouse.

Day 2: Into the wild

Big adventure day! On this day we will travel by van for a couple of hours and then go on a snowmobile sledge for another couple of hours. It will all be through a stunning landscape. Along the way we will hopefully see some moose and reindeer. We will reach our cabin in the late afternoon.

Here we will set up our spotting scopes and scan the mountain sides for lynx.

We cook and eat together and stay the night in the cabin.

Day 3 & 4: Searching for Lynx and having a good time

During these two days we will watch for lynx through spotting scopes, but also explore the valley. Since the snow may be deep we will use skis or snowshoes to get around. You don’t need any previous experience in skiing or snowshoeing. We will search for tracks and signs of lynx and other wildlife.

We cook together, watch for northern lights each evening and stay in the cabin.

Day 5: Morning watch, then return to Jokkmokk

We use the morning hours to watch for lynx and then leave the cabin behind to begin our return journey to Jokkmokk. The drive gives us more chances to watch for more moose and reindeer along the way.

As we arrive at the guesthouse we will have a well deserve shower, sauna and dinner in Jokkmokk.

Night at Jokkmokk guesthouse.

Day 6: Departure

After breakfast we will make sure you return to Luleå and Stockholm. See section below on how to get here.

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • Tour leader

  • 5 nights accommodation

  • Full board with all meals included

  • Ski or snowshoe equipment

  • Round-trip transportation from Jokkmokk

ADD-ONS

  • Single room supplement 400 SEK which is for the first and last night.

  • Winter clothing can be rented at 1800 SEK for the entire trip

  • Transfer from Luleå airport with return SEK 1500 per person. Note that there is also an option to use the public airport shuttle transfers, see below.

ACCOMMODATION

  • First and last night at Jokkmokk guesthouse. Choose between single, double, twin or family room. The rooms are basic but comfortable and clean with bathrooms in the corridor. These bathrooms can be used by all guests, but you can lock the door from the inside when you use it. There is also a shared sauna. This homely guesthouse was built as a home for the local hunt master nearly 100 years ago and has a good atmosphere.

  • Three nights in shared mountain cabin. The cabin has plenty of beds in different rooms. The bathrooms are in a separate shed close to the main building. There is no electricity and no showers, but we will heat water so there is a chance to wash yourself. There is a kitchen with wood-heated stoves. Be prepared to participate in the cooking, and to help carry water and fire wood. Disclaimer: This cabin sees few visitors at this time of year, but it is open for anyone so technically we are not able to promise that you will sleep in a proper bed. If we are unlucky some of us may have to sleep on mattresses on the floor and if you are a couple you may have to share a bed. But hopefully it will be just us there.

  • We will put a lot of effort into preparing the menu for this tour. Expect basic but tasty and filling meals. On a typical in the cabin we start with a warm breakfast, bring packed sandwiches and hot drinks on our excursions and in the evening, we cook dinner together in the cabin. As long as weather permits we will have lunch outside to fully enjoy the landscape around us.

FOR WHO?

Recommended minimum age is 15 years. Participants must be able to walk in uneven terrain without difficulties. Walking level is medium. You don't need any previous experience in skiing but you need to be generally fit. Nordic skiing is more like walking on skis and you will see that it is easy to learn. Most participants have never skied before. We will be skiing a few kilometers each day in fairly flat terrain with just little differences in altitude and with a daypack of around 5 kg. All skiing is optional as you can also choose to stay by the cabin and spend more time watching for Lynx. We will also bring snowshoes if you prefer that.

SMALL GROUPS FOR A MORE GENUINE EXPERIENCE

We will be maximum 7 participants with one guide. With two guides we may take up to 12 participants.

LOCATION & HOW TO GET HERE

We all meet up at Jokkmokk guesthouse at 3 pm on 21 March. On the last day you are free to leave Jokkmokk at any time.

By train: Take the overnight Arctic Circle train from Stockholm Central Station or Arlanda airport to arrive in Murjek (13 hours) the following morning. In Murjek there is a connecting bus to Jokkmokk (2 hours), on the same ticket. When you arrive in Jokkmokk you just walk 500 meters to Jokkmokk guesthouse. Note that there are several options for trains with connecting buses from different towns. Simply visit www.sj.se to see what options suits your travel plans and what is currently available. This may sound like a long way to travel, but it is a great trip and a good start of your adventure, and much better for the environment. The train has a bistro with meals, snacks and drinks. The cost of the train ticket depends on which comfort you choose. The approximate rate for a bunk bed in a shared 6-bed compartment is about 2000 SEK for a return ticket if you book a month in advance. You can also choose 3-bed compartment or private compartments. Let me know if you need any advise. Note that the tickets for these trains are not released until about 3 months prior to departure. Before the tickets are released it may look as if everything is sold out. You can also travel by train in one direction and fly in the other direction.

By air: Fly from Stockholm to Luleå Airport (LLA). From there we offer a transfer service which is 750 SEK one way. We are currently checking what time we will offer that service and will update that information here soon. (Marcus note 5 March 2019)

BOOKINGS & CANCELLATIONS

Our booking procedure is simple. Just fill in the booking form at this page. You pay a 20% deposit at the time of booking and the rest 45 days before you arrive.

We will manually review your booking to make sure that we still have availability. If everything is okay we will send you a confirmation by email within 24 hours. Until your booking is confirmed no payment or charges will be applied, and credit card details are held for security purposes only.

  • You may cancel your tour at no cost up to 7 days from the time of booking. We will provide a 100% refund.

  • Cancellations between 8 days from the time of booking and 46 days before arrival will be charged at 25% of the booking’s total amount.

  • Cancellations between 45 days and 15 days before arrival will be charged at 75% of the booking’s total amount.

  • Cancellations within 14 days of arrival will be charged at 100% of the booking’s total amount.