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The Great Projects

Nordic Wilderness Adventure

Kainuu, Finland

Explore the stunning wilderness of Finland, in pursuit of incredible wolves, bears and wolverines.

About the Project

This incredible eight-day tour aims to provide small groups and families with an introduction to the wildlife and environment of one of Europe's last remnants of wilderness. Groups will explore Kainuu, a wilderness region of Finland on the border with Russia, characterised by stunning hills, forests, lakes and rivers, mires, and pure, wild habitat. It is this untamed environment which is home to wild forest reindeer, moose, and in particular, large carnivores which are either very rare or extinct elsewhere in Europe.

As a group you will experience the thrill of living in Finland's remote taiga forests, a region famed for its rich tradition and proud culture – the region's settlement history is among the oldest in Finland – as well as its wildlife. This tour incorporates numerous activities(all carried out in association with the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation) involving wildlife conservation in Europe - including lending a helping hand at the husky-base, trekking into the wilderness with the dogs, canoeing to beaver damns and learning how to track bears before spending a night in a wildlife hide trying to spot species in their natural habitat.

Groups will participate in forest walks, on the trail of the region’s bear, wolf and wolverine populations. Animal conservation exercises are a major part of the tour, whereby groups will assist with wildlife initiatives, including the construction of bird and flying squirrel boxes, to encourage populations of these animals to nest in the area. Groups will also experience an incredible river-canoeing tour, in order to witness the amazing Eurasian bears in their natural habitat and looking after the huskies.

Prior to Arrival

You will need to arrive into either Kajaani (approximately 1.5 hours away) or Kuopio International airport (approximately 3 hours away).

There is no visa required for most nationalities to enter Finland. Check the Finnish Immigration Website for detailed information.

Typical day

Itinerary

Day 1: Kuhmo

You will need to arrive into Kajaani or Kuopio International airport where you will be met by a tour representative. You will then start your transfer to the husky-base near Kuhmo. Please note, if you are arriving into Kuopio this will incur an additional fee of €100 per person.

Day 2: Husky Care

Today is spent with the huskies; grooming, feeding and massaging the dogs as well as helping to build kennels and cabins for them. The farm of about 20 dogs is located on a lakeshore and surrounded by taiga forests. Dogs have always been known as man’s best friend, and this experience will prove exactly where this saying has come from as you care for your furry guides!

Day 3: Husky Wilderness Trek

Head into the forests on a husky trek for the first taste of the Finnish wilderness. It offers a great opportunity to experience the wilderness lifestyle: hiking in nature, picking berries, mushrooms & herbs, cooking, chopping firewood and heating up a sauna etc.

Day 4: Tracking Reindeer 

Today you will go tracking forest reindeer in the wilds of the forest!During spring/summer we do not wish to disturb the wild reindeers during calving season, so you will be driven to see domesticated reindeers at a reindeer herding area - with the opportunity to see reindeer calves up close!

Day 5: Wildlife Watching Hides

Assist in wildlife conservation in Europe by making and setting up boxes for birds and flying squirrels, and help to build wildlife-watching hides. You will feel totally at one with nature in the peaceful woodland landscapes, and will gain great satisfaction in contributing to your stunning surroundings.

Day 6: Canoeing Tour 

Transfer to a small river nearby for a canoeing tour to witness beavers working on their dams and lodges from the water. Eurasian beavers, once widespread, were hunted to near-extinction, but these fantastic little creatures are gnawing their way back from the edge! Since 1937, North American and Canadian beavers have been successfully introduced in on-going efforts to restore the population in Finland.

Day 7: Bear Watching 

Visit the Petola Visitor Centre to learn about carnivores and transfer to Lentiira village. Here, the group study bear tracks in the forest, learn about bear-watching in Finland and get ready for a night in the bear-watching hide. After a short walk, the whole night will be spent watching and photographing the wildlife with the hope of seeing bears, wolverine, lynx and possibly wolves.

Meeting the European brown bear or wolverine in their natural environment is an unforgettable experience, especially whilst in the comfort and safety of specially designed hides. 

Day 8: Taiga Spirit 

Transfer back to Taiga Spirit B&B for breakfast, a shower and some time for some well-earned rest. In the late afternoon, you’ll help the guides warm up the yurt for one last sauna before your final dinner together on this one of a kind tour.

Day 9: Flight Home

Transfer back to Kajaani or Kuopio airport for your return flight home or for you to continue your onwards travel plans.

Details on Arrival

This tour is running from May 2017 and August 2017 for groups of 2 to 4. 


If you are travelling on your own and wish to join a group of solo travelers then we are offering a start date of May 22nd and August 14th 2017.

Free-time activities

Enjoy the sauna, canoeing tour, taking photos of the wildlife in the are.

Hiking
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
No specfic skills required.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Any questions? Just ask. We at The Great Projects are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by The Great Projects.
Services by The Great Projects
  • Airport transfers to and from Kajaani (transfers from Kuopio will incur an additional €100 charge)
  • Accommodation and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals on a full board basis
Airport Pickup at Kajaani Airport

You will need to arrive into either Kajaani (approximately 1.5 hours away) or Kuopio International airport (approximately 3 hours away), where you will be met by a tour representative and transferred to the husky-base near Kumho. if you arrive into Kuopio there is an additional charge of €100 per person.

Accommodation

Day 1 - 4 & 6 - 7: Twin or double room accommodation will be used in the simple but comfortable husky base with indoor toilet and electricity.
The cabin has a kitchen, living room, and bedrooms have a fireplace and views to the lake. There is no shower as the place for washing is the traditional Finnish sauna with hot water (separate lakeside building with sauna room and dressing room).

Day 5: For one night you will be in the bear watching hide, beds and sleeping bags are available. and an eco-toilet is available to use.

Day 8 - 9: The last night will be spent at Taiga Spirit B&B in Lentiira village in a twin room with a toilet and shower in every room.
The rooms include an internet connection and use of a mini kitchen (fridge, microwave and dishes).

Hotel Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Yes, all meals are included. Food is strongly based on local ingredients: mushrooms, berries, seasonal vegetables, potatoes & fish. Any special diets (gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian, vegan etc.) are served when informed in advance.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kajaani Airport (KAJ) in Kajaani. We assist you to find cheap flights to Finland.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Finland provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Finland you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Finland.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$1,759.00
1 week (max. stay)
$1,759.00
Average fees
$1,759.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Kainuu/Finland between 1 week and 1 week. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Finland.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with The Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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