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Sweden - Wolf-tracking in Winter

Tour Code: SWE09

A 5-day holiday to a scenic and culturally rich region of central Sweden to track Wolves and other mammals through snow-cloaked taiga forests.

5 days from £1595(inc flights) Land Only Price: £1425 SRS: £120


On this holiday we’ll be based in the heart of the Scandinavian Wolf population, beginning in the vast Bergslagen forests of central Sweden before moving north to the stunning Lake Siljan in an area known as the ‘heart of Sweden’. This is a region of lakes and snow-covered hills and forests, where folklore and old traditions remain in tact. At this time of year, we – and the Wolves – will have the place very much to ourselves. Under the expert tutelage of our local guides, occasionally using snow-shoes, we’ll spend our days in Wolf pack territories, learning how to interpret the tracks and signs we find of Wolf and other forest birds and mammals.

  • Track Wolves within their territories … on snow-shoes!
  • Experience the forest at night & listen for Wolf howls
  • Mammals including European Elk, Roe Deer, Mountain Hare and Red Squirrel all likely; Otter and Eurasian Beaver are possible
  • Hear up to 5 species of owl including Ural & Great Grey Owls
  • Hazel Grouse, Capercaillie, Siberian Jay & 5 species of woodpecker possible
  • Stay at the famous Green Hotel, favoured by Swedish royalty

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

Two nights at the delightful Udden Guesthouse (all rooms with private facilities, except for two which share an en suite bathroom). Two nights at the acclaimed Green Hotel in the charming lakeside village of Tällberg (all rooms with private facilities).

Wolf (Anders Stahl)

Wolf (Anders Stahl)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Vasteras; transfer Bergslagen

Day 2 Mammal-tracking and wildlife-watching from Bergslagen

Days 3/4 Mammal-tracking and wildlife-watching from Tällberg

Day 5 Transfer Vasteras; fly London

Imagine standing on a frozen lake, surrounded by snow-laden forests, cold still air and a deep silence. This is central Sweden in the depths of winter: a stunning patchwork of endless taiga forests and myriad lakes, home to mammals long since extinct elsewhere in Europe. Sadly, by the mid-1960s, Sweden’s Wolf population had been hunted to extinction and lost from these forests … until one pair from the Russian-Finnish population crossed the border in the mid-1980s, a ban on Wolf-hunting was imposed and, very slowly, the population began to recover. This recovery has hastened over the last decade, and today there are about 400 Wolves, in 50 or so packs, concentrated particularly in central southern Sweden. During this 2-centre break we will first be based right in the heart of the Scandinavian Wolf population — beginning in the vast Bergslagen forests of central Sweden, the realm of the Wolf and Eurasian Lynx and their prey. We then head to our next base, the village of Tällberg on the south-eastern edge of Lake Siljan in the province of Dalarna. This is a wildlife-rich region of lakes, snow-covered hills and forests, blessed with a rich cultural heritage including traditional architecture, craft industries and folklore.

Our holiday begins with a short flight to Sweden’s small Västerås airport. From there we drive north-west for about 45 minutes to our base for the next two nights, the delightful Udden Guesthouse. At this time of year, the surrounding landscape comprises snow-covered fields and forests, and the frozen Lake Storsjön, which our guesthouse overlooks. For the next two days we will explore the surrounding forests and meadows looking for tracks and signs of the area’s elusive mammals in particular, and learn about their ecology, movements, lifestyle and conservation. Our plans will be flexible, allowing us to take account of the weather and other factors. We will travel each day by minibus and on foot — occasionally using snow-shoes — and return each evening to our guesthouse to enjoy a dinner of delicious local produce, both farmed and prepared by our attentive hosts. Although a Wolf sighting would be a rare treat, we hope to see an interesting variety of other mammals during our stay here. Eurasian Elk, Roe Deer, Mountain Hare and Red Squirrel are all likely; Otter and Eurasian Beaver are possible too and, for the lucky few, there is even the outside chance of a Eurasian Lynx! 

On one of the evenings, if the weather is kind, we will return to the forest after dark. The stillness, clarity of the night sky, and the beauty of a snowbound forest at night is initially overwhelming ... but we will listen hard, hoping to pick out the calls of Ural, Tengmalm’s, Pygmy and Tawny Owls. Sitting quietly around our campfire under the starry sky, we will be hoping a Wolf howl breaks the eerie silence. If not, our guide may well try to initiate a ‘conversation’ with a howl of his own ... and, with luck, the pack may call back!

For the second half of our holiday we travel north to the charming village of Tällberg, where we will be based for two nights at the famous Green Hotel — a favourite of the king and queen of Sweden, as well as other dignitaries such as Kofi Annan! Here, we will spend a day in the company of Wolf expert Anders Ståhl, a locally famous artist and naturalist who has spent many years tracking the movements of the local Wolf pack. Our mission is to search for fresh tracks and to learn a little of the activities and habits of these iconic mammals. How many are there in the pack? What have they been doing? What are they hunting? Can we find territorial markings? We will learn much about these Wolves and the art of wolf-tracking, looking for the tracks, signs, and perhaps even a sighting of the Wolves’ prey — Elk and Roe Deer — and of mammals such as Mountain Hare, Red Squirrel, Stoat, Weasel, Pine Marten, Mink, Otter, Lynx and Wild Boar.

As we move quietly about in the snow-cloaked hills and forests, we will quickly learn that there is so much more to see than just the tracks of the animals. For, although winters here are hard, lots of wildlife continues to survive deep within the forests. In particular, we’ll look for Hazel Grouse, Capercaillie, Black Grouse and Siberian Jay, plus a wide range of woodpeckers. Listening carefully, we will pick up Crested and Coal Tits, Bullfinches that always look so large and immaculate in the snow, and Crossbills. The hardy little Dipper may be seen actively searching for food in the ice-cold streams, while overhead we’ll look out for Golden Eagle, Sparrowhawk and Goshawk.

Finally, after four days of being immersed in this magnificent snowy landscape and the world of mammal-tracking, we must return south to Västerås and catch our flight home.

Wolf (Anders Stahl)Cross Country Skiing (Anders Stahl)Wolf Print (Anders Stahl)Tracks (Anders Stahl)Golden Eagle (Per Lindberg)Black Grouse (Per Lindberg)Pygmy Owl (Per Lejistrom)Wild Boar (Miranda Gillander)Pine Grosbeak (Lotta Adehad)Great Grey Owl (Kjell Bond)Siberian Jay (Lotta Adehed)Tracks (Anders Stahl)Woodpecker (Anders Stahl)Swedish Landscape (Anders Stahl)A Kill (Anders Stahl)SWE09_16 (Anders Stahl)Tracking (Anders Stahl)Swedish Winter Landscape (Anders Stahl)Frozen Tree (Anders Stahl)Following Tracks (Anders Stahl)Tracking (Anders Stahl)Lynx (Anders Stahl)Traditional Swedish Buildings (Anders Stahl)Wolves (Anders Stahl)Swedish Winter Landscape (Anders Stahl)Wolf (Anders Stahl)SWE09_4 (Anders Stahl)Swan (Anders Stahl)Wolf TrackingWolf Tracking
Y.W
Kent
Anders was a brilliant guide and I loved searching for fresh wolf tracks…finding the relatively recent kill on our final day was amazing and so was hearing one of the pack howl while we were making our way back to the road.
A.C.
Surrey
Anders was a brilliant guide - knowledgeable, and so obviously passioonate about Sweden, the Dalarna Region and the wolves. Also - the manageress of the hotel couldn't have been more charming and welcoming - so lovely!
Mrs A.F.
West Midlands
This was a fantastic holiday, a birthday treat to myself! It sounded great in the brochure and it delivered on its description...I thoroughly enjoyed the new experiences of snow shoes, cross country ski's and ice fishing. Anders is an excellent guide, and very friendly and considerate. He was a very major contributor to the overall wonder of the trip and went out of his way to make sure we had the very best experience. I would definately recommend the trip, and it will be one of my very special memories.
R.W.
East Sussex
Sweden - a beautiful, uncrowded country. Amazing the amount of activity (and) experiences that were covered in 3 days.
Mr W. & Mrs H.
Essex
We would just like to say that Andres (the Tour Leader) was brilliant. A real gentleman who gave us a great deal of pleasure and taught us so much about the wolves, Sweden and survival. His choice of hotel was also inspired - great food and accomodation. Great trip!
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Wed 24th January 2018 - Sun 28th January 2018

4

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1425 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Wed 14th February 2018 - Sun 18th February 2018

YES

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1425 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Sweden

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Kerrie Porteous
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Tour Reviews

Anders was a brilliant guide and I loved searching for fresh wolf tracks…finding the relatively recent kill on our final day was amazing and so was hearing one of the pack howl while we were making our way back to the road.
Y.W, Kent