Wolf safari

Copyright photo: Jan Nordström

Wolves are fascinating creatures: they are mysterious, enchanting, wild and energetic. They arouse more interest than any other wild animal and yet we do not really know much about them. An evening out in a wolf pack area is a fascinating experience you will never forget.

To many visitors this wolf safari is the unexpected highlight of their visit to Sweden. No other wolf safari lets you experience wolves from so close by that it touches you personally. Although the chances of seeing a wolf are not very big, the chance of hearing wolf howls is substantial. Experiencing a howling wolf pack in their natural habitat is an unparalleled happening.

During this excursion you travel in small groups both by foot and by minivan through one of Sweden’s many wolf pack areas. You have a good likelihood of hearing wolves howl, seeing their tracks and feeling their presence. Guides are following the wolves all year round so that they know exactly where the wolves are at any given moment, thus providing a high probability of a successful wolf safari.

This safari closely involves researchers and rangers and has an extensive cooperation with the Scandinavian Wolf Project, which is based at the Grimsö Wildlife Research Station. Because you can never learn too much about wolves, an expert will share his knowledge during this wolf safari.

This activity’s main goal is to spread more awareness about Scandinavian wolves. Furthermore these responsibly organized tours are a substantial means of income for the local community. This is why this excursion works exclusively with local guides, guest houses and restaurants.

Highlights of this activity:

  • Overnight stay in a tent in a wolf pack area
  • Identification of wolf tracks
  • Small chance of seeing a wolf
  • Local guides and small groups for an authentic experience
  • High probability (80-90%) of hearing wolves howl

For whom: Everyone aged 15 and up who can walk in the forest without problems. Depending on the current wolf situation you either stay up until late or get up early. The distance to be covered depends on the pack’s whereabouts. The difficulty level is medium. The 1-2 hour walks take place on terrains that vary from dirt roads to uneven woodlands and can also occur at night, in the dark. The walks include some stops along the way. There is a maximum of 7 participants per guide and a maximum of 2 guides per excursion, totalling up to a maximum of 14 participants.

Location: Skinnskatteberg (Västmanland): the exact location will be announced when booking.

Period: On predetermined days from mid-July to mid-September. During this period the chances of hearing howling wolves are best. This excursion still has spots available on 26 August and 2 September 2021. In 2022: 14, 21 and 28 July, 4, 11 and 18 August and 15 September. With a minimum of 10 participants the wolf safari can also be booked on other days.

Time: This excursion begins at 13:00 on day 1 and ends at 12:00 on day 2. Please make sure you are present at the agreed time. Keep in mind that lunch is not included on the first day. It is recommended to have lunch shortly beforehand.

Price: 3250 SEK / person: the price includes the use of: binoculars, headlamp and camping material, coffee and tea in the afternoon, outdoor meal on day 1, breakfast on day 2 and personal guidance in English.

Wolf safari with overnight stay in a tent

Day 1:
Appointment at 13:00 in Skinnskatteberg where you will meet your guide. Please keep in mind that this activity does not include lunch. It is recommended to have lunch shortly beforehand. The outdoor meal will take place late in the evening. You are free to bring your own snacks.

Welcome and introduction. Before you head out into wolf territory you will sit down to learn the basics about wolves. What is a wolf territory? Why do wolves howl? Who is the leader of the pack? How many wolves does it take to kill a moose?

After that you will travel to the nearby wolf pack area.  The exact location is kept a secret and it is very important that you don’t share this information with anyone, you will get an explanation about why this is asked of you.

Depending on the current situation with the wolves you will search for paw prints, droppings, killed prey and other tracks that can prove that wolves are around.

You will also meet up with one of Sweden’s foremost wolf experts who will talk about his work with wolves and other large carnivores. This will hopefully give you more insight into the wolf’s behavior as well as the current management issues.

After that you will set up the tent camp together. In the evening you will be enjoying an outdoor meal by campfire.

As night falls you will go closer to the wolves to increase the chances of hearing them howl. The group always stays at a respectful distance to avoid disturbing the wolves. It is of course in everyone’s interest that the wolves do not move to another area. The guides are experienced and know how to handle any situation that may occur.

During the evening you must be prepared to walk up to an hour in rough terrain, often in the dark, in silence. Our aim is to reach some strategic location where we can settle down and spend a few hours to listen.

This can be both a meditative and thrilling experience. Imagine sitting on a hill in a dark forest, surrounded by trees and watch the night sky above knowing that a family of wolves is nearby. You all wait, listen and hope you hear them howl.

Hearing wolves howl is one of the most exciting nature experiences that you can have. Although your guide cannot guarantee that this will happen, wolves howls have been heard on most of the tours.

You will return to camp late at night.

Day 2:
In the morning you are offered breakfast. Depending on the successes on day 1 and the wolves’ whereabouts it is sometimes decided to get up early for a short morning excursion. After that you will take down the tent camp together and travel back to civilization where the excursion is rounded off.

Overnight stay: Overnight stay in a 1, 2 or 3 person tent (of your own choice), using premium quality camping gear such as: sleeping bag (3 seasons, well suited for the Scandinavian climate), sheets, a small pillow and a sleeping mat (50 mm, self-inflating).

Will you be seeing wolves? Please keep in mind that wolves in Sweden are very shy and therefore hard to spot in the wild. The emphasis lies on listening to wolves howl, looking for tracks and wolf kills, and learning about wolves. When the situation looks promising, a strategic location will be selected, from which you will hopefully spot wolves. Although chances are slim, it does happen sometimes that lucky participants get to see a wolf. The guides spend much time and energy in monitoring the various wolf pack territories all year round in order to know about their whereabouts.

Booking: Contact me via e-mail sylvia@amazingscandinavia.com or by phone +46 (0)70 230 68 70

This activity takes place in the wild, meaning that although you will be visiting the location where these animals live, no guarantees can be given as to what you will get to see or photograph.

Copyright photo: Kristin Streitz