MUSK-OX, MOOSE AND WILD REINDEER
When: -25 September - 2 October
-3 - 10 October
Where: Dovrefjell and surroundings
Length: 8 days
Number of participants: 2 - 4 persons
Price: 18.500,- NOK (+/- 1.850,- Euro) per person (20.000,- NOK from 2021)
Tour guide: Floris Smeets
Accommodation: We will be staying at cabins in and in the surroundings of Dovrefjell National Park. The cabins outside the National Park have got a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room and there is free Wi-Fi. The cabin in the National Park does not have electricity since there are no power lines into the national park. It has a large kitchen and several bedrooms.
Transport: You will be picked up and dropped off at airport Oslo Gardermoen.
Food: Food and drinks for during the day will be provided for you, including a fresh cooked dinner every evening.
Informative talks about the different species living in the areas we visit.
Photography tips and guidance by Floris Smeets, Sony Ambassador.
Flights to and from Oslo Gardermoen.
Alcohol: Alcohol is quite expensive in Norway. If you want to drink alcohol, I advise you to buy it at the airport before coming to Norway.
Travel insurance: All participants are responsible for their own travel insurance.
Please note: This tour requires a good level of fitness in order to be able to participate. Each day we will walk between 5 and 20 km through the mountains, depending on where the animals will be at the time. You need to be able to cover these distances while carrying your photo equipment plus food and drinks for the day.
Dovrefjell National park is a beautiful but also harsh area and is the home of the impressive musk-ox. Currently there are about 300 musk-oxen living in the mountains of the National Park. In order to photograph them, we have to hike into the mountains and stay out whole days. Musk-oxen are not very active animals. By spending whole days with the animals, we will maximize our photo chances. Next to the musk-ox, it is possible to photograph astonishing landscapes and there is a chance to see moose, lemming, golden eagle, reindeer and with some luck, the illusive arctic fox.
In the surroundings of Dovrefjell there is a healthy population of moose. They are mainly active during the twilight hours. The chance to photograph these giants is the best during the early mornings. Moose are shy animals, but can be photographed from the car. Our accommodation in Dovrefjell is situated right in one of the moose hot spots, so we don't need to drive far. The landscape is dominated by open birch forests, which create an astonishing colorful setting to photograph these animals in.
Wild reindeer are extremely shy animals with incredible large home ranges. This makes searching for and photographing them extremely difficult. As soon as an human has been noticed, the animals will quickly move away, covering several miles in just a matter of a few minutes. Luckily the guide has got years of experience with wild reindeer and will get you within good photographing distances from the animals without disturbing the animals. Be prepared for hours of sneaking and waiting in order to get in position to photograph these absolute stunning animals.
The tours take place during the rutting season of the reindeer. This is by far the best period to photograph them. Not only because the animals look their best with their huge antlers and darker colored fur, but mainly because we will be able to get within photo distances since the animals are distracted by each other.
How does the tour look like?
Day 1: You will be picked up at airport Oslo Gardermoen. A 4 hour drive will bring you to the boarder of Dovrefjell National Park. Depending on the time of arrival, we can look for moose in the surroundings of the accommodation.
Day 2, 3 and 4: Shortly before sunrise we will head out by car to look for moose in the surroundings of the accommodation. Around this time of the year there are large numbers of moose in this area which can be photographed from the car. After that we have several options for how and where to photograph the musk-oxen. We could take it easy and stay on the outer part of the park. Or we can hike deep into the mountains and stay in a cabin for one or two nights. Here we will be far away from other photographers. You will get the chance to get some unique pictures of the musk-ox in its harsh environment. This part of the area is quite calm and doesn’t see that many visitors. This increases the chance of encountering reindeer and even wolverine. Additionally to the musk-ox, we will have the chance to encounter the illusive arctic fox. The mountain cabin has no electricity, so bring plenty of batteries. There is a large kitchen with a gas stove for cooking warm meals.
Day 5, 6 and 7: We will move to a different mountain area and look for wild reindeer. We have to get up early mornings and hike into the mountains in order to photograph wild reindeer. The terrain is not that steep, but the distances can be long. Be prepared to walk 5-20km per day. Because wild reindeer can cover large distances per day, it is not sure that we will be able to photograph them each day. They can appear just as fast as they can disappear. Some patience is needed.
Day 8: If there still is some time, we can look for moose in the early morning. After that it is time to travel back to Oslo Gardermoen airport.
Feel free to contact me, so we can make a tour which fits the best to you.
Camera equipment needed:
-Usage of objectives of 400mm or more is advised in order to photograph the expected wildlife.
-Wide angle lens and tripod for photographing landscapes
-Enough memory cards and batteries! When participating in the difficult tour, batteries can NOT be recharged in the accommodation in the National Park, but can be recharged in the accommodation outside the National Park.
Important things to bring:
-Warm clothing: Dovrefjell is known for its harsh weather conditions. There is often a strong wind blowing, so bring clothing which does not let the wind through.
-Mountain shoes: Water resistant shoes which support your ankles are a must!
-Backpack which can carry your photo equipment plus extra clothing and food
Read here the testimonials from our previous guests.