Wildlife Safari in Sweden
Wolves howling in the dead of night was one of the most spine-tingling sounds we’ve ever heard. We were sitting around an open fire in a dark forest, surrounded by towering trees and a canopy of stars, when the howling filled the sky. Wolves are just one of the many animals you can see on safari with Wild Sweden among the deep forests and myriad lakes of the Swedish wilderness.
My husband Marcus is Swedish, so each year we go and stay in a cottage on the edge of a forest just outside Stockholm. We always go out hiking in nature whenever we visit, fishing and canoeing on the lakes and camping near reindeer. It wasn’t until we went on safari that we realised just how much wildlife there is to discover in the forests, valleys and mountains of Sweden.
The forests are home to moose and roe deer, herds of reindeer cross the wide-open plains and arctic fox live in mountain dens. With over 100,000 lakes and much of the country filled with woods, there is plenty of space for wildlife to roam. Our safari with head guide Marcus Eldh was in the Bergslagen forest, which is only two hours from Stockholm, but feels as though it is in the middle of nowhere.
Going on a safari in spring and again in late summer opened our eyes up to the amount of wild animals in Sweden. We went out moose tracking in the moss-covered forest, watched beavers from a boat on a lake and saw a pair of Great Grey Owls nesting on a tree stump. Brown bears can be seen from hides in the summertime and you can go wolf tracking in winter across frozen lakes on skis.
Getting immersed in nature is all part of the experience and at Kolarbyn Ecolodge you stay in a grass-covered hut with no electricity or running water. We were given an axe for chopping firewood to cook our own meals and washed off in Lake Skärsjön after a steamy sauna. We also spent a night in a camouflaged tent hide in the woodlands to watch the tail-fanning Capercaille courtship dance.
Wildlife is scattered across Sweden and is relatively easy to find if you have an experienced guide to show you the way. With moose, brown bears, wild boar, badgers, red fox, wolverine and lynx to spot, there is never a dull moment on wildlife safari in Sweden. Bird watching with Daniel Green also opened us up to the vast array of birdlife that can be seen in Sweden at different times of the year.
The natural wonderland of Sweden makes it one of the most beautiful countries in the world to spot wildlife. Going on safari gives you a way to contribute to wildlife conservation, supporting local communities as well as projects such as the Scandinavian Wolf Project. The time we spent in the wilds of Scandinavia gave us a deeper connection to Nordic nature and the animals we share it with.
Pictures: Marcus Westberg
Words: Kate Westberg