Northern lights

High geomagnetic activity and a clear sky are necessary for the aurora borealis (northern lights) to be seen. The northern lights can be seen during the dark season in Finland, starting from September and lasting until April. They can be viewed in the area where we are operating: Kajaani, Kuhmo, and Kuusamo. It is also possible to arrange a journey to northernmost Lapland to see the aurora borealis.

We recommend combining your northern lights trip with further winter photography and winter activities. See our snowy landscapes, forms and details, and wild activity opportunities during Finland’s frosty period. You will find travel programme suggestions there.

Mammals during period with snow (Nov-Apr): wolf, wolverine, bears till end of October, otter, red squirrel, moose, wild forest reindeer, roe deer, lynx (captive).

Birds during period with snow: owls, golden and white-tailed eagles, capercaillies, black and other grouse, black woodpecker, Siberian jay, Siberian tit and other tits, dipper, raven, jay, and in April whooper swan, crane, and bean goose.

Contact WILDLIFE LASSI RAUTIAINEN for more info.

Snowy landscapes in KUUSAMO

Kuusamo is well-known for its fantastic snowy landscapes: Oulanka National Park, Riisitunturi National Park, the Oulankajoki and Kitkajoki rivers, etc.  In Kuusamo we can also see great grey owls, other owls, golden eagles, wolverines, the comical black woodpeckers, and dippers at a river. We might also encounter moose herds, three-toed woodpeckers and, of course, the aurora borealis (northern lights)!

You might wish to combine your winter photo trip to Kuusamo with some owl or wintery wolf shots in Kuhmo. In addition, you will have a chance to see wolverines, white-tailed and golden eagles, as well as other winter birds.

Suggested programme in Kuusamo (Nov-Apr):

Day 1

  • Arrival in Kuusamo, dinner. Sauna. Northern lights possible if clear sky and high geomagnetic activity.

Day 2

  • 09.00 Breakfast
  • 10.00 Landscape trip to a national park
  • 17.30 Dinner, sauna
  • 20.00 Aurora borealis or starry night, editing pictures

Day 3

  • 08.00 Breakfast
  • 09.00 Great grey owl or other owls/birds
  • 17.30 Dinner, sauna

Day 4

  • 08.00 Breakfast
  • 19.00 Oulanka golden eagle hide
  • 18.00 Dinner
  • 20.00 Aurora borealis or starry night, editing pictures


This programme can be continued for eagles (2-4 days), dippers, black woodpeckers, moose, further landscapes, winter details, roe deer and wolf/wolverine.

Contact WILDLIFE LASSI RAUTIAINEN for more info

Summer landscapes in KUHMO

  • Day trip to the surrounding countryside along the Russian border, old-growth forest, and climbing a nearby panorama tower
  • Day trip to Koli National Park

Our suggestion:
Include your landscape trip in your wildlife photo trip of 3 – 10 days and schedule some one-day trips to see landscapes and historical sites. Take a photo hiking trip to Elimyssalo Strict Nature Reserve as well:

Suggested programme for 5 nights in spring in Kuhmo:

Day 1

  • 16.00 Dinner and first night at the bear/wolf/wolverine hide

Day 2

  • 09.00 Breakfast, sauna, swimming, relaxing, boat trip, fishing
  • 16.00 Dinner at Kuikka base camp
  • 17.30 Historical places (farming culture) and landscapes at dawn
  • 23.00 Overnight at Kuikka base camp

Day 3

  • 09.00 Breakfast, Lassi’s slide show
  • 11.00 Photo hiking in Elimyssalo Strict Nature Reserve (details, plants)
  • 16.00 Dinner
  • 17.30 Bears, wolves, wolverines, eagles at the hides (overnight)

Day 4

  • 09.00 Breakfast, sauna, swimming, relaxing, boat trip, fishing
  • 16.00 Dinner
  • 17.30 Bears, wolves, wolverines, eagles at the hides (overnight stay)

Day 5

  • 09.00 Breakfast, sauna….
  • 16.00 Bird hide: geese, goldeneyes, whooper swans, cranes and other water birds

Day 6

  • 09.00 Breakfast and see you next time!


Accommodation: Kuikka base camp (traditional Finnish forest worker’s residence situated on a headland)

Contact WILDLIFE LASSI RAUTIAINEN for more info.

Forms/details:

You can take photos of forms and details during every trip and at any time of year. However, frosty conditions in general, the snow melting period in spring, and the early frosts of autumn are likely to be especially productive, with:

  • frozen waterfalls
  • ice forms at the river
  • ice forms and icy plants at the crack of dawn in spring or autumn

Include your detail photography in your wildlife photography programme in Kuusamo (landscapes, aurora borealis, eagles, black woodpecker, etc.) or Kuhmo (winter wolves, early/late bears, winter wolverines, winter eagles, migrating birds etc.), or both!

Suggested programme for 5 nights in winter in Kajaani and Kuhmo/Kuusamo:

Day 1

  • Arrival in Kajaani in the evening, northern light photography possible if activity and clear sky, accommodation in hotel

Day 2

  • 10.00 pick-up for icy waterfalls, landscapes and detail photography or roe deer hide
  • Drive to Kuikka base camp on the Russian border in Kuhmo
  • 20.00 dinner
  • 22.00 off to the wolf hides, aurora borealis possible (overnight stay)

Day 3

Day 4

  • 09.00 Breakfast
  • 10.30 Snow shoe trip to the nearby forest, detail and landscapes, tracks of otter, beaver, etc.
  • 13.00 Campfire in the snow, sausages, coffee/tea
  • 17.00 Dinner at Kuikka base camp
  • 18.00 Sauna, ice hole swimming
  • Aurora borealis and starry sky photography at night
  • Overnight stay in the hides

Day 5

  • Breakfast in the hides
  • Waiting for wolves, white-tailed or golden eagles, wolverines, and winter birds as soon as daylight sets in
  • 17.00 Dinner at Kuikka base camp, sauna, ice hole swimming
  • Driving to Kuusamo for further winter photography, overnight stay in Kuusamo

Day 6

Contact WILDLIFE LASSI RAUTIAINEN for more info.