About Wildlife Safaris Finland Oy
The Wildlife Safaris Finland Oy limited company has been owned since its founding by Finnish professional nature photographer and pioneer of wildlife photography tourism (especially bear and wolf) Lassi Rautiainen. Sami owns 40% of the company. "Wildlife Lassi Rautiainen" is the auxiliary business name for Wildlife Safaris Finland Oy's nature tourism activities and "Articmedia", which mainly publishes Lassi’s own work (books and calendars), in addition to administering his photo gallery: www.articmedia.fi.
The family team
Wildlife Safaris Finland Oy comprises family members, friends and neighbours. Sami Rautiainen, Lassi’s son, is WSF's CEO.
Born in 1957 in his parents sauna (with only his father assisting his mother!) in Ala-Vuokki / Suomussalmi on a farm not far from Russia, Lassi speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, and German. He has had numerous photo exhibitions and slide shows all over Europe/Russia since 1978, has been the photographer for approximately 25 books since 1984, has won numerous prizes for his photography, and has done pioneering work in wildlife photography tourism in Finland.
Thanks to his profound experience not only in photography, wildlife and tourism connected with these, but also in dealing with authorities, laws and politicians, he is a consultant for individuals, firms and organizations both inside and outside Finland for establishing wildlife tourism.
Lassi created the international Kuusamo Nature Photo Festival and served as its artistic director in 1996-2010. Currently, he is chairman of the tourism association Idän Taiga ry (Wild Taiga) which embraces about 60 tourism enterprises of the Eastern-Finnish municipalities Kuhmo and Suomussalmi.
Read Lassi's full CV here
Wildlife Safari Finland Oy’s CEO since 2013. Lassi’s son. Born in 1979, Kajaani. Has been working for Wildlife Safaris Finland Oy since 2006 and has nerves of steel, thanks to serving as a blue beret peacekeeper in Kosovo. Speaks Finnish, English and some Swedish, plus a smattering of Russian.
Kuikka kitchen, guiding. Sami’s wife. Mother of Lassi’s sunshines Severi and Sylvi, and professional teacher. Speaks Finnish, English, Swedish and German.
Kitchen chef in the Kuikka kitchen, guiding, interpreting (mainly Russian). Born in Estonia, speaks Estonian, Finnish, English and Russian.
Guiding, handyman. WSF's neighbour. Speaks Finnish and English.
Raila and Seppo
Kuikka kitchen, guiding. WSF's neighbours, owning the Wanhan Majurin Majatalo (nice, cosy guesthouse 4 km from Kuikka base camp where WSF's guests can be accommodated). Speaks Finnish and English.
Tomi, Mika, Niko
Lassi’s sons, helping out now and then with various tasks, e.g. in kitchen; handymen, guiding, airport transfer, etc.