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Sarek National Park

A Landscape and Wildlife Photography Expedition

Dates: On-Demand (the trekking season is late June - mid October)

Price: from 4495 EUR

Expedition Highlights

  • Experience and photograph arctic summer and autummn landscapes

  • Get a chance to scout for Sweden's four large predators - lynx, wolf, brown bear and wolverine (please note that we can not guarantee that we will encounter wildlife)

  • Learn from a professional photographer

  • Benefit from a proven photography curriculum to quickly advance your photography

  • Safely explore the outdoors with a qualified International Mountain Leader

  • Experience a unique and wild landscape

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This expedition merges wildlife and landscape photography into a complete story of timeless, beautiful and wild nature. Sarek National Park is one of the most iconic, remote and wild places in Europe and home to Sweden's four large predators - lynx, wolf, brown bear and wolverine. 

 

This 11-day expedition (can be extended up to 15 days) will test your expeditionary skills, so be prepared to experience a truly unique adventure. It has been designed with passion and enthusiasm based on our personal experiences from Sarek to ensure this truly is a unique journey

Sarek National Park is part of a Laponian UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with adjoining areas of Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet, Sjaunja and Stubba nature reserves, Muddus National Park, making a total of 9,400 km2 (3,600 sq mi).

Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld some exact locations from the itinerary below. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism to this pristine and seldom visited place by sharing these. Our expedition participants will receive detailed information via email. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

Giving back to Nature

Today there are only about 300 adult arctic foxes alive in Sweden, Norway and Finland. To support the conservation of these unique animals, 3% of the income from this expedition will be donated to support the Swedish Arctic Fox Project.

Itinerary

Itinerary

 

Day 1 | Kiruna - Stora Sjöfallet Hotel - Skierffe

Our adventure starts in Kiruna at 9AM. We recommend that you arrive in Kiruna the day before. A private transfer will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to Stora Sjöfallet Hotel (3 hours). Once at the hotel we will enjoy a welcome lunch. After lunch, we will go through the gear, distribute tents, food, stoves and make sure everyone is ready for what lies ahead. Our journey will continue by helicopter to the border of Sarek National Park (approx. 20min - cameras at the ready!). We will set down close to the top of Skierffe mountain, which will give us incredible views of the Rapa Valley below. We will pitch our tents and get ready for an incredible view while we wait for the sunset, and, for the ones who want, also photograph sunrise just a few hours later (depending on the time of year). After a long exciting day, we will get some good sleep, perhaps dreaming of the adventure that lies ahead.

 

Trekking: Approx. 30min | Distance 1km | Hight gain/loss 0

Day 2 | Skierffe - Aktse Hut - Rapa Valley

The adventure has started! We wake up early, make breakfast together, and head down into the Rapa Valley, an impressive wild place. We will start walking down from the plateau where we slept the night before, pass the Aktse Hut - the only hut we will see on the entire journey. We will catch a boat over the lake Lajtávrre and onwards on the river to Nammatj. We are now entering the realm of the wild animals and we will all be alert spotting tracks and listening to sounds from the light alpine forest surrounding us. We will trek just a few kilometres from the drop-off location and set our campsite for the night. We will scout for wildlife and at sunset, we will photograph the Rapaselet.

Trekking: Approx. 6hrs | Distance 9km | Hight gain/loss -700m

Day 3 | Rapa Valley

We wake up refreshed in that way that only sleeping in nature can do. We make breakfast and break camp. It is common to see wildlife such as moose and brown bear along this path, so we move quietly through the terrain. After a day of easy trekking and a few exciting river crossings, we will camp along the river. The serenity of nature and animals sounds will be our best company.

Trekking: Approx. 5-6hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +/- 60m

Day 4 | Rapa Valley - Base Camp 1

We continue north into the heart of Rapa Valley towards an area often called Rovdjurstorget (eng translation "predator's square"). In the afternoon we will reach our first Base Camp close to the square. If we are lucky we will spend two nights under a sky full of stars. We will be looking for wildlife at dusk and dawn while we explore landscape photography in between. We will wait and hopefully see animals like bear, wolverine, moose, deer, lynx and more. Without a doubt, it is hard work that requires a lot of patience, but it may yield great rewards. Exact location withheld according to the leave no trace statement above.

Trekking: Approx. 5-6hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +/- 60m

Day 5 | Base Camp 1

We will spend the whole day and night in the area, doing short hikes (with light backpacks) tracking wildlife, definitely a day to take it slower and enjoy nature while we enjoy some landscape photography. This is a great opportunity to work on specific techniques with the help from your guide. 

Trekking: Approx. 1-3hrs | Distance 1-4km | Hight gain/loss 0 to +400m 

Day 6 | Base Camp 1 - Base Camp 2

After four magical days in Rapa Valley, it is time to move up into the mountains. We will pack up our base camp and get ready for an afternoon of trekking up into Snavvavagge and onwards to the location for Base Camp 2, another perfect spot to capture wildlife and landscapes.

Trekking: Approx. 6-7hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +500m

Day 7 | Base Camp 2

Our second basecamp is situated on a plateau allowing for views across the valleys and along many rivers. It is a place ideal for day trekking and exploration. We will make a plan according to the group's wishes, incorporating both wildlife and landscapes.

Trekking: Approx. 1-3hrs | Distance 1-4km | Hight gain/loss 0 to +400m 

Day 8 | Base Camp 2 - Bastavagge

After our time in Base Camp 1 and 2 it is time to get back on the trail and move further into the mountains. At the end of the day's leg, we will reach the base of the glacier Alep Basstajiegna which offers interesting opportunities for landscapes of a harsher, less lush kind than the Rapa Valley. 

 

Trekking: Approx. 6-7hrs | Distance 10km | Hight gain/loss +270m

Day 9 | Extra day

Extra day in case of bad weather. If we don’t use this day, we will consider it a bonus and add it to prolong our stay at Base Camp 2 or Sitojaure (our helicopter pick-up point), depending on the weather forecast. We will spend the day doing a day trek into the mountains or scouting for wildlife! 

Trekking: To be decided

Day 10 | Bastavagge - Sitojaure - Stora Sjöfallet Hotel

This is our last planned trek in Sarek and it will take us down from the mountains to the beautiful lake Sitojaure. The trek will be varied and exciting with a river crossing or two. Along the way, we will have plenty of opportunities for landscape photography. As we reach the lake Sitojaure we will find a good spot for a rest as we await the helicopter to come and take us back to civilisation to Stora Sjöfallet Hotel where warm showers and a delicious dinner awaits! 

 

Trekking: Approx. 6-7hrs | Distance 11km | Hight gain/loss +100m, -600m

Day 11 | Departure day

After a big breakfast, it is time to travel back to Kiruna. Once there we will say our "see you laters"! Arrival at the airport at approx. 12 noon.

Accommodation

During this expedition, we will be staying one night in a hotel (shared twin rooms with an option for upgrades) and nine in a tent. You are welcome to bring your own tent or you can borrow a tent from us. We use the latest model 4-season tents that have been storm tested. For hygiene reasons you are required to bring your own sleeping system, such as sleeping bag and insulating sleeping mat.​

Curriculum

All Terra Photography Expeditions follow a proven curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a dynamic way that directly translates into easily actionable processes in the field. As we move through nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the Expedition

  • Storytelling - Telling stories and evoking emotions within the context of landscape photography

  • Composition - A comprehensive introduction to the theory of composition, including the elements of art and principles of design

  • Process - Learning and implementing a process to achieve consistent quality in landscape photography

  • Focusing - A science-based method for focusing to make your images sharp

  • Long exposure and filters - Long exposure and the use of Neutral Density (ND) filters, especially related to moving water and clouds

  • Aurora photography - Explore the nighttime skies, Northern Light and landscapes to show the world at a different time

  • Panorama photography - exposing and merging multiple images

  • Multiple exposures and graduate filters - Achieving correctly exposed images in challenging conditions using graduated filters and multiple exposures (exposure bracketing)

  • Finding locations - Using maps, weather services and other tools to identify potential photography locations and times.

  • Post Processing - Using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to create stunning natural landscape images 

Outdoor Skills Covered on the Expedition

We are first and foremost out to enjoy the mountains and to pursue the art of photography, however, as we are moving toward our locations there is always time to share some outdoor skills. 

  • Planning for a day out on the hills in winter conditions

  • Using safety equipment and emergency transponders

  • Map reading

  • Navigation with map and compass

  • Relocation with map and compass

  • Using sighting for fast movement

Additional Information

The Agenda, Weather and Daylight Hours

The weather in the Arctic Circle can change rapidly one hour to the next, so even though we have a planned agenda, this will be open to revision on the day. Each day we will study the weather forecast and the local maps over coffee to plan our day. Sunrise and sunset vary greatly throughout the year. The summers enjoy the amazing midnight sun and the autumn can offer good chances for Aurora! 

Food

Whilst on expedition we will enjoy dehydrated food from our favourite brand (actually tastes fantastic)! Each tent team (two people) will share one gas kitchen to warm water for cooking and coffee/tea making purposes. If this is your first time camping, don't worry, we will be there to support all these activities to make sure everyone is well-fed and comfortable. All main meals are included. 

Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld exact locations from the itinerary. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

Your Guide

Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Expedition Leader

Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a photographer for well over 20 years. Jonas is a qualified International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) and will be leading the expedition. More info here.

How Challenging?

This expedition has a Medium Effort Rating. This is a serious trekking expedition where we can expect 6-10 hours of trekking per day. Previous multi-day trekking experience is highly advisable. More info about effort levels here.

Price & Details

 

Included:

  • Bus Transportation from Kiruna

  • Helicopter Transportation

  • Guided photography sessions in the field

  • Theoretical sessions

  • Guided treks by qualified International Mountain Leader or Mountain Guide

    All accommodation during the expedition: 1 night in a shared twin room, 9 nights in a tent

  • All main meals 

Excluded:

  • Photo equipment 

  • Outdoor clothing and equipment

  • Transport (i.e. flights to Kiruna airport or train station)

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for hiking in the alps, such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Trail snack to eat on the go

  • Alcoholic beverages

Price: from 4495 EUR

This is a private or group expedition that is arranged on-demand. The more participants, the lower the price per person.

1-2 person - Contact us for a quote

3 people - 5495 EUR per person

4-5 people - 4995 EUR per person

6-8 people - 4495 EUR per person

30% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% due 90 days before the start of the expedition.

Logistics

Start: Kiruna

End: Kiruna

Participants: Minimum 1, Maximum 8

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

© 2023 by Vagabond Trails Handelsbolag and Terra Photography Expeditions

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