Journeys worth taking

Finnmark Plateau

Great Reindeer Migration

Epic journeys

Above the arctic circle, life is not always easy.

Lodging

Lavvo (sami tent) / Eco-Lodge

Nights

7

Trip Details

Group

Price

$6,200

Transport

Snowmobile and Skis

Experience
Experience
Itinerary
Pygmy miles
Accommodation
Practical info

Experience

Journey

For the last 5,000 years, the indigenous Sami people have called Lapland home. During that time, they have carved out their existence in a variety of ways including ice­ fishing, fur trading and reindeer herding.

Today, the Sami culture and tradition lives. Both culturally and economically important, reindeer herding is still practiced by 10% of the population. In Norway alone, 2,800 Sami earn their living through Reindeer husbandry.

Although the Sami have adapted their herding techniques to the times, mechanized processes are used to improve efficiency, many of the old ways are as important today as they were 300 years ago. Although snowmobiles are used for herding, the migration to greener pastures utilized by the Sami’s nomadic ancestors remains instrumental to the reindeer’s health and well being. Every spring, the Sami drive hundreds of thousands of Reindeer to the north of the Finnmark Plateau.

It is one of these seasonal migrations that our our partner specializes in. Deep above the arctic circle, you will travel with the Sami, herding the reindeer to their summertime breeding ground. A new generation of Reindeer will be born here, partly because of you.

Every spring, the Sami drive hundreds of thousands of Reindeer to the north of the Finnmark Plateau.

Activities

Canyoning

Challenge yourself on a four day migration where you use both skis and snowmobiles to reach the summer breeding ground.

And also

  •  Travel with the Sami and learn about a culture that is fighting for self­ determination.
  •  Understand the deep link between the Sami and their reindeer.
  •  Take part in the daily herding work.
  •  Test your ice­-fishing skills at the many lakes that are passed along the way.
  •  When you return to our partners lodge, you will be able to meet their husky dogs (optional dog­sledding possible).
  • On the migration, you will sleep in a Lavvu (Sámi tent) and eat traditional Sami Food.

 

Place

Finnmark: the name itself is a nod to the Sami People, Finn is Norse for the Sami people and mǫrk means borderland.

In the winter, temperatures near Karasjock, the capital city of the Sami people, test the depths of human adaptability. The lowest recorded temperatures was 61 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Isolated and desolate but somehow intriguing; the Finnmark Plateau is truly at the borders of humanity.

Luckily, during the spring and summer months, temperatures are much milder. Starting in mid-May, the midnight sun appears and re-energizes the region. It is close to this time that the Sami find new grazing land for their reindeer.

 

Itinerary

Track

Itinerary

You will work with the Sami in an effort to move their reindeer herd north. Based on the weather and snow covering, the daily route will be determined. Sometimes, herding will be done at night to make use of a frozen layer of snow that makes the migration easier. Although, it is impossible to know the exact itinerary before hand, the trip will follow the below outline:  

Day-1

Arrival and Briefing

The program starts with dinner served at our partners eco friendly Lodge and a briefing about the program. The unique style of the lodge comes from using only natural materials and creativity to create the comfort and the soft, relaxed and natural atmosphere that you will experience there.

Day-2

Planning and prepping

Day 2 is spent preparing for your journey. Warm arctic clothes, boots and other equipment will be provisioned. Check of the equipment and preparation for the tour.

Day-3

Link up with Sami

You will spend 4 days and 3 nights on the Finnmark plateau with the reindeers. Your crew will leave the lodge with snowmobile to link up with the reindeer herd and the herders.

Day-4

Reindeer migration

You will then follow the herd on their long migration across the plateau; a fascinating barren and wind­swept landscape reaching as far as the eye can see.

Day-5

Reindeer migration

Here you will have interesting natural experiences together with the Sámis who love to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom of life with their guests.

Day-6

Reindeer migration

The Sami's fascination of nature and the free life is striking. You will be taking part in the migration for 4 days before returning to the Husky Lodge. There you will find a warm shower a hot dinner in a warm and cosy atmosphere.

Day-7

Return to lodge

Day 7 is at the lodge and is at your own disposition for interesting activities. There is always a lot happening on the farm. Guided trips can be booked or smaller tours can be ventured upon alone if desired: Snow shoeing, cross­country skiing, sled dog tour, tour with kick sleds or walking. A tour to the Sámi museum and the Sámi parliament will give you an insight into Sámi history and the current situation for the Sámi people.

Day-8

End of program

The program ends after breakfast. Optional excursions and day trips can be arranged.

Pygmy miles

Pygmy Miles Total

Challenge
Motorized Vehicle
Hiking
Bicycle
Sustainability
Miscellaneous
6200pygmy miles

Base Miles

You earn 1 Pygmy Mile for every dollar you book with Pygmy Elephant.

600pygmy miles

Snowmobile

Throughout the journey, you will be utilizing snowmobiles to keep up with the reindeer and sami herders. Will give you 3 miles for every mile covered by snowmobile (mileage is estimate however can vary greatly depending on where the Sami actually are in relation to Engholm).

1550pygmy miles

Reduces Environmental Impact

Your launching point is Engholm Husky lodge. The lodge is miles away from ordinary, using natural materials which were hand picked by the owner. There are no pesky emissions from heating, other than the smoke that rises from your fireplace in the lodge. Don’t worry, the fire keeps you toasty enough at night while ensuring a sustainable impact on the beautiful, windswept landscape it inhabits. We provide an additional 25% bonus on base miles for this effort.

1550pygmy miles

Generates benefit for local communities

The Sami people have long lived on the fringes of Scandinavian society. Only around 38,000 Sami live in Norwegian Finnmark, making the continuity of their cultural heritage of paramount, although lofty, importance. Tourism helps sustain the Sami’s culture by providing economic support for traditional activities, encouraging their usage and adoption for future generations. For generating economic benefit for local communities, we provide a 25% bonus on base miles. Link to Sami Culture: http://issuu.com/northern_norway/docs/49678981?e=3165316/7421370

Total Pygmy Miles

9900pygmy miles

Accommodation

 

Engholm Husky Lodge

Karasjok

Designed and built by the owner, the Husky Lodge uses only natural materials to create a warm, cozy and environmentally friendly place to relax before and after your epic journey. As the name suggests, humans are not the only ones to inhabit this lodge: 40 to 50 highly trained sled dogs call Engholm their home as well. LINK TO ECO-LODGE Page.

Lavvo (sami tent)

Finnmark Plateau

A temporary dwelling, the Lavvo allows the Sami people to follow their reindeer herds easily. Similar to the Native American Tipi, the Lavvo uses a tent structure, although it is slightly broader at the base. At night, a fire is built. The hole at the top of the structure allows for smoke to escape. Along your journey, you will eat the same food as the Sami, whether that is Reindeer or freshly caught trout depends on the luck of the day’s catch.

Practical info

Price

50,000 NOK per person 

USD rate will be determined based on current exchange rate

The price includes:
  • Local guide
  • local transportation
  • all meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8
  • lodging
  • some clothing and equipment
The price does not include
  • Travel to / from Husky Lodge
  • Personal equipment (please check the equipment list)
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages

 

Service categories

Consult & Book

Pygmy Elephant provides: 

  • Transfer arrangement: from Campo Grande to Refuge Caiman and further on to other locations
  • Pre-departure support: what to pack, arranging travel insurance and informing on travel advisories
  • 24 hour customer service: if something goes wrong, we have your back
  • Best Price Guarantee: if you find a better price on the internet, we'll match it
  • Pygmy Miles: receive discounts off future travel

When

jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec
not available
average
optimal

Set Dates: 18th to 25th April 2016
25th April to 2nd May 2016
Private: March and April dependent on availability. Call or inquire for details.

How

Privately guided

Join a guided tour

It is possible to both join an organized tour or create your own private expedition (minimum three participants).

Maximum group size: 6 + guide

Challenge Level

Technical Ability

Level : Low

Mental Strength

Level : Low

Physical Conditioning

Level : Medium

No special skills are required to join the expedition party, other than a positive attitude and ability to learn.

You will be with an experience arctic guide during the entire trip. You will face some elements of cold and the midnight sun can take a day a two to get used to, but generally the trip is not mentally taxing.

From the guides: This trip is recommended for adventurous people that would like to do something truly unique, learn new skills and live life to the fullest. Age and gender sets no limits, however you must be in a good physical shape. Much of the time will be spent in the hands of the arctic environment.

Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Boiliva, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.