The Pebzz team were exploring the Arctic conditions in Northern Finland in January, staying at the welcoming lodge at Basecamp Oulanka. Whilst taking some time out from snow shoe walking the scenic trails, learning Finnish woodcraft skills and learning to x-country ski, we took a day trip to visit the Kota-Husky Safari at Riisitunturi National Park
Kota-Husky is located in Posio, Lapland, next to the Riisitunturi National Park. At the moment they have 45 Siberian Huskies who are at the best working age. Then they also have two retired huskies who spend their time telling stories for younger dogs. Kota-Husky is quite a fresh family enterprise, having only started in 2007 and moving from Ivalo to Posio in 2008. But they have plenty of experience as Lauri worked as an employee in a big husky farm for five winters, and Marika has had her own huskies since the beginning of the millennium.
Most of the trails they use in safaris go around the Riisitunturi National Park, so the ground for nature travelling is excellent. All the safaris in the national park are carried out without snowmobiles, so you are guaranteed a totally natural experience.
They offer a number of services to suit different group numbers and requirements. One option is to see the huskies at home, in their own environment. Here you can see how they live in their own barn then go out with them on a short drive.
A longer trip involves getting acquainted with the dogs and then making a ten-kilometer trip. Halfway, you take a break, you can change drivers and take photos of you together with the huskies! After the trip hot drinks will be served by an open fire in a Lappish teepee.
The longest safari lasts 6 hours and can include the viewing of the Northern Lights. After learning a little bit more about huskies’ psyche and how to control a team of dogs you head into Riisitunturi National Park. In the national park you find hundred-year old forests and singular hillside swamps. You follow the frozen bogs and enjoy the silence, broken only by the dogs’ paws scrunching on the snow and the skis of the sledge whizzing. Halfway you enjoy a delicious lunch by an open fire. After arriving back to the farm, it is time to reward the dogs by praising and scratching!
So, if you ever get the chance then make the effort to visit the Kota-Husky Safari at Riisitunturi National Park. A fantastic, informative and fun day out where you get to be as close as is possible to these beautiful animals.
Visit Kota-Husky Safari at http://kota-husky.fi
Visit Basecamp Oulanka at www.basecampoulanka.fi