Taking your breath away
Encountering a large carnivore is a rare occurrence. Watching and filming wild animals
bring thousands of visitors to an old logging hut to await what they might see tonight.
The old and grey logging hut in Lieksa’s Kontiovaara has gained new life as a base camp for photographers and nature travellers. Eero Kortelainen's business Erä-Eero is a globally recognised spot for filming wolverines. Its reputation has spread among wildlife photographers and watchers. Up to 85 percent of Erä-Eero customers come from abroad.
—People come here because Lieksa is the best place in the world to take pictures of wolverines, says Kortelainen.
Stories and pictures spread around the world via social media and blogs. Thousands of people can keep track of Facebook updates about bears waking up from hibernation or wolverines playing in the winter’s first snow.
—The breakfast table is alive with joy and talk after a night spent at the watching stand.
Wolverines, wolves, and bears – all different
Here is Erä-Eero’s take on the most popular visitors at the watching stand
—The wolverine is a curious and likeable creature. It moves about all through the year and can be seen day and night. The wolverine is initially shy, but once it starts to trust a spot, it will keep coming back carefully. The wolverine isn’t afraid of quiet noises, but talking will drive it away. Autumn is the best time as the cubs begin to gain independence and come play fight with other cubs.
—Bears start arriving when there is plenty of food available. Bears move about mostly during the berry harvest season of the later summer and autumn. Bears on snow are very interesting for photographers, because they are rare. The bear is quite the trickster: it will claw, dig, mess about, and get up to all kinds of shenanigans. This is the middle of a hunting ground, so bears are constantly alert when they come here.
—The wolf is a popular and photogenic animal. But also terribly shy. It will circle around at a distance of 20 to 30 metres. It won’t come directly to the carcass, but will rather let the wolverine pile up the food first. Once the wolverine leaves to feed its cubs, the wolf will attack. The wolverine will drop the food and run away or climb up a tree.
Wildlife watching and photography
- You can watch and film animals from a log cabin or out of photography blinds and stands of various
- The two-part watching cabin has room for about 20 persons. The cabin is freely accessible even for
those with limited mobility. The cabin has heating, bunk beds, sleeping bags, and dry toilets. Its
speciality are hearing devices for listening to the animals.
- At the photography stands, you can take pictures of the wolverine around the year around
woodland ponds and in boreal forests. Photographs are taken at distances of 3 to 80 metres.
- The walking distances to the stands and blinds are about 50 to 300 metres.
- All stands have affixing points for camera stands, dry toilets, sleeping bags, and the option to spend
the night. The stands also include gas heaters during winter.
- Arrival at the Keljänpuro wilderness camp at 2 p.m.
- Welcomes and coffee
- Company presentation and carnivore info
- Transit to the photography and watching cabin at about 3.30 p.m.
- Shooting/watching animals
- Departure back to Keljänpuro the following morning at 8 a.m.
Price includes: welcome coffee, company presentation, guidance, field snacks, insurances, and
Additional fee includes: sauna, dinner, place for rest during the day.
Please note: Dress according to weather. Bring your own camera, stand, binoculars, and recording
equipment. If you want to bring your own snacks, please avoid foods that make a lot of noise or
give off strong odours.