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Brown Bear Weekend AFB

Visiting: Finland
Trip Duration 4 Days

Reviews for Brown Bear Weekend

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

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We have the following different versions of the Brown Bear Weekend trip available at present.

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Brown Bear Weekend reviews verified by reevooReevoo

30 reviews

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Brown Bear WeekendScores 8.6 out of 10 based on 30 reviews
(9 out of 10)


Highlights included walks in the forest, smoke sauna and of course the bears, wolverines and bird life. I could have spent another day exploring the forest.
Be prepared that the bear hide doors do not lock or close properly and bears do come very close by! A bit nerve wracking at night - I certainly couldn't sleep.
There is only one shower room for the whole centre, so be prepared to queue.
Confirmed traveller: 21 August 2017
Published on: 27 August 2017
(8 out of 10)


The tour was made by the Explore Leader who was very knowledgeable on the nature walk and when providing information about the bears.

She was also very organised and wonderfully prepared for foreseeable problems, e.g. she produced dry socks when one of the group stepped into the bog and found a spare pair of boots when another member of the groups boots fell apart.
Confirmed traveller: 21 August 2017
Published on: 25 August 2017
(8 out of 10)


Tour was very good and guide very professional and went out of her way to give some background information and extra Finnish experiences. Lodge was small and basic - would benefit from some outdoor seating to enjoy the peace and view. Staff helpful. Saw 2 bears and 3 wolverine on the first night. Hide was comfortable and we had cinema style seats for viewing.
Confirmed traveller: 31 July 2017
Published on: 13 August 2017
(9 out of 10)


Wow, what a fantastic way to spend a long weekend ! The bedrooms are a little rustic and curtains would be nice but it is a back to nature weekend and who needs luxury anyway? The tour leader Sabrina is very enthusiastic and full of information on the local flora and fauna (including an over enthusiastic knowledge of animal pooh!) and went out of her way to provide an amazing experience. At first when I heard we were to be in a large viewing hide rather than a photo hide I was a bit sceptical of our chances but I could not have been more wrong. Wildlife is obviously hit or miss but for our night in the hide I think we hit the jackpot. Sabrina provided an "in-flight" service bringing drinks and snacks to our seats and the bears did the rest. We saw 6 different bears in all on about 15 different occasions through the night. The dominant male came to within 10 meters of the hide and a 3 year old female sat less than 5 meters from the hide ! Telephoto not required !! WOW !
Add to this a sauna and a swim in a lake and you do have a very Finnish experience but do be aware you are very remote and facilities are limited. The optional tours are perhaps not needed and a bit of a filler but the bears are the main event !
Confirmed traveller: 05 June 2017
Published on: 12 June 2017
(9 out of 10)


Food - ok nothing elaborate but that was not expected. There was always sufficient.
Accommodation- comfortable, again nothing elaborate but the room was clean as was the ensuite bathroom with shower. There was plenty of bedding and we were not cold but as you might expect it does get cold at night especially in the hide - take plenty of layers.
The hide details provided can be a little misleading for keen photographers, the large hide for example is not well suited for tripods and you cannot bolt a tripod head to a sill or ledge. I found a monopod with head worked well. All hides tend to have the camera aperture lower than would be expected for UK hides, I would suggest if you have a right angled viewfinder then take it.
Accommodation in the hide exceeded expectations, theatre style seats are provided along with a bunk bed, duvet and sleeping bag.
The tour leader Sabrina was lovely - very knowledgeable and extremely helpful, she also provided us with plenty of snacks.
Confirmed traveller: 05 June 2017
Published on: 08 June 2017
(8 out of 10)


i saw what i wanted to see but the bears were further away than i liked.
Confirmed traveller: 29 May 2017
Published on: 15 June 2017
(9 out of 10)


We packed a lot in to the weekend but without it feeling too rushed. The guide, Sabrina, was fantastic - probably the best I've had on an Explore trip. She was very sociable and ensured we were kept entertained by showing us nature documentaries and slide shows between organised activities. The night in the hide was surprisingly comfortable, although one night was enough for me. We saw 4 bears, but from quite a distance. Some of the group returned for a second night and saw several bears right next to the hide throughout the night, so it really is down to luck. The lodge is certainly not luxurious, but was fine for the weekend. Be prepared to share with more than one person as some of the rooms are multiple occupancy. The rooms just have net curtains and with it rarely getting dark, eye masks are a must if you need it dark to sleep. I'd recommend making use of the opportunity to use the traditional smoke sauna followed by a dip in the lake; it was quite an experience on our trip as Spring had arrived late and a hole had been cut in the ice for us to dip into! The food was plentiful and varied, and despite the trip notes, the only meal we had to pay for was lunch on the last day (when Sabrina took us to a bakery and a supermarket on the way to the airport). I opted for the moose safari and unfortunately we didn't see any (just arctic hares, a reindeer and some birds), but I understand that we were quite unlucky.
Confirmed traveller: 29 May 2017
Published on: 11 June 2017
(10 out of 10)


March, Cambridgeshire
On arrival we found out the sauna was stoked up for us to use after dinner. Even though it was the end of May, there was snow on the ground, which added to the experience with a walk in the morning and getting to use snowshoes for the first time. The bears were amazing and we got to see them on both nights. On Sunday, all of the girls went for the traditional steam sauna along with a dip in the frozen lake several times, much to the amazement and cheer from Sabrina our extremely knowledgeable tour leader.
Do check the weather forecast before you go as it can be varied. If it's wet, pack some wellies or waterproof boots. Pack swimsuits for the 2 saunas.
Confirmed traveller: 29 May 2017
Published on: 09 June 2017
(8 out of 10)


The breakfast was terrible: always cold baked beans and slab of omelette. The flight connections were too short so we had to run and this was very stressful. The leader Sabine was very good and we saw some great views of bears from a small hide the second time which we had to pay extra for. It's not easy waiting up all night and it was freezing so needled to wear all clothes. A great experience apart from the food.
Confirmed traveller: 29 May 2017
Published on: 08 June 2017
(10 out of 10)


It has been easy and relaxing weekend in Finland countryside. Of course The highlight of the trip was seeing three bears (one with cubs) and other animals such as reindeers, fox,, wolverine. Our tour leader Sabrina was very good and made the walks through forest very enjoyable.
Don't forget your swimming costume as there is chance to try smoke sauna followed by dip in the lake.
Confirmed traveller: 19 September 2016
Published on: 25 September 2016