Set on the shores of Lake Erilampi, this remote, forested spot is one of the world’s best destinations for wildlife photography.
Tucked in a remote corner of Finland, near the border with Russia, sits one of the best—if most remote—hotels in the world. The Wild Brown Bear Centre isn’t luxurious by any means, but it offers something that not even the most opulent and palatial resorts do: it’s one of the best places in the world to photograph wildlife.
The Wild Brown Bear is situated on the shores of Lake Erilampi and surrounded by miles of wilderness that wolverines, wolves, birds, and, of course, brown bears call home. To help nature-loving photographers—or just nature lovers—get the most out of their stay in the Northern woods, the grounds are outfitted with 21 photography hides. The camouflaged cloisters allow photographers to tuck themselves away and observe the wildlife safely while snapping away on DSLRs or simply making the most jealousy-inducing Instagram feed ever.
The lodge itself is a converted border patrol station, outfitted with simple furnishings that have a decidedly institutional vibe, but the bare-bones interiors hardly matter when you’re surrounded by the great outdoors. The hotel is nestled within acres of birch trees and teeming with migrating birds and wildlife that wander throughout the terrain in spring, summer, and autumn. Guests can enjoy panoramic views of Lake Erilampi or use the on-site saunas. According to the centre’s website, that’s exactly what most guests do, spending over 14 hours a day in the hides, often overnight, waiting for that one perfect shot from this ultimate wilderness escape.
To get to the center requires a serious commitment, first flying into Helsinki, transferring to a smaller plane for the flight to Kajaani, and then taking a two-hour drive through the forest. For nature lovers, though, it’s well worth the journey.
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