Estonian Mammals 8 days

wilderness experience in estonia

Estonia is well known for its rich bird-life. And, with its 700 Brown bears, 600 lynxes, and 200 wolves, Estonia also has one of the healthiest big carnivore population in Europe. In addition 12 000 Elks, Flying Squirrels, thousands of Raccoon dogs, 16 000 Beavers and 1500 Ringed Seals.

 

In autumn the elks are mating, Brown Bears are feeding up before hibernation, Ringed Seals gather in haul out areas, Wolves would teach their young to hunt and howl to communicate with each other.

 

Target species:

  • Elk,
  • Ringed Seal,
  • Beaver,
  • Brown Bear,
  •  Wolf,
  • Flying Squirrel,
  • European mink,
  • Nothern Bat,
  • Pond Bat,
  • Striped field mouse,
  • Northern birch mouse.

 

 

Book a tour with Triin:  info@natourest.ee or by phone: +372 55 55 87 55

 

 

Day 1: Arrival (Tallinn) Matsalu National Park

In the first night our stay in Matsalu we have boat trip in Suitsu river. On river we look at and listen bats with detector – most common species  flying over the water are Pond Bat and Daubenton´s Bat, whereas in the parks we can easyly detect Noctule and Northern Bat. We will hopefully see swimming Beavers and  listen for Elk calls and sound of dark autumn  night.

Overnight at Altmõisa Guesthouse.

Day 2: Marimetsa and Matsalu National park

In the morning we will take a look on the abundance of migrating waterfowl (eg Common Cranes and Barnacle Geese) in Matsalu NP. In the afternoon we will visit  Marimetsa bog – an habitat for many ineteresting mammal species, incl. big carnivores.

In the evening we will go to see the Elks. From several towers in Matsalu there is a great overview to the open flood- plain. In September-October, the time when elks mate, hundreds of Elk bulls and cows gather here to mate. Towers gives us good opportunity to look at elks behaviour and listen to their calls. We try to imitate elks call and hope they come closer.

Overnight at Altmõisa Guesthouse.

Day3: Hiiumaa

In the morning we will take a ferry to Hiiumaa. We will spend the day on small rivers – habitats of European Mink. This species became extinct in Estonia in 1990-s, but captive population has been kept in Tallinn Zoo and reintroduced to this island. In night we are trying to get the ear contact with Wolves.

Overnight at Hiiumaa

Day4: Hiiumaa

In Hiiumaa islets we go to watch the Ringed Seals. Usually this species is solitary, but in Hiiumaa the Ringed Seal haul-out areas are the biggest in the Baltic Sea.  After a rest we will go for the Wolves again in late evening.

Overnight at Hiiumaa

 Day 5: Driving to Alutaguse

Alutaguse is Estonia’s largest forest area, covering most of its north-eastern part. There are nowhere as many Brown Bears in Estonia as in Alutaguse. The area hosts also many other forest species like Flying Squirrel, Lynx, Wolf. This is quite a long drive. Late in the evening we will go to search the Flying Squirrel. Some individuals are radio-collared, we hope to find and observe one.

Overnight at Matsu talu

Day 6 Bear hide in Alutaguse

In the morning we will check the Sherman´s traps with our theriologst, who carries on routine small mammal monitoring in the area. There are good chances to see the Striped field mouse, in good luck also Northern birch mouse.

In autumn the Brown Bears are preparing for hibernation. They need a lot of food to build up a solid layer of blubber. At that time it is possible to find their tracks in old orchards, on fields etc. In the evening we will go to the bear hide and we will also spend a night there. Besides the bears it is a great chance to see Raccoon Dog and sometimes Fox, Wild Boar and also the Pine Marten. The bear hide has comfortable chairs for observation, bunk beds, and a dry toilet. It is possible to take a short nap, when tired.

Night in the bear-hide.

Day 7 Lahemaa NP

You might feel a bit tired after a night at the night in a bear hide, therefore we will take a rest until afternoon in hotel. Thereafter  will drive to Lahemaa NP – an area with nice old forests, stony and sandy beaches and huge boulderss. Lahemaa is also famous for its historical villages and old manor complexes.

Night in Rakvere

Day 8 back to Tallinn

In the morning we will drive to Estonian capital Tallinn. Here we will have an excursion in the medieval Tallinn Old Town and spend some time until the departure to airport.

 

Book a tour with Triin: info@natourest.ee or by phone: +372 55 55 87 55

 

Wolf pack howling in forest of Middle-Estonia:

 

Book a tour with Triin: info@natourest.ee or by phone: +372 55 55 87 55

Price

 

For other scheduled mammal and bird watching tours look at the calendar.

 

Price for groups

  • 2 people: 2400 EUR per person
  • 3-4 people: 1800 EUR per person
  • 5-6 people: 1250 EUR per person
  • from 7 people: 1150 EUR per person

 

Price includes

  • nature guide services for 8 days,
  • 7 nights in local hotels and guesthouses (twin rooms with toilet and shower),
  • local transport,
  • breakfast and dinner each day,
  • ferry tickets to Hiiumaa,
  • boot trip to seals near Hiiuma small islands,
  • boot trip to beavers on Kasari river,
  • rent of brown bear watching hide,
  • day with flying squirrel and small mammals specialist
  • day wit eurpean mink specialist
  • excursion in Tallinn.

Book a wilderness experience in Estonia with Triin: info@natourest.ee or by phone: +372 55 55 87 55