Big Predator Tour – Lynx, Bear, and Wolf

8 Days

Scheduled dates and availability

TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
21/09/2024 - 28/09/2024 Available €1,980.00
6 Available
06/10/2024 - 13/10/2024 Available €1,980.00
5 Available

This autumn tour has 3 big target species – Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear, and Grey Wolf. We will look for these animals in 3 different wilderness areas – West Estonia, Lahemaa National Park, and the Alutaguse area. The latter is also where we spend a night in a Brown Bear hide. In autumn, bears are trying to fatten up for the forthcoming winter hibernation and actively roam around the forests searching for food. From the hide, we’ll also hope to spot Raccoon Dogs, who similarly to bears are opportunistic omnivores and actively look for food through most of the day. For the Eurasian Lynx we look mostly during the late afternoon, evening, and night with a thermal scope, so there will be a lot of driving to cover as much ground as possible. During different periods, Estonia has been the country with the highest lynx population density and the local individuals are one of the largest in the world. Its’ main prey – Roe Deer, is doing better year after and so is the local lynx population. For the Grey Wolf, we will go to the western part of the country, where the wolf packs have been stable and present for many years now. Wolf cubs are becoming more and more independent and quiet autumn nights are the best time to hear them howl together with the pack. Due to their curiosity and confidence in the darkness, we might also have a chance of spotting them. During the daytime, we will rest or go on short birdwatching trips to clear our heads and enjoy the magic of autumn. Although our main targets will be the 3 big predators, we’ll have good chances of spotting Raccoon Dogs, Elk, Red Foxes, and Pine Marten. October is also a great time for spotting owls (Pygmy and Ural), Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Hazel Grouse, and woodpeckers (White-Backed, Three-Toed, Black, Grey-Headed) and enjoying autumn migration.

Similar tours

We have also similar tours during other times of the year. During spring, you could join our Lynx and  Steller’s Eider tour, or Lynx and the Flying Squirrel tour.

Overview

What can you see?

  • Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, Elk, Roe Deer, Otter, Raccoon Dog, Wild Boar, Pine Marten, Red Fox
  • White-backed, Grey-headed, Three-toed, Middle-spotted, and Black Woodpeckers
  • Ural and Pygmy Owl
  • Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, Black Grouse

Itinerary

Day 1

The group will be picked up from Tallinn Airport and our tour starts with a drive to Lahemaa NP which is the oldest and largest national park in the whole country. Its very mosaic landscape and low population density are very suitable for the lynx and it’s known as one of the best areas to spot them. In autumn, when the trees have started dropping their leaves and the temperatures have dropped, the lynx starts moving around again more actively and is more visible than during most other times of the year. Night in Lahemaa NP

Day 2-3  

In the following days, we will visit Oandu old-growth forest, where we had great chances of spotting the elusieve Three-Toed Woodpecker, Hazel Grouse, and Black Woodpecker. We will also go for walks in the old manor parks, where we might see the MIddle-Spotted Woodpecker, Grey-Headed Woodpecker, and White-Backed Woodpecker. It’s also a good time for spotting Nutcrackers. We will also spend some time on the coast, as it’s a good time for observing the autumn migration. In the evening, we will again concentrate on finding the lynx. Night in Lahemaa NP

Day 4 :
Lahemaa

Day 4

The day will be like all the other ones. During the day we’ll rest and make again short birdwatching trips along the coast or in the forest. In the late afternoon or evening, we will start again looking for the lynx.  Night in Lahemaa NP.

Day 5

Today we will leave Lahemaa and drive to the Alutaguse area, where we first look for tracks and activity traces of Brown Bears. In the afternoon we’ll enter the Brown Bear hide with the high hopes of spotting one of Europe’s most impressive mammals. From the hide, we have chances of spotting other mammals, such as Raccoon Dogs, Red Fox, Red Squirrel, Roe Deer, Wild Boar, and Elk. The hide is equipped with bunk beds, sleeping bags, pillows, and speakers that transmit the live soundscape of an autumn forest, captured by a high-end microphone next to the hide.  From the hide, there’s also the chance to hear wolves howl. Night in the Brown Bear hide.

Day 6 

After leaving the hide, we will make a drive in the area surrounding the hides. There we have good chances of spotting Capercaillie and Black Grouse. After breakfast in the closest town, we will start driving to the western part of Estonia. On the first possible windless evening, we will go and look for wolves. A windless evening is important as then we are hopefully able to hear them howl and thus have greater chances of spotting them later on. The area is good not only for wolves but also for lynx. So in case, the wind conditions aren’t as favorable, we will concentrate on scanning the forests and meadows for lynx, wolves, and other mammals of the area. Night in Matsalu NP

Day 7 

Depending on the success of the previous day, we will either look for the wolves or lynxes. The Matsalu area is also known as being one of the best locations for spotting Golden Jackals and Elk. For lynx, the area is also close to perfect with its varying land use and a big number of Roe Deers. Night in Matsalu

Day 8 

Unfortunately today we will depart back to Tallinn. Although, we still have some time in the morning for the last lookout.

Breakfast

Price includes:

  • The services of 2 local nature guides/drivers during the tour
  • 6 nights in local hotels and guesthouses (shower and WC inside the room)
  • Night in the Brown Bear Hide
  • Breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners as picnic
  • Transport during the tour

Price excludes

  • Flights
  • Beverages during the meals

Scheduled dates and availability

TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
21/09/2024 - 28/09/2024 Available €1,980.00
6 Available
06/10/2024 - 13/10/2024 Available €1,980.00
5 Available

FAQs

What is the best time to arrive in Estonia/When will the tour start on the first day?

You can arrive in Tallinn in the afternoon or even in the evening. The most active periods of this tour are evening and night hours. As Lahemaa NP is only 1h 15min away from Tallinn, we can start late.

If I'll arrive a day earlier, will I be picked up from the hotel?

Yes. If you arrive earlier, we can pick you up from your accommodation before the start of the tour.

When should I be at the Tallinn Airport before the departure of my flight?

Tallinn International Airport is a small and convenient airport, so you’ll have enough time at the airport if you arrive 90 minutes before the departure of your flight.

Overall Trip Rating:
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  1. Wild Estonia
    Wayne Jones
    from United Kingdom
    21/10/2023
    My wife and I booked the tour in the summer. I had wanted to do the large predator tour since Covid. We were met at the airport by Peep and the rest of our group. 2 lovely couples from Sweden and Germany. Both the hotels we stayed in exceeded our expectations. Very comfortable and the food was excellent. Peep and Burt our primary guides were tireless in their endeavour to ensure we saw as much wildlife as was possible. Their language skills and knowledge of the wildlife of Estonia was amazing. Switching from English to German or Latin to get the information across was inspiring. The areas we visited had lots of wildlife to view from pine martins to the highlight of two clear sightings of lynx. Martin the local lynx expert was brilliant. All the staff were patient kind and clearly have a passion for the wildlife of Estonia. I’d recommend anyone thinking of booking a tour to go for it. I will definitely be returning as soon as my diary allows.
    Date of Experience: October, 2023

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Big Predator Tour – Lynx, Bear, and Wolf
From €1,980.00
/ Person in double room
From €2,150.00
/ Person in single room
  • September-October
  • 4-6 persons
  • Easy walking
  • *Brown Bear
    *Eurasian Lynx
    *Wolf