Hiding out with the brown bears

24th January 2003 at 00:00
It's almost impossible to believe but already the days are lengthening and winter is on the wane. Let your thoughts drift from marking to summer. While you might picture yourself on a light evening sitting outside the pub, the brown bears currently hibernating in Europe's far north are dreaming of white nights in the woods, snacking on berries and honey and teaching their cubs to swipe salmon from the rivers.

Between May and August, Wildlife Worldwide takes small groups on short trips to the Martinselkonen Wilderness Preserve near the Russian border in north-eastern Finland, to see and photograph the bears in their natural habitat. The 24-hour daylight means that on previous tours as many as 20 bears have been sighted in one long night. Other forest-dwellers include reindeer, elk, wolves and 10 species of owl. Those who can resist sleeping during the day will add lots more birds to the list. The price of pound;595 per person includes scheduled flights from London to Kajanni via Helsinki, three nights' accommodation, all meals and wildlife viewing with an expert guide. A stopover for sightseeing in Helsinki can be arranged at extra cost. Details: 020 8667 9158; www.wildlifeworldwide.com.

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