Celebrating 10 years of Natural World Safaris in Norway

Natural World Safaris

16 Feb 2016

Team NWS takes Norway

On a cold, dark, February morning the NWS team gathered outside the office full of excitement in wait of our taxis to the airport. Natural World Safaris have been creating extraordinary wildlife journeys for 10 years and to mark this special occasion, MD, Will, decided to treat us to a team-building weekend in the snow. We were jetting off for a celebratory long weekend in Norway to stay at the sumptuous Lyngen Lodge to enjoy good food and fun winter activities.

lyngen lodge

After flying to Tromso and meandering our way around the fjords we arrived at the lodge to find a roaring fire, welcome drinks and even customised NWS gilets to keep us warm – what a fantastic way to start the trip (thanks Will)! As it was dark, we couldn’t fully appreciate our setting but the excitement of exploring the lodge itself was enough for us; with slippers for us each to wear, comfortable beds, a huge selection of interesting teas and even a hot tub out on the deck it was everything we could have hoped for and more! We settled in to our rooms then joined in the dining room for dinner. A delicious three-course meal followed with fresh, colourful ingredients and perfect wine to match. The staff were friendly and attentive and gave us an overview of what our time here would comprise of. We then retired to the lounge to relax before our activities the next day.

Dog Sledding

Saturday morning came and we awoke to witness the stunning landscape out of the large lodge windows just begging to be photographed! After snapping away at the view and eating a tasty buffet breakfast we excitedly layered up ready to set off dog-sledding. We were all doing this activity together so we paired up and decided who was going to take the reins first. Briefed and raring to go, we boarded our sleds and began mushing our dogs through the snow. In less than 5 minutes the first collision happened with Daisy and Szilvia tumbling into the snow beside the track.

After hopping back on board, we all continued the journey taking in the breath-taking sights en-route. Mountains peaked in the distance, ice teetered on the branches of trees and slow glistened all around as we passed by. When we reached the half-way point in our journey we stopped off to enjoy a campfire lunch and some much-needed hot drinks to warm us back up. 

Sitting around the fire we all took a moment to stop and take in this truly unique experience. 

After lunch, the second half of each pair was in charge taking us down a steep hill and back to our starting location. We were told that there would be husky puppies when we got back so we begged our dogs to run faster so we could see these adorable pups even sooner!

Evening around the lodge

Later in the day after a chance to relax and warm up at the lodge, Will had another surprise for us. We were all asked to meet outside the lodge in our warm-weather gear at 4pm. Heading outside, we were fitted with snow shoes and practised manoeuvring around in this peculiar footwear before making our way up the hill behind the lodge to a small outbuilding. 

This was our first chance to see the surroundings as the sun set and to get a panoramic view of this beautiful area.

When we reached the building we all squeezed inside and were treated to another glowing fire and some warm mulled wine. We sat around listening to music and chatting, totally appreciating this amazing opportunity. Back down at the lodge we were presented by the chef with yet another fantastic meal including fresh fish and even reindeer. 

NWS quiz night and the amazing northern lights

As is customary for NWS events we split the office into two groups and listened intently to the quiz master – on this occasion, Will – and fiercely tried to outwit the other team. These quizzes can get somewhat animated so after the numbers had been totted up and the winners declared we all shared the prize of champagne and headed to the lounge and hot tub to unwind. 

Tonight was the night we’d all been waiting for, this was our chance to see the Northern Lights! Some of the team were enjoying the hot tub while others were wrapped up warm with cameras on tripods reader to try and capture the green glow of this natural phenomenon. We waited with baited breath and then we saw it – white and green shimmers in the sky. Setting the cameras to the required settings Hannah, John and Chania snapped away at the dark sky using the lodge and mountains as focal points. Some of the images came out really well (some not so much…) but it was clear that the green swirls came out much clearer in pictures than it in real life. Undeterred, they continued photographing until fingers and toes were numb (and John even longer than that!). 

Happy with experiencing many of the amazing things this area has to offer in one day, everyone headed to bed with smiles on their faces.

Winter fun

For our second full day in northern Norway we had some optional activities and split into two groups to head out for the day. Some of us chose the activity involving a snowmobiling trip up the side of a mountain to a frozen lake (Celeste, Will, Rachel, Arabella, Carina, John and Tom). After our guides used an auger to drill every person a hole in the ice, we were given a warm rug to lie upon and relax, simply holding the fishing rod over the opening in the ice, while sipping on mulled wine. As we took this very laid back approach to fishing, we also took turns driving the snowmobiles around the area, some of the more audacious individuals with a terrified guide in the passenger seat!

The rest of the group (Olly, Jessie, Hannah, Chania, Szilvia and Daisy) went out snow shoeing again, but this time for a longer trek high up into the hills behind the lodge. It was hard work and we slowly de-layered as we worked our way up the hill, but the views at the top were spectacular and definitely worth the effort! On our way back down we stopped to take some group pictures and enjoyed bouncing down the snowy slopes which cradled your feet with each step. 

It was great to be walking on fresh snow knowing that you were making the first footprints on this part of the peak.

Everyone headed back to the lodge to warm and freshen up before enjoying an evening of merriment including more fine food and wine, relaxing in the hot tub and another sighting of the amazing Northern Lights.

what a trip!

For the return journey to Tromso we were able to catch the ferry across the fjords (instead of taking the long windy route by road) which gave us one final perspective of Norway’s dramatic scenery.

A fantastic weekend was had by all with new activities experienced, tighter friendships formed and some great photographs taken. Although we’d had relaxing evenings at the lodge, after our long journey home and a late night we were all exhausted and could do with another holiday! 

When’s the next one Will?!

Comments

Hannah @ Natural World Safaris

10/11/2016 5:38 PM

Take me back to the snow!! Such an amazing trip :-)

Rachel @ natural world safaris

10/11/2016 5:34 PM

Was such a wonderful trip, with great people!

Will Bolsover

10/11/2016 5:25 PM

Great trip with a fab team!

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