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Muskox Photography Expedition Norway

Exploring National park Dovrefjell Norway

Muskoxen are one of the most majestic animals of the Arctic. Survivors of the last ice age, when they roamed the mountainous terrain and alpine tundra across the northern hemisphere. Our Muskox Photography Expedition takes you on a tour into the wilderness of central Norway, in search of these mythical Arctic animals. 

Muskoxen were once native to Norway but disappeared from the region thousands of years ago. Today, a small group of muskoxen lives in Norway’s Dovrefjell National Park, where they were reintroduced in the late 1940s. Dovrefjell is one of Norway’s hidden gems, a true marvel of nature. The wilderness spans over 1,600 square kilometres, making it one of the largest national parks in Norway. It’s stunning landscapes, diverse flora, and the presence of iconic wildlife make it a fascinating destination for photography expeditions. Besides muskoxen, the park serves as a sanctuary for a variety of animals, including reindeer, moose and arctic foxes. You might also see bird species like golden eagles, rock ptarmigans and wild swans.

Our Muskox Photography Expedition is led by Waterproof Expeditions guides Johnny van Vliet and Debbie Bouma. They will provide you with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the Dovrefjell National park while respecting the well-being of the muskoxen and their fragile ecosystem. Johnny and Debbie will provide information about the ecology, behaviour, and conservation status of these unique animals during lectures.

This is a land-based expedition during which you will stay in a lodge near Dovrefjell National park. Groups consist of maximum 13 people in order to offer you the best experience. Although we will focus on photographing muskoxen, this expedition also offers great landscape photography.

Programme

Our Muskox Photography Expeditions take place in April. This is normally the beginning of spring, offering us plenty of daylight and increasing temperatures. There might still be snow on the ground, creating a nice background for photography. This also means we might need to use snowshoes to get to the animals. Snowshoes will be provided.

The itinerary is an example, and plans change often when you are out in the wilderness. The success of our expeditions is very much depending on wildlife and weather conditions. Two things which are beyond our control. We count on your realistic expectations and your personal flexibility.

Day 1 | Arrival in Hjerkin, Norway

Our Muskox Expedition starts in Hjerkinn, which is close to Dovrefjell National Park. The town is accessible by train from Oslo or Trondheim. You will be picked up from the train station by our expedition team.

We will have dinner at Dovregubbens Hall, which is your home base during the expedition. Dovregubbens Hall is a comfortable and traditional Norwegian accommodation, located in a beautiful valley with great views of the surrounding landscape. You can either choose a double room with queen sized bed and private bathroom. Or stay in a ‘cabin-style’ apartment with a living room, bathroom, kitchenette and 2 bedrooms (one bedroom has a bunk bed, while the other has two single beds).

You will be served some of the best traditional foods Norwegian cuisine has to offer. All meals are served in the main dining room. You will have breakfast in the morning, during which you will make your own packed lunch for the day. After a day out in the national park, we will have dinner at the accommodation followed by lectures or a movie. We’ll also make sure to have some time for editing and reviewing photos.

Day 2 - 4 | In search of Muskoxen

After breakfast, it is time for the first day of exploring Dovrefjell National Park in search of muskoxen. Depending on the weather situation, you might start with a snowshoe fitting before heading out. We will mostly be hiking and snowshoeing to reach the best places for photography. For long distances we will use our private transfer bus.

Your days will be filled with hikes in search of wildlife, and photographing the animals when they are in sight. We will always keep a safe distance in order not to disturb them. Depending on where the muskoxen are, you should expect to walk between 7 and 15 km per day. Besides our daily search for muskoxen, we will also offer one early morning moose safari during this expedition.

Keep in mind, the weather is often unpredictable during this time of year. Spring could arrive early, meaning we might enjoy sunny weather and comfortable temperatures. At the same time, snowfall and sub-zero temperatures are still very common in April.

This is an expedition in the true sense of the word, plans are made according to the weather and wildlife and might change depending on the circumstances. We will try to explore a different area each day.

Day 5 | End of the expedition

After 3 full days of muskox photography and exploring nature, it is time to say goodbye to this breathtaking piece of Norway. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the train station of Hjerkinn for you trip home.

Activities

Our expedition leaders Johnny and Debbie are both certified guides and experienced wildlife photographers. They will do their utmost to provide a varied programme that focusses on photograhping muskox, other mammels, birds and landscapes. After a day out in the field, they are available to review your photos and provide you with tips and new ideas for the next days.

When embarking on a photography expedition it’s important to be well-prepared in order to have a successful experience. A list of essential photography equipment, provided by our expedition guides:

Camera Equipment:

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera with manual controls
  • Telephoto lens: A zoom lens with a focal length of at least 200mm
  • Wide-angle lens for capturing landscapes and environmental shots
  • Tripod for stable shots and long exposures
  • Spare camera batteries and memory cards
  • Chargers
  • Lens cleaning kit to keep your equipment in top condition
  • Lens hood to reduce glare and protect your lens
  • Lens filters, such as a polarizing filter for reducing glare and enhancing colors
  • Rain cover or waterproof camera bag to protect your gear in wet conditions

Accessories:

  • Backpack to carry your camera equipment and personal belongings
  • Laptop for editing at the accommodation
  • Binoculars: Help locate muskoxen from a distance.

Photographers of all levels are welcome to join this expedition.

Impression