Our representative in Levi, Katie Brook provides us with an Insider’s Guide to her favourite excursion: the Reindeer Safari.
Reindeer epitomise the magic of Lapland. They can survive in Arctic temperatures as low as –60°C, which is astounding, but the main reason I love these beautiful animals is because of their individual personalities.
Each reindeer has its very own funny and unique personality. From the shy and quiet ones in the snowy backdrop of the forest to the playful confident reindeer fighting for attention from everyone, they really are one of a kind.
Here in Lapland our reindeer farm is called Ounaskivari, named after the lake which is situated just behind the farm. The farm is owned by Johanna and her mother who are traditional Sami reindeer herders. The farm house was built in 1899 and Johanna and her mother have lived at the farm their entire lives.
Feeding the reindeer at Ounaskivari farm.
They had young reindeer when I visited the farm. At just 8 months old they are full of energy and they love interacting with people, especially when they are being fed lichen, otherwise known as magic moss. Everyone loves feeding the deer and the younger reindeer can become competitive when there's food on offer.
Everyone who visits Ounaskivari is treated to a once in a lifetime sleigh ride through a magical wintery wonderland, pulled by your very own reindeer. Simply sit back, relax and take in the incredible scenery around you. It really is breath taking to be surrounded by the snow covered trees, travelling peacefully through the tranquil forest, enjoying the best Lapland has to offer.
Upon returning from your wonderful adventure you are further treated to a lesson in lassoing. This is the perfect opportunity to practice this Sami tradition and feel like one of the locals.
Afterwards, you'll head across the snowy path into the farm house where a member of the reindeer safari team will greet you with tea, coffee, hot chocolate and freshly baked cakes to help you warm up from the cold.
Reindeer posing in the magnificent Lapland sun.
As you sit and relax by the cosy fire you’ll be given a fascinating insight into the lives of these lovable animals, including how they live throughout the Summer. You'll learn about the ear markings each Sami herder makes to the reindeer when they are born, claiming the reindeer as their own. You’ll also discover how the reindeer help Santa Claus deliver presents during Christmas.
The reindeer farm is truly beautiful. From the moment you arrive you’ll realise this is an experience you will never forget. Spending time in Lapland has given me so many memories I will always treasure. And I want everyone else to experience what we, as Ingham's reps, are lucky to experience every day.