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Wildlife safaris in Norway

Get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Whale safari in Tromsø .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Visitnorway.com
Whale safari in Tromsø .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Visitnorway.com

Bring your best camera and capture a photo of some of the most majestic creatures in the world …

Whale safari in Tromsø .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Visitnorway.com
Whale safari in Tromsø .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Visitnorway.com

… like the venerable musk ox that survived the last glacial epoch.

Guided wildlife safaris bring you safely into a unique animal kingdom.

In Norway, this includes whales, musk oxen, moose …

Musk ox safari in Dovrefjell .
Photo: Field production / Nasjonalparkriket
Musk ox safari in Dovrefjell .
Photo: Field production / Nasjonalparkriket

… birdlife like puffins …

Puffin in Kirkenes .
Photo: Roy Mangersnes / wildphoto.no / nordnorge.com
Puffin in Kirkenes .
Photo: Roy Mangersnes / wildphoto.no / nordnorge.com

… and majestic birds of prey.

Sea eagle in Bodø .
Photo: Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus / www.nordnorge.com/Bodø
Sea eagle in Bodø .
Photo: Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus / www.nordnorge.com/Bodø

You can also take advantage of nature's bounty on a different kind of safari: to catch giant king crab!

King crab safari in Honningsvåg .
Photo: Frode Kristiansen / www.nordnorge.com
King crab safari in Honningsvåg .
Photo: Frode Kristiansen / www.nordnorge.com

As Lonely Planet puts it, "Norway is the last refuge for some of Europe’s most intriguing wildlife". In the pre-internet days, some tourists even hoped they would see polar bears walking the city streets around the country, but they can only be spotted in Svalbard.

Into the wild

On the Norwegian mainland, however, you can see moose, reindeer and unique birds as you venture into the wilderness on your own, if you are in luck. Please keep in mind that they are wild animals. Don’t scare them and don’t approach them, as some animals might run after you if they feel threatened. Leave them alone and withdraw slowly.

If you want to see these animals in their natural habitat, the best thing to do is to join a wildlife safari. The guides know where you’re most likely to spot the animals and, most importantly, they know how to behave in Norwegian nature to stay safe.

The latter is very important, as some safaris will bring you near animals that you shouldn’t seek out on your own, like the musk oxen.

The guides make it easier for you to enjoy the animal encounters, as you can focus on getting an awesome photo for Insta.

Let's explore the top wildlife safaris in Norway!

Whale watching up close

Whales visit the Norwegian coast every year. They can be spotted along the Vesterålen coast all year round. You can join guided tours from both Stø and Andenes, where there is also a spectacular new museum called The Whale.

The most common whale to spot during the summer season is the sperm whale, but if you are lucky, you can see pilot whales, minke whales, humpbacks, dolphins, and killer whales. In winter, fin whales might also make an appearance!

There are more guided whale safaris in Northern Norway in winter, for instance with tour providers in Tromsø, as the locations are only a boat ride away from the whales’ favourite waters.

In the Svalbard islands, you can even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the biggest whale on earth, the blue whale. During summer, Isfjorden is known as the feeding area for the blue whale, fin whale, humpback whale, and beluga.

By joining a whale safari, you will also be able to enjoy the magnificent scenery, lots of fresh sea air, and natural surroundings guaranteed to make a lasting impression.

Musk oxen: a furry blast from the past

The Dovrefjell mountains are one of the few places on earth where you can experience the mighty musk oxen. On a guided summer walking safari, guests are virtually guaranteed an encounter with these unkempt, half-ton beasts. Some providers also offer guided tours in winter.

The musk oxen are not aggressive as long as you don’t get too close. You should always maintain a distance of at least 200 metres.

The musk ox may seem big and clumsy, weighing between 225 and 400 kilos, but it moves fast with a top speed of 60 kilometres per hour.

Explore the outdoors

For Norwegians, the outdoors is the ulitmate playground. Discover more below!

Hiking
Skiing
Cycling
Fishing
Kayaking

Find more outdoor activities.

The right to roam

The Norwegian right to roam means that everyone is free to access nature, even on privately owned property.

The main rules are simple: be considerate and thoughtful, don't leave any rubbish behind, and show consideration for nature and people.

Learn more about the right to roam

A seriously tasty tour

Come face to face with red king crabs in the Barents Sea off the coast of Kirkenes and Varanger in Finnmark. Afterwards, you can taste their succulent meat.

The red king crab can measure up to two metres from claw to claw and weigh up to 15 kilograms.

The meal that follows the safari is an absolute feast: tasty pieces of crab meat on freshly baked bread, home-made dressing, and, for those who desire, white wine. 

A birdwatcher’s dream

From the Lista Bird Observatory in Southern Norway and Runde in Fjord Norway to Varangerfjord in Northern Norway – there are many great places to go birdwatching in beautiful Norwegian nature.

Snap a photo of divers, grebes and wildfowl in the west, or head to the mountain habitats and look for dotterel, red-necked phalarope, horned lark, and snow bunting. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a snowy owl.

The UNESCO listed Vega islands off the Helgeland coast are also a hot spot for birdwatchers, with more than 230 species of birds! One of the most popular is eider ducks.

If you’re more interested in Arctic species such as Steller’s eider, king eider and brünnich’s guillemot, the area around Varangerfjord in Finnmark is the place to visit. It is one of the best and most easily accessible Arctic birding destinations.

White-tailed eagles can also be found along the coast of Norway, with the biggest population in the northernmost part of the country. Eagles from Norway have even been brought over to help repopulate Scotland with the majestic birds.

And let’s not forget the Atlantic puffin! There are several places to spot them. The most popular are Runde in the Sunnmøre region, Andøya in Vesterålen, the island Lovund outside the Helgeland coast, and Røst in the Lofoten Islands.

Read more about birdwatching below or find the perfect birdwatching activities to sign up for.

Get the 'moosed' out of your trip

If you’re hoping for a close encounter with the king of the forestgo on a guided moose safari. You can also spot moose under the northern lights in Vesterålen, in the twilight from an electric bike, spend a night in the moose observation tower in the Espedalen valley, or kiss a moose at Svartisen Moose in Salten.

There are lots of places to see moose in Norway, both in their natural habitat and in nature parks. We even have a place called Elgland, which means “moose country”!

See the top places to experience moose in Norway below.

More incredible safaris

Here are some lesser-known, but not to be missed, experiences.

In Namdalen and along the Hurdalselva river in Eastern Norway, you can paddle a river in search of beavers, while several destinations along the coast offer seal safaris, including the Sunnmøre region and the Northwest.

On the Svalbard Islands, you can be lucky enough the see walrus. The islands are located halfway between Norway and the North Pole, and the destination is known for its exotic nature-based activities.

Explore the Norwegian animal kingdom!

Find the perfect wildlife safari below.

Moose safaris
A journey through the area where one of Europe's largest and most unique moose migrations take place every year. Read more
Elgland - Home to the Moose
A unique experience with overnight stay in the world's only moose tower - "Elgtårnet". Read more
Elgtårnet - The moose tower in Espedalen
Guided excursion to see the moose, king of the forest. Read more
Moose safari
Join Discover Nature Norway for a moose safari in its natural habitat. You discover the fascinating animals during nice long evenings with its… Read more
Moose Safari at Øyerfjellet
Suddenly, there is an elk in the pine forest Magnificent, elegant, and majestic – and well camouflaged among the shrubs and tall pine trees. You… Read more
Moose safari in Finnskogen - the Finnforest
Moose is not something most people see every day. There is something very fascinating about these great majestic creatures. One gets very fascinated… Read more
Moose safari in Trøgstad
Personal Guide only for you when you want it. Guided excursion to see the moose, king of the forest. Read more
Moose Safari Personal Tour
A moose in it self is majestic sight, but to see it under the northern lights in moonlight is magical. Read more
Moose Safari under the northern lights
When and where? June 20. - August 20. Time: 19:00 Hjerkinnhusvegen 35, 2661 Read more
Moose safari with Dovre og Lesja Aktiv
Our photohides are placed either by a big wetland or by a meadow where the moose is grazing regularly. Read more
Rent a photohide in the mountains – catch the moose
We drive private guided tours in Vesterålen after the moose all year. As the largest and heaviest species in the deer family, the moose is an animal… Read more
Moose safari - Vesterålen Tours
Join our eco friendly moose safari on el - bike through our fantastic cultural landscape. With el-bike the small hills will be easy - you do not need… Read more
Moose safari on electrical bike
Birdwatching
This is a tailor-made trip, if you would like to have it all in one package. After picking you up from your accommodation, we will start with a… Read more
All in one - Sightseeing, Bird watching and Husky Visit - Discover Svalbard
Visit Lista lighthouse. In addition to the lighthouse tower, you'll find a visitor centre, tourist information and bird watching station. You can also… Read more
Lista Fyr Lighthouse
Join a local guide to experience our great birds! Experience the European Dotterel, the White-backed Woodpecker and the Horned Lark. Take contact with… Read more
Bird watching with guide
The Lista region has one of the highest population of different birds. They travel from all over the world to feed in Lista during the autumn, before… Read more
Lista Bird Observatory - Bird watching in Lista
"Urban birding" has become a thing withing birdwatching. Urban parks and gardens, often around ponds, can hold astonishing amounts of birds.… Read more
Birdwatching - Fagernes
The region between Gausdal and Valdres has had several names, such as Gausdal Vestfjell and Huldreheimen. After the extension and renaming of the… Read more
Birdwatching - Langsua NP and Hynna
Langtjedn is a small nature reserve which is easily accessible from the road near Gamlestølen in Etnedal. The lake itself is shallow and… Read more
Birdwatching - Langtjedn
Stølsvidda is a lower alpine plateau just at the tree line west in Valdres. It lies roughly between Tisleidalen to the southeast, the… Read more
Birdwatching - Stølsvidda
Valdresflye is an alpine high mountain plateau south east of Jotunheimen and north west of Langsua National Park in the municipalities… Read more
Birdwatching - Valdresflye
Game-watching in the fairytale forest and dinner and bonfire chat with the farm girl Hanna. Discover a piece of untouched nature in historical… Read more
Birdwatching and lavvo dinner in the fairy tale forest
The Gjølsjøen nature reserve is a wetland area in Marker municipality that was protected in 1992. The area has a particularly… Read more
Birdwatching: Gjølsjøen birdtower, Marker
The Dilleviktower is a bird watchingtower on Lake Dillevik, which is open to all. The tower has a bow where you can enter and warm up and a three… Read more
Birdwatching: The Dillevik bird tower
Jotunheimvegen along the northern shoreline of Lake Vinstre is especially productive in good rodent years, which means raptor years, specifically for… Read more
Birdwatching - Jotunheimvegen
Hornøya bird cliff is the easternmost protected nature reserve in Norway. The island has one of the largest seabird colonies in Norway, including… Read more
Birdwatching at Hornøya, Vardø Arctic Norway
The island has a long birdwatching tradition and it is sometimes compared with Fair Isle (south of Shetland). Among other things, this is because the… Read more
Birdwatching Utsira
The Norwegian Ornithology Association of Telemark was started in 1968. It is the county group for the Norwegian Ornithology Association. Goals and… Read more
Birdwatching in the middle og Telemark
Are you interested in birds and beautiful nature experiences? Join Leiv Arne on a guided tour, or spend a full day in one of the bird watching huts in… Read more
Åkset Naturephoto
The Lista region has one of the highest population of different birds. They travel from all over the world to feed in Lista during the autumn, before… Read more
Lista Bird Observatory - Bird watching in Lista
Musk ox safaris
Dovrefjell National Park is the only place in Norway, and one of few places in the world, where you can experience the majestic muskox. Read more
Musk Ox Safari
Dovrefjell National Park is the only place in Norway, and one of few places in the world, where you can experience the majestic muskox. Read more
Musk Ox Safari
Personal Guide only for you when you want it. Dovrefjell National Park is the only place in Norway, and one of few places in the world, where you can… Read more
Musk Ox Safari Personal Tour
Personal Guide only for you when you want it - a 2 day tour and spend the night in a tent in the national park. Dovrefjell National Park is one of few… Read more
Musk Ox Safari Personal Tour, 2 days
Whale safaris
This tour is conducted by Basecamp Senja. Welcome to an exiting four day Northern Lights expedition on Senja, including a whale watching from Tromsø… Read more
Exclusive 4 days whale (Tromsø) - and northern lights expedition on spectacular Senja. All inclusive.
This tour is conducted by Arctic Cruise in Norway. Join us for an unforgettable whale watching aboard our 2016-model luxury yacht. This is the trip… Read more
A Cozy Arctic Whale Watching from Tromsø with our luxury Yacht Arctic Queen
Join us on M/V "Polargirl" for an evening trip searching for the biggest animals on the planet the blue whale. Read more
Whale Safari - Polar Charter
Experience the whales from April to October on one of our summer safaris. Whale safari AS at Andenes has 30 years of experience in running whale… Read more
Whale safari from Andenes - Summer (big boat)
Experience the whales in a fantastic winter light from October to April on one of our winter safaris. Whale Safari Andenes has 30 years of experience… Read more
Whale safari from Andenes - Winter (big boat)
Whale Safari Ltd The Whale and Dolphin Society has given as the following commendation: « Whalesafari Ltd. Andenes - The world’s largest and most… Read more
Whale safari in Andenes
Now you can experience whale watching even closer to sea level from a RIB boat (rigid inflatable boat). Read more
Whale safari with RIB - Whale2Sea
This tour is conducted by Green Gold of Norway. From November to January around 400 Orcas and 100 Humpback whales gather around Skjervoy to feed on… Read more
Whale watching in magical Skjervøy
Lyngen Experience offers whale safaris every day from Nord-Lenangen in Lyngen. Departure from Sandnes guest harbour next to Lyngen Experience… Read more
Whalesafari - Lyngen Experience
Beaver safaris
Welcome to Beaversafari at Hurdalsjøen Hotell ! Hurdal has a rich wildlife. At Gjjødingelva and Hurdalselva, which both flow into… Read more
Beaversafari - Hurdalsjøen Hotel
Walrus safaris
Enjoy the golden glow of the sun and explore the best of Svalbard: the sight of glaciers, dramatic landscapes and the graceful walruses that lies in… Read more
Walrus Safari - Svalbard Adventures
Svalbard's wildlife is unique and fascinating. Join us on our day trip to experience it from up close! Every day we use our closed and comfortable RIB… Read more
Walrus safari - Two tons of happiness - Better Moments
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