Camp With Wild Musk Ox in the Mountains of Norway
February 6–13, 2024
This wildlife photography expedition takes place in the frigid temperatures of the mountains in Norway. With an official National Park guide, you will dog sled into the mountains of Dovrefjell, where you will photograph wild roaming musk ox. These mammals were reintroduced into the park, a region similar to where they have roamed for 20,000 years. The park contains an almost intact ecosystem that includes wild reindeer, wolverines, arctic foxes, ravens, and golden eagles. These are the only population of musk ox in Norway. Our camp is one of a few places in the world where you can experience the majestic musk ox in its natural habitat.
You must be prepared to camp in nylon tents in the snow for three nights and ride on a dog sled. All camping equipment and snowshoes will be provided. You will need to be in shape to walk 3 miles in the snow with your camera equipment and have very warm boots and a sense of adventure!
About the wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
February 6, 2024: You will arrive in Oslo anytime on this day. We will be staying at a local hotel to meet as a group and get to know each other before our adventure begins.
February 7, 2024: Today we will be picked up by our local guide and drive out into the mountains, where we will stay one night in quaint cabins near the foothills of the mountains in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park. We’ll keep our eyes on the conditions for clear skies and possible northern lights.
February 8–11, 2024: We start our adventure into the remote wilderness of Norway. We meet our dog mushers, who will take us into the mountains. Our destination – our snow camp will be our base camp for our excursions to photograph the prehistoric musk oxen in their natural environment. Once camp is set up, we will head out on our first journey into the wilderness to photograph the musk ox. After we return and have a warm dinner, we will watch the night skies to see if we are blessed with a visit from the Northern Lights.
During the trip, we sleep outside in tents for three nights. This allows us to photograph the animals during the first and last light. The tents we use are four-season expedition-style tents that can withstand high winds. In each tent, 3 people can sleep comfortably, plus there is additional space in the vestibule for equipment.
Depending on the group’s motivation, we will get up about 3 hours before sunrise. After eating breakfast and packing our bags, we hike to the muskoxen before first light. The aim is to be with the animals about 30 minutes before sunrise. If the animals are close to camp, we may return for lunch, but if they are further away, we may stay with them throughout the light. Once the light is too dark to photograph, we head back to camp for a hot freeze-dried meal. If the skies are cloudy, everyone can sleep a couple of hours longer.
Sunrise is at about 9:30 AM, and sunset is at around 3:30 PM.
On the last day, we’ll have the opportunity to photograph the musk-oxen at sunrise before reaching camp by noon to pack up. The mushers will arrive at about 2:00 PM to pack up our equipment and ride out of the mountains. That night we will sleep again in the comfort of the heated cabins just outside the National Park and enjoy a delicious meal in the local restaurant.
February 12, 2024: After breakfast, we drive back to Oslo to spend the day on image reviews and post-processing sessions in a private room. After dinner, we’ll have more editing lessons.
February 13, 2024: Fly home anytime.
About the Camping & Weather
This workshop requires everyone to be able to withstand extremely cold conditions. You will need to be able to keep warm at -10 F for most of the time while camping, photographing, and traveling. The wind chill factor will drop temperatures much colder, so bringing the correct winter gear for this environment will be necessary. Our group of 6 guests and 2 guides will work as a team on everything: traveling, setting up camp, meals, and photographing.
We use high-end expedition tents that can withstand 28 meters per second winds. These large tents have space for 3 people and include a vestibule for equipment. Depending on the group size, there will be 2 or 3 people staying in each tent.
Sleeping bags and air mattresses meant for low temperatures will be provided. You will eat freeze-dried food and use a snow pit for a latrine. While winter camping, our washing abilities are basic. We will use shower wipes, hand sanitizer, and sometimes warm water to clean up. Showers will be available before and after our camping.
All musk ox photography © Floris Smeets
Difficult: Very cold winter conditions and camping in the snow for 4 days and 3 nights. Up to 3 miles of walking with snowshoes carrying camera equipment
Arrive Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (OSL), Oslo, Norway anytime on February 6, 2024. Flights out can be made anytime on February 13, 2024.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $400 supplement. (Hotel only.)
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
- All permits and park fees
- All transportation during the workshop
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
- English speaking local guide throughout the workshop
- Photographic guiding and instruction from Kevin Pepper
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- All hiking poles, snow shoes, dog sledding, camping, and camp food
- Down sleeping bags and air mattress
- Travel to and from Oslo, Norway.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $400 supplement. (Hotel only.)
“This was an excellent workshop—from the guys in the front office who encouraged questions and responded in a timely manner and who were most helpful in assisting with making the arrangements for such a long trip—to Kevin Pepper in the field who was knowledgeable in both the area we were in, and his profession, and was always available for questions. Keeping the group to a small size provided a much more interesting workshop then some competitors that I have attended. ”
“This was my second trip with Kevin. I really like his low key attitude. Without question Kevin was most interested in our photographic success and having fun. He was willing to stay out as late as required in our attempts to see and photograph the Aurora. He was willing to do what it took to get shots for us. I have been on other trips where that was not the case. ”