Dubbed as the land of the Midnight Sun, I have been lucky to be living in Finland on and off for the last four years. Having a background of doing guided safaris in Southern and East Africa, there are many factors that I personally like and appreciate about nature in Finland and here are some of them.
The symmetry of gentle undulating terrain, many lakes and expansive unspoiled forests present some of the most beautiful scenery endowed by a characteristic of silence which I enjoy very much.
Attraction of different seasons
In Finland I also like that there's the beauty of different seasons. Autumn colors i.e. ”ruska”, the bright snow in winter, spring time flowers and summer. Migrating birds and residents also add to experiencing the joy and the allure of turn of the seasons.
The seasons too I found to be very pronounced and allows one to really look forward to the next chapter of this elegance of fascinating mystery as they change from one to another. The northern lights and the midnight sun.
Breathing the forests scents full of pleasant fresh air with a hint of fresh pine aroma. A wonderful feeling of space. The serenity, blue skies, great silence and solitude takes you somewhere special.
Being here in Finland sometimes evokes a feeling of resemblance of different beauty of New Zealand where I use to live for several years; same with some sections of the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania with similar mosses growing on trees and ferns in the undergrowth.
Free entry to national parks
The forests are also great for outdoor activities, for hiking and camping, swimming, birding, relaxation, photography and some alone time. The summer in most forests brings forth some gifts of nature one can enjoy along the way. And mushrooms like chanterelle and many more. A blast of edible blueberries, cloudberry, cranberry and lots more really adds some valuable taste and nutrition in the outdoors.
Finland has 79 different species of mammals, most being found in the forests. Namely elk, fox, hare, stoat, roe deer, the Finnish national animal bear, and even flying squirrels which are however rare and protected, just to name a few. In Finland I have also been introduced to raccoon dogs, on my own back yard.
The other great thing about the national parks in Finland is that one does not need to pay entry fees for the parks which affords everyone the access to such beautiful nature.
As i live in the Kvarken area in Sulva, I have been lately exploring different national parks and nature tracks around the UNESCO World Heritage Site and other parts of Ostrobothnia. One of the closest places to Vaasa city to access forest and enjoy the nature along easy nature treks, and one of the locations for our Language course goes nature course, is Öjen.
Unique travel destination
Coming from Africa and a safari guiding background, I am lucky to learn more and explore many different dimensions of Finnish nature that truly bring out sometimes mystery, joy, melancholy and much more through its beauty.
It is a journey I would highly recommend to experience also alongside with deeper insight into the unique, interesting and sometimes challenging praxis. Get to some folklore, geographic history that surrounds it as well as part of the many unfolding treasures it has to offer.