5 days of kayaking and sighting birds & seals in the outer archipelago
Birds in Abundance
Marvel at large birds of prey like White-tailed eagles or Ospreys. Watch the agile Arctic skua steal catch from other seabirds mid-air, and learn to identify all kinds of gulls and ducks. Spot Razorbills, Guillemots, Herons and rare waders. It’s a bird lover’s paradise!
Watch seals and their cubs sunbathe on the barren rocks, or bob their heads above the water while hunting for fish. We head further out than most kayakers ever go to see these magnificent animals.
Your Wildlife Guides
A collaboration with Wild Sweden, a role model for observing animals in their natural habitat and wildlife conservation. Bonafide experts at getting close without disturbing.
Feel truly connected with nature and learn about the importance of biodiversity and a healthy ecosystem. Get inspired to take action to save wildlife and the environment, not just in Saint Anna, but closer to home too.
What You'll Get
All-Inclusive Wildlife Safari by Kayak
Wildlife guide from Wild Sweden and kayaking guide from Do the North. We use top quality kayaking, camping and wildlife spotting equipment. Return transport Norrköping-Saint Anna included as well as all meals in the wild.
- Wildlife guide and kayaking guide
- Top quality kayaking and camping gear
- Binoculars, spotting scope and bird watcher’s guide
- All meals, snacks and drinks in the wild
- Comfort upgrade- airbed, pillow and chair
- Return transport Norrköping-Saint Anna
What to Bring
- Base layers for paddling
- A couple of sets of clothing for land
- Warm sweater, beanie, gloves
- Shoes for water & land
- Towel & swimwear
- Sunglasses, sun cap, sun block & toiletries
- Camera or battery pack for phone
- Flights to Sweden
Price per person
Dates: 28 May–1 June 2020 (4 slots left)
Group size: 8 persons plus guides
Minimum age: 18 years
Fitness level: medium
Prerequisites: Must be able to swim and have a taste for adventure. Weight limit; 120 kilo per person. Kayaking beginners are welcome!
Accommodation: Solo tents for singles, double tents for couples.
Payment: We charge 1,000 SEK deposit per person at the time of booking. Remaining balance is due 2 weeks prior to your trip.
Day by Day
There are thirty-five coastal bird species breeding on the islands, and more still that venture here from the mainland to hunt for food or pass through while migrating. The population of Grey seals grow every year and these magnificent animals are often seen outside the seal sanctuary also.
Into the Maze
We begin our journey towards the outer archipelago in a sheltered bay. Soon we leave the mainland completely out of sight and continue northeast through the middle part of archipelago, where many common birds breed. Families of swans and ducks with their chicks swimming along. White-tailed eagles soaring high up in the sky – they nest in large trees not far from here. Perhaps we can sneak close to Grey herons as they stand completely still in the water watching their prey.
We aim east towards one of the last forested islands before hundreds of barren little islets take over, close to the open sea. It has been a quite strenuous first day, and we set up camp and settle in. We’re just south of a fantastic bird sanctuary where few humans ever get to go, we will explore it tomorrow!
Birds, birds, birds
We spend the first half of our day quietly gliding through the sanctuary as we sharpen our bird watching skills. We may spot elegant aviators like Ospreys or Montagu’s harriers. Eiders, the most characteristic bird of the outer archipelago, are plentiful. Bird species typical for the Baltic breed here – Velvet scoters, Tufted ducks and Razorbills, protected by squawking colonies of sea gulls and terns.
We take lunch at a stunning lookout where we can watch the whole sanctuary from above. Our journey continues south close to another superb sanctuary, with massive colonies of Herring gulls. We have good chances of spotting waders like Oystercatchers, Ruddy turnstones, Sandpipers and Ringed plovers.
After a day full of exciting bird watching and leisurely kayaking we set up camp outside the sanctuary to the south. We may have spotted seals already, but tomorrow we very likely will!
Grey seals and their cubs
We will stay at this camp for another night, so no need to pack everything up this morning. We head east today, further out than most kayakers ever go. We paddle near the seal sanctuary where spotting seals is almost a given. Depending on weather conditions, we may go by a very quiet boat, but hopefully we can take our kayaks!
This Grey seal colony of 60-70 animals is steadily growing in numbers each year. Early summer is a great time of the year to spot the seals and their cubs sun bathe on the barren rocks.
Soaring birds of prey
Today we aim further south skirting the sanctuaries of the Missjö archipelago where hundreds of tiny skerries are clustered closely together. The open sea is our backdrop and it’s absolutely beautiful out here. We will spot large colonies of gulls and Arctic terns. These are breeding grounds for Black guillemots, Eiders, Velvet scoters, Red-breasted mergansers, Shelducks, Redshanks and Oystercatchers. White-tailed eagles and Great cormorants are a common, and perhaps we spot Ospreys or Arctic skuas. There are also frequent seal sightings out here.
Towards the end of the day we reach one of the most famous spots of the area, the Kupa Klint lookout. It’s a cairn on a hill, historically used for navigation. The view up here is gorgeous with the whole Missjö archipelago spreading out below. There are plenty of great camping spots on this island and we settle in for our last night in our island wonderland.
Leaving the blue horizon behind
A very beautiful paddle westward through the middle archipelago awaits, much more sheltered and with larger islands than we’ve become accustomed to. After so much time in the outer archipelago, we may be surprised to see the picturesque old wooden houses that are so characteristic for the area, dotted over the islands. Indeed a very different landscape than the one we left behind by the horizon.
We end our amazing wildlife journey at a spot further south than where we started. You’ll leave Saint Anna with knowledge not only about our area, but full of tools to spot wildlife wherever you may go next.
*Weather conditions may effect our route. We cannot guarantee exactly what species of birds we will spot, but there will be many. It’s extremely likely that we will see seals.
Norrköping is the major hub of the area. We pick you up at 10.00, it’s a beautiful city to spend the night before your adventure. Our closest airports are Linköping and Skavsta, but you can also fly to Arlanda, Copenhagen or Bromma. Arriving by train is an excellent option for the environment!
Please take the time to read Getting to Sweden with less CO2 emissions for tips on what you can do from your end. Hint: offsets ain’t it!
We pick you up either at the train station or at any hotel/hostel/airbnb.
Check out our Visitor’s Guide to Norrköping
We drop you back off around 16.30-17.00 on your last day of kayaking.
This is en excellent option for the environment. If you search for the entire trip, as quick as possible, it may seem like a complicated journey with many changes and no possibility for sleep. But if you divide it, and take some time to visit one or two spots on the way, it’s a fantastic chance to experience new places. An example, London to Norrköping:
London – Brussels, 2 hrs, 0 changes
Brussels – Hamburg, 6,5-8 hrs, 1-2 changes
Hamburg – Copenhagen, 4,5-5,5 hrs, 0-1 changes
Copenhagen to Norrköping, 3 hrs 45 min, 0-1 changes
Each of these cities are very beautiful and interesting, there are plenty of departures and you can puzzle together your journey as you see fit! Search trainline.eu for departures. From Copenhagen to Sweden you can also check sj.se.
Your carbon emissions will be around 75% lower than flying.
Note that if you are booking your kayaking adventure far in advance all train departures may not be released yet, or they may have been released but aren’t visible on trainline. All trains will go through Copenhagen, so check the Copenhagen to Norrköping portion of your trip on sj.se instead. Trains will leave appr every hour, earliest departure around 5.00, latest departure around 18.30. The train takes 3 hr 45 mins-4 hours.
“Snälltaget” from Berlin to Sweden has daily departures during peak summer (June 24-Aug 18). Leave Berlin in the evening and arrive to Malmö in southern Sweden by the morning, around 12 hours later. From Malmö there are frequent high speed connections to Norrköping. You can use Eurail or Interrail passes on Snälltaget!
Your carbon emissions will be around 75% lower than flying.
Meet us at the launch in Saint Anna. Safe parking available.
Aim for our closest town Söderköping.
Take road 210, follow signs to S:t Anna,
Pass the bridge “Lagnöbron“, and take a left after 500 meters by the sign for “Mons Friluftsby“.
Take a right by the next sign for “Mons Friluftsby”.
Drive through the campsite to the waterfront. Parking on the left.
Carbon emissions per person when driving the whole way are a little trickier to calculate. It depends on several factors like how many passengers are in the car, fuel type and fuel effiency. In very broad terms, you will leave around a 50% smaller carbon imprint than flying the same distance.
Bus transfer 55 mins to Norrköping. flygbussarna.se/en/skavsta
Fly from London Stansted, Edinburgh (Mondays & Fridays) and Vienna.. ryanair.com
Combining kayaking with a visit to Stockholm? Bus transfer 80 mins to city terminal in Stockholm. Train from Stockholm to Norrköping, 65-90 mins. sj.se
Note! Stockholm Västerås (VST) is not a suitable airport.
Direct train 2 hours to Norrköping. sj.se (Arlanda C – Norrköping)
Sweden’s main airport. Served by all major airlines.
Copenhagen may seem far away but it’s actually a great airport to fly to. There are high speed trains from the airport to Norrköping (appr. 3 hrs 45 min). It’s also way better climate wise with a substantially shorter flight than to Stockholm.
Trains (Copenhagen Airport to Norrköping): sj.se Note that if you’re booking your kayaking adventure far in advance they may not have released all the train departures yet. Trains will leave appr every hour, earliest departure around 5.00, latest departure around 18.30.
Combining kayaking with a visit to Copenhagen? Train or metro from the airport to the city takes 15 mins and runs 24/7. Train from Copenhagen city to Norrköping: sj.se
Your carbon emissions will be around 25% lower than flying from most European cities to Stockholm!
Spending the night in Norrköping
We’ll pick you up at any hotel/hostel/airbnb in Norrköping. We recommend:
This chic little hotel in a refurbished 18th-century building has a great atmosphere. It’s located 700 meters from the train station, and also offers spa services and a great restaurant. Breakfast is included. All rooms are equipped with shower & WC, TV and Wi-Fi. The Lamp Hotel
Mention Do the North for a 10% discount!
This hostel is a more budget alternative, 1.4 kilometres from the train station. It’s located right in the city centre in the historic “Industrial Landscape” with great views of the river and the old magnificent factory buildings and chimneys. All rooms have TV and Wi-Fi. En suite or shared shower & WC. Self-serving breakfast buffet included. Pronova Hostel