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Seal Safari in Finland

Meet some of the rarest seals in the world—Saimaa ringed seal—at the largest lake in Finland

Seal Safari
Seal Safari
Seal Safari

Some of the world's rarest seals can be found in Lake Saimaa, the largest lake in the country. It is also the fourth largest natural freshwater lake in Europe.

Saimaa Ringed Seals are an endangered species, which can be only found here in Finland. Around 310 seals live in this vast and beautiful lake system. The total area of Lake Saimaa is 4,400 square kilometres. When winter is over and the ice finally melts, lots of seals come to the shore to lie on the rocks and warm their bodies in the sun.

Guided cruises can be taken in wooden boats that take you to Linnansaari National Park. Here you can see them resting lazily on the shores of the lake or jumping into the water for food. Late spring and early summer are the best for a seal watching trip. In mid-summer, the seals are mostly in the water. Usually, the best period runs from the mid- to late May when it's easier to spot the Saimaa ringed seals on the shore.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Lake Saimaa to observe Saimaa Ringed seal?

Saimaa ringed seals are visible on the shore during mid-to-late May, warming themselves in the sun. The period between May and August offers ideal weather and lighting for seal-watchers. Show more

How many Saimaa Ringed seals can be found in Lake Saimaa?

Lake Saimaa, Finland, is the exclusive home to around 310 endangered Saimaa ringed seals. Sightings of these rare creatures are a significant part of guided tours, which take every precaution to protect them. Show more

What kind of boat is used in the guided cruises to Linnansaari National Park?

The traditional wooden boats of Finland are typically used for guided tours to Linnansaari National Park. This allows for better navigation and a closer look at the basking seals. The cruises offer opportunities for viewing the natural beauty of Lake Saimaa and the Linnansaari National Park terrain. Show more

Besides the Ringed seal, what other animals can be found in Linnansaari National Park?

Linnansaari National Park is the habitat of many wild animals and birds. The lake has ospreys, black-throated divers, and western marsh harriers. Red squirrels, flying squirrels, pine martens, and small rodents are some of the animals on the island. With numerous hiking trails and picnic spots, there is plenty to explore. Show more

How long does the guided cruise take to reach Linnansaari National Park from Lake Saimaa?

There are different arrangements available from various service providers, and the duration of cruises to Linnansaari National Park varies. But visitors can expect to spend around 2-3 hours watching the wildlife, appreciating the natural beauty of the surrounding, and learning about local history and culture while on guided tours. Depending on the package you chose, the duration may differ. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin