Established by photographer Fredrik Broman, who drew inspiration from the camps he has worked with in East Africa, Aurora Safari Camp is one of a kind in northern Scandinavia, African style in the Arctic. There is no artificial light at all from the camp and on clear nights the stargazing is exhilarating. Five comfortable lavvu rooms each have a firewood heater to keep you toasty, and the campfire outside has a magnificent view over a frozen lake. The forested mountain behind the camp is home to moose, red fox, reindeer, roe deer and bears (hibernating in winter), and animal tracks are often seen thrillingly close to the rooms.
Deep in the forests of Luleå there are no supermarkets, so the food here will be as seasonally fresh as you will ever eat. Smoked reindeer and other organic produce hunted, trapped and foraged from the forest is all cooked over a fire and served up in the lounge lavvu, with lashings of warming lingonberry juice.
The collection of modernised Sámi lavvu might be tent like, but they are supremely comfortable. The stout tipi-like structures stay warm and snuggly thanks to a wood-fired stove at their core, casting a romantic light over an already romantic room, with just the thin canvas between you and the wild and, with a washroom hidden a short walk away in the woods, this is one of the most authentic Arctic experiences on offer.
In keeping with the Sámi theme, you can engage in age-old fishing techniques as you bore a hole in the ice and wait for the char to bite; a less brutal but more creative way of passing the time is to pick up a chisel and start your own ice sculpture. Additionally, a whole range of treks and trails criss-cross the forest – pristine snow just waiting to be broken by your dogsled or snowshoe – or take a custom built sledge pulled by snowmobile over the icy lake, or a photography lesson or two with Broman, the camp’s founder and renowned photographer and learn how to capture those Northern Lights perfectly for posterity.