Sápmi Nature Camp
Culture-focused, authentic, remote
Fjallnasgrand 15c Gällivare 46-70-688-15-77 www.sapminature.com
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At a Glance
This five-tent property in the Sjávnjá Nature Reserve in Laponia, a UNESCO World Heritage site for its nature and culture, allows guests to learn about and interact with the indigenous Sámi people.
- Sámi owner Lennart Pittja’s passion for the camp and his warm hospitality
- Sapmi’s remote location, which makes it perfect for outdoor activities as well as for seeing the Northern Lights in the winter
- The opportunity to learn about the rich Sámi culture and traditions
Located in Sjávnjá Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site for its nature and culture, this sustainable camp offers a glamping experience with a focus on the local, indigenous Sámi people. Having lived in the Arctic region for thousands of years, Sámi were traditionally nomadic reindeer herders, and while some still practice this vocation, others have branched out into the tourism industry to educate others about their history, culture and beliefs. Sápmi’s owner, Lennart Pittja, is a Sámi, and he tailors guests’ stays so that they are as authentic and culturally rich as possible.
Sápmi has five guest tents, which are traditional in style and lack electricity but are supremely comfortable with wood floors, raised beds and both wood-burning and diesel-fueled fireplaces. Bathrooms are located a short walk away in the heated outhouses. The other amenities on property are limited and include just a cozy dining cabin and a wood-burning sauna.
Days at Sápmi are spent enjoying the great outdoors and guest itineraries typically include a morning activity such as snowshoeing, skiing on wooden skis or trekking through the marshlands. If Lennart’s family’s reindeer are in the area, it’s possible (though not guaranteed) to visit them and learn more about the animals. With very little light pollution, the area is a spectacular spot for watching and photographing the Northern Lights (Lennart is a photographer and offers workshops). The culinary program is as locally sourced as it gets; all of the ingredients are shot, caught, grown or foraged by Lennart and his family, and served at communal meals. Thus, the menu changes constantly based on what’s fresh, but is likely to include reindeer, ptarmigan (a medium-sized game bird), moose, fish and berries.
Who Should Stay
Outdoorsy, adventurous travelers who are willing to go without electricity and a warm shower for a night or two will appreciate this incredibly special experience. Note: Sápmi is best for children over the age of 10.