Greenland

FROZEN HEART OF THE NORTH

Greenland, the world’s largest island, rests atop the northern reaches of our planet like a diamond crown. Administered by Denmark as an autonomous territory since 1985, travelers have largely avoided Greenland, believing the island to be rather ironically named. In some areas, however, that is not the case.

Along the coasts of Greenland’s southern fjords, summer temperatures can reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and lush, fertile grasslands support sheep, potatoes, and even strawberries. The summer sun enrobes small villages of brightly-painted houses in soft warmth while locals kayak pristine coves and enjoy volcanic hot springs. A visitor could even be forgiven for thinking that such an idyllic place wasn’t in Greenland at all.

That, however, is not where we are going.

Where we are going, the name is most definitely ironic.

SoulBuffalo’s Greenland is harsh, desolate, and remote. It has some of the coldest weather on the planet, with biting wind chill and 24-hour sunlight that ricochets off the ice pack with the sharpness of a ginsu knife. It’s not an easy place to live, and it offers an exceptional testing ground for adventurous souls who are determined to push themselves to the limit.

The Inuit people in this area maintain a traditional lifestyle that involves hunting, fishing and other ways of living off this bleak and unforgiving land. Unfortunately, the encroachment of globalized society is making it harder for these native people to carry on their traditions without criticism from the outside world. In an effort to better understand these people and experience their unique way of life, we will travel with them in their traditional manner: by dogsled.

SoulBuffalo’s dogsled expedition takes our guests on a week-long hunt across the coastal moraines of Northern Greenland and out onto the sea ice. In this stark, expansive environment, we’ll follow the ice conditions to track animals like narwhal, arctic fox, and even polar bear. Our guests will learn traditional hunting methods and develop survival skills like igloo-building and harpoon-throwing as we observe the fascinating way today’s technologies mingle with tradition and culture in daily Inuit life.

SoulBuffalo was founded on the principle that expedition tourism can and should create economic incentives for indigenous peoples to protect the wildlife in their regions. Our guests will experience firsthand the challenges Greenland’s native peoples face in remote, isolated regions, but no animals will be harmed or killed. This approach is integral to the SoulBuffalo ethos.

This is not the Greenland of cruise ships and teaser travel websites. This is the frozen heart of the North. Come with us on this remarkable adventure and experience a new and challenging way of life.

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Copenhagen / Kangerlussuaq / Ilulissat

Accommodation: Hotel Icefjord

Our expedition begins when we arrive in the capital of Denmark, which is the only international hub for flights to Greenland. Once we all meet in the terminal, we’ll board a flight for Kangerlussuaq and then switch to a specialized aircraft to take us the rest of the way to Ilulissat, the third-largest settlement on the island. The rest of the day is relatively unstructured other than a meeting for a welcome dinner and orientation back at the hotel.

Day 2: Ilulissat/Qaanaaq

Accommodation: ‘The Beach House’ and ‘Hotel California’

With two more flights today, we’ll get an early start to make sure that we’re at the airport in time to catch our flight to Qaanaaq via Upernavik. Once we’ve arrived at the two guest houses that will serve as our accommodation, we’ll have lunch and then meet our local guides for the tour. During this introductory period, we’ll have a cultural exchange where the hunters will show us their equipment and how they use it, and we’ll show them our modern devices and how they work. Once we distribute the food for the journey, we’ll adjourn for a night of rest before we hit the trails in the morning.

Days 3-7: Qaanaaq / Dogsled Expedition

Accommodation: Dogsled Camp

For the next five days, our schedule will be pretty much the same. We’ll start relatively early as the guides wake us up and we set out on a route and schedule that’s determined by weather and ice conditions. Depending on conditions, we might follow the edge of the sea ice for quite a while, looking for signs of Narwhals or seals, or we might go inland, following the footsteps of a Polar Bear or any other wildlife signs such as the Arctic fox or Arctic hare. With the sleds carrying a tent and warm fur blankets, the only things that we’ll carry are our own sleeping bags, air mattresses and food. Once we stop to make camp each night, the guide will set up the tent over the sled to create a communal area with cooking equipment.

Day 8: Dogsled Expedition / Qaanaaq

Accommodation: ‘The Beach House’ and ‘Hotel California’

After five days out on the ice, our guides will slowly begin to tailor our route to bring us back to within a reasonable one-day ride of Qaanaaq. Once we reach civilization, we’ll return to the guest houses for our first hot showers in nearly a week, dinner and a good night’s sleep on a proper mattress.

Day 9: Qaanaaq / Ilulissat

Accommodation: Hotel Icefjord

We’ll have a leisurely morning to catch up on sleep, eat breakfast, say goodbye to the hunters and sled dogs or explore Qaanaaq before our afternoon flight back to Ilulissat. Once we’ve checked into our hotel for the evening, the afternoon is ours to roam around town or visit the brewery that’s in our lodge. We’ll gather for a proper sendoff dinner before heading to bed.

Day 10: Ilulissat/Copenhagen

Accommodation: Departure

Since our flight to Copenhagen leaves just after 7am., we’ll have a very early breakfast and head to the airport to check in. Once we arrive back in the Danish capital, we’ll head our separate ways for our respective flights back home. This marks the end of our Arctic adventure, thanks so much for joining us and travel safely!

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