Siirry sisältöön


I started in the Lapland Safaris Rovaniemi office as an activity guide, and afterward, I worked as a safari guide full-time (from 2018 until 2020) and as a freelancer only Christmas season from 2021 onwards. During these years, I think I’ve done every imaginable non-supervisor work task this company has.  

Working as a safari guide is much more than just a normal customer service job as there is always something changing or suddenly happening. E.g. work tasks might include maintenance such as cleaning or delivering stuff to different safari locations, warehouse and logistics work in clothing staff, car driver tasks, measuring ice in the river, making snow sculptures, organizing special events, and even sometimes you might have to evacuate guests from the forest. This is something that I truly enjoy in this work since you can’t get bored because every day is different, and you might do something entirely different every week.

December is usually a hectic time for large tourist groups, and I have an old habit of mentally preparing myself for the busy season. That means long hours, lack of breaks, strange work tasks and working conditions, etc. Then again, December only lasts for a while, which is good to keep in mind. My personal secret is enough sleep, a big breakfast, not taking myself or difficult guests too seriously, and trying to find humor in the strange world of the tourism business. Since I do nowadays only Christmas seasons, what I truly miss is working during the springtime because it is such a heavenly time to work outdoors due to increasing daylight, with smaller groups of tourists, special groups, and events! After December, springtime feels like a reward for pulling through. 

Nonetheless, after many safaris, thousands of kilometers, and countless guests, I cannot point out a specific day or even time of the year, because every day is different. To give a realistic presentation about the work, I can describe what my ordinary day would look like in the middle of December. 



A Day as a Safari Guide:  



– Previous evening: I check the work order from the system. The work order tells me the arrival time to work, a list of gigs, and possible side notes. I see that the next day I have activity site guiding in the morning and snowmobile safari in the evening. I have not made any personal plans, because I don’t know when my day is going to end. Also prepared, that my phone might ring even earlier than arrival time because the supervisor declares changes to the day or asks to substitute a sick leave. 

– Early morning at home: I wake up two hours before work. I have a shower and prepare a very big breakfast with two cups of coffee so that I can work at least 12 hours. Maybe relax a bit if I can.  

– Arrival at the office: I arrive 15-30 minutes earlier than the work order tells me, so I have time for a chitchat with co-workers and supervisors. If I have plenty of time, I ask for details about my day from the shift supervisor (any changes/anything to prepare for/how are the new guides on the evening gig, etc.). Then I ask the shift supervisor about how I am going to get to my first gig in the activity guide and if I need to run some errands. If not, I prepare myself for the activity site and start looking for the activity guide boss (number 10).  

– Activity site preparation: At the activity site, number 10 gives the orders and the team will prepare the activity site for the day group(s).  

– Activity site action: Customers arrive, and I have my tasks for the guest, which are usually mini snowmobile, serving refreshments, or playing some character (lumberjack/elf/other) 

– After activity site: At the activity site, the team tear down the place and then I start to figure out how to get back to the office for my evening gig.  

– Transport back to the office: I might have a shuttle or my car back to the office. Usually, during this time, I might have a chance to go to the store to buy a quick lunch. If not, then I must figure out something else.  

– Back to office: I finish my possible last tasks from the activity site and then go to the supervisors’ room to have a brief about the evening gig, e.g. if some changes happened or other. Then I find my colleague(s) for the gig and if I am in the lead, I give a thorough brief to others about everything. After a brief, I prepare for the safari, decide a route plan, and prepare paperwork for guests.  

– Guests’ arrival: The team takes names, greets guests, and gives a short presentation about today’s safari. After that, the team leads guests to dress up.  

– Safari starts: Leading the guests to the snowmobile area, giving snowmobile instructions, making sure everyone is ready while trying to find possible warning signs or other safety hazards.

– During the safari: NEVER LEAVE ANY CUSTOMERS UNSUPERVISED. The normal routine is snowmobiling to some destination, having a break with snacks in the forest, and heading back to the snowmobile area. Depending on the guests’ skills, it might be a long tour but usually done on normal routes. Balancing customer satisfaction and safety. Always prepared for the worst-case scenario, but still relaxed and enjoying the adventure.  

– Back to office: After a great adventure, lead guests back to the office, undress, and farewells and possible tips.  

– After safari: Dismantle possible gears and packages, de-brief with a colleague(s), and thorough safari report to supervisors in written format. If any accidents happen, follow normal protocol. 

 – Going home: If no gigs are scheduled, go to the supervisor’s room to check if the shift supervisor is still at work. If so, ask if there is more work or if I can go home. If there is no work and permission to leave, I say “Kiitos päivästä!” to everybody and go home. 


Of course, like everywhere else: the more you work, the more responsibility you receive. I have noticed that whenever I come back, I notice that I am “the old guide in the office” so that gives always new responsibilities to teach new guides. I have developed my way of driving safaris and interacting with customers. If you are a new guide on the same safari, it may be quite stressful. But luckily, in the end, everything goes well! 

Lapland Staff Oy | Yrjö Kokon tie 4 | FI-99300 MUONIO | Tel: +358 400 164 730 | info (@)

Lapland Staff Oy
Yrjö Kokon tie 4 | FI-99300 MUONIO
Tel: +358 400 164 730
info (@)

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