There are many animals that are almost impossible to see. This is for a variety of reasons, but the most common is that the animal is nocturnal and or shy.

For this reason hides are very useful. They essentially consist of something that the people can sit in, so that they are invisible to the wildlife in the area, allowing the wildlife to approach without fear.

In the UK the majority of hides are set up for bird watching, though I have also visited badger hides. In Europe the majority of hides are set up to watch bears (many were once hunting hides), though if lucky wolves can be seen from these on occasion as well. In Africa there are all sorts of animals to be seen from a hide at night – generally animals rarely seen during the day, such as Aardvark.

Some hides have beds so you stay in them throughout the night, others are used just in the evening or the morning. Also of interest is where the hide is, for instance if the hides below lies in Sweden. Due to its latitude, during the summer months it is bright enough to see for much of the night, which obviously makes visits more valuable. Other hides will have night vision googles, still more will mount infrared or visible lightsi

If you own or operate a hide and would like to be listed on this page please click here

Sweden is a large country, with huge areas of forest. Bears are a natural part of the Swedish ecosystem. Unfortunately as elsewhere the bear was persecuted heavily across Sweden, and by 1900 they were extinct in all but three northernmost counties.

Thankfully, in 1927 stricter protective measures were introduced. By 1942 there were thought to be almost 300 bears living wild. Thankfully that protection has worked well in the 80 years since, and now it is thought around 2,800 roam Sweden again.

Sweden is well placed to have large populations of many wild animals, as they have a population of only 10 million in a country of 173,000 square miles (approximately twice the size of the UK). Much of the country is still covered in forests. These forests are working forests, providing wood for many purposes including much of what IKEA sells. Given though that the trees need to grow for at least 20 years, there is a great deal of wilderness, with very low densities of people.

Hunting is a popular past time, and while most of this hunting is for Elk (same animal Americans call Moose) it means that there is heavy pressure on the government to keep wolf numbers low. This appears to be successful, with only around 350 wolves living in the country. For reference, Sweden is around 2/3 of the size of Romania, yet Romania has around 2,500 wolves living within its border. This means a natural population  would probably be around 1,750

WildNordic Sweden - bear hide - 2 hours north of Stockholm, meet in Kungsbergsvagen - Click for details and photos

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