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“not as good as expected - shame they only had 2 reindeer”

Gabba Reindeer Safari Park
Ranked #10 of 18 things to do in Kirkenes
Attraction details
Level Contributor
292 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
“not as good as expected - shame they only had 2 reindeer”
Reviewed February 27, 2014

We came here on an excursion visit via the Hurtigruten’s Midnatsol. The excursion was for 2 and a half hours , but first we had to get there by coach. When we eventually arrived, were herded to see the reindeer , of which there were only two. Bearing in mind that this venue was the Gabba 'reindeer park', I had hoped to see a few more

After this we were guided into the Snow hotel by our Sami guide Joseph, who was a darling. In fact, I have to say that Joseph was by far the best thing about this trip, had it not been for him, this trip would not have been very good.
The snow hotel was nice, and I am sure that the snow carvings took a long time to make, but in my opinion not very good. Some of the ice carvings were good, I have to admit! We were served a little drink in the ice bar and then herded into, what appeared to be a large dining room where we were served with a hot-dog and another little sweet tasting drink. Joseph explained the ins and out of the Sami people which was entertaining.
After this we were left to our own devices, so we ended up playing with some of the sledges and went to visit the dogs. We had an educational trip back to the boat

All in all, was it worth the money we paid for this excursion at around £130 per person? – No, not really.. but at least now we can say that we’ve been to and seen the snow hotel and 2 reindeer.
Would we come back for a few days and stay here – no thanks..

Visited January 2014
2 Thank Baby-Babble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Krakow, Poland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

I was there two days ago on husky sledding trip. We saw reindeers, dogs and snow hotel. It was truly amazing! We really wanted to go later to snow-mobiling but unfortunately it was fully booked.
The whole trip lasted 3 hours. They took us with a bus from Hurtigruten terminal (we came with a ship) and we drove for about 30 minutes to Gabba Park with very funny guide ("Welcome to Kirkenes, as we use to say - sunshine state!").
Later we had some time to see reindeers, prepare to our trip and say hi to the huskies which are super friendly and playful. The trip with huskies lasted only 20 minutes and it was really bumpy - be careful all people who have back problems! We had small break during sledding when we could discuss a bit with our guide about dogs, his work and the area. We really regret that it was so short but also I have to admit that it might be demanding physically.
Afterwards we had little hot drink in climatic chalet and visited snow hotel. That was again huge regret that we didn't manage to book a room there - again - it was fully booked. It was truly amazing!
For the amount of attractions, our trip was really short. We wanted to cuddle a bit more huskies, discuss with the staff and maybe take some other excursions...and it was soon time to go back to our bus...
Expensive - yes, but, well, it is not everyday that I go with huskies, sleep in snow hotel, ride snowmobiles... So, absolutely worth the price.

Visited January 2014
4 Thank Jo-the-alien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york, new york
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2013

I was looking forward to seeing reindeer. Sounded very exotic. But those poor animals behind the fences looked so sad and disspirited. The yard where they were kept didn't look well-maintained, and I was both heartbroken and embarrassed for them. They're sort the national emblem, and its come to this: a "park" with gwakers complaining that the reindeer aren't lively enough. Good grief!

Visited January 2013
3 Thank dianenyc16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wimborne Minster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
464 reviews
161 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 296 helpful votes
“Enjoyable but can be expensive”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

There's a variety of experiences possible here, some very expensive, including snowmobiling and dog sledding. This is just about visiting the place, including having a look at the snow hotel.
A tour, with transport to and from Kirkenes, is 400 krone, for which I imagine you get lots of information. If you walk to the place and look around on your own it's 100 krone (about £12), and you can get a good deal of information talking to whoever is around - they all seemed very friendly and helpful.
The walk is about 2km from the centre of town, with about 500m uphill (you can pretty much see how far the hill is as you come out of the central area). Roughly halfway along is the Grenseland/ Borderland Museum - a good place (in either direction) for a rest, to get warm and maybe have a hot drink and cake. It looks as if the whole of the route would be lit in the dark of winter. There is also a bus from the town centre that can drop you about 200m away.
I've seen ice hotels/bars before, but thought this was pretty good and worth a visit... wouldn't have minded a drink had there been anyone on the bar (I expect there would be if you took the tour). Sled dogs are always worth visiting as they're so friendly and just want to be fussed; you could spend a long time playing with them. The reindeer park was a little disappointing as the animals weren't easy to see and rather shy if you got too close.
We enjoyed the restaurant area, a large circular wooden building heated well by a central log fire. Their reindeer sandwich, cooked in foil over the fire, was very good and not badly priced.
Worth the visit, and the walk.

Visited March 2013
5 Thank Geoffy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“King crabs and huskies”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed the Gabba King crab safari and the huskie sled ride. The ride in the sled towed by the snow mobile on the fiord to collect our King Crabs was fantastic. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the crabs and local area. He cooked them to perfection and we ate in a lovely warm cabin on the edge of the fiord. There was more than enough crab for everyone and it was a great afternoon’s adventure.

The next day we went on the huskie sled ride. The dogs were wonderful and the majority of them didn't mind a pat. It was perfect weather and the ride great fun.
I would highly recommend both trips if you are in Kirkenes.

Visited March 2013
4 Thank SlowdownLookup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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