Beth loves to travel and explore new places. She hopes her vacation experiences encourage you to visit them too.
A Day Trip From Stockholm or Uppsala
Gårdsjö Moose Park is easy to visit on a day trip if you are staying in Stockholm. There are frequent fast trains from Stockholm and Uppsala to Morgongåva which is the nearest train station for the moose park. From there you will need to take a taxi ride or walk 6 kilometers (3½ miles) to Gårdsjö Moose Park.
You can book a taxi before you start your trip by using a tourist information office in Stockholm (or Uppsala) to help you. As I don’t speak Swedish, I found that was the easiest way to be sure the taxi firm knew where and when to meet me. Of course, if you are a fluent Swedish speaker then you will have no difficulty making your own taxi booking.
There is also the option to rent a cottage and stay overnight on the farm. If you do this you will get a personal tour of the moose park from Leffe. You’ll be able to have a safari and see the moose herd when there are few other visitors. Whichever your choice of visit, this moose park is a unique and memorable experience.
Meet Leffe “The Moose Man”
Leffe Lindh is a Swedish farmer who has turned his love of animals into a unique tourist attraction. Moose are wild animals, native to most parts of Sweden. (They are also called Elk in some parts of Europe.) For thousands of years, moose have been hunted for sport here as well as for their meat and hides.
In recent years conservation and an interest in the welfare of wild animals has made hunting moose for sport in Sweden less popular. At the same time, there has been a growing interest in them from people who want to meet these incredible animals “up close and personal”. Moose are very shy and difficult to see in the wild. So the Gårdsjö Moose Park, near Uppsala, Sweden was born.
Leffe spends many hours every day with his moose family. When the moose calves are newly born he spends 24 hours a day with them and their mothers. This means they get to know him and trust him. They think he is one of the herd and so a great relationship is built between the farmer and the wild animals. He provides them with a secure semi-wild environment on his farm. In return he takes small groups of tourists to his fields and woods to see them.
The Gårdsjö Älgpark (Swedish for Gårdsjö Moose Park) covers 25 hectares of coniferous woodland, so the animals have plenty of space to lead a natural lifestyle. They have become used to human contact through Leffe’s work, but they are still very much wild animals.
Gårdsjö Moose Park, Uppsala, Sweden
The Rut and Estrus
In September and October, the female moose are on heat. The male moose become aggressive as they are only interested in mating with their females. This period of intense sexual activity is known as the rut and is common to all types of deer, elk and moose species. It is not safe for visitors to be taken close to the moose herd during the rut and so the Gardsjo Moose Park safari does not take place during these two months. If you are planning a visit you should check the farm’s website for their opening times.
A Great Family Day Out
The tour (or safari) of the moose park takes place via a specially adapted tractor trailer. Leffe has built a long seat on top of a standard farm trailer. It can carry over 100 people at a time. The bench has been built so that all visitors are seated facing outwards, towards the moose. Leffe makes several stops and entices the moose nearer by giving them treats. Visitors are not allowed to dismount from the trailer as the moose are only tame when handled by the farmer. They are large, heavy animals and their antlers can cause serious injury if they are provoked.
On the day of my visit there were lots of families with children present. Before starting the tour, Leffe gave safety instructions in English, Swedish, German and French. He made sure everyone understood that these were wild animals and must be treated with respect. There was plenty of opportunity to take close-up photographs and to (gently) touch the moose when they came right up to the trailer. It was wonderful to see these huge animals in a natural environment. Some of the younger children on the trailer were a bit overwhelmed by the sheer size of the animals, but Leffe reassured them and made sure they had a good time too.
Gårdsjö Moose Park Sweden
10 Moose Facts
- The Latin name for this species of moose is alces alces.
- Adult moose live for around 8 to 12 years.
- Adult males weigh from 500 to 1000 kg (1100 to 2200 lbs).
- The color of their hide can vary from a dark brown to almost black, to tan or reddish brown.
- Their antlers of the male grow to a magnificent 120 to 150 cm (45 to 60 inches) wide.
- Their heads are large, long, and heavy, with very small ears.
- They have long slim legs with cloven hooves.
- Moose are excellent swimmers, and travel at about 6 mph in water.
- They are vegetarian.
- They eat 73 lbs of vegetation per day in summer, and 34 lbs per day in winter.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.