Meet the Sami Culture in Sweden – Njarka Sami Camp

When you arrive at Njarka Sami Camp in Sweden, Sami life is not the first thing you think of, it’s the place. Njarka means promontory in Southern Sami. It is a tranquil place where reindeer wander freely. You step straight into sami culture, the wilderness and the mystique of old traditions. A visit to Njarka Sami Camp is an experience for the heart and mind.

Njarka Sami Camp | Photo: Sandra Lee Pettersson & Tina Stafrén
Reindeer in front of a wooden kåta (Sami Hut).

Everyday Life & Traditions of the Sami People

The colourful traditional Sami dress that many people associate with the Sami people is nowhere to be seen at Njarka Sami Camp in Sweden. This is a place in which you come up close to the everyday life of the Sami and their traditions, observing and finding out about their work. There’s no one here who projects an image of Sami life, here you get to see the reality of it.


Njarka Sami Camp | Photo: Sandra Lee Pettersson & Tina Stafrén
Sami shoes made from reindeer skin. Soft and perfect for a silent approach.

Arriving at Njarka Sami Camp you meet Maud Mattsson. This is her life’s work and she shows you around the area at a brisk pace. Holding armfuls of reindeer lichen, she steps into the forest and calls her Swedish reindeer. The ground thunders as they come rushing over making your heart jump when realising you’re surrounded by reindeer with magnificent antlers.

Njarka Sami Camp in Sweden is a unique Sami attraction. You can get close to the reindeer without fences or gates, and you can try everything from throwing a lasso to lighting the fire in the “kåta” (Sami dwelling).

The large octagonal kåta (Sami hut) has an exhibition of Sami handicrafts with shaman’s drums, wooden mugs and beautiful knives made according to South Sami tradition. You can find out about the Sami household and taste candied angelica. The plant grows by streams and is dried after being harvested. The stately angelica plant was expensive merchandise in the 11th century and has been used as a medicinal plant by the Sami people.

Njarka Sami Camp | Photo: Sandra Lee Pettersson & Tina Stafrén
The wooden sign for Njarka Sami Camp.

Extraordinary Sami Experiences in Sweden

The Sami have always been attracted to places that have a sense of harmony, and this is just what you experience at Njarka Sami Camp. Gliding onto the lake, Häggsjön, in a canoe is wonderful. The leaves of the trees are reflected in the water, alongside the clouds in the sky. Breathe in the calm and quiet while gazing at the scenery. The still water and the silence around Njarka bring peace to the soul.

At the end of the promontory is perhaps Sweden’s most beautiful new kåta. Despite being newly built it has strong links to Sami traditions and its site. All the timber comes from the surrounding area and the work was carried out by local craftsmen. The kåta is rented to overnight guests; a unique type of accommodation for those who want a very special experience.

The perfect end to the day is sitting around the fire in the kåta that is used for gatherings. Naturally, a black pot of boiled coffee bubbles on the fire. Maud talks about Sami culinary traditions, how the entire reindeer was used from top to toe, with nothing wasted. Sitting in a kåta is democratic; all visitors are equally important and there are no corners in which to hide. In a kåta you sit eye to eye, and there is companionship. A great deal in the Sami camp takes place around the fire; you hear stories and tales that have passed from generation to generation. Gazing into the fire gives a magic atmosphere and the place makes the stories come alive.



Sami Culture, Attraction


Summer, Winter


There are guided tours some days of the week. Check the website for further information.


Njarka Sami Camp is located at Häggsjonäs. It is about 30km from Duved and well signposted from the E14 highway.


The land of the Sami, called Sápmi spans over the Kola Peninsula in Russia, northernmost Finland, the coastal and inland parts of northern Norway and parts of Sweden from Idre northwards. In Sweden there are around 20 000 Sami.

The Sami are one of the world’s indigenous people with their own culture, customs and language. The Sami language has been spoken in Northern Europe for thousands of years and is actually quite close to Finnish. In 2000 Sami was declared one of Sweden’s minority languages. The Sami language is extremely rich; for example, it has over 300 words for snow and ice.


Paddling kayak or walking by the lakeside.

Take a refreshing dip followed by a visit to the sauna at Njarka with a beautiful view of the lake.


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Njarka Sami Camp | Photo: Sandra Lee Pettersson & Tina Stafrén
The reindeers at Njarka Sami Camp are very fond of lichen.