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Tori's Photos Of Svalbard's Animals

© Tori Tsui

Tori was a guest on the second Arctic Adventure photo holiday that I led in June 2019. Her first trip to Svalbard, she says "It's been an absolute dream of mine to visit so I'm feeling very blessed - despite having tonsillitis!".

Barely seconds after meeting us at the airport and heading to our accommodation for a good night's sleep, we found Tori her first Arctic Fox and Reindeer of the trip. All thoughts of bed were forgotten as cameras came straight out of bags in an excited flurry. The spell of the Arctic was already working its magic on Tori!

© Tori Tsui

The lodge where we stay in Longyearbyen is very special for having a mouthwatering variety of megafauna on its doorstep - from the small Arctic Fox to the biggest of them all, the Blue Whale. Many people come to Svalbard in the hope of seeing the elusive king of the Arctic, the Polar Bear. So imagine Tori's awe at getting to observe not one but two Polar Bears during our boat trip to Pyramiden!

"What a truly humbling experience," Tori says, watching from the boat. "This is a feeling I'll never forget. The rarity of these bears in Svalbard makes me count my lucky stars".

© Tori Tsui

The "Prince of the Arctic" surely must be the Walrus, which are more easy to find than bears as they gather in large numbers on the island of Prins Karl Forland. Tori found that some weren't camera shy at all and she managed some great shots of them posing both in front of the snowy mountains and in the sea.

© Tori Tsui

© Tori Tsui

While it's big animals that lure people to the Arctic, it's often the peaceful sea views and solitude of the open fjords that keep people from ever wanting to leave.

Sitting on the clifftops watching beluga whales below and clouds of little auks swirling above, Tori reflects on her Svalbard experience: "This is my happy place! This is by far one of the best experiences of my life. It has given me so much joy and wonder for our natural world".

© Tori Tsui

Before the flight back home, Tori had one last request for us - to spend her final evening in Svalbard with the Arctic Foxes. "For an hour we didn't see anything. And then just like that, as we were heading to the airport, we saw a little white figure hobbling down the hillside towards us - an arctic fox! It was pure magic!"

© Tori Tsui

A wonderful half-hour was spent following this beautiful fox who was shedding her white winter coat. "She was so speedy! She made me work hard. I even fell in to a ditch to get this photo - the things you do for wildlife!" We practically had to drag Tori away to make her flight on time!

A few days after returning to England, Tori shared this message with us: "Last night I had a dream about being back in the Arctic, back by the cliffs where we watched little auks. Must be a sign that it's time for me to go back."


Join me and Mattia Cialoni in Svalbard next summer for a 5-day photo holiday for a truly once-in-a-lifetime chance to walk among all the animals featured in this blog (walruses, polar bears, arctic foxes and reindeer) plus a bounty of birds in breeding plumage. Details Here For 2020 Trip!

Interested in seeing more of my photos? Click here to visit my Facebook Page.


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