2020 - SOLD OUT
Now Booking 2021
02 - 12 August 2020
3 Centre Alaska Widlife Photography Safari
All of Alaska's summer wildlife highlights including bears, whales, sea otters, sea lions, horned puffins, bald eagles
Individual Photography & Videography Tuition from award-winning BBC presenter, photographer, film maker and travel writer Trai Anfield
This trip has been our most requested over the last year, so how could we resist?!
You've asked us for a true wilderness experience, taking in some of the world's most majestic scenery that's home to bear, wolf, wolverine, lynx and moose; skies hosting hawks, eagles and owls; waters shared by sea otter, walrus, whales, charismatic seabirds and majestic glaciers. Add in the experience of seeing some of these wonderful animals on foot and even bicycle, as well as by boat, and it's truly an irresistible adventure - and one that partners of photographers will really appreciate too!
Tour Director & Tutor
Alaska: North America’s Last Wild Frontier
Wildlife still exists here in an abundance and diversity not seen elsewhere on the continent since the arrival of the white settlers. Alaska encompasses an incredible diversity of habitat from temperate rainforest and taiga forest, to alpine and arctic tundra, and this diversity is reflected in its terrestrial wildlife, which includes the largest Brown Bears on the continent (if not the planet), as well as its inland/alpine cousin the Grizzly Bear, the resourceful Black Bear, Wolves, Wolverines, Red & Arctic Foxes, Lynx, Moose, Caribou, and Mountain Goats. Alaska's coastal waters are also incredibly rich and home to Sea Otters, Seals, Sea Lions, Walrus and Orca. They also play host to visiting giants including Fin, Bowhead Minke & Humpback Whales, as well as charismatic birds such as the Tufted and Horned Puffin and Bald Eagle.
Our Alaska Highlights
3 centre safari - photograph many individual bears and groups in a wide range of habitats
Close up photography on foot and by boat
Opportunities to photograph other iconic Alaskan wildlife including sea otter, eagles, whales, orca
Daily photography briefings and tutorials with award-winning photographer and tutor Trai Anfield
Daily (subject to weather conditions) bear and other wildlife photography accompanied by tutor and specialist guide
Optimum access to wildlife and landscapes
Accommodation in authentic rustic wilderness lodges in prime bear viewing country
This is probably the most famous and iconic place to photograph huge brown bears - or grizzlies - anywhere in the world. Those incredible shots of bears catching leaping salmon in their mouths are often shot here. Surprisingly there is not much in the way of accommodation here, but we have managed to secure 8 beds in the Lodge at the peak of the bear viewing season. It's basic but fun, and the only way to access bears in action in dawn and dusk light.
The Kenai Peninsula, which lies immediately to the south of Anchorage, boasts some of Alaska's most impressive rivers, mountains, icefields, and coastline. It also offers convenient access to some of Alaska's most pristine marine habitats and many of the iconic fjords and glaciers that immediately spring to mind when you think of Alaska.
Katmai National Park
At the base of the Alaska Peninsula, KNP is home to the largest protected population of Brown Bears in the world, and for the past 2 decades it has been the subject of a hugely successful and innovative approach to organised bear viewing, where small groups of bear photographers (maximum 6 people) encounter the bears on foot in the company of an expert guide. This has produced a unique situation whereby something akin to a mutually observed, inter-species truce exists between humans and bears.
Accessible by floatplane or wheeled bushplane, the Katmai Coast is every aspiring bear watcher's dream ticket where giant Coastal Brown Bears can be observed catching salmon where river meets ocean in summer. Nowhere else on the planet will you see more and bigger bears, up close and personal, than you will in Katmai where the bear viewing experience is all about being on the ground with these magnificent animals, with very few people around. Access this amazing brown bear habitat by small boat/skiff and disembark to walk to locations where bears are feeding. Experience full days of bear viewing with packed lunches taken in the field. Here we will seek large males in particular.
Despite developing into a cultural hub, Anchorage still has wildlife on the doorstep in abundance. A gentle bike ride out of town along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail offers the possibility to see Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet if the tide is in, and encounter moose, black bear and other wildlife along the trail.
Ultimate Alaska photography tour 2021, visiting Brooks Falls and Katmai Wilderness Lodge
Aug 2: Arrive in Anchorage at the airport and take the free airport shuttle to the ‘Comfort Suites Anchorage’ airport hotel.
Aug 3: Fly from Anchorage to King Salmon where you will transfer to a seaplane for the short scenic flight to Brooks Lodge. After an obligatory safety briefing at the park headquarters, the afternoon is yours to use as you wish. You can head out straight to the stands to photograph the bears or settle into your simple cabin accommodation and wait for the best evening light.
Aug 4&5: Full day free for your own activities with the option to walk to the famous viewing platform at anytime during the day. There is a limit on the time an individual can spend on the platform. However, they can be visited multiple times during the day. You can also book – at additional cost – the ‘Valley of the Smokes’ tour (approx. $100 per person depending on visitor numbers - if you are keen to do this please let us know so we can pre-book)
A BIG ADVANTAGE of staying at the lodge, is the viewing stands are pretty much open from sunrise to sunset; whereas most of the fly-in bear operators coming into Brooks from Homer or Anchorage, will not arrive until around 11:00am and have to leave by 4:00pm. Sometimes the quieter times outside of the middle day period, can be better for bear viewing, although weather and the number of salmon in the river is also a major factor!
Aug 6: In the morning you will board your own private charter plane for a spectacular floatplane journey (weather permitting) to Katmai Wilderness Lodge. After settling into your cabin and enjoying lunch you will embark on an afternoon bear viewing excursion. A covered skiff will be used to access the various bays in the area where Coastal Brown Bears gather the graze on estuarine sedge grasses; or catch salmon as they enter the spawning streams. Depending on tides and terrain viewing will be conducted from the skiff, or the group will put ashore and view bears on foot. Dinner and overnight accommodation back at the lodge.
Aug 7-9: Three full days of morning and afternoon bear viewing sessions. There will be opportunities to view marine wildlife including Sea Otters, Seals, Horned Puffins, Bald Eagles and any Whales that may be in the area. All meals and overnight accommodation at the lodge.
Aug 10: Morning bear viewing session followed by an early lunch and a midday floatplane transfer to Kodiak which may offer opportunities to view Fin Whales from the air. On returning to Kodiak you will be dropped off at the airport to connect with flight AA 40 to Anchorage, departs 17:10 and arrives at 18:00 (approximate timings!). Take taxis to the ‘Arctic Fox Inn’ or similar for your overnight accommodation.
Aug 11: Free day for your own activities in Anchorage. We recommend renting a bicycle and cycling the 10 mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail from downtown Anchorage from which offers the possibility to see Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet if the tide is in, and encounter moose, black bear and other wildlife along the trail. An alternative is to take a leisurely walk from your B&B to the Anchorage Museum and explore the wonderful ‘The First peoples of Alaska’ exhibition – which is on permanent display in this eye catching modern building. There's also a chance for souvenir shopping around town and another great Alaskan experience: the king crab legs and real ale at the Glacier Brewhouse...veggie options available! Arctic Fox Inn’ or similar overnight accommodation.
Aug 12: When appropriate you will take a taxi to Anchorage airport to connect with your flight home or onward destination.
2020 - SOLD OUT
2021 Departures and Costs
DATES: 02 - 12 AUGUST 2020
RATES: £7395 PER PERSON
Based on six people sharing 3 double/twin rooms throughout. Limited single room supplement available at £950
INCLUDES: floatplane transfers between Kodiak and Katmai Wilderness Lodge, a fly-in bear viewing tour to Fraser Lake, return rail tickets to Seward from Anchorage*, two private small boat safaris in Seward, all photographic tuition, accommodation, activities, and meals as described.
EXCLUDES: **international flights to Kodiak via Anchorage; optional extra kayaking & cycling activities; gratuities, personal insurances.
*Adventure Class travel - recommended upgrade available to GoldStar Class return - £120pp
**Allow approximately £1200 per person for flights from the UK - we are happy to assist with booking flights and quote on request.
Please note - accommodation in this area is limited and always sells out 100%. Early booking is therefore essential to secure your place!
Wildlife Trails was established in Cumbria in 1999 and is an independent travel agency specialising in responsible eco-tourism and tailor-made wildlife encounters.
Their experts have the wealth of knowledge, based on first-hand travel experience, necessary to craft this complex, multi-centre itinerary which will give us the ultimate Alaska wildlife photography experience.
Additional Photo Credits On This Page: Katmai Wilderness Lodge - thanks guys!