Small Group Safari

Kamchatka Brown Bear & Volcano Safari

Travel to one of the world’s most wild and picturesque places in search of brown bears, volcanoes and spectacular landscapes. Kamchatka is an essential destination for anyone interested in frontier travel.

Duration 9 days
Price From $8,033
When Aug
Destination Russia

Safari Overview

If you’re looking to push the boundaries on your next safari, look no further than a trip to Kamchatka. Located in the far east of Russia’s Far East, the peninsula contains less than 200 miles of paved road in an area larger than Great Britain, which is just one indication of how truly wild and remote this region is. Embarking on this safari will see you traversing the rugged landscape by helicopter – often the only viable form of transportation here – before making camp on the shores of an idyllic lake surrounded by greenery-covered mountains that scrape the sky. Here you’ll become acquainted with the European cousin of North America's iconic grizzly bear on daily photographic excursions, before climbing an active volcano on your penultimate day in the country.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Travel to Russia’s isolated Kamchatka Peninsula, a vast strip of wilderness that was off-limits to foreigners until the 1990s.
  • Take a tour around Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, an historic seaside city on the very edge of Russia.
  • Fly in by helicopter to Kuril Lake, a body of water teeming with salmon that attracts hundreds of Kamchatka brown bears.
  • Spend four days watching and photographing these magnificent mammals both on-shore and from the prow of your boat.
  • Ascend one of Kamchatka’s 30 active volcanoes.

Dare to step out of your comfort zone and discover why the little-known Kamchatka is one of the world’s most extraordinary safari destinations.

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Upon arrival in Kamchatka’s largest city, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, you’ll be transferred by minivan to your guesthouse in Yelizovo, just a short drive from the airport. After meeting your guide, they’ll then accompany you on a four-hour tour of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to help you adjust to the local time, stopping at a selection of landmarks along the way that make for great photo opportunities. Make sure to have your camera ready! You’ll be able to visit the scenic overlook above the port, the monument to Vladimir Lenin in Lenin Square, the memorial to those killed in defence of the city in the Crimean War, and the Vulcanarium, a museum opened in 2017 dedicated to Kamchatka’s volcanoes. After a walk around Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky’s historic centre and lunch at a local café, return to your guesthouse to enjoy an early dinner and prepare for tomorrow’s journey, when you’ll begin your safari in earnest.

Day 2

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – Kuril Lake

After an early breakfast, you’ll then be ready to depart for the 15-minute drive to the heliport by 10am. The flight to Kuril Lake will take around 1 hour 15 minutes, and there are plenty of sights to see on the way! Take a look out of the window to witness lakes, wetlands, mountains and volcanoes dotting the wilderness below you. Upon landing at your camp on the lakeshore, near the mouth of the Ozernaya River, your guide will introduce you to the camp’s inspector who will take you through the requisite orientation. You’ll be brought up to speed on the rules to adhere to while at the lake, and you'll also hear suggestions that will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time here in this beautiful locale. You’ll then be able to head out on your first bear viewing excursion today! After dinner in the mess hall cooked by the camp’s chef, your guide and inspector will meet with the tour leader to organise a plan for the coming day.

Days 3-6

Kuril Lake

Kuril contains more sockeye salmon than any lake in the world, which makes this prime bear-viewing territory. The South Kamchatka Sanctuary management allow for up to three photography tour groups to be out on the lake at any one time, and as key bear fishing spots around the 29-square-mile lake are rotated between groups, you’ll be assured plenty of uninterrupted viewings of Kamchatka’s photogenic brown bears during your four-day stay here. By rising early you can catch the morning light so sought after by photographers, and with eight hours of boat use available each day, you’ll have many opportunities to capture Kuril’s bears on camera. Dependent on weather and helicopter availability, you may also be able to take a 10-minute flight to the Kambalnaya River to view the bears hunt for fish among the running streams.

Day 7

Kuril Lake – Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Today you’ll fly back to the heliport outside Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky around noon, then return to your guesthouse for a relaxing day going through your photographs before enjoying dinner and preparing for tomorrow’s journey to Avachinsky Volcano.

Day 8

Avachinsky Volcano

Swapping the helicopter for a 4x4, today’s early-morning departure takes you to the slopes of Avachinsky, one of Kamchatka’s 30 active volcanoes. You’ll be ascending from an elevation of 1,400m to the summit of 2,741m, in what is a steep but non-technical climb. Enjoy the panoramic views from atop the volcano, which take in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Avachinsky Bay, and the sprawling network of rugged tundra and mountain ranges which characterise this spectacular corner of Far East Russia. After descending Avachinsky it’s time to return to your guesthouse for your final dinner in Russia.

Day 9

Depart Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Your Kamchatka safari is now at an end, so make the most of your time here while you can as you fly over the landscape for the last time (at least for now) on your international flight home.

Trip Details

Trip Dates & Prices

This is a small group safari departing on set dates in August 2019, which have yet to be confirmed. Please contact one of our Destination Specialists for more information.

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