After connecting with a flight from Anchorage to Kodiak you will stay two nights in this frontier town and take a half-day floatplane bear viewing tour at Frazer Lake on Kodiak Island – known as an excellent place to see female brown bears and their cubs. You will then head west on a spectacular floatplane journey to Katmai national park (sometimes Fin Whales are visible from the air!), where you will stay at the amazing Katmai Wilderness Lodge for 4 nights. As well as enjoying superb hospitality and great food you will spend ‘full days’ out in the field with packed lunches, as you search for the brown bears – giving you a once in a lifetime opportunity to ‘walk with the brown bears of Katmai’. Extend your time in Alaska with a relaxing self-drive along the beautiful Kenai Peninsula, with the chance to see bears fishing at Brooks Falls, Sea Otters, Orcas and stunning glaciers!
Katmai national park in Alaska has the highest density of brown bears in the world and Katmai Wilderness Lodge is the only permanent tourist lodge permitted to run inside the park. The real jewel in Alaska’s wildlife is Katmai National Park which lies across Shelikof Strait from Kodiak, at the base of the Alaska Peninsula. Katmai 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 involving small groups of bear watchers (maximum 6 people) encountering 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.
As well as a 4 night stay at Katmai Wilderness Lodge in August – absolutely peak time for bear viewing – we also include a spectacular fly-in tour to Kodiak Island. A legendary bear destination in its own right, genetically isolated for at least 10,000 years Kodiak’s Brown Bears have evolved into the largest subspecies of the Great Northern Bear found anywhere on the planet. Much coveted by trophy hunters for more than two centuries, the Kodiak bears are understandably more wary of humans than their mainland cousins, but the chance to come face to face with this near mythical creature is a powerful draw. we visit Fraser Lake, which is often a good location to see mothers and cubs.
‘So we did make it out to Katmai on time and I can only tell you that it was the most fantastic, amazing experience which we will treasure to our dying day. Perry and Angela were great hosts and gave us some wonderful days bear watching, but they also gave us the ultimate experience with bears! We went kayaking to the waterfalls in Kaflia bay. He only goes there if conditions are right, about twice a year, and some years he doesn’t go at all. He can only take five people. So, we felt very honoured to be chosen to go and not only that we went twice! The bears were everywhere all around us! Feeding on the salmon, sows with cubs, bears swimming, snorkelling and we sat right next to them, Perry kept us safe and it was awesome. I can’t believe what we saw, it really is a once in a lifetime experience. I feel very privileged and humbled by it all.