A face to face photographic adventure (14-20 July 2016)
The Lake Clark area, just an hour’s flight from Anchorage, offers some of the most spectacular grizzly bear viewing on the continent. Here there are no time-slots, no platforms and you are also not subjected to the jostling of a thousand tripods.
I will be leading this unique photographic adventure to give you the chance to spend 5 days and nights in prime Alaskan wilderness, searching for and photographing grizzly bears and cubs in a completely timeless setting. For a video of my most recent trip to Lake Clark, check out the facebook page (andyskillenphotography).
We have exclusive use of our super-comfortable lodge, overlooking the meadows and coast of the Greater Lake Clark area meaning that just eight lucky guests will have life-changing experience.
Each day, in the company of your local bear-expert guide, and with Andy on-hand to help you make the most of the opportunities that present themselves photographically, you will head out into the meadows and beaches to search for grizzly bears. At this time of year, we will most likely see mothers with young cubs interacting, nursing, clamming at low tide and just, well, being bears as they have for generations.
All of our photography will be done on foot, giving you the chance of a lifetime to see these magnificent animals on their own terms, face-to-face.
14 July – Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska where you will be met at the airport by the hotel transport, and taken to your overnight stay. (overnight Anchorage).
In the evening we will have a brief get-together, to give you a chance to meet the rest of the group, and Andy of course!, who will give a short outline of how activities will proceed over the next five days. The rest of the evening will be yours to spend as you prepare for our exciting adventure that will start the next morning.
15 July – Up early, meet in the hotel lobby and transfer to Lake Hood airport for boarding our flight to Lake Clark and the lodge. This will be a charter excursion for our exclusive use, and is a fixed wheel aircraft. There is nothing that beats the build-up of boarding what is affectionately known as an “Air Taxi” in Alaska, and these flights are some of the most scenic you can take anywhere in the world. The ‘plane we charter is the largest that can fly and land on the airstrip we use, and is therefore capable of taking the whole group in one go, along with all our kit. There are still restrictions on weight – info on which we will provide with the full trip details – but because we deliberately choose a larger sized aircraft, we have a lot more flexibility than others.
After an hour or so, flying over the majestic strait and mountains, we will land on the beach, where our hosts will meet us and transfer us the short distance in ATVs to the lodge. After an orientation, and assignation of rooms, we may take an early lunch, before commencing our bear photography. Alternatively, if there are already bears active in the area, we will head out as soon as practicably possible to maximize the chances. (overnight Alaska Homestead Lodge)
15-19 July inclusive – For the entire trip, we will follow a similar daily pattern of activity. After breakfast, we will head for the meadows, estuary or beach, searching for grizzly bear activity. Most times, we will head off, gear in hand, sat in small, confortable trailers pulled by an all-terrain-vehicle until we have located an active bear. Once the situation has been established, we will get out and re-position ourselves on foot. This could be approaching the bear to a safe distance (and then letting the bear come to us), situating ourselves in order to maximize angles and visibility for the right shots, or, at times, tracking the bear as it moves from one location to another and anticipating where to be in order to make the most of the opportunities, light, sighting and activity. All of your photography will be done on foot…and Andy will be on hand to make sure you are making the most of your technique to ensure you capture a truly memorable image.
Each day will consist of a similar pattern, and we will aim to expose you to all the different habitats on offer, in order for you to see a wide range of behaviour. We will generally head back for lunch around the middle of the day, and then head out again in the afternoon for another session. A delicious dinner will then be served in the evening around a communal table, and we will have the chance to catch up on what we have seen that day. (overnights Alaska Homestead Lodge)
20 July – The time may exist for one last early morning sojourn to search for any bear activity, before we have to bid a sad farewell to the lodge, and hook up with our charter flight which will arrive by mid-morning to take us back to Anchorage. After a final farewell, you will be free to continue your adventure, or perhaps connect with a flight back to reality!
The all-inclusive price for this fantastic adventure is GBP3,595 (based on room-share; a single supplement is payable for those wishing a room by themselves). Not included in the cost are your international flights or transport to Anchorage at the start of the trip, tips and gratuities, alcoholic drinks or items of a personal nature.
The on-ground and booking logistics for this particular trip will be handled and underwritten by Wildlife Trails Ltd, one of the leading bespoke wildlife tour providers operating today. For a full information pack on the trip, and to reserve your place, contact email@example.com, or me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org