A view of Kamchatka from the helicopter – by Marco Urso

 

August 2018 – Photo Tours of 16 days with Marco Urso, award winning photographer at the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Nature Best, GDT, Glanzlichter and Big Picture with images taken in Kamchatka.

 

This tour is the opportunity to spend  two weeks in the land of volcanoes and bears  and visit the most beautiful places of the wonderful Kamchatka. With no roads or railways connecting it to the outside world, Kamchatka is a haven for wildlife. You will experience the incredibly rich of flora ,fauna and geology of the regions  with several days observing and visiting villages of the native Even people.

A land of giants, a prehistoric patchwork of stark lava fields, craters and tundra contrasted against forest, beautiful lakes and rivers till the Pacific Ocean. And then the king of all, the brown bear, with unbeatable ways of photo opportunities.

We will move from one location to the other by 6WD hard truck remastered as comfortable bus or by helicopter.  

Main highlights of the tour are:

  • Visit famous land of volcanoes
  • Meet bears at Kuril lake.
  • 6WD off-road with experienced drivers
  • Meet the Even people
  • Meet Wildlife

 

 

 

DATES

starts  the 4th  ends  the 19th  of  August 2018 – 16 days back to back.

 

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS

Maximum 8 photographers per turn. Participants are coming from all over the world.

 

 

 ITINERARY

  • Day 1: Departure from your home country.
  • Day 2: arrival Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city tour.  After landing in Yelizovo, check into your comfortable guest house about 15 minutes’ drive from the airport. Double accommodations. Shared bathrooms. In a comfortable microbus with an English speaking guide, take a tour of Kamchatka’s capital city. Stops include:  Volcanarium-an interactive exhibition hall that presents through gorgeous photographs and graphics, the dynamic volcanism of the peninsula. Walk in the historic center of town, visiting historic monuments. Tour the Kamchatka Regional Museum.
  • Day 3: Kuril lake volcano by helicopter and stop, if weather allows,  over Ksudach Volcano with hot springs.  After breakfast, fly by MI-8 helicopter about 1 hour 15 minutes to the lake, located in South Kamchatka Sanctuary named for Tikhon I. Shpilenok. On the way, if weather allows, make a brief stop at Ksudach Volcano, with it’s beautiful crater lakes and steaming hot springs beach.  Arrive at the Ozerniy Camp at Kuril Lake. Tent camping-2 person tents.  With Marco, meet with your Inspector who will explain the rules of visiting and photography at the lake.
  • Days 4-5: Kurilskoye Lake: Brown bears watching. Tent camping, 3 meals/day, X hours of boat use to get to other areas of the lake to photograph bears.
  • Day 6: Depart Kurilskoye Lake. MI-8 helicopter.  Weather permitting, stop at Khodutka Hot Springs to swim in Kamchatka’s largest natural hot springs.  Continue flying and pass over Mutnovsky volcano, and fly back to the helicopter airport at Nikolaevka.  Drive 15 minutes to your guest house.  Double accommodations, shared bathrooms.  Meals B, L.  No host dinner at Starriy Zamok restaurant within walking distance of your guest house. Also stopping at Khodutka is weather permitting.
  • Day 7: Valley of Geysers (optional) and Uzon volcano. Located in Kronotsky Reserve, this is 1 of only 4 known geyser areas in the world.  Accessible only by helicopter. Group join in excursion that lasts 6 hours total, including beautiful helicopter flights each way of about 1 hour.  Also visit Nalychevo Nature Park hot springs en route back from the Valley.   For those not wishing to join the tour to the Valley,  visit the Snezhniy Psy (Snow Dog) sled dog kennel of champion dog mushers Andrey and Anastasiya Semyashkin, near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Here you can meet their fine sled dogs, they will tell you about their participation in Beringia Sled Dog Race, and also offer a comprehensive introduction to Kamchatka’s native cultures.  Lunch is served.  No host dinner at a local restaurant. Return to guest house.
  • Day 8: Klyuchevsky Nature Park by drive – Kozyrevsk settlement, stay in wooden cabin. Depart by motor coach at 8:00 from your guest house. The drive is about 10 hours, and most of the road is paved, but not all. Stop en route to stretch, photograph, have lunch in Milkovo. Arrive at Kozyrevsk and accommodations are a simple guest house. Meals:  BLD. Long all day drive.
  • Day 9 :Drive by 6WD passenger truck to Tolbachik volcano, in Klyuchevskoy Nature Park. The drive is off road, and will take about 4 hours.  Set up a tent camp. 2 people per tent. Our guide and cook will help to set up the camp. Meals BLD.Tent camping.
  • Days 10 :Lava fields and dead forest. After breakfast, hike up the lava fields. After lunch, drive to the Dead Forest, the remnants of the forest killed during the 1976 eruption of Tolbachik Volcano. Return to camp.  Tent camping
  • Day 11: Esso village. After breakfast, break camp and drive to Kozyrevsk and then to Esso village. Check into your hotel. Stay at Paramushir Hotel.  Meals:  BLD.
  • Days 12-13: Visit the Even people, camping at the Anavgai culture camp Menedek. Based from here, enjoy a full introduction to the Even culture. Elders from the village will tell stories, demonstrate some of their traditional hand work skills like birch bark basketry, making traditional wooden tools for herding reindeer. Also, go into the forest with them to collect “chaga,” which is a fungus growing on birch trees, which is prized for it’s healing properties.  They will explain how it is used and gathered.
  • Day 14: Return to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Avacha Hotel, with a lunch stopover in Milkovo. .  Double rooms.
  • Day 15 :Avacha bay cruise. Depart the hotel by 8:15 to get to the port and depart by 9:00 on your 6-hour cruise.  Lunch included. Cruise around Starichkov Island to see seabirds nesting including: tufted puffins, cormorants, common murres, several species of gulls.  Return to the harbor and the hotel.  Enjoy a final banquet at the hotel together with your guide.
  • Day 16: Departure. Airport departure.

 

INCLUSIONS

  • Full board at Kuril lake ( tent) Guest houses (rest of the tour), Bed and Breakfast at Petropavlovsk in a guest house.
  • all Helicopters to reach the different destinations. Off road vehicles 6WD.
  • Boat to reach the different spots at Kuril’s.
  • All reserve fees and photographic fees.
  • All camping equipment but sleeping bags.
  • Special Professional Photographers’ permit. (allows to go anytime any place landing from boats)
  • Assistance of an award winning professional photographer (Marco Urso www.photoxplorica.com ) speaking English, Spanish and Italian.
  • Ranger assigned to the group where needed.
  • Russian/English interpreter and guide.
  • Chef assigned to the group.

 

Not included:

  • Visa, but we offer assistance and documents to get it.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Tips
  • Flights from your home country to Petropavlovsk.
  • Anything which is not listed in the previous paragraph.

 

for more info:

info@kamchatkaphototours.com

marco@photoxplorica.com

Read my Bio and know more at Awards

 

 

                          SEE YOU in KAMCHATKA