Bear watching in remote RussiaKamchatka, Russia
There’s something primal about observing bears in the wild. And witnessing these magnificent creatures in the remote lands of Russia is an experience unlike any other. Grassy Point, a tiny promontory on Kurilskoye Lake, is the largest spawning ground for red salmon in Eurasia, meaning the site is a gigantic bear magnet. Spot hundreds of animals crowding the banks as they hunt for their next meal during a helicopter tour to the region with 50 Degrees North.
Take in the views from a two-story A-frame timber lodge, complete with dining room and wrap-around verandah. From here, you can observe the graceful symmetry of Ilyinsky Volcano, whose peak touches the sky at 1578 metres, and a dozen other smaller mountains.
Spot bear cubs chasing each other across open meadows while their parents stalk salmon along the lake’s shore.
An African safari it isn’t – there are no jeeps or Land Rovers here. When you're done animal spotting, a MI-8 chopper will whisk you off to the Gorely Volcano, a massive complex of five overlapping stratovolcanoes with 11 summit craters and another 30 on its flanks.
- The end-of-world landscapes and big silences that come with true isolation; a rare and special thing
- The knowledge that you’re taking the (high, grassy) path less travelled
- Frequent bear sightings in peak season
- Infrastructure is limited in Kamchatka so be prepared for some rough moments
Visit the bears at Kurilskoye Lake during a one-day tour from US$550 or combine a trip here with a 10-day group tour that includes volcano trekking from US$4445
You’re out in depths of nature, but there’s a fence to keep you safe and sound in the lodge.