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The Brown Bears of Katmai National Park: 10-day photo safari with Chris Weston, 23rd August to 1st September 2013


The Brown Bears of Katmai National Park
10-day photo safari with Chris Weston
23rd August to 1st September 2013

Katmai National Park and Preserve is one of North America’s great wildlife-viewing areas. In late summer, migrating sockeye salmon attract one of America’s largest predators – brown bears – which come from the surrounding countryside to feed. The bears, intent on fishing, provide the opportunity to photograph them in a variety of habitats, from a beautiful waterfall where they forage for jumping salmon to a quiet bend in the river where mothers can bring their cubs, to the wide open area of Halo Bay where even the bears are dwarfed by the mighty mountain backdrop.


  • Wild and remote location – no crowds
  • Pristine wilderness
  • Guaranteed bear sightings
  • 8 days of photography
  • Dominant males to mothers-with-cubs
  • Close encounters
  • Witness the summer salmon run
  • Fully guided tour
  • A variety of locations


In the past eight years Chris Weston has made five journeys to Alaska to photograph brown bears during the annual salmon run. And, of all the places he has visited for his work, he told us that he can honestly say that this was his favourite.

The journey begins from the staging point of Kodiak Island. After an overnight stay, you will take a short flight to the private charter boat, moored off the Katmai coast. For the next eight days on foot you will explore the varied coastline and sheltered inlets, set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.


Each destination provides a very different aspect on the bears and during the course of the adventure you can expect to see bears of all shapes and sizes, from mothers with cubs-of-the-year, to frolicking yearlings, mischievous adolescents and big, dominant males.

The action will be constant. Bears are typically solitary creatures but once a year, in Katmai, they drop their guard for a few weeks to feast on the salmon that overflow the rivers and inlets and waterfalls. Photographic opportunities abound, as the bears adopt various “fishing” techniques to catch the salmon, occasionally fighting and jostling among themselves for the prime pickings.

Expect to see large numbers of bears and anticipate getting closer to them than you ever imagined possible. You will want to bring your wide-angle lenses as well as your telephotos.

This is an amazing adventure where you will truly experience being a part of the action rather than simply a voyeur. This is wildlife photography at its very best!


Day 1:

On arrival into Kodiak Airport, transfer to hotel. Day at leisure.

Day 2:

Transfer by floatplane to the charter boat. Introduction and briefing to Katmai NP and bear biology and safety. Shore landing for bear photography. Accommodation on board the boat is in quad, triple or twin bedded cabins. Cabin assignment is based on the gender mix of the group.

Days 3 to 8:

Shore landings for full days of bear photography. In most locations, it’s just a short walk before bears can be encountered. They display a full range of behaviour and can be observed and photographed at very close quarters. You will explore different parts of the peninsula, giving everyone an opportunity to photograph the bears in different environments throughout the 8 days.

Day 9:

Possible morning of bear photography followed by transfer to Kodiak Island, by floatplane. Transfer to hotel. Day at leisure.

Day 10:

Transfer to Kodiak Airport for return flight.

Price and trip details

£5,495 per person (including £300 discount for Nikon Owner Gold Subscribers)

Book with a £500 deposit. The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.

Price includes: Twin-share B&B accommodation on Kodiak Island, return air transfer between Kodiak Island and Katmai National Park, full-board shared accommodation on charter boat, all shore landings, use of wading boots, services of a qualified guide and bear expert, services of a professional photographer.

The price excludes your travel to Kodiak Island, lunches and dinner and drinks in Kodiak Island, alcoholic beverages on board the boat, items of a personal nature, any Visa fees, ESTA fees, and travel insurance.



£300 discount for Nikon Owner Gold Subscribers

To book, please email your full name, daytime mobile, landline and postal address to Gillian Greenwood at:

If you are also a Nikon Owner subscriber, please add your user-name/subscription number to the email. There are very limited places available, so do email me as soon as you are able to in order to avoid disappointment. If you are not currently a Nikon Owner subscriber, would you be kind enough to make a note of this in your email – in order to receive the discount, you will be able to join or re-join Nikon Owner when I call you to formalise the booking.

Please note that it is essential that you reply by email rather than by telephone.

About Nikon Owner


Standard Annual Subscription – £69

  • 1-year Subscription to Nikon Owner + 3-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • Nikon Owner magazine, a superb, glossy full-colour 60-page quarterly magazine that is 100% Nikon. Each issue delivers benchmark technical reviews of the very latest Nikon equipment, thought-provoking interviews and articles with world-class images. All back issues are now available on line as PDFs.
  • Private user-name and password to subscribers-only website
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 18-month warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • 10% off Think Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster
  • Special trips and events
  • Discounts on events and training sessions

Gold subscription: – special price £231 when booking this course

  • 3-year subscription to Nikon Owner
  • 5-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • 2-year warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • Gold Priority waiting list for all new Nikon releases (top of the waiting list)
  • A half-hour tutorial on the phone or face to face, by appointment
  • Special offers to Gold subscribers throughout the period of subscription
  • A signed copy of Heather Angel’s Wild Kew while stocks last or a Simon Stafford Nikon Magic Lantern Guide of your choice.
  • Nikon Owner quarterly magazine as above
  • Private user-name and password to the subscribers-only website which includes a forum, message board, technical equipment reviews, events page and use of a photo gallery
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 15% off Think Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster
  • Special trips and events
  • Substantial discounts on training sessions organised by Grays of Westminster, including Mike Maloney’s Workshops, Heather Angel’s Wildlife & Natural History Workshops, Simon Stafford’s Definitive Flash, Portraiture and Macro Training Sessions, Michael Eleftheriades’ panoramic and colour-calibration seminars and Chris Weston’s Photographic Courses.
DISCLAIMER: Grays of Westminster and Nikon Owner are taking the initiative of announcing this safari on the strict understanding that they are solely acting in an introductory capacity and anyone planning to attend will be deemed to have agreed that they fully understand this as a condition of joining. No liability whatsoever is accepted either by Grays of Westminster or Nikon Owner magazine in this regard.

With very best wishes
Gillian Greenwood
Features Editor and Events & Training Coordinator

Grays of Westminster
40 Churton Street,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7828 4925
Fax: +44 (0)20 7976 5783

Open Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. & Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We are closed on Public and Bank Holidays.



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