By Kylie McKenzie
In a national park on the Alaska Peninsula that’s home to more than 2,000 brown bears (more than there are humans), Alaskan brown bear and grizzly viewing is the carbon neutral, name of the game.
On our adventure list for 2021, is a wild Alaska Grizzly encounter that’ll have us flying in by floatplane from Kodiak Island, where we’ll board our temporary floating residence—the private eight passenger ship, Ursus. The ship will follow the road-less shoreline up the Katmai coast for 8–10 days, stopping periodically to head ashore on foot to view bears in the most intimate manner possible as they dig for clams, forage for grass and fish for salmon.
There’s also an additional wildlife safari option for those that have the time, that takes nature lovers off into wildlands of last frontier on a 13-day guided trip to a remote backcountry lodge. Staying here, deep within the Denali National Park, they’ll have a chance to explore a private island in Kenai Fjords, and Brooks Falls in Katamai National park—famous for its bears fishing for salmon.
According to highly trained wildlife guides, the best time to visit the giant bears is in summer and early fall when they’re calmer and more pre-occupied with feeding. June is the time when they congregate to socialize, mate and play. And, in September, they’re full from feasting and the seasonal golden light makes for fabulous pictures.
Natbab tours specializes in eco-tourism at its finest, with the organization taking the lead in mitigating each tour’s impact on the earth’s precious resources by diverting (refuse, recycle, compost, upcycle or re-use) as much of the expedition’s waste as possible. It’s also a conservation travel partner of World Wildlife fund, a relationship formed in 2003. A trip worth waiting for!