Brown Bear Photography of Alaska
Your Adventure Awaits
A wildlife photographers dream trip, fishing bears, stunning scenery, and the very best bear guides. With the highest population of brown bears in the world, the Katmai National Park is one of the most prized destinations for wildlife viewing in Alaska. Particularly for seeing large brown bears feeding on fresh run salmon. This lodge has been operating in Alaska for over 25 years and has a clean safety record. Our well-seasoned and knowledgeable guides have developed a strong understanding and respect for these wonderful creatures, gained by cohabitation with them.
Your Host Kevin Dooley
After he completed his service he returned to New Mexico and opened his own Photography Studio in Albuquerque which is still running 37 years later. His passion for Wildlife Photography and Africa, led him to his Safari adventures and he eventually opened Idube Photo Safaris. Kevin is a certified FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa), Wildlife Guide and takes guests from all over the world on amazing photographic Safaris in Africa, Alaska and the Antarctic. He also teaches wildlife and wedding photography workshops.
The Lodge and the Guides
All guest cabins, including main lodge have spectacular views of the Alagnak river. The Dining Lodge is the centre piece of the camp. Its where we take our meals, share stories and socialize after a day on the river. With lounge sofas, a fireplace and a stunning view of the river and surrounding mountains, this building really is the town hall of our little village. Wooden walkways connect all our private guest cabins (8) to each other and lead down to our naturally sheltered dock where a fleet of jet boats are ready to access all the best Bear viewing, photography, and fishing spots within minutes of the Lodge. The Swiss Chalet on the hill, is perfect for larger parties accommodating up to 8 guests comfortably and in style, not to mention taking in the “Million Dollar View”, where you can survey the rest of the property, river and mountains beyond.
The Lodge is situated on the remote banks of the wild and scenic Alagnak River and is the perfect wilderness retreat. Boasting a world-famous run of all five species of pacific salmon, the Alagnak is also home to a host of resident fish, such as leopard rainbow trout, arctic char and grayling. This prestigious river is located within the Katmai National Park, with its headwaters in the surrounding mountains and drains into Bristol Bay. It is also famously known as “The Branch River” for its seemingly endless braids, where 10 miles of river can easily contain 30 miles of fishable and bear viewing waters. With such exclusive river access, you are sure not to be bothered by any crowds.
The Lodge itself is on 160 acres of prime river frontage in an iconic section of the Alagnak River known as the upper braids. The only access to the Lodge is via bush plane, landing on a private airstrip located on the property. Welcoming wooden cabins are equipped with running water, heating and power, that will guarantee you a comfortable stay. With an abundance of wildlife and stunning scenery, this trip is sure to live up to the image of Alaska that you have always dreamed of.
Bear Viewing and Photography
We normally place two or three photographers on each jet boat with a guide. Boats will travel on the river in search for photographic opportunities. On occasion eagles and other species are located. The main species will be the Brown bears. We will also at times anchor or land the boat and photograph from the banks of the river. A tripod is a must for this experience. However it is not a trip that requires a lot of hiking. We will have photographic lessons and talk based on the desire of the group.
With the highest population of brown bears in the world, the Katmai National Park is one of the most prized destinations for wildlife viewing in Alaska. Particularly for seeing large brown bears feeding on fresh run salmon. This lodge has been operating in Alaska for over 25 years and have a clean safety record. Our well-seasoned and knowledgeable guides have developed a strong understanding and respect for these wonderful creatures, built up by living and working amongst them.
Our location on the Alagnak is deep in bear country and we often have bears within sight of our lodge. We are able to access the river by jet boat and find perfect spots for photographers to set up and spend a whole days surrounded by these magnificent creatures.
IN THE HEIGHT OF OUR SEASON IT IS NOT UNUSUAL TO SEE OVER 15 BEARS IN A DAY, AS WELL AS AN ARRAY OF OTHER WILDLIFE.
Our lodge based bear photography tours, provide clients with comfortable riverfront cabins and a multi family cabin, delicious meals and guided jet boat tours in prime bear viewing country. These majestic creatures are an incredible sight to behold. Get your camera ready and create the images of a lifetime. Some shower and or toilet facilities might be shared.
Africa And Alaska The Differences
Alaska is such a contrast from Africa, in so many ways. Everything from the weather to the lodges are so completely different. It’s so remote and complex to get supplies and just daily needs into the camps of Alaska. Everything from the simple snacks to the guides have to be flown in by bush planes or carried by small river boats for miles into these bear rich environments. There is something so real and so enriching about the simplicity and adventurous life in the Alaskan wilds. We change from khakis to flannel, from shorts to waders, from elephants to grizzly bears. Switching from decked out safari vehicles with cushioned seats to boats with ice chests and metal cross bars to sit on.
The remote African camps differ from Alaska in so many ways, such as luxurious tents with pools, smartly dressed staff attending to your every need, guides offering French press coffee and freshly made muffins. The African tents/chalets are equipped with there own bathrooms, showers, tubs, tea stations in each room. There are huge comfortable beds, vanity kits with top exclusive quality products resting in decorated containers. A place where your clothes are washed, pressed, and returned in a beautiful and thoughtful presentation. The four course meals and high teas are delectable all set in some of the most remote places on the African continent. Africa becomes part of your soul with the is abundant wildlife and untouched nature.
Alaska is completely different yet equally inviting. The beautiful log cabins are warm and cozy After being out in the mountain air photographing the bears, the beautiful log cabins are arm and cozy. A place where a family is working together to bring you the very needs of living in a very wild and sometimes brutal environment. Here a family works together to provide comfortable accommodations and delicious meals in a wild and brutal environment Daily decisions are controlled by the weather and permafrost. It is not uncommon to have days of drizzling rain, but that produces the most spectacular photos.
This a place so completely beautiful that nothing rivals its amazement. A land of wild Grizzly Bears, salmon, stunted pine trees and the beautiful flowers of the fireweed plants. Eagles soaring high with the kind of pride that we can only dream of. A land where those who are most passionate about photography, fishing, wild places, and raw nature will thrive in the simple tasks of it’s very essence.
I love both of these wonderful destinations because they are so completely different and inviting in their own ways. They are wild and have amazing yet completely different opportunities for wildlife photography and spiritual growth. Two places that are at opposite extremes that an explanation without the physical experience is a true injustice to it’s real feeling. Experiencing one without experiencing the other is almost cheating yourself of the true meaning of each of these wildlife photography destinations.
Join world renown wildlife photographer Kevin Dooley in Alaska. We will head out in the mornings after a hearty breakfast in search of bears. Our boats will be two or three people to a guide and we will stay out all day. In the evenings after dinner we can go over some images and talk about the techniques of wildlife photography and editing. All photographic discussions will be set once we arrive at the lodge depending on the groups desires. Can be customized to fit specific needs and questions. One on one time will also be made available upon request.
Walrus Viewing and Photography Add On
Walrus trip may be available for those who would like to see and photograph wild Walrus. Price and trip will depend on the number of people who would like to go and weather conditions. We will discuss this option with those who would like to partake in this exciting journey before or during our time in Alaska. If you have an interest in this add on please let me know so that I may pass the info on to the lodge. You will work out the details and payment directly with the lodge. They are the organizers of this exciting day trip.
Fishing is available for those who would like to partake
THE BEST FLY-FISHING IN AMERICA IS IN ALASKA!
If fly-fishing were considered a religion, then Alaska would be its High Church. Fly-Fishing in Alaska is more than just a sport or passion – it’s a way of life. Once you have been bitten by the bug, you’re “hooked”. Fly-fisherman have the unique excuse to visit some of the most remote and stunningly beautiful locations on the planet.
My father always told me it’s about being outdoors and on the river; catching a fish is just a bonus. Well in Alaska, I have to constantly remind myself to stop and appreciate the scenery because the fishing is so great. When discussing fishing, you may have heard the saying “it’s called fishing not catching”. But in South West Alaska it can often seem like catching. For many, Alaska has always been a dream destination, somewhere they envision coming to only once in a lifetime. But once you get up here and experience what we have to offer, it will be hard to stay away.
THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT UNIQUE CATCHING A HUGE ALASKAN RAINBOW TROUT OR SALMON, SURROUNDED BY BEAUTY BEYOND COMPARE, THAT I BELIEVE CALLS TO THE DEEPEST PART IN ALL OF US.
South-West Alaska is the High Church of fly-fishing. Whether it be the sensation of a King Salmon pushing a double handed rod to its limits, or seeing a 26-inch rainbow trout rise to crush a mouse pattern tied the previous evening, or just the feeling that no one has ever fished these beautiful waters before; it has to be said that fishing in Alaska is something very special. It brings us back to the reason we started fishing in the first place when we were children. For the fun of it, for the thrill of a tight line, and the sound of a reel’s drag screaming. It’s for the laughter when your friend loses that fish of a lifetime, because in the heat of the moment he forgot to let go of the reel as “the one that got away” took its final run downstream.
Photographic Gear suggestions
Two Camera bodies 2. Telephoto lens 3. Carbon Fiber Tripod 4. Gimbal Ball Head 5. wide angle lens 6. Enough media cards for 10 to 15 thousand images 7. Good rain gear for both your camera and yourself 8. Cloths to dry lenses and glasses 9. Extra eye glasses 10. Good quality waders and wading boots 11. External hard drive for back up. 12. Lap top for Image processing. 13. Sunscreen 14. Insect repellent.
Dates for 2024
Depart for Anchorage
July 16th 2024
July 17 7am Flight to King Salmon
Bush Flight to Lodge
July 17-24 Bear Lodge July 24th 4pm Flight from King Salmon to Anchorage.
Recommended to stay over night in Anchorage in case of weather delays
Your Home in Alaska
Photo Bear Camp
The Lodge is situated on the remote banks of the wild and scenic Alagnak River and is the perfect wilderness photography and fishing retreat. This prestigious river is located within the Katmai National Park, with its headwaters in the surrounding mountains and drains into Bristol Bay.
All of our guest cabins, including the main lodge have spectacular views of the Alagnak river. The Dining Lodge is the centre piece of the camp. Its where we take our meals, share stories and socialize after a day on the river. With lounge sofas, a fireplace and a stunning view of the river and surrounding mountains, this building really is the town hall of our little village. Wooden walkways connect all our private guest cabins (8) to each other and lead down to our naturally sheltered dock where we have a fleet of jet boats.
Most cabins have built in toilets and showers. The large Cabin has shared shower and toilet. A few cabins have shared showers and toilets.
$8495.00 per personPrice Subject to slight change
A $2000 deposit is required at the time of booking your package. The remainder is due 120 days before arrival date, to secure your slot. . Due to our limited space in a season, after you book with us we may have to turn other guests away. Because of this we are not able to refund any deposits. Thank you for your understanding.
We strongly suggest you get travel insurance when booking your trip. Make sure it includes cancellation coverage in case for any reason you have to cancel you plans last minute.
Not included in the prices of the packages:
1 – All flights other than the bush flight into and out of the lodge.
2- All hotels , meals, and expenses prior to and following the actual time at the lodge.