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Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari

from £15788 excluding flights

  • 11 nights
  • Jun-Sep
Home Destinations Americas Alaska Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari

Highlights

Fox Island, Kenai Fjords

Sleep on a private island in Kenai Fjords National Park

Grizzly bear with salmon, Brooks Falls

Experience close encounters with grizzlies in Katmai National Park

Chugach Mountains

Travel through immense landscapes of mountains, glaciers and lakes

Moose in Denali National Park

Search for bears, wolves and moose in Denali National Park

Why this trip...

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Expertly guided

In-depth knowledge and expertise will enrich your experience on this trip

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Stay in great locations

This holiday features accommodation in incredible locations

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Like-minded travellers

Share your travel experiences with fellow travellers

Overview

In the company of some of Alaska’s top naturalist guides, head off the beaten track and into the Alaskan wilderness in search of adventure, epic landscapes and unforgettable wildlife encounters.

Fully escorted by a qualified, dedicated and passionate natural history guide, this trip has been carefully designed to ensure some of the very best possible wildlife viewing opportunities that Alaska has to offer. With an average group size of just 14 passengers, you will be rewarded with a very personal experience as you explore this incredible state.

Although taking in many of the popular tourist attractions of Alaska, this itinerary offers a different and more intimate perspective. At Denali, stay in a lodge in the heart of the national park, with the chance to view wolves and grizzlies roaming the tundra long after the day visitors have left.

Explore the popular Kenai Fjords National Park on a small, private yacht for uninterrupted views of calving glaciers and marine wildlife, before heading to isolated Fox Island. With no other guests, your group will have exclusive use of the island for a memorable overnight stay.

Depending on when you travel, your tour ends with a floatplane flight to one of two places. June departures travel to the remote Lake Clark National Park for a stay at the Alaska Bear Camp. Whilst those travelling in July and August visit Katmai National Park, for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view Alaskan brown bears as they gather around Brooks Falls. You could be lucky enough to see up to 40 or 50 bears as they fish for salmon along a 1.5 mile stretch of the Brooks River.

Other highlights include a journey on the iconic Alaskan Railroad and a float trip by raft down the icy Placer River. From Fairbanks to Anchorage, taking in mountains, glaciers and endless wilderness in search of bears, wolves, whales and much more besides, this holiday offers an in-depth discovery of Alaska’s natural wonders.

Responsible Travel

Since 2007 all Natural Habitat’s trips and office operations have been completely carbon-neutral, making them the world’s first 100% carbon-neutral travel company. Beginning in 2019 Natural Habitat are now offsetting all guests’ flights to and from the starting point of their adventures.

Itinerary

Your Alaskan adventure begins in Fairbanks, Alaska’s “Golden Heart Capital’. The city retains its frontier flavour with pioneer saloons, paddlewheelers and outlying mining camps. You will meet your Expedition Leader at a welcome dinner this evening.

After breakfast, you head south through boreal forest along the Nenana River to Denali National Park. One of the world’s great wilderness reserves, the park covers 6 million acres, with access to the interior of the park only possible by air. At the park entrance, you board a chartered helicopter for a spectacular aerial journey to Denali Backcountry Lodge, where you will spend 2 nights. The alpine tundra and taiga in the park provide habitat for wolves, grizzlies, moose, caribou and Dall sheep, and your flight may offer the best opportunity to spot wildlife from the air.

Today offers the chance to enjoy a host of activities and learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. Perhaps choose to take a hike in search of wildlife with a local naturalist guide or paddle a canoe on Wonder Lake. Try your hand at fishing in Moose Creek or take a ride on a mountain bike. After a day of adventure, you will head back to your lodge to enjoy a hearty dinner.

Denali
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Admiring the view over Denali National Park

After flying back to the park entrance via helicopter, your journey continues south through Taiga Forest to Anchorage. En-route, you will make a stop at the historic and rustic town of Talkeetna. Founded a century ago as the district headquarters for the Alaska Territory’s new railroad, Talkeetna sits at the confluence of three rivers in view of Denali. An outdoor recreation mecca, Talkeetna’s economy thrives on rafting, flightseeing, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, camping, fishing and hunting. Quaint and quirky, the town was designated a National Historic Site with its pioneer “downtown” dating back to the early 1900s. From Talkeetna, you continue south along the Susitna River to reach Anchorage.

Today you travel by train to explore some of Southcentral Alaska’s most beautiful coastal mountain terrain, with views of valley glaciers, waterfalls, deep canyons and dense deciduous forest on either side. Upon arrival in Seward, you will cruise to Fox Island, a private island on the edge of Kenai Fjords National Park. This secluded location reveals Alaska at its most pristine. The region is famed for sea kayaking, and an easy optional paddling excursion this afternoon is likely to reveal some of the area’s prolific marine life.

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Fox Island, Kenai Fjords

Board a private charter boat this morning for a cruise through a realm where the Ice Age still lingers. Your small boat provides the opportunity for close encounters with wildlife, which may include humpback and orca whales, porpoises, sea otters and a large colony of puffins. Glaciers pour from the jagged mountain heights into the sea here and you may observe icebergs calving with a crash as you head back to your exclusive island accommodation.

Kenai Fjords cruise

After a final morning enjoying the wilds of Fox Island, you weave your way back through the fjords to Seward, where you’ll have lunch and visit the Alaska SeaLife Center. From here, you head south on the spectacular drive to Homer, following the route along turquoise Skilak Lake. A picturesque fishing town on Kachemak Bay that’s known as “the End of the Road,” Homer is the most southerly point on Alaska’s contiguous highway system. For the next two nights you will be staying at its very end, on the tip of Homer Spit.

June departures: In the morning you’ll fly via private chartered bush plane across the mouth of Cook Inlet, to the roadless wilderness which stretches along the 485-mile-long Pacific coastline of Katmai National Park. Bears congregate here in the summertime, fattening up on sedges and digging clams on the beach before the salmon runs of late summer arrive. Here you have the opportunity to step out on foot with an expert bear guide and enjoy encounters with the bears in their natural habitat. Afterwards you return to Homer.

Jul/ Aug departures: Today you enjoy a private cruise through the abundant waters and striking scenery of Kachemak Bay. The bay is transformed daily by some of the largest tidal fluctuations in the world and is home to plentiful marine life including sea otters, seals, porpoises, sea lions and whales. A highlight of your cruise is the Gull Island rookery, home to 10,000 nesting seabirds, which offers the chance to view puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes and murres. In the afternoon you return to Homer, where you have time to explore at leisure.

June departures: This morning you depart on another chartered flight across Cook Inlet, this time to the Alaska Bear Camp, where you spend two nights. An aerial vantage over Lake Clark National Park is thrilling as you pass snow-clad volcanoes and glaciers pouring down from icefields on high. Bear Camp is located on a historic homestead, a private inholding of coastal land surrounded by Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. These 4 million protected acres of wilderness are the ancestral homelands of the Dena’ina people, preserving an intact ecosystem at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Accessible only by plane or boat, Bear Camp offers an unparalleled immersion in pristine brown bear habitat. From your weatherproof tent cabin, you have immediate access to some of the best, most consistent bear viewing anywhere in Alaska.

Jul/ Aug departures: Today you fly west to King Salmon, then by floatplane to Katmai National Park and the world-renowned Brooks Falls, one of the best places to view giant Alaskan brown bears in their natural habitat. Katmai is home to the world’s largest population of these enormous coastal grizzlies, with some 2,200 individuals inside the park. As many bear populations around the world decline, Katmai’s 4 million acres of wilderness provides some of the last pristine habitat for these magnificent animals. From the safety of platforms built over Brooks Falls, you will able to get a close look at this iconic wildlife spectacle, which very few visitors to Alaska have the privilege of seeing. Accommodation in Katmai will be at Gold Creek Lodge in King Salmon.

June departures: Today offers another opportunity to further explore the area with your seasoned bear naturalist guide. While the bear activity here can vary according to seasonal and weather conditions, there’s always something interesting going on. Your low-impact presence ensures that the bears are never disturbed, granting you comfortable access to watch them go about their daily routines.

July/ Aug departures: At close range, watch bears stand in the rushing whitewater, jaws gaping, trying to catch the salmon that leap up the falls once spawning season starts. July departures offer a good chance to see fishing bears, since this is when the salmon are running, but bear viewing is excellent in August and September, too, with even more bears in the vicinity. You’ll take a break to relax over lunch at world-famous Brooks Lodge, an easy walk from the falls.

Brooks Falls during the salmon run
Grizzly feasting on salmon at Brooks Falls
Bear viewing in Katmai National Park

June departures: Enjoy one last chance to marvel at the bears this morning, before boarding your bush plane for the journey back to Homer. In the afternoon, a private cruise takes you through the abundant waters and striking scenery of Kachemak Bay. The bay is transformed daily by some of the largest tidal fluctuations in the world and is home plentiful marine life including sea otters, seals, porpoises, sea lions and whales. A highlight of your cruise is the Gull Island rookery, home to 10,000 nesting seabirds, which offers the chance to view puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes and murres. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner.

Jul/ Aug departures: After a last round of bear viewing in the Brooks Falls region of Katmai, you fly back to King Salmon, then on to Homer. Tonight your Expedition Leader hosts a farewell dinner to celebrate your Alaskan adventures.

Your Alaska wildlife safari comes to a close today as you make your way to the airport for homeward flights, or ongoing travel arrangements.

Accommodation

This tour includes pre-booked standard hotels, details of which will be confirmed at the time of booking. Feature properties are included in key locations to maximise your wilderness experience, such as Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge on Fox Island.

Depending on your departure date you may stay, Gold Creek Lodge in King Salmon, Katmai National Park, or at the exclusive Bear Camp in Lake Clark National Park. Please refer to the prices and departures section to see which tour dates include which of these two properties.

  • Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, Fox Island

Prices and Departures

Price from £15788 excluding flights

Airfares start from around £1,000 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.
Note: Airfares tend to be cheaper the earlier you book.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • All meals (except 1 dinner)
  • Activities as per the itinerary
  • Domestic flights
  • Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward
  • Services of Expedition Leader, local guides and lodge staff
  • Airport transfers on arrival
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

2024 Departures

From prices per person

Date Duration Twin Price (pp) Accommodation Variations Special Interest
19, 21, 23 & 25 Jun 2024 12 nights £15,788 Alaskan Bear Camp, Lake Clark National Park
01, 05, 07, 11 & 15 Jul 2024 12 nights £15,833 Gold Creek Lodge, Katmai National Park
03, 09, 13 Jul 2024 12 nights £16,666 Gold Creek Lodge, Katmai National Park Photography focus
24, 26, 28, 30 Aug 2024 12 days £15,833 Gold Creek Lodge, Katmai National Park

Photo Tours:
Designated Photo Tours are also available – these differ slightly to the standard itinerary, to allow additional photo opportunities. On these departures your Expedition Leader will share photography tips and guidance with their in-depth knowledge, while also remaining close at hand to ensure the safety and comfort of the group.

Group Size:
Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 14

 

Tailor made trips

As independent destination specialists, we are able to tailor make holidays to suit you, be that customising the itineraries shown on this website or creating something bespoke.

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Travelling sustainably

We believe travel is about finding the right balance between minimising our impact on the environment and broadening minds through new experiences and cultural interaction.