AUGUST 2016 – My wife Rae-Anne and I just returned from a fantastic wildlife expedition to the Katmai Coast in Alaska. Our goal was to study and document Alaska’s infamous Coastal Brown Bears as well as bald eagles and other wildlife species indigenous to the area.

Coastal Explorer boatAfter four plane rides and just over two days travel (if you can believe it!), we arrived at the Katmai Coast and settled in for our 6-day stay on Captain Chuck Heim’s private charter boat “Coastal Explorer”.

We started our adventure in Kukak Bay, studying and photographing huge brown bears feeding on salmon. Bear viewing in the area generally occurs with small groups of less than 10 people. It’s very important that everyone remain quite close together (no further than arm’s length apart), stay quiet and either squat or sit down. These guidelines are strictly enforced to ensure the bears remain calm and comfortable with the human presence.fresh bear tracks in the sand

Despite the guidelines, we were incredibly fortunate to be able to move about and change our shore locations for the best possible viewing whenever the bears moved away a bit. When the bears are close however — and they do get very, very close — no movement whatsoever is allowed.

Alaska coastIn the days that followed during this trip, we moved south along the Shelikof Strait, ending up in the very well-known Geographic Harbor.

Geographic Harbor is so named because The National Geographic Society led a number of expeditions to Katmai, and in 1919 on its last expedition, Geographic Harbor was discovered.Sow with bear cubs

Without any doubt, this trip was the most intense of any we have been on for several reasons. The bears and wildlife are very available virtually all the time. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and there were so many species to explore besides bears, such as eagles, red fox, sea otters, river otters, seals, sea lions and a variety of local birds.

And to top it all off, we had the immense pleasure of being professionally guided on this expedition by award-winning wildlife photographer, Roy Toft.


Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge is located 250 km (155 miles) southeast of Churchill, Manitoba, on the Hudson Bay coast near the historic York Factory.

Nanuk’s star attractions are polar bears — more than you are likely to encounter anywhere else on earth. The remoteness of Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge provides you with exclusive access to one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the world. It is also strategically located in very close proximity to significant polar bear denning activity. Manitoba Conservation officials recently discovered a large number of denning females in the area that may be equal or great in number than those found in Wapusk National Park.

Visit the Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge website.

“A world of adventure awaits you in the last frontier.”