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Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

Brisbane Australia
3 posts
Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

What are the chances of seeing Polar Bears in either the

end of Feb or earlish March please.

How close can one go or get to photograph the bears

And if the answer is positive who in Fairbanks do i contact for the flight?

Thank you,

bernie smits

46 replies to this topic
Pueblo, Colorado
Level Contributor
215 posts
285 reviews
21. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

Have you tried the message box on web page?

http://www.marshcreekinn.net/ContactUs.aspx

Papeete, French...
4 posts
22. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

I'm sorry not to have seen this before. Thank you again.

Pueblo, Colorado
Level Contributor
215 posts
285 reviews
23. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

Did it work?

Papeete, French...
4 posts
24. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

I am now waiting for a response. I will keep you abreast of news! ;)

NYC
Level Contributor
1,397 posts
198 reviews
25. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

I highly recommend contacting Hugh Rose. He leads tours to Kaktovic, is a photographer, naturalist and geologist, and has a well earned reputation as one of the best in Alaska. http://www.hughrosephotography.com/. I have travelled with him twice and hope to again.

Kaktovic is a bit like a real life Nothern Exposure. Local contacts and relationships are pretty important to get to experience the bears to the utmost. There is only one place to stay as i recall (see my review of the Walda Arms). tripadvisor.com/…CHECK_RATES_CONT

There are no rental vehicles. It is RUSTIC. It is also the trip of a lifetime (and ive travelled a lot!). Hugh does this fall trip with anoher awesome photographer Patrick Endres. They also explore wildlife in the Brooks Range on the way and thte norh slope.

Edmonton
Level Contributor
16 posts
58 reviews
26. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

I am considering going up to Kaktovik. I am a photographer who has photographed moms and cubs in Canada for the past 4 years. Do you have a website where I can see your images from Kaktovik so I can get an idea of what the images are like?

Thanks very much!

Greg

NYC
Level Contributor
1,397 posts
198 reviews
27. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

THE guide for tours through the Brooks Range and on up to Kaktovic is Hugh Rose who runs a spectacular collection of tours (i have travelled AK wi his twice). A highlight of his fall tour is Kaktovic. Realize that part of what attracts the bears is the bone pile of butchered whale remains that the natives leave at the town edge. Those bones are fresh in late summer/early fall before the ice forms allowing the bears to head north to hunt seals. THat is why fall is the best season to see e bears at Kaktovic. Hugh partners with top notch Cheesemans Ecology Safaris for some tours and does others on his own. See hughrosephotography.com/alaska-photo-tours/…. Also see http://www.cheesemans.com/alaska_sept13.html and www.cheesemans.com/namerica_ak_sept14.html

Kaktovik, Alaska
1 post
28. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

My name is Ketil Reitan. I am one of the four sertified polar bear guides who take people out by boat to watch and photograph polar bears. Since the end of July we have had about five polar bears in the area. It is not nessessary to wait untill September to see the polar bears in Kaktovik. The hotels are fully booked in September, but they have available space in August. The best way is to see the polar bears from a boat, instead of a bus, that has access to a very limited area. The bears usually come to bone pile at night, and hang out at the barrier islands during the day. You can photograph the bears from a boat inside the barrier islands.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
351 posts
15 reviews
29. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

For anyone who wants to ever go to Kaktovik, this is my honest feedback about my experience with Ketil Reitan (above). My wife and I organized a day trip with him, he was absolutely right that there are bears already on the barrier islands before the whale hunt in Sept and there's no real need to wait for the busy September season. Also, the tundra was red and looked very beautiful. Glad we went early....we were all alone with 20+ Polar Bears and 2 cute cubs.

Ketil came to receive us right at the airstrip in his boat. Within 3 minutes of our arrival and my camera setup, we were shooting a female with 2 cubs on the shores of Kaktovik. Ketil's boat is a cabin cruiser which has a very nice heated cabin for protection from the wind. He showed us about 18-20 Bears today, he is a phenomenal person, great guide and also a very skillful boat driver. We never felt that we were riding dangerously. He even gave us life vests and offered tea/coffee in the boat. We were solely interested in the bears and we got plenty of them. I came back with a Polar Bear portfolio, thanks to Ketil !!!

If you scroll up/back on this thread, you will see me asking questions last Feb about how to do this sort of a trip. Just contact Ketil and he will take care of you. His website is http://www.kaktoviktours.com/ . I cannot thank him enough for how he took care of us throughout the day. My wife and I are very very happy with the trip and it was money well spent. I will definitely go back with him next year. He even showed us around the village and took us to Waldo Arms hotel, we liked the food there and also checked out the accommodation etc. Fwiw, we booked our flight out of Fairbanks with Era Air, the flight was superb, zero issues riding the small plane. if anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me.

My 2 cents, hiring your own local guide like Ketil saves you a lot of money than going with some tour operator or a package. Give him a try, you won't be disappointed. I highly recommend Ketil Reitan for Polar bear viewing safaris in Kaktovik. His email is ketil.reitan@huskytour.no, he is very prompt.

Tp

Edited: 11:29 pm, August 23, 2013
USA
Level Contributor
9,465 posts
44 reviews
30. Re: Polar Bears Viewing Kaktovik

I've linked this to the Top Questions for Kaktovik for polar bear viewing.

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