2018 Tours

SWAN LAKE: a gentle introduction to the WILDERNESS OF SIBERIA

Limit: 6 pax

Whooper swans wintering in ALTAI

Altai’s national reserve “Lebediniy” is the best place in Russia for photographing the wintering of the swans. Here, these beautiful birds gather from the very north of Western Siberia. There are plenty of unfrozen lakes and rivers—all due to the abundance of hot springs. Lake “Lebedinoe”, “Swan Lake”, remains unfrozen through the entire winter and this is the place where we will be heading for our expedition.

Altai National Reserve “Lebediniy” occupies thirty-eight thousand hectares (147 square miles). It blends meadows, forests, swamps and one hundred kilometres of the river Katun itself with about seventy inhabited islands. The reserve maintains the ecological balance of the entire region, and it is especially important as a wintering place for whooper swans and other birds, and as a breeding site of elk, roe, badger, rabbit, beaver-rat, beaver, min and Siberian stripped weasel. Plenty of small lakes unfreeze through the tough Siberian winters thanks to the abundance of thermal bottom springs, maintaining an average winter water temperature of 4-6°С (39.2…42.8 F). One of those lakes is the famous Lebedinoe (Swan Lake—a real one!), which is the only place in the whole of Russia where swans spend the winter in the continental climate zone. This swan population is absolutely unique and isolated, and does not interbreed with any other. The swans spend the summer in the Arctic prairie of the Salekhard region. Other winter birds are represented, such as garrot and goosander.

We will see and photograph adult swans and their offspring, totally pale gray during autumn, turning partly white closer to spring. The fowl chicks’ beak is coloured dirty-pink compared to the bright yellow of the adults. At two years old, the young birds turn completely white with only a few feathers at the head, and with grey wings. Birds form families in the second year of their lives and start breeding at the age of four.

Even during the winter, swans stay together. Their winter diet consists of small invertebrates, and aquatic plants and roots, which the birds dig out.

It is in this unique and picturesque location that we provide excellent conditions for professional bird photography:

  • An experienced local guide-naturalist.
  • Daily microbus transfers to photography locations.
  • Specially-built viewing platform.
  • The opportunity to film from the ground (though care must be taken in the extreme conditions of the Siberian winter!).
  • Bird feeding is allowed.
  • A three-meter distance to the birds!
  • Swans in ice-holes and in a steam fog.
  • Viewing of up to two hundred birds at once! The total number of birds in the area exceeds four hundred.
  • Andrey Gudkov is your personal mentor during the entire tour.

The Republic of Congo. Our ancestors - chimpanzee: the wilderness ultimate frontier

Limit: 6 pax

Republic of Congo is that TERRA INKOGNITA. You have probably heard plenty of fairy tales and legends about these places. Here the word ”tourism” sounds a bit silly.. Nonetheless, it is here where we can find unique perfectly preserved ecosystems with rare and endangered species living in the tropical wild. We will be able to only to get there and see them, but to photograph these amazing animals at the professional level. This is what at WILDANIMALSSAFARI.COM do best! We shall visit the national park Conkuati Douli near the Gabon border, where each chimpanzee’s family has its own preferred mangrove island.


Limit: 5 pax

Photo series "Wildlife of Europe"

This is a unique place and unique workshop. Our photo adventure leads us to one of the most beautiful parts of France, Occitania, to the national park of Camargue famous for magnificent wild white horses They only inhabit this area, swamps and saline soils of southeast France.

They conduct the sort from the so-called prehistoric horses living in these regions more than seventeen thousand years ago! Gradually, the initial genotype mixed up in other types, in particular, the well-known Arab racers. We will picture spring lights patches and foam flakes on horses’ manes and cases. We will see and photograph every step of these magnificent animals rushing straight forward to our cameras, to your camera during fight for domination in herd. Camargue is a strictly protected area, however we managed to agree about shootings of horses at the beach. Over 30 herds are dispersed today in the territory of Camargue national park.

Our tours are not leisure travels. These are real and serious expeditions and master-classes of wildlife and nature photography. We will tell you in plain and simple language about photography basics: composition, light, color, foreshortening and perspective. You will also learn secrets of birds and mammals’ photography, and what is the different in working on predators and hoofed animals. We will answer all your questions. And we will try to show you much more than this. By taking part in our expeditions, you will learn how world famous photographers work, you will see places where «ВВС» и «Animal Planet» shoot their films. You will get a chance to become a member of professional photo session in the wild nature.

Canada. Visit to polar bears

Limit: 4 pax

Specialized photo tour to Churchill National Park

Have you ever dreamt to see polar bears while waking up early in the morning? To watch their plays on the snow, follow them in special Tundra Baggy which main purpose is to serve you to make great photos of these mighty and strong animals safely and with comfort, at closest distance possible, day-time or night-time? All this is possible in Canada, in word famous Churchill national park. Life of the biggest ground predator will go on in front of us at the background of fantastic northern landscape illuminated by northern lights. At dawn and sunset the light will be especially good for photography. This is the tour we offer you this year, the best adapted for professional photography of polar bears in this national park. We will be accompanied by professional guide-photographer, naturalist and expert of local nature.


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to translator Irina Kharakterova for qualified texts translation.