Kuril Lake attracts many mammals and birds of prey. Here, you’ll meet white-tailed sea eagles, golden eagles, and Steller’s eagles, the largest in the world. Salmon feed them all.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting inhabitant of this area is the brown bear. Kamchatka’s largest groups of these animals are gathered in the Reserve and, primarily, on the shores of the Kuril Lake. August and September present a unique opportunity to see bears fishing in the wild. Brown bears are natural fishermen — even without rod or tackle, they’re able to catch fish within a few seconds.
The ecological education program aims to gain a deeper understanding of the Kuril Lake ecosystem, the behavior of brown bears during the salmon spawning period, and the special features of the salmon population in Kuril Lake. There are boat tours of the lake, explorations of the islands, visits to fish research facilities near the river source, and strolls on the pumice flats beside the bay and tundra.
A special platform has been built for tourists. From it, they can observe the behavior of animals in safety and comfort. Biologists, zoologists, ornithologists, ichthyologists, videographers and photographers might be interested in this tour.
Length of excursion: 1 day. If you wish to extend your stay in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary, it’s possible to purchase additional tours for each day.
Venue: the tour can be based in grassy or coastal areas.
Hiking and boating possibilities in the Kuril Lake region:
1. “The Kingdom of Salmon and Brown Bear”, a one-day walking tour in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary territory (Kuril Lake, grassy or coastal base)
2. “Kutkh’s Boats”, a one-day walking tour of pumice deposits in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary territory (coastal base)
3. “Bird’s-eye View”, an ascension of Domashniy Hill, South Kamchatka Sanctuary (coastal base)
4. “Bears in the North”, walking tour of the north bay, South Kamchatka Sanctuary (coastal base)
5. “Riddles of Khakytsyn”, a walking tour of pumice deposits in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary territory (grassy base)
6. “Bear Meadow”, a walking tour of the tundra in the grassy cape region, South Kamchatka Sanctuary (grassy base)
7. “Secrets of Kuril Lake”, a boat tour of the waters of Kuril Lake, South Kamchatka Sanctuary (grassy or coastal base)
Level of difficulty: a generally accessible route for people with full physical mobility. The walking paths require basic physical fitness.
• All walking routes travel along forest paths and must be accompanied by a Reserve employee.
• The tour’s operation is restricted to May and June.
• For safety reasons (protection from bears), visitors are separated from the territories by an electric fence; leaving the protected area alone or without notice is strictly prohibited by the state inspector.
Necessary equipment: Bring rain boots! In addition, you will need clothing that is waterproof, windproof, and warm, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
• You can buy souvenirs, books, and photo albums of the nature of South Kamchatka Sanctuary.
• Tickets for the boat tour of Kuril Lake are sold on site for a period of 30 minutes to six people.
Getting there: Tourist agencies throughout Kamchatka organize tours to Kuril Lake in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary. For more information, call the Kronotsky Reserve’s Division of Ecological Education and Tourism at +7 (41531) 7 16 52.
The tour’s contribution to the development of protected areas: all proceeds will be used for the preservation of natural systems, research of the territories, and growth of environmental education.