Siberian Tiger Photography Tour
November 30 - December 8£776 – £3286
Siberian Tiger Photography Tour
This 9 day tour is a world first. The first tour dedicated to the photography of fully wild Siberian Tigers in the Russian Far East. Royle Safaris have been pioneering Big Cat Safaris into the Russian Far East for many years. We have had some great success in our popular Siberian Tiger Winter Tour where tracking tigers in the frozen forest and directly contributing to their ongoing conservation. Our success led us to look for other reserves and places where we could set up specific photography hides to try and catch views the elusive Tigers (and Leopards) more regularly. So we have developed a specialist photography tour for both the Amur leopard (which has resulted in 100% success rate of leopards visiting our hide during our tours) and now the Siberian Tiger.
This tour is based on a private reserve several hours north of Vladivostok in the Primorye region of the Russian Far East. The reserve has numerous hides set up, these hides are set up in prime locations where tigers have been regularly seen in the past. These hides are equipped with heaters, beds and we stock them with food for your stay. You also have access to cabins and a banya if you wish to have a break from the hide. No other tour offers so much time dedicated to trying to see and photograph this incredible animal. With increasing numbers of tigers in Russia and increasing levels of protection for them we believe that the long term future of the species may rest with the animals living in the harshest of habitats.
In the future it may be very common for people to travel from all over the world to see and photograph wild Siberian tigers, but currently this is the only option and our expertise in this species and this region means that we can offer the very best chances of success.
We time our group tour dates so that they can be combined with our Amur Leopard Photography Tour as well. If you would like more information on our combined tiger and leopard photography tours please let us know.
Top Animals on Tour
Eurasian Red Squirrel
Eurasian Wild Boar
Tour Dates: 30/11/2022 – 08/12/2022
Duration: 8 nights
Type / Focus: Siberian Tigers
Vladivostok / Forest Reserve
This morning you will be collected at the airport in Vladivostok after you arrive and you will be taken direct into the forests north of the city. The forests here are vast and home to the last populations of big cats in Russia, you will travel through little villages and glimpse the vastness of the taiga forest and the Sikhote Alin mountains in the distance. These are the habitats of the tigers and other wildlife that we hope to see from our photography hides over the next few days.
When you arrive at the base camp you will be met by the rangers of the reserve and have a briefing about the reserve, the hide and the way the photography hides operates here. You will then be served dinner before getting some rest and preparing for your first day/night in the hide tomorrow.
For the next 6 days you will have access to the various hides in the reserve. The hides are built at ground level and also raised off the ground. They can accommodate up to 3 people in each one, so in groups of more than 3 you will be split up. You can change which hides you wish to stay in, rotating etc each day if you wish. You will be able to discuss this with the local guide and rangers whilst there. However you will not be permitted to leave the hides without the local guide or ranger; and we recommend spending as much time in the same hide as possible. This decreases the amount of movement around the hide and disturbance and therefore increases the chances of seeing a tiger.
The hides come equipped with beds, bedding, a toilet, gas heater and we will provide lots of food (we will bring food regularly and you will be in radio contact with the main accommodation).
The locations of the hide were chosen to take advantage of natural features (water sources and the popular food trees utilised by the wild boar and deer species here) so that the ungulate animals naturally like to spend time here during the winter. The high density of prey animals around here increased the chances of tigers using the area too. To further increase our chances the area has been baited with salt and other minerals as well as grain for up to 2 months prior to our arrival. This is done just for us and is done in the hope that it will increase the presence of the prey animals and therefore the tigers ahead of our arrival. We also bait the area with a deer carcass (the tiger’s natural prey – they scavenge heavily during the winter when hunting is hard) and so we have a good chance that tigers will be around and visiting the hides during our trips.
It is this technique which has led to incredible success with the Amur leopards and you can combine our photography tour for tigers with our photography tour for leopards if you wish.
This morning you will be collected from the hide and taken to the forestry hotel for breakfast and to freshen up. From here you will depart back towards the city and to your hotel for your last night in the Russian Far East. Your guide will inform you of when dinner is booked for and come to collect you from the hotel and take you to a nearby restaurant for your farewell meal.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
The weather in the Russian Far East during late winter is very cold, record temperatures are as low as -40 to -50 degrees C; but average around -10 to -20 degrees C. There is also some snow on the ground (particularly in December – January) and when there is a snow storm it is heavy.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) – when in the hide meals are provided in advance and there is a small gas cooker for warming through food. There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private vehicle to be driven by a local guide for transfers when needed.
All our excursions including guided walks, hide use and park entrance fees are included; we also include all fees for our team including cooks, assistants and translator.
We include one deer carcass as standard – if a cat comes along and eats the entire carcass early into the trip, then a second deer carcass can be provided but is chargeable as an extra – 2019 prices are USD $800.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars in addition to your camera (no tripod is needed in the hide – there is no room) as well as appropriate clothing; which should be both light and durable walking clothes as well as very warm winter clothes, such as down jackets & trousers, walking socks, gloves, hats, scarfs, fleeces etc. Broken in and comfortable, waterproof walking boots are essential. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. We have also provided night vision goggles which can record, so you can monitor the area after dark, as well as camera traps which will be set up around the hide for your trip and any pictures / videos taken with these will be free for you to have and use.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend Areoflot as a good airline for flights to Vladivostok. One of the best websites to search for the best fares for these flights is www.odopo.co.uk; who are IATA accredited this is a link direct to their site. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
Visas and Health Information
All UK passport holders and most other nationalities are required to have a visa for Russia. These are only obtainable in advance from your local embassy. The easiest way to find information is by visiting http://visitrussia.org.uk (be aware that this link leaves our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site). A tourist visa costs around £115 for a single entry visa which is valid for 30 days, however things change so please check out the website above for more information.
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Russia, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Russia as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Reviews of this Holiday
Ms. Carol Hughes, UK
Prof. Krause - Berlin, Germany
Ms. Jill Clark - Canada
Hirata SAN - Tokyo, Japan