My Kamchatka Photo Trip - How I Captured a Lost World

Written by Yanai Bonneh
©Yanay Bonneh

A few months ago I watched TV at home and saw a movie about Kamchatka on the NG channel. I was amazed from the first moment and promise myself that soon I’ll be there. The Incredible Kamchatka photo opportunities were something that I couldn’t stay away from.

How it all began

I lived and travelled in Africa before and during that time I took many photos of the wildlife that Africa can offer. Afterwards, I took my feet and flew to Lapland for chasing the Northern Lights. So since I was lucky to fulfil these dreams I told myself: “If I had experienced like that before so now nothing will stop me to follow my next dream and I’m sure I’m ready for the next challenge and my next adventure – Kamchatka!

Like my mum greeted me before my departure – “who dares win” and a few hours later I found myself taking a part in the Kamchatka photo expedition.

I reached to Kamchatka after more than twenty hours of flying. I came alone all the way from Israel with little worries, but by the time I reach the camp, I realised immediately how kind and good the people are, our guides and my partners to the trip which came from South Korea.

We were only a six people, a really small group. From the beginning we become good friends, we used to help each other, for example during hiking or while setting our camp etc. The atmosphere was wonderful along with our whole trip and it doesn’t matter where each one came from or speaks a different language or have a different culture. We became really good friends.

We spent a lot of hours on the roads, sometimes even 8-12 hours of driving. We used (and tried of course) to wake up very early in every morning, before sunrise, to take good shots of Kamchatka’s beautiful and unusual landscapes.

Explosive photo opportunities

Most of the time we spent on roads or in the fields while hiking, some nights without a toilet or taking a shower but it was so fun and unforgettable experience.

Kamchatka photo tour bears volcanoes Russia Siberia

Kamchatka Brown Bears

Except for the unusual landscapes, volcanoes, ice caves, lava fields we’re also lucky to see the brown bears. We saw an about ten bears at Kuril lake while eating salmons but we’re lucky as well to see another five or six bears on the roads and near our camps. It was exciting moments to see a huge mammal, like a brown bear only a few meters from us.

What a trip of a lifetime

I have to say and remind it again, the most important thing for me and one of the greatest memories that I’m taking with me from this Kamchatka photo trip is the amazing people, my partners to the expedition from Korea and our amazing guides: Dima, Pavel and Anna that led us and always explained and told us about Russia and especially about Kamchatka. For me, it’s the most important thing more than any photo of any landscape or a bear that I took. Those people, my friends, they have a big part which made this trip to a perfect one! Truly the best trip in all my life”.

56th Parallel organises Kamchatka photo expeditions for photography companies all around the globe and runs its own photography tours once a year in August for independent amateur and pro photographers. To find out more, choose the itinerary or create a custom photography tour, please contact us:

Checkout a snippet of what to expect on an epic Kamchatka photo tour:

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Our goal is to redefine travel to Russia, focusing on creating the most rewarding experiences, which help travellers unfolds the soul of this exciting destination.

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