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Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Printable Version

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Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Olga.bohai - 12-03-2018

Come to discover wild Russia with us! Unique reserves & National parks of the Russian Far East.

Bohai Tour is the only tour operator in Russia which provides photography tours for Amur leopards & Siberian tigers in a wild! 

This is not a safari park, this is real Siberian taiga!

We have exclusive agreements with the parks and reserves of Primorsky krai and photography is done from different hides depending on tour type. 

Read more on our website http://www.bohaitour.com or write us to ask for more info bohaitour@gmail.com or DM.

We are in Instagram @wildrussiantour


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - brotherbear - 12-03-2018

I'm impressed. The site you gave is interesting. I'll bet your ranger friend Yura Vaseev is really knowledgeable about the land and the animals of the taiga. Thumbs up.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - sanjay - 12-03-2018

Thanks @Olga.bohai. I am sure people here will find it helpful. @Pckts may be Siberia is in your travel list ?
Olga, don't forget to add information if you run any promotion, scheme or offers here.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Olga.bohai - 12-04-2018

(12-03-2018, 01:49 PM)brotherbear Wrote: I'm impressed. The site you gave is interesting. I'll bet your ranger friend Yura Vaseev is really knowledgeable about the land and the animals of the taiga. Thumbs up.

Thank you. Yes, Yura is our favorite ranger. He is a former hunter from Siberia. Once he came to shaman in his local village (not far away from Baikal lake) and he told Yura that he would stop to hunt. Yura didn't trust him as hunting was the way of his life to feed his family. Then he got an offer from Leopard Land National Park to come to Primorye to work as a ranger to protect our wildlife and to kick out the poachers from the reserve. Now he loves what he does, he is passionate with our tigers and leopards, works with famous photographers, so he knows how to do our tours successful and knows a lot about our wildlife. It is very comfortable to work with him. Also he has a friend, Nikolai, he is also a ranger in another part of Leopard land National Park, he is even more passionate than Yura, also former hunter, he knows everything about wildlife and makes his own short movies with the records of his camera traps, we work with Nikolai in another tour where it is possible to see both cats: Amur leopard and Siberian tiger.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - brotherbear - 12-04-2018

I have read of numerous cases of hunters becoming passionate conservationists. One famous example: Theodore Roosevelt.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Pckts - 12-05-2018

Does the safari consist of only hides or is there searching for animals depending on the season?
What are the sightings like, would you say that sighting animals is rare or will you pretty much guarantee animal sightings?
What are the odds of sighting a Tiger or Leopard?
What else do you recommend for tourists when visiting, is there something else to do as well before or after the safari that tourists seem to enjoy?
Thanks for your time.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Olga.bohai - 12-05-2018

(12-04-2018, 05:54 PM)brotherbear Wrote: I have read of numerous cases of hunters becoming passionate conservationists. One famous example: Theodore Roosevelt.
Yes, this is the fact. Our rangers are used to say that now they try to improve their karma))


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Wolverine - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 01:35 AM)Pckts Wrote: What else do you recommend for tourists when visiting, is there something else to do as well before or after the safari that tourists seem to enjoy?
Probably you can combine visit to Russian Far East with visit to neighboring  Japan, Tokyo should be only 90 minutes flight from Vladivostok, there you can observe ancient samurai culture, Medieval Japanese castles and temples, all this shogun martial stuff etc. If you see the map distance to Japan is less than distance from Arizona to California. And your girlfriend will be also happy.

@Olga.bohai I think in order to attract more numerous tourists Russian tour-agencies should try to cooperate with Japanese tour-agencies, you understand that today majority off tourists in the world prefer to combine 2-3 different kind of activities. If somebody goes to lion safari in South Africa he/she also want to see the magnificent Capetown, if somebody does to jaguar safari in Brazil  also wants to see Rio De Janeiro etc. Russian far East could offer to Western wildlife lovers something unique - Siberian tiger safaris, and this magnificent beast can attract thousand tourists. But if you (I mean Russians) want to attract really massive tourism in Ussuriland you I think need to offer additionally visiting of some famous cultural heritage and monuments., safari is probably not enough. And here is neibhouring Japan - a land of ancient culture only on one stone throw from tiger-land. 
Japan is visited every year by millions of foreign tourists. Why don't you contact with Japanese tourist agencies and offer them to get some of their clients and offer combined Russian-Japanese tourist packages for foreigners? What do you think about:
 "Visit to Mount Fudziama-Tokyo+5 days Siberian tiger safari". Such an advertisement will attract much more foreign tourists.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Olga.bohai - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 01:35 AM)Pckts Wrote: Does the safari consist of only hides or is there searching for animals depending on the season?
Thank you for your interest!
We have 3 safari tours, they differ between each other.
Leopard Photography tour consists of the hide only as the main purpose of our tourists is to take pictures of Amur leopard there.
Leopard & Tiger Photography tour consists of hides, setting and checking camera traps, ATV journeys where you can see a lot of ungulates, searching for marks and footprints.
Tiger Photo tour consists of hides, taiga trekking for footprints and marks searching, camera traps setting and checking. As Lazo tiger tour is based in the private forestry between two tigers reserves we can provide additional adventures to the tour to amazing mountain rivers , beautiful sea bays, islands and other taiga activities. This is upon request. Also we have several other tours which not include big cats watching but could be added to any photo tour on request. I'll add our tour catalogue below.


(12-05-2018, 01:35 AM)Pckts Wrote: What are the sightings like, would you say that sighting animals is rare or will you pretty much guarantee animal sightings?
Depends on tour type. We can't guarantee animals sightings as it is wild nature and it is unpredictable, but the chances are pretty good:

Leopards Photo tour: 3PAX in the hide 50% success, 2PAX 70% success, 1PAX 90% success to see leopard. As the leopard is cautious animal and doesn't like to hear any noise from the hide, but some tourists can be noisy. In Leopards tour it is difficult to see other animals, a couple of tigers walk there but usually avoid the hide, our tourists saw boars and deers while driving though the reserve. As for bears they usually sleep because this tour is done from November till March.

Leopards & Tigers tour: the chances are very good to see both cats. We're checking camera traps records from the main trails there and the animals go one by one with the difference 1-2 days. Plus bears, a lot of ungulates, yellow-throated marten, lynx etc. This is the new tour, so we can't tell about hides chances now but this is the wildest territory in our region and the quantity of animals is the biggest one. Plus amazing landscapes and no human activity at all.

Lazo tigers tour: this tour is operated in the hunters club between two tigers reserves. It means that there are a lot of deers, boars and bears there as the owner does his best to provide enough food for these animals. This fact attracts a lot of tigers to that area. There are more tigers now than in the neighbored reserve: 1 big male and 7 other tigers (females with cubs). The chances to see the tigers are good, the hunters see them every week, sometimes 1 big male, sometimes female with 2 cubs. Sometimes the tiger steels hunter's prey)) In July and August bears activity is very high there: they come (both brown and black) to the fields every day).


(12-05-2018, 01:35 AM)Pckts Wrote: What are the odds of sighting a Tiger or Leopard?
What else do you recommend for tourists when visiting, is there something else to do as well before or after the safari that tourists seem to enjoy?
So I answered about the chances and activities. We can create our tours according to customers needs. Here in Primorsky krai we have everything: clear sea and rivers, mountains, taiga, caves, reserves & national parks. Infrastructure is pretty bad and this is good new for us as there are no crowds of tourists here now and our main territories stay untouched, thousands of hectares of absolute wilderness.
One of our tourists said: " some photographers go to Kamchatka or Alaska for brown bears, another go to Sri Lanka for leopard, third travel to India for tigers and black bears, but you have everything here in one place and this is really the only place in the world where you have them all (except snow leopard tour which we're going to start soon in another Russian region), both tropical and northern species! " The same with flora here: tropical ferns and lianas get on with coniferous forests.
Birdwatchers will love Sikhote Alin Reserve in the North.

Here is our  tour catalogue 2019-2020

I will be glad to reply any other questions!


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Olga.bohai - 12-05-2018

(12-05-2018, 08:51 AM)Wolverine Wrote: Probably you can combine visit to Russian Far East with visit to neighboring  Japan, Tokyo should be only 90 minutes flight from Vladivostok, there you can observe ancient samurai culture, Medieval Japanese castles and temples, all this shogun martial stuff etc. If you see the map distance to Japan is less than distance from Arizona to California. And your girlfriend will be also happy.
@Wolverine Thank you very much for this idea, I will certainly work on it. Plus we have direct flights from Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Osaka and Tokyo. Our tourists often combine our tours with these cities or Mongolia safari (via Seoul).
Also Vladivostok (where our tours start) is the end or Trans-Siberian railway and we provide 3-4 days tours in Primorye who wants to start or finish their railway journey here.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - peter - 12-07-2018

(12-03-2018, 08:50 AM)Olga.bohai Wrote: Come to discover wild Russia with us! Unique reserves & National parks of the Russian Far East.

Bohai Tour is the only tour operator in Russia which provides photography tours for Amur leopards & Siberian tigers in a wild! 

This is not a safari park, this is real Siberian taiga!

We have exclusive agreements with the parks and reserves of Primorsky krai and photography is done from different hides depending on tour type. 

Read more on our website http://www.bohaitour.com or write us to ask for more info bohaitour@gmail.com or DM.

We are in Instagram @wildrussiantour

Many thanks for the info, Olga Krasnykh. The agency is a great initiative. Offering an interesting trip in Wild Russia including Amur tigers and leopards is quite something in itself. If we add both guides, I can only get to very special. Not one agency in the world has one Dersu, let alone two. I need to talk to them. I hope you'll attract enough customers to carry on for a very long time to come! 

RESPONSE TO THE CATALOGUE

I downloaded and printed the catalogue. Only one I ever read and liked. I take the printed version everywhere I go (...).

This is what those who saw it told me: 

1 - Long flight.
2 - Costly affair for a tour of 8-9 days only. 
3 - Visum.
4 - You might get tired.   
5 - No additional tropical attractions to recover from the ordeal of possibly meeting a wild leopard or tiger.
6 - No real interest in the natural world.
7 - Politics. Over here, the western anti-anything campaign affected many.  

I'll keep trying. You never know, but based on what I heard and know, chances are that I'll be the only one really interested in the end.

ME

As you only joined the forum a few weeks ago, I'll introduce myself. You might have noticed that I'm very interested in the natural world in general and wild tigers in particular. All in all, I've been quite active in that I interviewed trainers, measured and weighed captive big cats and also measured skulls in natural history museums. About 4 years ago, I started WildFact with Sanjay. 

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUMS AND TIGER SKULLS

The natural history museums I visited have no skulls of wild Caspian and Russian tigers. As for articles: I've yet to read an article in which skulls of wild Caspian and Amur tigers are discussed at length. Apart from one exception, I never saw any measurements either. For this reason, I decided to measure skulls of Caspian and Amur tigers myself. This is where problems start. Here they are:

1 - Access. In Europe, I know people. In Russia, I don't. I need someone to open a few doors.

2 - Formal training. I have a Ph.D, but not in biology. In European natural history museums, it's no problem. You need permission from the conservator, but that's about it. Could be different in Russia.  

3 - Assistence. In a European museum, I can work on my own. In Russia, I need someone to assist me all the time. The reason is I'm not able in Russian. Information about skulls is as important as measuring them.

4 - Equipment. When I get permission, I need scales. If the museum has good (digital) scales, I'll use them. If not, I have to bring my own scales. Transporting the wooden case (72 x 28 cm.) made for that purpose isn't easy. I don't want it treated as cargo, as too risky (scales are expensive). 
 
PROPOSAL

If you can open a few doors, I can combine a Bohai-tour (not photographs, but trekking or canoeing) with a visit to a natural history museum. 

TIME NEEDED IN THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

I can do about 15-20 skulls a day, so 75-100 a week. I want to measure as many skulls as possible. I need a cheap hotel nearby, as I pay for everything myself.

The measurements and photographs can be used to write a paper. I could do it with Tigerluver, one of our mods. He graduated in Biology. WildFact could publish it, but I don't mind if it would be adapted and published by a Russian biologist or the museum. 

WHEN

I was thinking about (late) autumn next year or spring 2020.

Winter is out. Here's why. Real winters left this part of the world some time ago. They were replaced by low pressure fronts from the Atlantic. Remnants of severe storms, they are. One after another. Month after month, day after day. Wind, clouds and rain. Lots of it. Healthwise, cold rain is way more destructive than subzero temperatures and sun. Every winter, millions are badly affected by 'winter' over here.

I try to keep fit (kayak and things like that), but young age left me quite some time ago and never returned, leaving me out in the bloody dark. Meanwhile, I adapted meaning I turned both tropical and waterproof. To a degree, of course. This means I need time to get rid of the moisture after every 'winter'. 

I don't know if I'll be able to function in a real winter, that is. I don't mind perishing while measuring Amur tiger skulls, but I do mind cracking to subzero pieces on a freezing attic. 

Another problem is money. Flight, hotel, tour, food, another flight and anything in between means many thousands of dollars. I need time to collect it, that is. About a year or so, I reckon.  
  
TO CONCLUDE

See what you can do. If it works out, we'll meet in about a year from now. If it doesn't, no problem. Thanks for the effort anyway,

Peter.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Wolverine - 12-07-2018

In few words @Olga.bohai Peter is wiling to make a trip with your company, but he needs to measure some Amur tiger skulls. It will be great if you can make some research for him in what museums or institutes of Russian Academy of Sciences of Vladivostok or Khabarovsk could be found a skulls of wild tigers and if possible to arrange him an access to these museums.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - Olga.bohai - 12-07-2018

The@"peter" 

Dear Peter,
Thank you for this detailed information, your suggestions and request. I'll try answer you as detailed as I can))


(12-07-2018, 02:33 AM)peter Wrote: 1 - Long flight.
Our tourists who'd already come here don't think the flight is really long as real wildlife lovers go also to Latin America, US national parks and Australia and flight time is not important for them. Our aim tourists should understand that you can't see real wildlife in one-hour drive from Amsterdam for example. Also the most of European big cities have direct flights to Moscow, so it means only one transshipment to Vladivostok on the way.


(12-07-2018, 02:33 AM)peter Wrote: 2 - Costly affair for a tour of 8-9 days only. 

Yes, I agree that our prices are pretty high, that is mostly because of reserves' charges. To attract rare animals the reserves do huge job, they feed enormous amounts of ungulates in winter, pay salaries to their big staff, starting from scientists finishing rangers who protect wildlife against poachers and who need good transport, many equipments and so on. Another point is big distances and high transportation charges. Plus the Far East in Russia is the most expensive region, the prices for everything here are minimum twice higher than in Moscow. We're lucky that the Ruble became twice weaker 4 years ago, otherwise we'd never started such tours because their price'd be 10000 us dollars and more...

(12-07-2018, 02:33 AM)peter Wrote: 3 - Visum.

It is very easy to get Russian tourist visa. It usually takes no longer than one week. Some countries are visa free in Russia.


(12-07-2018, 02:33 AM)peter Wrote: 4 - You might get tired.  

In our tours you spend the first night in the hotels to come through jet lag and gather strength.


(12-07-2018, 02:33 AM)peter Wrote: 5 - No additional tropical attractions to recover from the ordeal of possibly meeting a wild leopard or tiger.
The main reason is tour price first, second our tigers and leopards tours are run in winter time as it is easier to attract them in winter because of lack of food in the forest and there is not much to do here in winter, especially in -10-20 C. But we provide great tours (without tigers and leopards) in summer time from May to October with great landscapes, seashore, fishing in wild taiga etc.
Plus our Lazo tigers tour is run all year round and in summer we provide additional tours around the reserves (sea bays, wild beautiful rivers and mountains) on request.

Our main customers are wildlife photographers, they usually don't need another attractions, they prefer to spend all the time in the hides waiting for the tigers and leopards.


(12-07-2018, 02:33 AM)peter Wrote: 6 - No real interest in the natural world.
So this is not our target audience))


(12-07-2018, 02:33 AM)peter Wrote: 7 - Politics. Over here, the western anti-anything campaign affected many.  
Real wildlife lovers don't pay attention on international affairs as everybody understands that all politics is a big theater and has nothing in common with adventures.


(12-07-2018, 02:33 AM)peter Wrote: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUMS AND TIGER SKULLS

We don't have any natural history museums here, only historical. But I saw several tigers sculls in Leopard Land National park scientific department.
I've called now there and to Sikhote Alin reserve to ask them about skulls but their scientists are offline now, it is a busy time, I think everybody in taiga now setting camera traps for new leopards and tigers census. When they recall me I will ask them about tigers sculls and possibility for scientists to come, I think it is very possible. 
I can help you with such journey with the contacts, information and transportation without attending such trip. Some scientists in the reserves speak English. Also there is American guy who's been living and working in Terney for WCS for more than 20 years (next to Sikhote-Alin reserve), you can write directly to him, I think he also can help you Dale Miquelle dmiquelle@wcs.org. He was a consultant for several wildlife movies for BBC, Netflix and others. 

So I will update my info about tigers sculls after get the scientists though the phone call. Thank you for your attention!


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - peter - 12-07-2018

Many thanks for the answers, Olga.

I hope you understand that the points I mentioned in my previous post were not mine. They were offered by people I know. They're not really interested in the natural world. Those who are, will come no matter what. I'll find some people interested in one of the tours you offer sooner or later. 

As to the skulls. I read a book written by Charly Russell called 'Grizzly Heart'. It was published in 2002. Charly, a brown bear authority, visited Russia to raise orphaned young brown bears in Kamchatka. Before he could start work, he needed permission from authorities working for an institute dedicated to conservation in Chabarowsk. Before they talked about his project, he was shown an enormous collection of tiger and bear skulls by Dr. Juri Dunishenko and Dr. Alexander Khulikov. He wrote the collection was enormous. 

I also know there is a museum or institute in Vladivostok that has tiger and bear skulls. It also has a famous diorama showing a brown bear and a tiger.

I wrote to Dr. Dale Miquelle about tiger skulls some years ago. He said he didn't know anything about the institutes in Chabarowsk and Vladivostok. He was interested, but I don't think he can help out.

I'll try to find the correct names of both institutes.


RE: Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia! - peter - 12-07-2018

(12-07-2018, 03:10 AM)Wolverine Wrote: In few words @Olga.bohai Peter is wiling to make a trip with your company, but he needs to measure some Amur tiger skulls. It will be great if you can make some research for him in what museums or institutes of Russian Academy of Sciences of Vladivostok or Khabarovsk could be found a skulls of wild tigers and if possible to arrange him an access to these museums.

Nice translation. So you're interested in helping out when I go to Russia to measure tiger skulls? I could definitely use a man interested in tigers and able in Russian. Canada is not too far away, is it?