Winter in Kamchatka is long and brutally cold and temperatures can plummet to below -25°C – not fun.
The regions beautiful brown bears snuggle down for their six-month hibernation in November, right the way through December, January, February and early March. Visit outside this time if they're one of the key species you want to observe.
That said, spring – particularly April, and the autumn months of October and early November are a wonderful time for photographing Kamchatka’s otherworldly landscapes and bring a lot more colour and life than people may presume!
For polar bears, you'll need to head to Wrangel Island. This is only accessible during July and August, so if you want any chance of seeing them you’ll need to book a summer trip!
All travellers to Kamchatka require a Russian visa; you’ll need to start the application process at least four months before departure. Russia also has a number of public holidays in early May and embassies and consulates commonly close for two weeks – so factor this in when applying for your visa.