Safari Information Reservations Guide: Brent Paull
There is a tremendous amount of wildlife activity during the December-January time frame in which I do the California Coast Wildlife Safari. The bull elephant seals are returning to the rookery at Piedras Blancas just north of San Simeon, and staking a claim to sections of the beach, fighting other males.  The females are giving birth, then immediately going into breeding (doesn't seem fair to them...) so the activity is very high.  In the past I've photographed bobcats and coyotes along the coast, as well as condors, eagles, raptors (especially white-tailed kites).  We travel to Pismo Beach for the wintering monarch butterflies, then back north to Morro Bay to photograph the sea otters in early afternoon light.  There are usually opportunities for shore/wading birds as well. For those not traveling with me, we meet in Cambria at 7am.  I will let you know the location of the meetup when you book the safari.  The deposit is 50% via check, Paypal, or credit card, and the balance is due halfway between the deposit date and the safari date unless you are booking within 3 months, then full payment is due.  Check the main safari page for other information.  Link   

Oddly, it usually isn't cold on the coast in December or January, so while it might be cool in the mornings, it should warm up nicely through the day into 55-60 degree range.  Shooting gloves, a hat, and a couple of layers usually works.  An all-weather rain jacked is a good addition - just in case.

For the past 38 years I've led nature safaris in the American West, including along the California coast.  I spend about 130-140 days per year on these safaris, so I'm an expert at locations and species habits, and wildlife tactics to photograph them.  For example, I've spent 1800 days shooting in Yellowstone and the Tetons, and have led nearly 300 days of bobcat safaris.
Difficulty Level Dates

Mostly EASY  -  With some walking, no hiking.
 
Thursday, December 7, and Tuesday, January 9.
The cost is $300.
The day is long, with sunrise about 7:30am.  I try to arrange lunch at mid-day, but carrying some snacks to tied you over is always a good idea.  I will have a case of water available to everyone, so no need for that.  We finish the day back at Piedras Blancas, usually around 3:30pm or so. Participants - maximum of 5 photographers
Image Galleries:  Elephant Seals, Sea Otters

Links:  Safari Checklist

2023 Brent Paull     All Rights Reserved under United States and International Laws     559-909-5208