When and where to see the Canada Wildlife…
Canada wildlife is, without a doubt, one of the best in the world for the most elusive species living in the great outdoors. Huge swathes of unspoilt countryside, mountain scenery and famous lakes can be found in this vast land.
Given that the first rule of mindfulness is to stop what youre doing and take in the beauty of the natural world, a trip to Canada could be the perfect antidote to the stress of the city. Taking pleasure in nature is a proven way to rid yourself of anxiety, if only temporarily. There are plenty of incredible views in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, which will turn your focus towards enjoying the landscape, and hopefully dim your worries.
Its not just the human visitors to this country who can enjoy the peace and serenity that can be found on the peaks and valleys of North America. Thousands of varied species thrive here, but the big attraction is its bears. 60% of the worlds bear population lives in Canada!
These huge, furry mammals inspired the worlds best-loved toy, the humble teddy bear, and still today they capture the imagination of artists, poets, writers and filmmakers all over the globe. Seeing them in their natural habitat should be on everyones bucket list.
So if youve ever wondered what a bear-watching trip to Canada involves, were going to try and answer all your questions; along with giving you an idea of the other attractions youll discover while youre on this side of the Atlantic.
Canadian bear habitats
The best time of year to see bears is between August and October. The salmon return to their breeding grounds upriver at this time and, in doing so, attract thousands of bears. When it comes to where in Canada wildlife spotting you should travel in order to be in with the best chance of seeing a few bears, you need to make sure youre in the right place at the right time.
Grizzlies, which is the nickname for the North American brown bear, are found along Canadas north and west coasts, in British Colombia, and an area of the country known as the Great Bear rainforest, which runs from Alaska to Knight Inlet.
Black bears can be found in the forests of both the east and west coasts, particularly near Whistler; the famous peak of the Rocky Mountain Range. Then theres the kermode, or spirit bear. Cream in colour, these bears look even cuddlier than the others and are a much sought-after sight by bear enthusiasts, given that fewer than 400 remain in the wild. Youll find these bears in the Great Bear Rainforest.
So now you know the sorts of bears you might see and where they can be found, lets have a look at the details for 3 of our absolutely favourite bear-watching tours.
Wildlife of Western Canada
Operated by Cox and Kings
This trip begins on Vancouver Island and takes you directly into the heart of the bear country. Youll spend your first night in the town of Campbell River, before flying into Knight Inlet the following morning. Knight Inlet is a remote fjord celebrated for its bear activity. Youll take a tour with an experienced guide here in search of grizzlies, as well as explore the bear-viewing platforms, which are usually a great place to spot Canada wildlife, particularly in the early morning.
Youll take in the dramatic scenery of the Sawtooth mountains on your way to Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet, where youll spend another couple of nights, but then youll travel onwards to Clayoquot Sound, where you should see black bears on the shore and grey whales in the water.
There will be plenty more species of whale to discover in Victoria, the capital of British Colombia; your next overnight destination. Among them, youll see orcas and minke whales. Before you fly home from Vancouver Island, youll enjoy a trip to Butchart Gardens. See this trip here
The Wildlife of Atlantic Canada
Operated by First Class Holidays
If you prefer your wildlife-watching to be independent of guided groups, youll love this self-drive holiday, that will equip you with all the expert knowledge you need to find the Canada wildlife youre looking for, but without you having to follow a tour manager. Your itinerary will be provided and your overnights will be pre-booked in advance on your behalf, but how long you spend at each destination is, within reason, up to you.
Youll pick up your hire car from the airport in Halifax and spend the day enjoying the local species. Halifax harbour is a treasure trove of whales, dolphins, seals and seabirds. Then on your way to Liverpool, youll take in the picturesque fishing village, Peggys Cove, and the seal-filled shores of Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct. This is the gateway to the Kejimkujik National Park, an area of wild lakes, rivers and forest. Youll discover some beautiful flora and fauna living in this remote area.
Youll then take the ferry to your next destination, St Andrews, by the Sea, in order to do a spot of whale-watching along the way. 15 different types of whales are known to live in the Bay of Fundy. How many will you spot?
Following a guided moose watch in Fredericton, News Brunswick, youll then head onwards to the Kouchibouguac National Park for a black bear safari. This is a real highlight of the trip. Your journey will end overlooking the impressive coastline of Cape Breton National Park, once youve made your way through Charlottetown, and perhaps having taken an optional ferry trip to Nova Scotia too!
Bear and wildlife watching at Great Bear Lodge
Operated by Kuoni
This is a tour that focuses on the delights of the Canadian grizzly bear. Youll arrive at the Great Bear Lodge by seaplane and enjoy scheduled morning and afternoon bear viewing sessions, which might be in the woods, or in the water and viewed by boat. A wildlife biologist will accompany you on each tour to ensure you maximise your chances of seeing bears in their natural habitat at every outing. This also means that youll have somebody to provide you with all the information you need at all times.
Great Bear Lodge is a luxury eco-lodge in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. It blends into its forest surroundings and uses renewable solar and wind power to generate its electricity, so as not to disturb the wildlife. Rather than travel onwards to new destinations, as you would with a guided tour, you will instead stay at the lodge and gain a deeper insight into the bear community local to you.
Booking your bear-watching trip in Canada
Its not all about the bears, we know, but seeing them will be a hugely memorable experience! These arent the only tours we offer to Canada, or even the only tour operators we work with, so if youd like to find out all your options, please give the team here at Aspen Travel a call. Our award-winning travel company books Canadian holidays for our clients on a daily basis and are well qualified to answer any questions you might have. Please get in touch.