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Bear safari Canada - Spirit Bear Lodge

Posted in: Canada, Posted in: Bear Safari Canada


Bear safari Canada - Spirit Bear Lodge

Feel the true magic of the Canadian wilderness as your floatplane touches down next to a remote Canadian wilderness lodge located in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. From here you will make regular boat trips looking for Grizzly, Black and Spirit (Kermode) bears as well as keeping an eye out for bubble netting Humpbacks and pods of Orcas.

Bear safaris at the Spirit Bear Lodge

In a particular area of the Great Bear Rainforest near the community of Klemtu, 1 in 10 Black Bears are born white due to a recessive gene, and on one island in particular the ratio is as high as 1 in 4. Several well respected boat operators offer Spirit Bear cruises where a visit to the viewing stand on Grimbel Island generally offers the best chance of sighting these elusive bears. However we decided to stay at the community run Spirit Bear lodge which would provide a more physical and exciting wildlife experience as we searched for the 'ghost' bear.

How to reach the Spirit Bear Lodge?

Although remote the lodge itself is fairly  easily reached from Vancouver by flying with Pacific Coastal airlines to Bella Bella - staying one night there - and then making an exhilerating floatplane journey to a vibrant First Nations community where they have built a beautiful wooden wilderness lodge located in a prime spot for viewing the Spirit Bear. We have written a personal blog about our stay at the Spirit Bear lodge and the reason why we rate it as one of the best Canadian wilderness lodges to visit. You can read the blog here.

How to photograph Spirit Bears?

Unlike the Spirit Bear cruises which provide a quite lesuirely and gentle wildlife experience, a stay at the Spirit Bear lodge is about getting out there into the old growth forest and increasing your chance of seeing the bears. So you will really need a medium to good level of fitness and flexibility to be able to scramble over the roots and boulders to reach key feeding areas of the Kermode bears. A certain amount of equipment such as waders is provided at the lodges but make sure you have good layered clothing and sturdy waterproof boots. Either a tripod or an easier to carry monopod will prove useful in either the boat or on the ground to achieve the best possible photographs.

Our amazing encounter with Spirit Bears

'Led by our Tsimshian guide, myself and the other guests had only just stepped off the boat and got settled in a natural hide when, from the treeline on the other side of a river, a magnificent white mature female emerged. She was followed by her two first year cubs, bundles of mischievous energy, and as black as their father who obviously did not carry the Kermode gene. The small family group wandered the far bank for about 15 minutes before the cubs decided to raid a nearby crab apple tree. In the blink of an eye, as agile as monkeys they had reached the high branches, 50 feet up, soon to be joined by their mother, whose not insubstantial bulk seemed to defy both gravity and the seemingly spindly nature of the branches. Eventually they disappeared beyond the emerald green curtain they had emerged from, but an hour later they appeared again further upstream from us, spent some time fishing for salmon, and then swam across to our side of the river. We shifted our position to get a better look at them, but before long they melted away, back into their green world'.

If you to would Wildlife Trails to organise a bear safari at the Spirit Bear lodge and have a chance to see and photograph these amazing bears, then please check out our Spirit Bear tour.



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