Kayaking with Orcas off Vancouver Island Canada
Canada wildlife tour with a strong focus on kayaking (medium ability) and simple camping in the world famous Johnstone strait. The objective is for you to share the marine environment with these Apex predators and observe them in the most natural way possible.
Wildlife Trails first visited Vancouver Island back in 2003 and on his return our Canadian Operations Manager, James Manson, could not stop talking about how special his 4 day camping and kayaking tour in Johnstone strait had been. This is one of the most studied populations of Orcas in the world and a few small specialist companies have permission to organise multi-day camping and kayaking tours in the waters off Vancouver Island with the highest concentrations of Orcas. Of course, these magnificent animals will always be able to move faster than you in the kayak, so don't expect up close encounters as seen in some photos on the internet - remember the camera always fore-shortens the distance. However do expect the thrill of seeing these curious marine mammals surface amongst your group or even come for a 'beach rub' near your camping site. One of our best short Canada wildlife tours for those clients who put wildlife encounters/adventure above comfortable accommodation.
To your expert guides the orcas you will encounter are akin to old friends they have come to know, love, and care deeply about over many years of leading kayak trips in the area. For us at Wildlife Trails, a kayak is the perfect platform from which to view these magnificent creatures, truly the ocean’s apex predator, as you feel completely integrated into the marine habitat, and they’re far less intrusive and damaging to the environment than a motorised vessel. While the whale encounters out on the water can be fairly brief (its not easy keeping pace with a pod foraging for salmon!) sometimes you are lucky enough to see a pod of Orcas pass by within a stones throw of the beach you are camping near.
Your guides are able to deploy a hydraphone so you can listen to the orcas communicate – the residents are amongst the most vocal orcas anywhere in the world – and hearing them trying to locate their prey with echo location, and then loudly munching a large pacific salmon is something you will remember for many years to come.