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Canada Wildlife Holidays which will blow your mind – Number 4

Posted in: Canada, Posted in: Bear Safari Canada


Canada Wildlife Holidays which will blow your mind – Number 4

Imagine a Canada wildlife tour which visits two unique and wildlife rich Provinces and gives you the chance to see Black Bears, Grizzly Bears and Polar Bears all in the same 2-week trip. Not only that; but the cost of such a trip will be the same as just one week in Churchill looking for polar bears. So, as a tour, it represents not only great wildlife diversity, but also great value for money. As well as all the amazing ‘bear action’, you will have the chance to see Bald Eagles, Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises, Orcas, Humpback Whales, Gray Whales and Sea Otters. You will also have the chance to stay in some beautiful Canadian wilderness lodges and spend time with local people, who have a real love and passion for their home and the wildlife which they share it with.

So how to organise the classic ‘3 Bears Tour’?

Although there are several Canadian provinces where you can see both black and brown bears, I don’t think it is possible to find as many different options as there are in British Colombia. The reason this is important is because multiple options provide choice to the travellers; so they can pick the best Canada bear watching holiday that matches their own personal aspirations. In BC alone, we have at least 6 different locations for brown bear viewing and a similar number for black bears. To be honest, the black bear population in Canada is so large, you are just as likely to see them in the mountain resort of Whistler, as compared to a more natural setting at a wilderness lodge in Zeballos on Vancouver Island - where they can be see fishing for salmon in the nearby river estuary.

Grizzly Bear tours on Vancouver Island

So, if we start with more of a budget proposal for the classic 3 bears tour, we can start the trip on Vancouver Island; as here we can fairly easily combine grizzly bears catching salmon at Bute Inlet, with black bear viewing at Tofino. The grizzly bear tours to Knight Inlet can be done as a day tour from Campbell River and the black bear tours at Tofino, using a small Zodiac boat to comb the rocky shorelines of the pacific coast of Vancouver Island, looking for black bear turning over rocks, as they feed on shoreline crustaceans.

Grizzly bear safari at Knight Inlet – flying in by floatplane!

A more exciting and expensive combination would be to take our world famous Grizzly bear safari at Knight Inlet and combine that with watching black bear feeding on salmon at Zeballos. Both these options offer superb close up bear action and also excellent all inclusive regional food menus, so you finish your stays there, just as content as the bears!

Bella Coola Bear tours

Finally, for those seeking the ‘path less travelled’ for their Canadian wildlife holiday, why not take the ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola and enjoy spectacular ‘river drifts’ on the Atnarko; as you search for brown bears feasting on returning salmon. 8000 feet mountains topped by mighty glaciers, rise from the valley floor providing a spectacular backdrop to your bear viewing in Bella Coola. The local wildlife guides are real characters, with lots of stories about this unique landscape and culture and a sensitive and gentle approach to the wildlife viewing.

Best time of year to see bears in Canada?

So, in this case we really are trying to have our cake and eat it, when it comes to seeing all three species of bears in North America in the same trip. In some ways the later salmon runs of recent years and grizzly bears delaying their hibernation, has made the 3 bears tour easier to organise. However, the window of opportunity is still very specific and we can roughly say that the first 3 weeks of October are our ‘critical’ window. This allows us to be in BC at the optimum time for viewing brown and black bears and then arrive into Churchill in the 2nd to 3rd week of October.

Best time of year to see Polar Bears in Churchill?

The polar bear season in Churchill breaks down into two distinct periods: a pre-season period or early Polar Bear season from about October 6th to 15th, and the peak Polar Bear season, which runs from mid October to mid to late November. Our speciality is arranging custom unescorted tours for independent travellers with flexible departure dates, durations, and content, and over the past 15 years we have carved out a bit of a niche for ourselves offering these very affordable tours in the pre-season period – especially as part of our signatures 3 bears tours.

Of course, if you want to visit Churchill at the best time to see Polar Bears and with a higher chance of there being snow on the ground, then it needs to be early to mid-November; but that will just not work with a visit to BC for brown and black bears. So, the best bet is to head as late as possible into October. You could even consider fitting a week sightseeing in the Rockies or another province in Canada in between the separate visits to BC and Manitoba, which would have you arriving in Churchill in the 3rd or 4th week of October.

We have one of the largest and most authentic portfolio of Canada wildlife holidays on the market. All backed up by our expert knowledge from multiple recce trips to Canada since our first 6 week odyssey there in 2003. We are just an email or phone call away (0800 999 4334) from you and ready to design your very own tailor-made Canada wildlife tour.

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