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Why searching for the Spirit Bear is so much more than just a wildlife safari

Posted in: Canada, Posted in: Bear Safari Canada


Best Canada wildlife holidays

Spirit Bear Lodge

Ever so often a wildlife experience comes along which captures your heart and makes you feel alive! We promote many amazing Canada bear watching holidays on our website, but few can match the Spirit Bear tours for that connection with local Indigenous populations, incredible bear viewing and a true sense of the path less travelled when you embark on this spectacular Canada wildlife holiday. For us here at Wildlife Trails, the very best Canada wildlife tours really get under your skin and there is no doubt that the magnificent Great Bear Rainforest is such a place. The quest for a privileged sighting of the legendary Spirit Bear starts here and the best place to see the Kermode Bear is at the well run, community run Spirit Bear Lodge

Spirit Bear tours – which is the best choice for me?

There are many companies out there promoting Spirit Bear tours but most of them involve multi-day liveaboard cruises ‘sailing’ through the Great Bear Rainforest and only offer limited chances of viewing Spirit Bear Lodge since they spend most of the time on water, rather than ‘inside’ the rainforest looking for Spirit Bears. They are still a good option for visitors looking to explore the full beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest and view both marine and terrestrial wildlife. You are likely to see Humpback Whales, Orcas, Dolphins and plenty of Bald Eagles. On land, you will encounter grizzly bears, black bears; and with a lot of luck the elusive Spirit Bear.

At the Spirit Bear Lodge, they adopt a more physical, proactive approach to finding Spirit Bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. A large number of camera traps give the lodge regular feedback on the movement and distribution of the Spirit Beats and then the local guides with their intimate knowledge of the local wildlife do the rest. The daily schedule will consist of small group boat safaris launched from the lodge and taking you deep into the rainforest. The lodge provided superior quality waders, waterproofs and equipment to ensure you are well prepared for the ‘walking safaris’ into the Great Bear Rainforest. Over the years they have realised that walking into the forest and checking out some of the favourite fishing spots for the Spirit Bears is more likely to produce sightings. Here in a cluster of small islands covered in pristine old growth temperate rainforest these mystical white bears occur in greater numbers than anywhere else in North America, Here 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.  Even so, Spirit Bears are notoriously elusive and rarely sighted even in this special part of the Great Bear Rainforest. They are spiritually very significant to the local First Nations population and an appearance by one is considered to be an extremely omen and potentially momentous

Best Canada Wildlife Lodges – Spirit Bear Lodge

Consistently voted as one of our clients best Canada wildlife lodges there is no doubt that the Spirit Bear Lodge leaves a lasting impression on all visitors. Back in the day, you used to arrive at the Spirit Bear Lodge by floatplane and that really was the ultimate way to kick off your Canada bear viewing holiday. Now it is a slightly less spectacular boat transfer from Bella Bella; but it still gives you that feeling of a pioneering Canada wildlife tour – arriving into a remote community that feels very different from the mainland.

In recent years the Spirit Bear Lodge has been expanded – not too much though – and modernised to provide a level of comfort that international visitors have come to expect these days; even when they stay in true wilderness like the Great Bear Rainforest. There is a warm and professional orientation based welcome and it is not long before you embark on your first bear watching excursion. Since the lodge is located right on the water, it is not unusual to see black bears, whales, dolphins, sea otters and even harbor porpoises from the lodge itself. The Spirit Bear Lodge belongs to the Tsimhian people, who like the Haida have a sea faring culture and a matrilineal clan system; which means that the children trace their lineage and names on the maternal side of the family tree. 

So, if you are looking for a Canada wildlife holiday where there are no guarantees that you will see the legendary Spirit Bear; but can still enjoy one of the most beautiful northern rainforests in the world – which is packed full on wildlife – then why not take a look at our Spirit Bear Lodge safari. PLEASE REMEMBER that this lodge is often booked out up to a year in advance, so it is never too early to start planning.

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