Bella Coola bear safari in a 2 bedroom Wilderness Lodge with expert guide.
6 days from £2375*
Bella Coola has been a firm client favourite since we introduced this wonderfully intimate way to view and photograph brown bears on the Atnarko river back in 2003 - we really were one of the pioneers in the UK and US markets. At that time we were searching for alternatives to the more 'static' brown bear viewing from platforms that were part of the grizzly bear viewing scene in British Colombia. We heard rumours of an amazing location in coastal BC, where seeing and spending time with brown bears on or by the river was just part of the way of life in the local community. Local fisherman casting their fly for salmon would often be 'joined' by the brown bears looking to pick off one of the thousands of such fish migrating up the river to spawn. There was no noise pollution from engines on the boats and instead the bear viewing was done using either traditional McKenzie drift boats or small inflatable Zodiacs. There can be few more exciting and awe-inspiring ways to view brown bears in their natural environment, than by taking a river drift in Bella Coola. By definition you are at 'eye level' with the bears and your expert guide can manoeuvre the boat in such a way, as to position you on the opposite bank of the river to enable you to take some 'award-winning' bear photographs and provide the bear with enough space to continue its normal behaviour - this is particularly important for brown bears and their cubs. We always ensure that we give the bears plenty of space, whether it is during the river drifts or our on our wilderness walks.
Back in 2008 when we visited Bella Coola with our two young daughters, we were invited to have a look around a beautiful new property located close to the river, where the brown bears feast on the returning salmon. The concept was simple; which was to offer a more intimate type of family accommodation for visitors to Bella Coola and since there were only two bedrooms, the maximum group size for the bear viewing activities can only ever be 5 (including the guide and owner). This is a great size of group for wildlife viewing - in particular for the wilderness walks - as you have less noise and more room to take advantage of wildlife encounters.
One of the outstanding features of this property is the beautiful wooden observation deck at the back of the house. This is designed in such a way to provide visitors with great opportunities to see brown bears grazing on the lush grasses right outside. Imagine a breakfast of homemade scones, fresh coffee and a female brown bear and her two cubs filling the screen of your digital camera. Nature is literally all around you and you genuinely feel immersed in the wilderness and close to the bears which call it home. So why not book a Canada wildlife holiday with a difference and come and see for yourself the magic of Bella Coola and its bears.
This is a Private Tour
Arrive into Vancouver Airport and take the free shuttle bus to the Pacific Gateway Hotel
Fly from Vancouver to Bella Coola where you will be met and transferred to a beautifully located 2 bedroom Wilderness Lodge
After breakfast you will be taken for a half-day guided small group walk looking for signs of wildlife. You will follow old trails through the forest, observe animal prints and have a good chance to see Black and Brown Bears
After breakfast you will be taken for a half-day river drift in a Zodiac down the beautiful Atnarko river. Enjoy this quiet, informative boat journey in the company of a local guide, as you view Grizzly Bears and Bald Eagles old trails through the forest, observe animal prints and have a chance to see Black and Brown Bears.
Now you have some great bear encounters and know how to behave in bear country, you can venture out yourselves to safe local viewing areas. Always the focus is on staying in open areas and observing the brown bears at a safe distance. We can also add in additional half-day river drifts on this day.
Today you will be transferred to the airport and fly back to Vancouver. End of your tour with Wildlife trails
Cost £2375 per person based on two people sharing a room. Cost does not include international flights, but we can quote on request.
Return domestic flights between Vancouver and Bella Coola are included.
Room only basis in Vancouver. Three delicious homemade meals at the Bella Coola wilderness lodge.
With only 2 rooms available, enjoy an intimate guided tour of the best bear viewing spots in the valley.
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* Based on 2 persons and not including flights