10 day safari

Prices from


Excluding international flights

Tour Highlights

Chance to see both Brown and Black bears

Private boat safaris at Zeballos

Great tour for sea otters and humpbacks

Enjoy the scenic beauty of Vancouver Island

You can't beat Vancouver Island for that beautiful combination of wildlife diversity and value for money. This Canada wildlife holiday takes you away from some of the larger towns and focuses on smaller communities and small group or private wildlife activities. The focus out of Campbell River will be a small boat grizzly bear safari to the spectacular inlets on the main BC coast, where brown bears will be feasting on the annual salmon run. This is also a good area for Orcas and Whales and because there is a maximum of 6 people permitted in the boat, your expert naturalist will be able to provide you with superb interpretation. It is always interesting to swtich from one coast to another and you will not be disappointed with the drive to Zeballos. A stay here is more like visiting a family, where all your meals are included and late in September/early October, there is the chance to see black bears fishing for salmon right from the lodges deck. You will also go out on private boat safaris looking for black bears and humpbacks.

    When to go:
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Nov
  • Dec

Best time to visit - SEP


Day 1

Best hotels to stay in at Vancouver Airport
Arrive into Vancouver and overnight
On arrival at Vancouver international airport simply walk across to the free shuttle bus for the Pacific Gateway Hotel

Accommodation : Pacific Gateway Hotel

Day 2

Best wildlife lodges on Vancouver Island Zeballos
Take the ferry to Nanaimo and drive to Zeballos
Pick up your car rental from the airport and drive 45 minutes to the BC ferries terminal at Tsawwassen. Catch a late morning ferry (the crossing takes around 2 hours!) to Nanaimo and then drive 3-4 hours north and then west to the beautiful coastal community of Zeballos, where you will overnight at a ‘River Facing Lodge’ (all meals included). The seond part of this car journey hugs the shore line of the very beautiful Nimpkish Lake, which at 40km long is one of the largest lakes on the island.

Accommodation : Zeballos riverside lodge

Day 3

Best place to see sea otters on Vancouver Island Zeballos
First day of private boat safaris at Zeballos
Because all your wildlife activities are private, there is the inherent flexible for your wildlife guide to tailor the length and direction of your boat safari to your requirements. Because Zeballos is one of the best place on the entire island to see Sea Otters, there is normally a focus on this species as well as the black bears; which can even be seen fishing directly from the lodge. The boat safaris normally last around 5-6 hours.

Accommodation : Zeballos riverside lodge

Day 4

Best place to see humpback whales on Vancouver Island Zeballos
Second day of private boat safaris
The waters around Zeballos are home to several different marine species, but it is the Humpbacks that can often produce the most theatre and if this is animal also on your wish list, then your guide and boatman may take you in a different direction to observe these beautiful giants of the ocean.

Accommodation : Zeballos riverside lodge

Day 5

Best place to see black bears on Vancouver Island zeballos
Day to relax with the black bears at the lodge
Your accommodation has such a stunning location that it would be a real shame to rush off to the next destination without some time to simply enjoy the wilderness that surrounds you. The added bonus of this 'relaxing' day, is you may be running to get your camera as black bears can often be seen fishing for salmon right from the lodges wrap around deck. So, sit back and enjoy having the best seats in town to observe how black bears profit from the salmon run.

Accommodation : Zeballos riverside lodge

Day 6

Best hotels in campbell river oyster bay resort
Drive from Zeballos to Campbell River
Sadly, it is time to leave the untouched beauty of Zeballos and drive back across the spine of the island to Campbell River. There are a huge number of activities possible from this vibrant seaside community; including bear and whale watching tours, fishing and even snorkelling with salmon. We choose some funcky accommodation a little outside of town to provide you with a more peaceful and scenic setting.

Accommodation : Oyster Bay Resort

Day 7

Best places to see brown bears fishing for salmon off Vancouver Island
Watch brown bears fishing for salmon off Vancouver Island
Wildlife Trails have been working with small group wildlife operators since 2003; when our very own Canadian Operations Manager, James Manson, was living on the island. So all our partners are hand picked and we select them based on their ethics, intimate wildlife knowledge and small group size - the feedback about these companies from our clients has been first class. Today, you will enjoy a full day boat safari out to one of the inlets off the main BC coastline and visit a series of viewing stands to watch grizzly bears fishing for salmon. This is very much a full day boat safari including a packed lunch and you will share this very special experience with a maximum of 4/5 other guests.

Accommodation : Oyster Bay Resort

Day 8

Drive back to Nanaimo to catch the ferry to Vancouver
Sadly, you have come to the end of your bear watching tour on Vancouver Island and will drive 2 hours south to Nanaimo to catch the ferry back to the mainland.

Pricing Info & Dates

Cost £2500 based on two people sharing and not including flights

Valid for travel from May 2021 to October 2022


  • £100 donation to the Rainforest conservation foundation
  • Car rental for a mid-size vehicle + 2 drivers
  • All meals and beer and wine at Zeballos
  • All activities and accommodation as stated


  • Visa costs for travel to Canada
  • Ferry charges for vehicle and passangers
  • Meals at Campbell River
  • Gratuaties for your expert guides


Our clients say about us

Thursday August 29, 2019
Fantastic Canadian adventure

We had a two week holiday on Vancouver Island.. we went on a whale watching tour and saw Orcas, Humpbacks, Dahl porpoises, white striped Dolphins, seals and Sea lions. We then did a Grizzly bear...

By Chris and John
Tuesday September 19, 2017
Fantastic tailored holiday to North America the itinerary and arrangements were first class

Our slightly unusual request was to cover certain National Parks in the US and then visit British Columbia with the focus on Whales and Bears all within a restricted time slot and to ensure both...

By Paul and Sally
Tuesday November 22, 2016
Fantastic Polar Bear trip

Allan Blanchard from Wildlife Trails organised a holiday for myself and a friend to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada to see Polars Bears. All the flights connections were spot on, arrived at Winnipeg...

By Annie and Viv
Sunday October 16, 2016
Bear and whale watching in British Columbia

Fantastic bear and whale watching experience in the Great Best Rainforest and on Vancouver Island. Different locations, tour operators and accommodation types, all of them great in their own...

By Patrick
Saturday December 5, 2015
Everything I could have hoped for

I specifically wanted to see Polar bears with plenty of photo opportunities. I had a 4 night stay in the Frontiers North Tundra Buggy Lodge, with 5 eight hour Tundra Buggy trips. I also stayed in...

By Meryl
Saturday November 14, 2015
Two weeks whale and bear watching in spectacular surroundings on Vancouver Island

A family (of four) self-drive holiday to Vancouver and Vancouver Island in late August and early September 2015. The holiday lived up to all our expectations. All the arrangements worked like...

By Graham and family
Wednesday October 7, 2015
Great Experience

I had a wonderful trip to the Bella Coola Valley in BC. Location and accommodation were excellent, the food a real treat especially in the Tweedmuire Park Lodge. Wildlife viewing on the river and...

By Barbel
Monday October 21, 2013
Bella Coola Bear Watching

Bear viewing holiday in British Columbia. We had 5 days at Tweedsmuir Park lodge, one on a guided walk, 1.5 on a river drift and the rest free time or we could have done some additional tours. All...

By Kevin