7 day safari

Prices from


Excluding international flights

Tour Highlights

The most diverse terrestrial and marine wildlife tour in Canada

Chance to see Grizzly and Black bear on small group boat tours

Suitable for everyone including families with young kids

This tour can be tailored to your requirements

A visit to Vancouver Island really showcases the sheer diversity of wildlife, both marine and terrestrial, found in the Pacific Northwest, and offers plenty of varied wildlife activities at a very affordable price. About 300 miles long and 70 miles wide, the best and most cost effective option to explore the island is a self-drive tour which gives you the freedom to visit multiple locations and fully experience all that it has to offer. The northeast of the island offers easy access to both Johnstone Strait, the best place in the world to see Orcas in the wild (as well as Humpback Whales), and the remote coastal inlets on the adjacent mainland where Grizzly Bears still maintain a stronghold, far from any human encroachment. The rugged west coast of the island is on the annual migration route of the Gray Whale, large numbers of which pass by off the coast en-route from Mexico to Alaska, and is also one of the best places in North America to see Black Bears. Sightings of Humpback Whales and Sea Otters are also possible off the west coast, and Bald Eagles and Sea Lions are more or less a certainty. The popular seaside community of Tofino on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island is a great destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Besides the excellent black bear watching tours and whale watchign trips, there are many other outdoor activities which you can book direct, or just enjoy walking the famous Wild Pacific trail.

    When to go:
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • Nov
  • Dec

Best time to visit - SEP


Day 1

Best places to stay in Tofino condo with ocean views
Drive from Vancouver to the ferry terminal
In the morning you will pick up your hire car and drive to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal where you will board a drive-on ferry to Vancouver Island. On arrival in Nanaimo, your gateway to the island, drive 3½ hours west to Tofino, a picturesque seaside town on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island where you will overnight at a ocean facing condo, complete with wraparound deck, kitchen, separate bedroom and dining area.

Accommodation : Ocean fronted condo with deck

Day 2

Best place to see whales on Vancouver Island Tofino
3 hour whale watching trip in 12 person Zodiac boats.
Morning or afternoon departure for a 2½-3 hour whale watching trip to observe the Gray Whales on their northward migration to Alaska. A number of these whales remain in the coastal waters off the west coast of Vancouver Island throughout the summer, feeding and resting in the sheltered bays around Tofino and nearby Ucluelet. Orca & Humpback Whales, Sea Lions, and Sea Otters are also sometimes encountered on these trips. we can book larger boats if people prefer a more stable viewing platform.

Accommodation : Ocean fronted condo

Day 3

Best place to see black bears on Vancouver Island Tofino boat tours
3 hour black bear watching trip in a Zodiac boat
Morning or afternoon departure for a 2½ hour boat trip to observe Black Bears foraging on the shoreline in beautiful and remote Clayoquot Sound. Rest of the day free for your own activities. Overnight at the same beautifully located condo.

Accommodation : Ocean fronted condo

Day 4

Best places to stay at Telegraph Cove Vancouver Island
Long scenic drive from Tofino to Telegraph Cove
Depart Tofino after breakfast and drive 3-4 hours east and north to Campbell River where you can stop for lunch. Then drive 2 hours further north to a picturesque cove near Telegraph Cove, where you will overnight at a small, secluded wilderness lodge

Accommodation : Wilderness Lodge Telegraph Cove

Day 5

Best place to see Orcas on Vancouver Island
3 hour whale watching tour focused on Orcas
Depart from Telegraph Cove Resort aboard a 74-person semi-covered, custom-built express cruiser, this adventure will take you on a 3-hour fully-guided whale watching and marine wildlife viewing tour. We will probably book an afternoon departure for you, to allow you to recover from the long drive from Tofino and to enjoy the amazing views from your wilderness lodge.

Accommodation : Wilderness Lodge Telegraph Cove

Day 6

Best place to see Grizzly Bears in Canada
Full day grizzly bear viewing tour to Knight Inlet
After an early breakfast you will be collected from the lodge’s dock for a day trip by boat to observe the famous Grizzly Bears of remote Knight Inlet. During the 2 hour journey across to the mainland amid spectacular scenery, you may encounter Orca and Humpback Whales, Bald Eagles, and other wildlife en-route. On arrival in Knight Inlet you will transfer to a flat bottomed, open skiff (can approach closer to shore) from which you will spend 2-3 hours observing grizzly bears grazing on estuarine sedge grasses close to the shoreline, or foraging for crustaceans on the tidal flats.

Accommodation : Wilderness Lodge Telegraph Cove

Day 7

Photo of the BC ferry to Nanaimo
Drive south to Nanaimo to catch return ferry to Vancouver
Depart the lodge after breakfast and drive 4 hours south to Nanaimo, where you will bid a fond farewell to Vancouver Island and board the return ferry back to the mainland

Pricing Info & Dates

Cost £1100 based on two people sharing and not including flights

Valid for travel from May 2021 until October 2022


  • £100 donation to the Rainforest conservation foundation
  • Stays at some of the best wildlife lodges on the island
  • Car hire which includes 3 drivers and a free tank of fuel
  • All wildlife activities with a focus on small groups



  • Visa fees for visiting Canada
  • Fares for the ferry between Vancouver and the island.
  • Gratuaties for your guides on wildlife activities


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