Canada's West Coast Wildlife Safari

Listen to the clicks and whistles coming through a hydrophone, eavesdropping on Orcas swimming beneath your kayak. Dip a paddle blade into the water, pulling back to glide above an underwater forest of kelp. Feel the current of the ocean launch you toward a pebbled shore where eagles soar overhead. Watch in wonder as Killer and Humpback Whales surface within the focus of your camera’s lens. Feel goosebumps rise up watching Grizzly bears from behind your binoculars. 

Imitate the sound of a haul out of sea lions then hold your breath when you get close enough to smell theirs. Watch in awe as curious sea otters pop up, twirl and dive below your kayak as they feast away. Settle into a remote camp by the sea and let the rhythmic sound of the ocean lull you to sleep beneath a canopy of stars. Kayak with Killer Whales in their natural habitat. Explore off the beaten path, where the wild creatures still are, in comfort and safety knowing you have expert guides by your side. You can do all this and more - on Canada's West Coast Wildlife Safari.

The trip includes: 

  • Guided whale-watching cruise deep in the heart of Orca waters – through the Johnstone Strait on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island

  • Three day Orca Camp guided base camp kayak trip in BC’s Johnstone Strait, the best place in North America to see Killer Whales in the wild

  • A one-day Grizzly Bear viewing sightseeing expedition to Knight Inlet, one of the longest on BC's coast, and prime Grizzly bear habitat

    Mother Grizzly and her 3 cubs.

  • A four-day guided kayaking tour of historic Mission Group of islands in Kyuquot on western Vancouver Island. Explore the inter-tidal zone, paddle through an ancient First Nation’s village area and onward to their current community, hike and kayak rugged coastlines, then return to overnight in comfort and style at our remote base camp

  • A total of eight (8) nights accommodations (five nights total at two base camps, three nights in a resort/lodge)

  • Transportation between Orca Camp, Telegraph Cove for Knight Inlet Grizzly Bear tour, and our Wilderness Retreat near Kyuquot

  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at both wilderness base camps, breakfast and lunch on the Grizzly viewing tour

 

Not Included:

  • Transportation to Port McNeill

  • Meals not outlined above

Gratuities

Price, per person: $3,700.00 + GST

 

Itinerary:

 

Day 0

  • Guests arrive Port McNeill, overnight at Black Bear Resort (or similar)

  • Meet your Orca Camp guides, pre-trip briefing at resort

 

Day 1

  • Continental Breakfast at leisure

    Hanging out at the beach

  • Board the Niad Explorer for a cruise through Orca waters, along BC’s rugged coastline. Keep your camera at the ready to capture shots of Pacific white-sided dolphins, false Killer Whales, Humpbacks, sea lions, Orcas and more

  • Light lunch on board

  • Whale watching cruise concludes at the shores of Warden Beach, your base camp for the next three days

  • Afternoon orientation of Orca Camp, kayak and safety lesson and a short afternoon paddle of the lagoons and inlets near base camp

  • Dinner served al fresco – on, or overlooking the beach, while the sun begins to dip below the horizon

  • Storytelling around the beachside bonfire before retiring to private tents for the night

 

Day 2

  • Fuel up with a hearty breakfast before setting out for your day’s paddle. Routes will depend on where the wildlife are, but you can expect two to three hours of paddling before beaching on a deserted island for a hearty picnic lunch

  • Measure time by the number of wildlife shots your camera – your afternoon paddle takes you further into the realm of the Orca, then a late afternoon return to base camp to enjoy dinner under the stars – tuck into wild Pacific salmon grilled over a cedar planked bonfire, a fine glass of wine and the kinship of fellow Orca Camp guests

 

Day 3

  • One more hearty breakfast at Orca Camp’s Beach Café followed by a morning kayak in search of whales, sea lions and dolphins

  • Indulge in one last picnic lunch before boarding an afternoon water-taxi transfer to historic and quaint Telegraph Cove, a seaside hamlet nestled between the ocean and the rainforest

  •  Dinner is on your own at your Telegraph Cove accommodations. Don’t stay up too late, your Grizzly Bear safari begins bright and early the next morning

     

Day 4

stretching bear

 

  • Early morning departure cruise to Knight Inlet, the longest inlet in North America and one of the best places in BC to view Grizzly bears in their natural habitat

  • Enjoy a continental breakfast on board while drinking in the coastal charms of the Broughton Archipelago where wildlife experts share stories of the creatures you’ll find here
  • Spend the day weaving in and out of estuaries and rivers, peering from behind your binoculars or your camera’s lens at mighty bruins feeding, sunning and patrolling the shorelines as you slip silently by

  • A buffet lunch is served al fresco, in one of the most picturesque settings on the coast

  • Late afternoon return to Telegraph Cove, overnight accommodations and dinner on own

 

Day 5

  • Breakfast on own, then relax and take in the sights while travelling overland enroute to Fair Harbour on the outer edge of Canada’s west coast and onward via water-taxi to your luxurious wilderness base camp. Land and water-taxi transfers included

  • Early afternoon arrival with a light lunch, welcome orientation and tour of base camp facilities; time to settle into your waterfront tent accommodations

  • Relaxing introductory kayak outing or forest trail walk to spectacular and rugged exposed west coast shoreline and scenery - use your arms or legs and get your bearings! You've arrived!

  • Dinner and evening activities, including preparation for next day's kayaking. Possible evening paddle in sheltered bay

 

Day 6

  • Continued orientation/refresher to the kayaks, safety equipment, and paddling strokes; safety briefing appropriate to the individual experience and day's activities.
    sunny paddle kayak tour
  • Day trip paddle through local islet clusters, abandoned First Nations Village site area, and sea otter viewing

  • Lunch break and shoreline inter-tidal life orientation on sandy shell beach

  • More exploring and wildlife viewing by kayak in the afternoon

  • Return to established camp comforts...and maybe enjoy a hot shower, nap, time on a stand up paddleboard, a good book, a relaxing beverage, wandering along the expansive beach,...?! Your call!

  • Evening appetizers, dinner, and opportunities for on-water kayak skill development with one-on-one coaching

  • Possible sunset paddle or walk...or just enjoy time around the fire visiting with others

 

Day 7

  • Continue letting the coastal charms of Spring Island lure you in. Day trip to nearby estuaries and rivers to explore, find fossils, or take a "salmon forest" hike. If sea and weather conditions allow, paddle further to wave sculpted sea arches and sea caves.

  • Your day could include anything from: black bear viewing and wolf sightings; to a possible visit to the remote First Nations village of Kyuquot; to further intertidal exploring for tide pool curiosities.

    Parked kaykas

  • If the seas are rough, no worries, there are plentiful shoreline hikes, beachcombing, and world-class photography opportunities. It's endless!

 

Day 8

  • Your last opportunity to truly experience the majesty and magic of this place – explore on an interpretive walk into an ancient, temperate, old-growth rainforest, or take to the water one last time to explore the islets, coves and nearby sea arches

  • Midday water taxi departure after lunch

  • Return van transportation to Port McNeill for connecting travel plans 

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