Wildlife Group Tour

Canada group tour - British Columbia Grizzly Photography with Sue Flood

Departing 14th - 21st September 2020

8 days

from £9,595pp
  • Photograph grizzly bears in peak salmon run season under the guidance of photographer Sue Flood
  • Stay at Tweedsmuir Lodge - a member of the Magnificent Seven Luxury Wilderness Lodges of Canada
  • Private use of bear viewing platforms - perfect for photography
  • Explore the interior forests of British Columbia with groves of ancient valley cedars

Explore the wilderness and wildlife of Bella Coola at one of British Colombia's premier bear viewing lodges. Known as the gateway to the great bear rainforest, Bella Coola is a remote wilderness home to prolific wildlife. In the peak salmon run season, the grizzly bears are drawn to the rivers to feast on the spawning salmon, providing one of wildlife's greatest spectacles.

Accompanied by Sue flood, one of the top wildlife photographers in the world. Sue has previously spent time photographing bears at this lodge, as well as in other regions of British Colombia. The above shots were all taken by Sue during a previous trip to Tweedsmuir. She will be accompanied by a selection of local naturalist guides who will offer further insight into bear behaviour, and the flora and fauna of this region. Spend days floating along the river photographing bears and exploring the impressive west coast scenery, marked by lush forests, rivers and towering mountains.

DO I HAVE TO BE AN EXPERIENCED PHOTOGRAPHER TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS TRIP?

No, you don’t.  You don’t even have to be a photographer to join. Whether you have a simple point and shoot camera or a sophisticated SLR, Sue Flood will be on hand to give you tips on how to improve your photography skills. With a maximum of 10 people in the group, Sue will be able to offer one on one tuition both in the field and back at the lodge. This personal tuition will ensure you make the most of your time with the bears and hopefully capture some truly memorable moments on camera. The day to day itinerary will be planned with photography in mind so expect early mornings to capture the best light and times of day when the wildlife is at its most active. 

WHAT IF I AM A SINGLE TRAVELLER?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Host.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

What is the accommodation like on this Canada tour?

You will be staying in the comfortable Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. The Lodge is a relaxed family style lodge in the heart of Bella Coola, British Columbia. It is one of the top wilderness lodges in Canada and an ideal spot for viewing grizzly bears.

HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?

Daily tours will be aboard a small riverboat with three people plus a guide in each of the boats, giving ample room for photography. The on-shore terrain may be uneven and guests will need to be able to get in and out of the boat. Additional walking tours are available but are on an optional basis.

IS SEPTEMBER THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL to Canada?

Yes, September is the peak of the salmon run in this area. The rich salmon spawning streams draw the bears in high numbers to the rivers, which allows for more predictable sightings and thus hopefully, offering fantastic photographic opportunities. 

WHAT OTHER WILDLIFE MIGHT I SEE?

As well as grizzly bears this area is also home to black bears, wolves, cougars, mountain goats and an array of birdlife.

I can't do these dates; can I book this privately?

The above dates are based on our dedicated small group tour with Sue Flood. However, if these dates are not suitable for you, please speak to one of the team about arranging this on a tailormade basis. 



Departing on:
  • 14th September 2020

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
14th Sep 2020 21st Sep 2020 £ 9,595 £ 950 call Sue Flood Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 1 Night accommodation in Vancouver
  • 6 Nights accommodation at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
  • Accompanied by Sue Flood throughout whilst in Canada
  • Daily activities as listed
  • Domestic flights within Canada
  • Full board at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
  • Local guides at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

what is excluded

  • Canadian Visa
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals in Vancouver
  • Travel insurance

TO ALLOW FLEXIBILITY, OUR GROUP TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AS STANDARD. WE CAN ARRANGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ON YOUR BEHALF AND THE ABOVE IS AN INDICATION OF COST, BASED ON RETURN FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM LONDON. ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

No meals included today


Arrival Transfer - Vancouver
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your city hotel, a journey time of approximately 30 minutes. Please note that this may be a shared transfer with other members of this tour.

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains of British Columbia, Vancouver is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, bustling throughout the year. Renowned for its scenic beauty and endless outdoor activities, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about.

Get active and cycle through Stanley Park, explore the North Shore mountain trails, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge or head out on kayak to explore English Bay.


You will be staying at Loden Hotel, room only

Day 2

You will be transferred to the airport to depart on your flight to Bella Coola.

Fly Vancouver to Bella Coola


Arrival to Bella Coola
Arrive by air this morning to Bella Coola, marvelling at the impressive Coast Range mountains and expansive fjord system as you fly overhead.

On arrival, meet with the lodge staff and transfer the 45-minutes to the lodge. This transfer will include a brief orientation of the town along with highlighting points of interest along the way.

After check-in, there will be a lodge orientation and an informative bear awareness seminar ahead of your first afternoon tour.

Bear viewing commences with a late afternoon scenic river drift down the Atnarko River. This will be the first opportunity to take in the magnificent mountains surrounding the lodge along with hopefully the first opportunity to see the bears that congregate at the river to fish for salmon.

This evening, there will be a three-course meal served in the main lodge building. Dinner each night is at 7pm.

Bella Coola is one of the gateway points to the Great Bear Rainforest. The Bella Coola Valley is the dominant feature of the area stretching 50 miles, between the Coastal Mountain ranges. With lush temperate forest and one of the largest fjord systems in the Americas, this area supports an abundant wildlife population including grizzly and black bears, mule deer, moose, beavers, mountain coats and deer.

Bella Coola lies 100km inland from the outer Pacific and such the rainfall is lower than the main coastal regions. The summer months of July through to September tend to be dry and sunny.

The small town of Bella Coola supports a strong First Nations community of the Nuxalk people (Nu-hawk) that date back 10,000 years. Some of the finest artisan craftsmanship in woodcarving and ceremonial dress is displayed here and museums across the world feature art from this region.


All meals are included whilst staying at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge


You will be staying at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, full board

Day 3

Bear Viewing at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
Explore the Bella Coola Valley to get good sightings of the grizzly bears that reside here. In autumn, the bears patrol the Atnarko River to feed on salmon spawning in the rich waters. View the bears from the unique vantage point of river floats, affording unobstructed sightings. When she first came here, Sue Flood was astounded by the photographic opportunities provided by these floats. She will lead the float tours with the support of three local and knowledgeable guides. Sue Flood will take turns between floats to offer private tuition and guidance.

Float tours are one of the best ways to ensure good sightings of the grizzly bears and as such each day will focus on two float tours in order to maximise photographic opportunity. Other excursions will be available and can be arranged on arrival or prior to the tour.

During your stay, there will be the opportunity to explore the coastal mountains, deep canyons and cascading waterfalls giving the chance to see other wildlife including black bears, moose, mule deer and the elusive wolverine. Explore the old growth forests, learn of the history of this region and how the First Nations community interact with the landscape and wildlife.

Back at the lodge, grizzlies are frequently seen on the expansive lawns overlooking the river. Sit on the deck of your cabin and watch the mothers with their cubs or take the short and secure walk to the bear viewing platform overlooking a prime stretch of the river. There is no end to the photographic opportunities.

Evenings will offer the chance to reflect on the day's adventures and Sue will spend time discussing photographic techniques and offering advice to the group - this is a relaxed feedback session as opposed to a formal lecture.


You will be staying at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, full board

Day 8

Departure Day
This morning, take a last opportunity before breakfast to visit the wildlife viewing platform, a short walk from the lodge accommodations.

Check out is at 11am. Take advantage of a leisurely morning at the property before taking the shuttle to the airport.


You will be transferred to the airport to depart on your flight to Vancouver.

Fly Bella Coola to Vancouver

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is a relaxed family style lodge in the heart of Bella Coola, British Columbia....

View Accommodation

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

Destination Experts

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Paul Bird, Travel Expert

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Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour Expert

Sue Flood

Sue Flood
Your guide on the trip is Sue Flood, a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Sue was an Associate Producer on the award winning BBC series 'The Blue Planet', and also more recently worked on Planet Earth. Both The Blue Planet and Planet Earth featured several animal behaviours which were filmed for the first time, and Sue obtained unique images for the series. Her photographic highlights include diving with humpback whales in the South Pacific, face-to-face encounters with leopard seals in the Antarctic, filming polar bears in the Arctic, and photographing the wildlife of Zambia. But above all, Sue is great fun to be with - while your photographic prowess will improve under her tuition, you are also guaranteed a fun and rewarding time in her company.

Other tours by this lecturer:

Enquire about this Wildlife tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 8

Tour Expert:

Sue Flood

Departure Date (S):

  • 14th September 2020

  • Moderate Activity - The tour may occasionally involve slightly longer walks, but nothing over 4 hours. The tour will involve visits to a variety of sites throughout the duration of the itinerary and be at a moderate pace.

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