Canada is synonymous with bears and is undoubtedly one of the best countries to discover this humbling, thrilling and extraordinary wildlife encounter. Whether you wish to be lodge based, on a yacht or luxury camping in the wilds there is definitely an experience out there for you. For the wildlife lovers and photographers among you, you will also find some life time experiences on our group tours with wildlife film maker Sue Flood in both the Yukon and in the Great Bear Rainforest.
The Great Bear Rainforest
British Columbia is one of the best regions in the country for bear viewing largely due to the Great Bear Rainforest. This extraordinary tract of pristine temperate forest covers the west and northern coast of British Columbia to Alaska and is home to a vast number of grizzly and black bears, and the elusive Kermode bear – the spirit bear. This region is also home to wealth of wildlife including whales, orcas, sea otters, dolphins, sea lions and a plethora of birds including the beautiful bald eagle.
Bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest and further afield can be experienced from both lodges, such as Great Bear Lodge or Tweedsmuir, or by boat. We offer a number of exclusive boats from small sailing yachts like the Island Roamer to luxury vessels such as Pacific Yellow Fin.
The Yukon Territory sits north of British Columbia on the border with Alaska and stretches north to the Arctic Ocean. It is twice the size of the UK with a population of just 35,000 people making 80% of the territory, wilderness. Deep within this wilderness, only accessible by helicopter, is some of the world’s most remote bear viewing. Bear Cave Mountain Adventures Camp provides extraordinary bear viewing to a very limited number of enthusiasts and photographers each year, in one of the most unique environments and is home to the ice bear phenomena.
If you are looking to see polar bears rather than Grizzlies then the Canadian High Arctic has plenty of options. There are a number of small specialist lodges located close to Churchill including Seal River, recognised by National Geographic as one of its unique lodges of the world. Further north you can camp on the ice floe edge or take an expedition cruise through the Northwest Passage region. For the ultimate bear safari combine a trip to both Churchill and British Columbia for a brown and white bear experience.
The Bear Facts
- Grizzlies are a subspecies of the brown bear and stand up to 8ft tall weighing in at 800lbs
- When grizzlies hibernate their heart rate reduces from 40 beats per minute to just eight
- Expectant mothers give birth in their sleep
- Cubs are born during hibernation, blind, with no fur or teeth. By the time they emerge from the den they have fur, opened their eyes and a good set of teeth ready for the world outside
- The black bear is the smallest of the bear species
- Black bear claws are retractable making them expert tree climbers
- Black bears can run up to 50 mph (so not even Usain Bolt would have a chance with a top speed of 30 mph)
- Female black bears reproduce every two years or more
- The spirit bear is actually a black bear with a recessive gene turning their coats snow-white