Bear watching in Canada
You can find bears all over Canada; from the Eastern parts around Quebec till the Canadian Rockies in the West. The best place to see them is in British Columbia and specifically around Vancouver Island.
From Vancouver Island, a few companies offer bear watching tours to the Great Bear Rainforest. This is the one of the largest remaining areas of intact temperate rainforest in the world. It’s not only the home of bears but also cougars and wolves.
You can see 3 species of bears in the Great Bear Rainforest: grizzly bears, black bears and the Kermode (“spirit”) bear, a unique subspecies of the black bear that displays a recessive white coloured coat. These bears are the rarest of all North American bear species and only live in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Ready to follow along on our experience with bear watching in Canada?
It’s 6 am in September and we are on our way to Telegraph Cove. We are going on a grizzly bear expedition with Tide Rip Grizzly Adventures. After some searching in the dark, we find the meeting point and the rest of the group. We are ready to meet our captain and guide for the day and board our boat: Grizzly Girl.
While the captain brings us to Knight Inlet, we sit back, relax and enjoy our breakfast. Along the way, we stop a few times to look at birds and dolphins.
When getting closer to Knight Inlet, we spot our first bear of the day: a black bear along the shore. Low tide is the perfect time to see the bears: they are looking for food along the shoreline. We stand still with our cameras ready and just watch as the bear lifts rocks to search for mussels and crab. So peaceful to watch. It takes some time before he spots us and goes back into the forest.
Arriving at Glendale Cove, we board the skiffs. At Glendale Cove, you will find one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears in British Columbia. And it doesn’t take long before we see a grizzly. He/she walks along the shoreline looking for food. We are of no interest; it just wants food. We follow him/her for quite some time before going for lunch.
Lunch is a make your wrap or sandwich buffet. With the sun peeking between the clouds, we enjoy our lunch at a floating dock with beautiful views of nature all around us.
We get back on the Grizzly Girl because somebody spotted a mama bear and her 2 cubs. And yes, we found them: so cute to see the bears walking and climbing behind their mother. The fun was not over: we saw another grizzly along the shore. I could watch these bears all day, but it is time to head back to Telegraph Cove.
On the way back, we make a short stop for a refuel of the boat. And we also spot some seals.
Book your bear watching in Canada
This bear watching tour was amazing: we were lucky to see different bears. Because bears are wild animals, you just must be lucky to see them.
Booking a tour with Tide Rip is the best way to see the bears in their natural habitat. It isn’t cheap, but it is well worth the money. Tours run from mid-May to the end of September.
You can book your tour here https://grizzlycanada.com/
We stayed at Port McNeill in Dalewood Inn, which was perfect.
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