Join our exciting small group tour, visiting the Cariboo Mountains in the height of the Canadian winter in pursuit of Canadian lynx, timber wolf and moose, with the chance of seeing the spectacular northern lights.
Our Wild Canada in Winter tour begins with a flight to Vancouver, where we overnight, before flying to Williams Lake. From here we travel deep into the Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park for a six night stay at the delightful Pyna-tee-ah Lodge. Over the next five days, under the expert guidance of Gary Zorn, we venture out on foot, snowmobile and 4WD in pursuit of three of the regions most iconic mammals: the Canadian lynx, timber wolf and moose.
Whilst the mammals will be our main focus, we can also hope to see some fantastic birds, with bald eagle, pine and evening grosbeak, and great horned and great grey owl all possible.
The evenings will be spent in the warmth and comfort of the lodge, from where we may be fortunate enough to hear the spine-tingling sound of wolfs howling and, if conditions are favourable, the chance to the see magnificent spectacle of the northern lights.
Day1: Fly to Vancouver
Depart the UK on a daytime flight to Vancouver.
Accommodation: Airport hotel, 1-night
Day2: Fly to Williams Lake & transfer to Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park
This morning we fly to Williams Lake where we are met by Gary and transferred to our lodge for a six night stay.
Days3-7: Explore Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park
Over the next five days we will employ a flexible programme, targeting the areas that are most likely to provide us with a chance of seeing three of the region’s most iconic mammal species: the Canadian lynx, timber wolf and moose.
Depending on the latest sightings and weather conditions, Gary will either take us by 4WD vehicle or possibly even snowmobile, before donning snowshoes and travelling by foot to an area that will hopefully yield results. Gary has over 30 years experience of tracking and viewing wildlife, employing a range of techniques to help maximise our chances.
Using snowshoes gives us a taste of the principal means of transport used by the early pioneers, fur traders and miners in winter. Snowshoeing is both fun and easy - if you can walk, you can snowshoe - and we can enjoy an outdoor winter adventure with the quiet swish of the snow under our feet while we observe wildlife in its natural habitat.
Although we reserve the right to change the daily programme, it is reasonable to assume that most days will commence with an early breakfast at the lodge, before heading out with a packed lunch and flask for a full day in the field, returning to the lodge in time for dinner. Evenings are free to relax, enjoying a glass of wine by the fire, or, if conditions allow, stepping aside to view the spectacle of the northern lights.
Day8: Transfer to Williams Lake, fly to Vancouver & depart
This morning we transfer to Williams Lake and fly to Vancouver, from where we connect with an overnight flight back to the UK.
Day9: Arrive UK
You should note: In winter the weather in the mountains of British Columbia can be severe and may change rapidly. You must be prepared for wintery conditions and temperatures as low as -20⁰ Celsius and - for your own safety and comfort – it will be necessary to dress accordingly. This includes warm insulated waterproof outerwear i.e. a jacket, trousers, gloves and hat, waterproof winter footwear (snow boots) rated for use in temperatures down to -25⁰ Celsius, and clothing that you can layer, such as a wicking thermal base-layer and socks, and a fleece mid-layer.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 9 daysfrom £3,995 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 daysfrom £3,495 pp
Single supplement: From £750
Group size: 6
Included in the price/package:
Return flights between Vancouver & Williams Lake
6 nights Pyna-tee-ah Lodge
1 night hotel in Vancouver
Most meals (all meals at Pyna-tee-ah Lodge, bed & breakfast in Vancouver)
With more than 30 years' experience in outdoor adventure tourism, Gary Zorn has become known as the ‘the bear whisperer™’ due to his passion for the grizzlies of the Cariboo Mountains in British Columbia. He is renowned for the unique relationship he has developed with them, as well as his many amazing bear tales.
Gary’s comprehensive knowledge of the land, its flora and fauna, and the area’s history combine to provide a well-rounded wilderness experience – an opportunity to enjoy and learn about the area. His sense of stewardship, regard for the environment and commitment to combining good management with maintenance and enhancement of the unique ecosystem and the life it sustains through his ‘leave only footprints’ philosophy ensures that it will survive for future generations.
Terry has held a lifelong fascination for wildlife and his self-taught knowledge of British wildlife has led him into voluntary survey work for the RSPB, Bat Conservation Trust, Vincent Trust and British Butterfly Conservation, as well as funding raising for many wildlife charities.
Alongside this, he organised day trips and weekends away for birdwatchers from local ornithological societies in the south east of the UK. Eventually his interest led him to return to university and study a host of courses including British Cetaceans, Biological Field Studies and finally a degree in Environment and Conservation. Terry has an eclectic interest in wildlife and as an ecologist is really interested in how plants and animals exist and fit together, their behaviour and their impact on each other.
Cariboo Mountains Provincial Park is a true wilderness, dominated by high serrated peaks and glaciers, and densely forested valleys featuring attractive lakes and lush wetlands. Its extensive undeveloped landscape provides critical habitat for a number of wildlife species including grizzlies and rare mountain caribou.
Where: British Columbia
Ideal for viewing: brown bear, caribou, moose, lynx, American black bear
Excellent for: Wildlife festivals, Walking with wildlife, River safaris, Bear watching
British Columbia’s largest city stands in a fine coastal setting, against a backdrop of lofty tree-covered peaks - a great starting point to any wildlife holiday in the province. There is plenty to see in this lively, multi-cultural city, such as exploring Stanley Park on foot or by bike.
Where: British Columbia
Excellent for: Activity & adventure, City stopover, History & culture
This spacious and homely lodge occupies a two-hectare landscaped riverfront site overlooking a beautiful stretch of the rolling Quesnel River at the outlet of Quesnel Lake in Likely, British Columbia. With charming hosts and hearty traditional country meals, the Pyna-tee-ah is certain to delight you.