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Focus on seeing British Columbia’s largest carnivore – the brown or grizzly bear – without distraction and in a choice of locations.

The location of your trip will be determined by the lodge at which you choose to stay. Most are situated in remote locations that can only be reached by floatplane, which guarantees a real wilderness experience, and there may well be opportunities to see black bears and spirit bears too. During the short summer season of plenty, bears can be seen foraging for food and feasting on salmon from boats and dedicated platform hides that offer truly fantastic photographic opportunities.

Suggested itinerary

  1. Day 1: Fly to Vancouver, 1-night

  2. Days 2-6 : Fly to your chosen lodge, 5-nights

    Over the next few days you will enjoy daily bear watching trips from the lodge, either by boat or from platform hides. There are a variety of lodges to choose from.  We recommend Knight Inlet Lodge in Glendale Cove, Great Bear Lodge in the Nekite Valley, former hunting lodge Tweedsmuir, or the traditional and cosy Spirit Bear Lodge.

    You will head out with an experienced local guide for morning and afternoon bear watching, or possibly stay out for the entire day with a packed lunch. From the start of the season until 24 August, all bear watching is done from boats; from 25 August until the end of the season, it is done from from dedicated platforms or hides strategically sited along the riverbank. This allows you to watch bears as they forage along the shoreline with a minimum of disturbance, and provides magnificent opportunities for photography from different vantage points.

    In addition to bear watching a number of other excursions are offered - weather permitting. These include a marine wildlife tour to Johnstone Strait; guided kayaking ; an outing to see bald eagles and other bird life; a trip to the upper reaches of Knight Inlet to see the magnificent scenery; excursions to Thompson Sound and Bond Sound to see bears and other wildlife;  tracking wildlife to make plaster casts of animal prints; an interpretative forest walk in the Kwalate Valley.

  3. Day 7: Fly to Vancouver and depart

  4. Day 8: Arrive UK

You should note: The prices indicated are for staying at Knight Inlet Lodge

Key info

Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 8 days from £4,345 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 7 days from £3,345 pp
  • Single supplement: From £1,400
  • When to go: May-Oct
Featured locations:

The Great Bear Rainforest

The area’s mountains, valleys and forests, extending up much of BC’s coastline, offer sanctuary to large numbers of grizzlies and black bear. No other mainland location offers such intimate wildlife encounters amidst breathtaking natural splendour. You can watch bears on foot or while drifting downriver.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Ideal for viewing: American black bear, brown bear, humpback whale, spirit bear, grey wolf
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Wildlife festivals, Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Mark Carwardine wildlife holidays, Bear watching

Vancouver

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

Glendale Cove, Knight Inlet

This untouched wilderness offers unrivalled opportunities to watch and photograph some of North America's most notable wildlife, including massive brown bears, soaring bald eagles and large pods of orcas. Situated 70 kilometres north of Campbell River, Glendale Cove is accessible by floatplane.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Ideal for viewing: American black bear, brown bear, humpback whale, orca, pine marten
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Wildlife festivals, Mark Carwardine wildlife holidays, Whale watching, Bear watching

Vancouver Island

The healthy black bear population and whale-watching opportunities make this a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Separated from the mainland by a long strait, the island’s west coast overlooks the Pacific Ocean, while the mountainous interior is heavily forested with big conifers.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Ideal for viewing: American black bear, puma, grey whale, orca, sea otter
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Self-drive, Whale watching, Bear watching, Dolphin watching

Queen Charlotte Strait & Johnstone Waters

Situated between Vancouver Island and British Columbia’s mainland, this area is considered the best place in the world to observe orca who, during the summer months, are present on a daily basis. They can often be viewed close up from the boat, offering some wonderful sightings and photo opportunities.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Ideal for viewing: orca, brown bear, Steller’s sealion, tufted puffin, humpback whale
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Dolphin watching
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Great Bear Lodge

This bright and airy timber-built floating lodge is located in in the Nekite Valley, part of the Great Bear Rainforest, and is accessed by floatplane from Port Hardy. The lodge operates two fully-guided bear-watching sessions per day; other guided activities include sea-kayaking and interpretive hikes.

Knight Inlet Lodge

Some 60 kilometres inland along the largest fjord on the British Columbia coast, Knight Inlet Lodge is tucked into Glendale Cove. Situated in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, this floating lodge offers boat trips to explore the hidden coves of the inlet, allowing you to view bears at eye-level.

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

Dating from the 1930s, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is a classic former hunting lodge that now accommodates eco visitors. The chalets are in a spacious setting with spectacular views; bears and other wildlife are regularly seen in the grounds and the lodge organises drift trips down the McKenzie River.