Vancouver Island Vancouver Island is a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts because of its healthy black bear population and whale- watching opportunities. Tofi no and the Pacifi c Rim National Park are the main places to go. Here you can walk along the wild beaches and through forests where black bears are common. Boat trips from here give you an excellent opportunity to see the impressive numbers of grey whales that spend their summer off these plankton- rich shores. A couple of nights in the historic city of Victoria is also worthwhile, and helps to break up the journey. Wickaninnish Inn HIGH Beautifully located on Chesterman Beach, Tofi no, Wickaninnish Inn is a rural retreat surrounded by forest and sea. Its restaurant has 240 degree views of ocean panorama while its Ancient Cedars Spa has won awards. This is a relaxing place to stay. Majestic Ocean Guesthouse MID This is a friendly seaside retreat, located near to Tofi no in Ucluelet. It's a good base for birdwatchers who can relax on the patio and see resident blue heron and kingfi sher, while bald eagles soar overhead. The views here are lovely. Telegraph Cove & Quadra Island Telegraph Cove and Quadra Island are famous for their healthy population of orcas, where these most awesome creatures congregate in the summer months. Telegraph Cove is located at the northern end of Vancouver Island, and whale- watching excursions can be arranged in the Johnstone and Queen Charlotte Straits. Just a short ferry ride away is remote Quadra Island, one of the wildest and most beautiful of the Northern Gulf Islands. The islands provide a scenic backdrop for watching resident orca whales in the sea, black bears on the beach and sea lions basking on rock islets. A tranquil place for a wildlife enthusiast to spend a few days in the company of just wildlife. Heriot Bay Inn MID Heriot Bay Inn is located on the eastern shore of Quadra Island, providing comfortable waterfront accommodation; a good base for whale and bear- watching activities. Rooms are cosy and the welcome is friendly. 124 SUGGESTED ITINERARY Day 1 Depart UK for Vancouver, 1- night, St. Regis Hotel. ( B) Day 2 Whistler, 2- nights, Alpine Lodge. Enjoy one of the many activities on offer, or relax! ( B) Day 4 Nimpo Lake, 1- night, Stewart's Lodge. Across the Chilcotin Plateau to your scenic lakeside lodge ( BD) Day 5 Bella Coola, 2- nights, Coast Mountain Lodge. Head into the Great Bear Rainforest - an area with one of the highest densities of brown bear ( B) Day 7 Discovery Coast, 1- night. Optional ferry trip with amazing sightings of whales, porpoise and dolphin ( B) Day 8 Quadra Island, 3- nights, Heriot Bay Inn. Enjoy bear and whale- watching on this beautiful, remote island ( paid upon arrival) ( B) Day 11 Vancouver, 3- nights, St. Regis Hotel. Enjoy the sights of this Pacifi c city ( B) Day 14 Depart Vancouver for UK ( B) Day 15 Arrive UK WHALES & BEARS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Visit the best, wildest places of coastal British Columbia. A great tour for wildlife enthusiasts with an abundance of grizzly and black bears, and orca, pacifi c grey and humpback whales. Wildlife viewing opportunities are excellent on this self- drive itinerary. TAILOR- MADE Talk to an expert 0845 130 6982 Fact! British Columbia on Canada's west coast is by far the best location for seeing black and brown bears. Bear- viewing is highly seasonal and dependent on some of nature's other wonders, particularly the running of salmon in the rivers and streams. Essentially, our summer months are the best for viewing brown and black bears, with many bears being visible in the latter part of the season due to an essential need for the bears to gorge themselves before hibernating. Departure dates Daily, throughout the year Cost per person From £ 1695 ( May - June, Sept - Dec), £ 1995 ( July - Aug) What's included Flights, transfers, meals as indicated, thirteen nights hotel accommodation, guided activities. Ferries are paid locally.
The ' Great Bear Rainforest' The small town of Bella Coola lies 80 kilometres inland at the head of an inlet and is the gateway to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, a hidden gem in British Columbia's remote interior. The whole area is known as the Great Bear Rainforest. The coastal mountains, river valley and dense forests provide sanctuary for one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears in Canada, as well as a healthy population of black bears, cougars, deer, beaver, wolves, to mention just a few. There are numerous places in mainland British Columbia where grizzly bears can be seen, but the Bella Coola valley is special. No other location offers the chance of such intimate encounters amidst utterly breathtaking natural splendour. Bear- viewing can be enjoyed on foot or from a boat while drifting serenely down the river - which makes for exhilarating viewing and great photography. Tweedsmuir Park Lodge MID In a beautiful location, lies Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. Originally built in the early 1930s as a hunting lodge, it was completely rebuilt in 1952 to accommodate those seeking out a more eco- friendly adventure. Chalets here are in a spacious setting with spectacular views. Bears and other wildlife are regularly seen in the grounds. Coast Mountain Lodge HIGH Originally built in 1896, historic Coast Mountain Lodge is a luxury retreat in the heart of the Bella Coola valley. It has just 14 mountain view rooms and is surrounded by waterfalls, mountains and, of course, bears! Trails lead out from the property and staff will be able to help you organise guided trips to look for bears, salmon and eagles. Great Bear Lodge MID Great Bear Lodge is a self- contained fl oating lodge with fi ve bedrooms and some fantastic bear- viewing nearby. The rooms all have en- suite toilets although showers are shared. There is a central common area for regular wildlife presentations. There are two daily bear- viewing sessions and other guided activities include sea- kayaking and interpretive hikes. THE AMERICAS | CANADA Or visit us on the web www. wildlifeworldwide. com125