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Whales & Bear Photo Tour – Canada

Overview

This Canadian whale and bear photo tour tour visits some of British Columbia’s most wildlife prolific areas and includes 5-nights on Vancouver Island and a visit to the world-famous area of Johnstone Straits. One of the best places to view orcas (killer whales) and humpback whales in the wild. Here we will enjoy whale watching excursions as well as an exclusive private day boat trip into the area of Thompson Sound to venture on foot look for grizzly bears fishing for salmon before finishing in the Campbell River area for a further whale-watching excursion. We then travel by scenic flight to the beautiful Bella Coola Valley. Here we have the opportunity of viewing grizzly bears as they feast on the annual salmon run along the river’s edge. Our visit here includes 4-days of bear viewing, photographing from the vantage point of private boat drifts with just 3 guests and your host in each zodiac. During this time there will also be time to visit the public bear-viewing stand.

The accommodation featured throughout the whale and bear photo tour is a mixture of well-equipped small comfortable lodges. This includes a beautiful lodge on Vancouver Island that is located in a beautiful wilderness setting. Where there are sometimes opportunities of viewing black bears and other wildlife right from our lodge. This is a varied and wildlife rich photographic tour with a maximum group size of 6 people plus your hosts. You will enjoy whale watching safaris and also intimate encounters on several private tours with brown bears as we drift quietly down beautiful rivers (Only 3 clients per boat/zodiac). In all of the locations visited we have very good opportunities to view and photograph black and brown bears, orca whales, humpback whales, eagles, sea otters much more

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Wildlife prolific locations offering outstanding bear and whale viewing opportunities.
  • Timed to coincide with the annual bear salmon run in northern British Columbia
  • Great opportunities to view and photograph orcas in their natural environment
  • Private bear viewing excursions on the Atnarko River in Bella Coola
  • Excellent opportunities to photograph other wildlife, including bald eagles and otters
  • Well appointed local hotels and guest houses in scenic locations
  • Excellent host to guest ratio
  • 25% discount on lens hire (discount applies to UK based guests only)

With the exception of the three whale-watching boat trips and visits to the public bear viewing stand in Bella Coola all of our wildlife viewing excursions on this Canadian whale and bear photo tour are private to our group, which ensures plenty of room for your photographic equipment. Especially when taking the boat drifts in Bella Coola, which we limit to just 3 people, plus one host in each boat. Another important feature of this tour is that our transport on Vancouver Island and Bella Coola features SUV type vehicles (driven by ourselves, Andy and Sarah). Having these vehicles provides exclusivity to our group and will ensure additional flexibility.

Throughout the Canadian whale and bear photo tour we will be on hand to provide photographic tuition both in the field and back at the hotel with sessions on post processing where required. We have experience in photographing within these areas, particularly in Bella Coola and the locations we have chosen offer superb wildlife experiences and photographic opportunities. We welcome photographers and non-photographers; this is an ideal trip for those wanting to simply immerse themselves in maximising wildlife viewing opportunities.

Wildlife Boat Excursions

Our whale and bear photo tour includes several private boat excursions, each in beautiful wildlife locations and with well qualified local wildlife guides. For our private full day tour of Thompson sound we will have the use of our own boat for our private group. Whilst in Bella Coola we will enjoy three private drifts down the Atnarko River, a prime location where the bears come right down to the rivers edge to fish for the salmon during the months of August and September. We will use two boats for each drift, with just three guests in each zodiac boat.

September 6th 2018

Arrive into Vancouver international airport and from where you will take the free shuttle bus to the Pacific Gateway Hotel, where you will overnightThis is a good opportunity to rest and relax after your incoming flight before we commence our Canadian wildlife photo tourOvernight: Pacific Gateway Hotel, Twin-shared room on room only basis

September 7th 2018

This morning we will meet early as a group for breakfast. With your private car/s (driven by your hosts) we will then drive 40 minutes south from Vancouver Airport to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal where we will board a drive-on ferry (departures every 2 hours) to Vancouver Island (2-3 hour duration). On arrival in Nanaimo, your gateway to the island we will drive 4-5 hours north to Telegraph Cove where you will overnight at the nearby Hidden Cove Lodge for 3 nightsEn-route we will stop to take some lunch (own cost). We arrive at the idyllic property in the heart of a beautiful wilderness area, where black bear and sea otters are often seen on the lodge grounds. Overnight: Hidden Lodge in a twin shared room, (dinner included)

September 8th 2018

After a relaxing morning with time to photograph wildlife around the lodge we will then take a short 15-20-minute drive to nearby Telegraph cove where we can enjoy lunch (own cost) in this small town before enjoying an afternoon 3-hour whale watching trip at 1pm, during which we may see humpback and if we are fortunate the famous orca whales of Johnstone Straits, as well as dolphins and other sea life. Overnight: Hidden Lodge in a twin-shared room, breakfast and dinner included

September 9th 2018

This morning we will enjoy a private full-day trip with an experienced First Nations Guide in search of grizzly bears and other wildlife. We start by taking a boat ride of around 1.5-2 hours into the beautiful and wildlife rich Thompson sound area. Enjoying a continental breakfast as we navigate waters favoured by migrating orcas. Our adventure continues along the river to discover the home of the grizzly bears in BC’s backcountry. We will then walk on foot into the forest and place ourselves at a quiet and safe sitting area and listen to traditional stories as we wait for bears to feast on wild salmon. After lunch, and back on the boat the traditionally trained First Nation guides chart us past areas of cultural significance, which can include Gilford Island, the birthplace of First Nations ancestors. This wildlife and nature experience ends in the Broughton Archipelago and Queen Charlotte Strait, where we may encounter migrating humpback whales. Overnight: Hidden Lodge in a twin-shared room, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

September 10th 2018

After an early breakfast we will drive to Telegraph Cove where we will again take a final 3-hour morning whale watching trip with Stubbs island Whale watching company. After having a quick lunch (own cost) we will then pick up our luggage at Hidden Cove and drive 2-3 hours to the coastal community town of Campbell River. Here we will overnight for 2 nights in a popular lodge with an ocean view room. Overnight: Painters Lodge in a twin shared ocean view room (breakfast included)

September 11th 2018

This morning we will join a public 3-4-hour whale watching tour in the southern end of Discovery Passage. Campbell River has become another well-known location in which to potentially view the transient orcas (killer whale). The fast-flowing nutrient rich waters of the surrounding area also provides the perfect environment for herring and other small schooling fish on which humpback whales feed. Sightings of Pacific white sides dolphins are also common as well as Dalls and harbor porpoise, Steller sea lions, bald eagles are also regularly sighted on whale watching safaris in this area. Overnight Painters Lodge in a twin shared ocean view room (breakfast included)

September 12th 2018

After an early breakfast we will then drive 1.5-2 hours to the Nanaimo ferry point to Vancouver and from where we will cross back again to the mainland and where we will once again overnight close to the airport Overnight: Pacific Gateway Hotel in a twin-shared room on room only basis)

September 13th 2018

In the morning after breakfast (own cost)we will connect with a mid-morning Pacific coastal airlines flight from Vancouver Airport (South Terminal) to Bella Coola. This is a scenic flight that takes us into the heart of the remote Bella Coola valley, part of the Great Bear Rain Forest. On arrival you will be transferred 10 minutes to Bella Coola Mountain Lodge and where you will overnight for 5 nights. The lodge is located in the centre of the small town of Hagensbourg and just a 40-minute drive to the main bear viewing area and from where we start our boat drifts. During our time here in the Bella Coola valley we will enjoy 3 x private boat drifts as well as taking you to the local public bear viewing stand to view and photograph grizzly bears fishing on the annual salmon run that travels up the Atkarko RiverOvernight: Bella Coola Mountain Lodge in a twin-shared room. lunch & dinner included.

September 14th 2018

After an early breakfast you will be taken for the first of three private half-day river drifts in a Zodiac down the beautiful Atnarko river. With just 3 guests, plus your host in each boat. Enjoy this quiet, informative boat journey in the company of an experienced local guide, as we view and photograph grizzly bears and bald eagles. In the afternoon and early evening we have time to visit the local public bear viewing stand. Overnight Bella Coola Mountain Lodge in a twin-shared room, breakfast, packed lunch & dinner included

September 15th 2018

Today we will once again enjoy a private boat drift, with time free before or after we start the boat drift to enjoy some time again at the local public bear viewing stand along the river. Overnight Bella Coola Mountain Lodge in a twin-shared room, Breakfast, packed lunch & dinner included.

September 16th 2018

Today we have a full day of self-guided bear and wildlife viewing. We will transfer and accompany you (as desired by the group) to the local public bear viewing stand. Alternatively depending on group preference we can also use this time to take a drive up the famous Heckman pass with stunning views over the Bella Coola Valley. Time can also be spent touring the local area around the town/bay area of Bella Coola. The day can be flexible to the group requests and to local weather conditions. Overnight: Bella Coola Mountain Lodge in a twin-shared room, Breakfast. packed lunch & dinner included

September 17th 2018

After breakfast we will take our last private river drift in a Zodiac down the beautiful Atnarko river. Once again in the afternoon we can visit the local public bear viewing stand. During our time here in Bella Coola we may also encounter other wildlife, such as the bald eagles and ospreys that regularly sour though the valley. Overnight: Bella Coola Mountain Lodge in a twin-shared room, breakfast, packed lunch & dinner included.

September 18th 2018

Sadly, today is the end of our Canadian wildlife photo tour and your departure day from Bella Coola and when you will say goodbye to your hosts. After our last group breakfast, you will be transferred to the local airport nearby for your early afternoon flight back to Vancouver’s south terminal. From here you can take a short taxi ride (own cost) to the main terminal for your onward international flight home. At the end of this Canadian wildlife photo tour you wish you may like to extend your trip with a stay in the heart of Vancouver (cost not included) this can be arranged by us or you are free to arrange independently.

Click Here to Request Full PDF Brochure

Pacific Gateway, Nr. Vancouver International Airport (2-Nights)

The hotel is positioned just a short distance from YVR airport and offers 382 guestrooms with mountain and river views, indoor and outdoor event space, and unique dining options featuring local produce and sustainable food. This waterfront property is on the banks of the Fraser River, overlooking a marina on one side and the Coast Mountains on the other. The hotel provides complimentary 24/7 shuttle service to and from the airport and is within 20-minutes from downtown Vancouver and 5 minutes from the McArthurGlen Designer Outlets. Guest rooms are equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD Flat Screen TV, a desk and a cordless phone. All rooms offer ensuite bathroom facilities.

 

Hidden Cove Lodge, Nr. Telegraph Cove. Vancouver Island(3-nights)

This is a comfortable, well- appointed and idyllic small lodge surrounded by lush forest and wildlife, situated on Johnstone Straits. Bears, otters and bald eagles often seen close to the lodge and even on the property. The lodge is perfectly based just 15 minutes from Telegraph Cove. This oceanfront Lodge has 9 fully accommodated rooms and 3 separate cabin accommodations and a fantastic common viewing area overlooking the bay with a licensed dining room. Each room contains an en-suite bathroom.

 

Painters Lodge, Campbell River. Vancouver Island. (2 -nights)

Located near the banks of Discovery Passage, stands the legendary Painter’s Lodge. Here we have allocated beautiful ocean view rooms with views of picturesque Discovery Passage and a variety of marine life. The ocean view room offers two queen beds, a patio or balcony, complimentary wi-fi, flat panel television, coffee maker and a small refrigerator. Guests at painters Lodge guests enjoy full access to all the amenities at April Point, located on Quadra Island, including the spa. The resort’s spa is just a short ride away on the scenic water shuttle.

Bella Coola Mountain Lodge, Hagensbourg, Bella Coola Valley (5-Nights)

Bella Coola Mountain Lodge is perfectly located in the community town of Hagensborg, just 15 minutes from the Bella Coola town site, and only 40 minutes from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. It offers the perfect base from which to explore the park and the perfect base for our river based and land bear viewing tours. The lodge has a road-side location but boasts a picturesque mountain setting, relaxed accommodations with 14 rooms and suites. Each room is equipped with modern amenities, including satellite television, a small kitchenette, wireless internet in room.

Click Here to Request Full PDF Brochure

Total Cost

The cost of this safari is £4225 per person and based on two persons sharing a twin/double room. Single supplements are charged at £685 per person and guarantees sole occupancy throughout

Cost Includes

2 Nights at Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport on room only basis in twin/double room

3 Nights at Hidden Cove Lodge, (including breakfast & dinner) in twin/double room

2 Nights at Painters Lodge (including breakfast) in twin/double room with ocean view

5 Nights at Bella Coola Mountain Lodge (including breakfast, packed or sit down lunch & dinner) in twin/double room

Return ferry crossing for passengers/vehicles

Return flights from Vancouver to Bella Coola

3 x private zodiac boat drifts in Bella Coola restricted to 3 guests per boat

3 x 3-4 hour whale watching excursions on public departures

1 x private day boat trip into Thompson Sound area

2 x hire car/s and fuel

Services of 2 x photographic hosts (based on group of 6)

Meals as stated in itinerary.

Local government taxes

Not Included

International flights to Vancouver, Canada

All soft & alcoholic drinks throughout

Lunch whilst at Hidden Cove (3 nights)

Lunch & dinner whilst at Painters Lodge (2 nights)

All meals whilst at Pacific Gateway/Vancouver airport hotel (2 nights)

All other meals and drinks that are stated as not included on itinerary

Taxi from South Terminal in Vancouver airport to International terminals on 18th September

Visas & Travel insurance

Tips & Gratuities

Items of a personal nature

How to Book

To book on the Canadian wildlife photo tour please contact us and secure your place with 30% deposit. The remaining balance is payable 12 weeks prior to departure. We are able to take payments for deposits and final balances via bank transfer or payment via credit or debit cards.

We are able to take payments for deposits and final balances via bank transfer or payment via credit or debit cards.

Please note: If you are a single traveler and wish to share room with another single traveler we will do our best to partner you with another single traveler, also willing to share and of the same gender. However, if no sharing partner is available by the time of when final balances are due the single supplement will need to be applied and will be added to your final balance. In the event of this you will then be provided with your own single room throughout.

Financial protection

Images of Wildlife Photo Tours & Safaris is the trading name of Images of Wildlife Ltd. A company registered in England & Wales. Company No: 10566301. We are a member of  Protected Travel Services (Membership Number: 5221).

As full members of Protected Travel Services we are able to offer the highest financial protection. All monies you pay to us are financially protected in line with the 1992 Package Travel Regulations via a trust account. This means that your funds are secure in an independent trust account and will be protected against our failure from the moment you pay to the day that you return from your trip. This includes protection for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to the trust account, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Images of Wildlife Ltd or any of our local suppliers paid from the trust account

To book a place on this safari please fill in the details below with detail of how many spaces you wish to secure. Once a member of our team receives the email we will provisionally hold your place/s while a booking pack is sent out by email with details of the deposit payment required.

We would require a non-refundable deposit please of 30% of the tour cost per person to secure your space on this tour. (Usually payable within 7-days) With the remainder payable 12 weeks prior to the travel date.

We are able to take payments for deposits and final balances via bank transfer or payment via credit or debit cards.


This form sends your name and email to us so that we can correspond with you in relation to your above request. This information is not shared with any third parties. Please check our privacy policy link on this page for more information.

Check the box below to accept our privacy policy before sending

Financial protection

Images of Wildlife Photo Tours & Safaris is the trading name of Images of Wildlife Ltd. A company registered in England & Wales. Company No: 10566301. We are a member of  Protected Travel Services (Membership Number: 5221).

As full members of Protected Travel Services we are able to offer the highest financial protection. All monies you pay to us are financially protected in line with the 1992 Package Travel Regulations via a trust account. This means that your funds are secure in an independent trust account and will be protected against our failure from the moment you pay to the day that you return from your trip. This includes protection for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to the trust account, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Images of Wildlife Ltd or any of our local suppliers paid from the trust account

location 

at a glance

6th-18th September 2018

13-Days/12-Nights

£4225 Per Person

Single Supplement £685

Mid-range hotels and guest houses

Group Size: Max. 6 Guests

Sold Out

REQUEST A BROCHURE


This form sends your name and email to us so that we can correspond with you in relation to your above request. This information is not shared with any third parties. Please check our privacy policy link on this page for more information.

Check the box below to accept our privacy policy before sending

Tours of Distinction
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The Guides

 

We are a friendly husband and wife professional wildlife photography team and both self-confessed wildlife and nature addicts. With 14 years experience of photographing wild species in wildlife prolific destinations around the globe. We share the same passion of capturing the beauty of the natural world through our photography, that drives us to spend endless hours in the wilderness. You can read more about us both individually by clicking the link below.

We both have a broad and in-depth knowledge of wildlife species across Africa, Canada and India gained through our extensive time in the field. In addition to completing recognized guiding qualifications. We love nothing more than to share this knowledge and passion for nature and photography with our guests on safari.

Our work has been recognized in a number of renowned international photography competitions. Most recently (2017) Sarah was awarded the overall winner in the mammal’s category in the prestigious GDT European Wildlife Photographer of The Year Competition. In addition we are regular contributors to various international photographic magazine publications and our work has also been featured in several commercial book publications. You can read more about recent awards and publications by clicking the link below.

We have a wealth of experience in leading photo safaris to a large number of wildlife destinations. In addition, for the last three winter seasons we have also both worked in Sweden guiding guests to photograph the aurora borealis. We currently run photographic tours to Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, India and Canada. Our tours cater from beginners to advanced level photographers, that would like to develop their skills to the next level. With our photographic experience and subject knowledge this ensures we are well placed to provide guidance in the field and help our guests achieve their desired images. Click on the ‘Why Travel with us’ link below to find out more about our photographic tours & safaris.

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