The Experience

Experience the ultimate West Coast Canadian wildlife and cultural adventure with Coastal Rainforest Safaris. We offer an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime nature experience that includes whale watching, grizzly bear viewing, and a unique opportunity to learn about the Indigenous culture of the Kwakwaka’wakw people, who have resided in the area for over 14,0000 years.

Stay in luxury safari-style tents  at our wilderness safari camp which is strategically situated in the heart of wildlife-rich waters on an island covered in temperate rainforest.

Explore the waters surrounding northern Vancouver Island and the adjoining mainland coast of B.C., on four-day safari that will give you a truly special experience of the Great Bear Rainforest, which encompasses a quarter of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest. You’ll also have a unique opportunity to learn from local Kwakwaka’wakw guides, who are proud of their heritage and excited to share their culture, stories, and knowledge of the land. 

We are the only tour operator in the North Island region to offer a fully immersive eco-tour and safari experience from an Indigenous perspective. A long-term relationship and agreement with the Tlatlasikwala and Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations enables us to access wildlife viewing areas and stunning beaches that most tour operators do not have the permission or the necessary permits to visit.

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime nature experience that includes whale-watching, grizzly bear viewing and seeing other amazing animals in their natural habitat, while learning all about the local Indigenous people who have resided in the area for over 14,0000 years.

Sample Itinerary

Please note that each day’s activities, and the areas visited, may vary depending on possible wildlife sightings, currents, tides, and weather. Our guides are knowledgeable of the area and the wildlife, however, wildlife is not completely predictable, so we do not guarantee any particular wildlife sightings – but we do promise that you’ll have an incredible time. Our wildlife viewing possibilities also change throughout the seasons. There is no particular “best time”, There is something special to see and experience.

Under certain weather conditions boat transfers between Port Hardy and the safari camp and the safari camp and our bear viewing locations may be replaced with floatplane flights.

Day 1:
Travel to Port Hardy and check-in at the Kwa’lilas Hotel.
Included meals: none

Day 2:
Check in at our Port Hardy office at 10:00 am. We’ll drive you the short distance to the dock where we load your luggage in preparation for our adventure. After meeting the crew and taking part in a short safety briefing, you’ll depart around 12:30 pm. We don’t rush straight to camp; instead we take our time to explore the islands and waterways that separate Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland. These waters are home to a wide diversity of wildlife, including humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, sea lions, and seabirds.

We arrive at camp late afternoon where our camp staff will be waiting to welcome you and help you settle into your tents. After getting oriented, we’ll meet back at the group lounge to enjoy appetizers and local Vancouver Island wines and craft beers, before indulging in a succulent seafood dinner prepared by our talented chef.

Retire to your safari-style tent to be lulled asleep by the sound of the waves gently crashing against the rocky shoreline.
Included meals: Lunch and Dinner

Day 3:
We start the day enjoying a hearty breakfast and French-pressed coffee at our oceanside dining table. After breakfast we depart camp for a day of grizzly bear viewing. Depending on the season, we will view the bears in different areas and in different ways—from our 12-passenger boat to smaller inflatables, or even from land as we walk around the local streams and rivers.

We return to camp late afternoon for a relaxing dinner and a restful evening sleeping under the stars in our safari tents.
Included meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 4:
Today is an exciting ‘wild card’ day. After another hearty breakfast we depart camp for a day of wilderness adventure. Depending on the weather, the tides, possible wildlife sightings, and the wishes of the group, your guides may decide on another day of bear viewing or whale watching, or perhaps you’ll experience seabird and sea otter spotting, or a visit to the picturesque long sandy beach at Burnette Bay – or you may even enjoy an action-packed day that includes a combination of these activities.
Included meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 5:
Today we pack up to head home. After breakfast we load the boat to head back to Port Hardy. We take our time cruising back to Port Hardy, always on the look-out for more wildlife to view.

We plan to arrive back in Port Hardy between 10:30 and 11:00 am, allowing time for you to catch a mid-afternoon flight back to Vancouver. However, weather could delay our arrival back in Port Hardy and you may want to consider spending an extra night there before the next leg of your adventure or before returning home.
Included meals: Breakfast