Coastal Rainforest Safaris is owned and operated by Mike Willie and Andrew Jones. Both have separately run successful wilderness tourism companies on northern Vancouver Island for over five and twenty years, respectively. Their individual companies both have tours recognized as “Canadian Signature Experiences” by Destination Canada. The partnership between Mike and Andrew at Coastal Rainforest Safaris combines their strengths in customer service, wildlife viewing and cultural interpretation, along with their love of welcoming visitors from around the world to show them all that this incredible region has to offer.
Both Mike and Andrew are training key local indigenous guiding staff during the summer of 2019, as we prepare to offer the first Coastal Rainforest Safari tours in May 2020.
Mike Willie, Owner/Lead Guide
Mike is a member of the Musgamakw Dzawada‘enuxw First Nations, part of the Kwakwaka’wakw people who reside in the Northern Vancouver Island region and adjacent mainland. As a leader in his community, Mike has immense knowledge of the history, culture, and environment of this unique region.
In addition to Coastal Rainforest Safaris, Mike is also the owner and founder of Sea Wolf Adventures, which welcomes travellers in the Broughton Archipelago and surrounding areas for grizzly bear viewing day trips, sightseeing, water taxi services, and First Nations’ guided cultural tours.
Andrew Jones, Owner/Lead Guide
Andrew has had extensive experience in B.C.’s tourism industry since 1998, when his passion for people, adventure, and nature prompted him to launch his kayaking adventure tour business, Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures. In 2012, Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures’ Kayak with Whales – Base Camp tour was recognized as a Canadian Signature Experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission.
In addition to his 20 years of experience working in the North Island tour industry, Andrew also holds a vast personal knowledge of its history, wildlife, and culture. Andrew has more than three decades of experience working in sales, operations management, customer service, and developing staff at every level of business.
Thomas Henderson (Hetlamas), Elder / Cultural Interpreter
Thomas is a respected elder and hereditary chief of the ‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nation. The areas in which Coastal Rainforest Safaris operates has been the home of the Nakwaxda’xw people for thousands of years and Thomas’ knowledge of his traditional territory is second to none.
Thomas is passionate about connecting youth to their traditional territories, history, and culture. With his help, Coastal Rainforest Safaris hosts a wilderness youth camp each year. Coastal Rainforest Safaris also has training positions available to work alongside Thomas and other elders on our tours to learn more about their history and culture and how best to share it with our visitors.