The Wildlife

Coastal Rainforest Safaris’ remote wilderness safari camp is perfectly located for encountering a diverse range of British Columbia’s wildlife, such as iconic grizzly bears, bald eagles, orcas, and humpback whales. Located in the world’s largest coastal temperate rainforest, the wildlife diversity here is breathtaking.

Each excursion from the safari camp is unique. Local Indigenous guides customize routes and activities to provide as many wildlife viewing opportunities as possible. Days may be spent exploring the shorelines and rivers of Seymour Inlet to view bears, or watching whales, porpoises, and sea lions in the Queen Charlotte Strait. Another day could be spent viewing sea otters and sea birds—often spotting whales at the same time. When the weather is suitable, we may spend a few hours exploring the long sandy beach at Burnette Bay on an interpretive hike.

Our guides are knowledgeable about the wildlife that we encounter on our tours; both from a modern scientific perspective and from the unique perspective of belonging to a culture that has lived alongside these animals in harmony for more than 14,000 years.

While much of our wildlife viewing is done by boat, there are times when we will go ashore to view bears along the riverbanks, stroll along a beach, or to visit a First Nations’ cultural site. Guests should be comfortable walking short distances over uneven and potentially slippery ground.

Humpback Whale Watching

Humpback whale watching

We  see humpback whales feeding in our waters throughout our season, with the numbers increasing towards late summer. These gentle giants can be anywhere be between 13 and 16 metres in length as adults, and often found travelling solo.

Orca Watching

Orca Watching

We encounter two types of orcas in our area: the mammal-eating Transient (Biggs) orca pods visit the area on a irregular basis throughout the season. The fish-eating Northern Resident orca pods are most often seen in the area from mid-July through September.

Sea Otter Viewing

Sea otter viewing

The sea otter population in our area is growing . Sea otters and their pups are often found rafting up in kelp beds near our safari camp and we often see them swimming right past our ocean-side tents.

Black Bear Viewing

Black bear viewing

Black bears roam around Vancouver Island’s and the Great Bear Rainforest’s shores, as well as some of the islands in our area. We can find them searching for crabs and barnacles in the spring and summer and salmon in the rivers in the fall.

Grizzly Bear Viewing

Grizzly bear viewing

We go in search of grizzly bears along the ocean shores and estuaries of the Great Bear Rainforest from spring until late summer. During September and October, we can find them up the rivers fishing for salmon.

Coastal Wolves

Coastal Wolf

Hope Island, where our safai camp is located, is home to pack of wolves. Wolves are very elusive, and often times the only evidence we see of them are their tracks on a sandy beach or their distant howls.

Bald Eagles

Bald eagles

The majestic North American bald eagle can be seen and heard daily on our tours and from your tent as they populate the area in large numbers.

Rhinoceros Auklets

Rhinoceros auklet

Our tours are located in a great sea birding area. More than a third of the North American breeding population of Rhinoceros Auklet nest in nearby islands as do other seabirds like Leach’s and Forked-tailed storm petrels..

Tufted Puffins

Tufted puffin

Tufted Puffins are less often seen, but when the weather is right we will head out to a visit a remote tufted puffin breeding colony.