Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear

If you love animals and want to get up close and personal with wildlife during your holiday, then why not consider Canada as your next holiday destination?

Wildlife thrives in Canada. Killer whales, polar bears, caribou and grizzly bears can all be found in one of the world’s largest countries. In Canada, it’s important to remember than human beings are not at the top of the food chain. Large animals are shy and may attack a straying tourist in defence of their territory. This is a place to keep noise to a minimum and to stick to authorised paths.

Black bears are among the largest animals you might come across along a forest path or when you are driving. These bears can be found all over Canada but if you visit Vancouver Island and take a day trip by boat to Tofino you are guaranteed to see them. You could also see them in the Laurentide Wildlife Reserve north of Quebec City, staying overnight in a wilderness lodge.

The white spirit, or Kermode, bear is a white version of the black bear. These are shy and gentle creatures that survive in the beautiful Great Bear Rainforest on British Colombia’s central coast.

Grizzly bears used to wander over the whole of North America. Today, they are confined largely to the Pacific Northwest coastal regions. You can see them on Vancouver Island at Knight Inlet Lodge and perhaps catch a glimpse as they fish for salmon or feed on plants and berries as they come out of hibernation.

Polar bears are the kings of the Arctic. They also enjoy rummaging in the backyards of homes in Canada’s northern small towns. Try polar-bear watching in comfort by special buggy from Churchill, Manitoba. You can see a polar bear den and watch the bears from dawn until dusk.

Belugas are an Arctic species of white whales that live alongside the polar bears. There’s a small beluga population in the St Lawrence River estuary. Beluga whales are sociable creatures and will come and greet visitors.

Alternatively, you could take a two-hour drive north of Quebec City to the La Malbaie resort. Between May and October, you can watch hundreds of resident belugas, blue whales, minkes and humpbacks.

Another option is to go on a kayak trip into the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick and see the whole marine ecosystem, which includes bald eagles, harbour seals and harbour porpoises. Visitors can also watch the shore birds assemble on the sands as the sun goes down,

A special watercraft tour from Victoria in British Colombia is an ideal way to see orcas (killer whales), as well as minkes, humpbacks and gray whales. The best tour operators provide waterproof jackets, gloves, protective eye glasses and binoculars.

The migration of the caribou is a spectacular sight, as they move north from the tree line to their calving grounds in the Arctic Tundra at the beginning of the short northern summer.

The more adventurous visitor to Canada can take a charter flight to a wildlife settlement in the Arctic Barren Lands and explore the wilderness from the tented base camp by boat or kayak.

There is a wealth of wildlife in the Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan in central Canada. There are black bears, wolves, beavers, red squirrels, red foxes and badgers. Bison roam the southern areas of the park, while Bald Eagles, ospreys and Gray Blue herons dominate the skies.

The jewel of the Rocky Mountains is the Jasper National Park in Alberta. Take a tour to the glaciers along the Icefield’s Parkway, a spectacular mountain highway and watch the bears, moose and caribou.

Canada has a wolf population of several million. They are coloured black, creamy or white depending on the latitude. You will always hear them on adventure tours, especially in the Algonquin National Park, Ontario, where their howling is provoked by guides for the benefit of visitors.

A tour of the Yukon will enable you to see some of the magic of Canada’s wildlife. If you take a horseback safari into the wilderness, you will see all the northern wild animals, from mountain goats to Dall sheep, wolves and caribou.

The animals in the Wrangell-St Elias National Park on the border of the Yukon and Alaska can be difficult to see. But take a wildlife detective tour and you can follow the tracks of bears, lynx and wolves. If you are alert enough, you will also see swans, porcupines and horseshoe hares.