Tailor-Made

Grizzly Bears & Whales Self-Drive Safari

This itinerary is a wonderful way to explore Canada; by opting for a self-drive safari you can ensure that you are travel at your own pace and spend as much time as you want appreciating the stunning scenery and wildlife of Canada. Search for grizzly bears, black bears, orcas and a wide range of other wildlife during your adventure.

Duration 11 days
Price From $4,244
When Jun - Oct
Destination Canada

Safari Overview

An extraordinary self-drive journey across Vancouver Island in search of grizzlies, black bears and whales. Your safari begins in Vancouver before a drive takes you up to the Campbell River, the gateway to Knight Inlet, a wild and remote area of the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears in North America. Further drives take you to the coastal towns of Tofino and Victoria where boat safaris along Vancouver Island’s coast bring you into contact with black bears, orcas, and resident grey whales. 

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Come face to face with the magnificent grizzly bears.
  • Stunning scenic drives across the beautiful Vancouver Island.
  • Witness black bears on Vancouver Island.
  • Watching orcas, grey whales, minke whales, harbour seals and other marine wildlife.

A combination of remote wildlife lodges, coastal resorts and city hotels combined stunning scenic drives make this a wildlife safari that you’ll never forget.

Day by day

Day 1

Vancouver

On arrival into Vancouver you pick up your rental car and drive to your hotel located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The rest of the day is free to explore this enchanting city.

Overnight: The Loden Hotel

Day 2

Vancouver - Campbell River

This morning you leave Vancouver and head to Horseshoe Bay in time for your ferry across to Vancouver Island. On arrival, you drive north through the second largest city on the island, Nanaima. Enjoy some free time to explore the city, before continuing to the city of Campbell River, also known as the ‘Salmon Capital of the World’. The rest of the day is free to explore this intriguing coastal city.

Day 3

Campbell River - Knight Inlet Lodge

Today you leave your car behind as you travel to Knight Inlet Lodge. Leaving from Campbell River you fly to the lodge by floatplane. On arrival, you are welcomed to the lodge and given an orientation briefing preparing you for all the wildlife viewing that lies ahead; your grizzly bear viewing begins shortly after. Depending on recent bear activity, you will head out to specially designed viewing platforms or by boat along the estuary in search of these majestic creatures.

Overnight: Knight Inlet Lodge B, L, D

Days 4-5

Knight Inlet Lodge

Spend the next two days viewing wildlife in the local area. Glendale Cove in Knight Inlet is home to one of the highest densities of grizzly bears in British Columbia, Canada. Watch as grizzlies feed on sedge grasses, clams and berries in the early season and then feast on salmon in the late season. Your interpretive guides brief you on grizzly behaviour as you learn more about these alluring creatures. Enjoy wildlife walks, boat safaris and sea kayaking during your stay. As well as the grizzlies, you may see wolves, black bears, eagles and killer whales.

Overnight: Knight Inlet Lodge B, L, D

Day 6

Knight Inlet Lodge - Tofino

Spend a final morning on the viewing platforms before returning to Campbell River by floatplane. Pick up your car and continue to Tofino on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island. En-route, stop at Cathedral Grove and marvel at the 800 year old Douglas fir trees that measure approximately 75m in height! A stop at Sproat Lake to see the Mars Water Bombers is well worth a visit. These are the world’s largest water bombers and only used for extinguishing forest fires. Continue along the impressive Sutton Pass and majestic Sawtooth Range of the Cascade Mountains before arriving into Tofino in the afternoon.

Overnight: Middle Beach Lodge B

Day 7

Black Bear Watching

This morning you head out by boat in search of black bears. Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of black bears in North America with an estimated population of approximately 12,000. Tracking the coasts at low tide it is possible to catch these noble beasts as they forage amongst the rocks in search of nutritious shore crabs. Return to the lodge for a free and relaxing afternoon.

Overnight: Middle Beach Lodge B

Day 8

Tofino - Victoria

Today you continue to the south east coast of Vancouver Island to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. The drive is approximately four and a half hours. Stops can be made at Port Alberni, Duncan, the ‘City of Totems’, and the artist community of Chemainus, where giant murals grace exterior walls throughout the town. Finally you arrive to Victoria, known as ‘the garden city’ and named after Queen Victoria; it has been influenced by British architecture and traditions.

Day 9

Whale Watching in Victoria

This morning you enjoy a whale watching tour off the coast of Victoria. These coastal waters are home to resident pods of orcas, minke whales, grey whales, porpoises, harbour seals and other marine wildlife can also be seen. The afternoon is free for you to explore the fascinating town of Victoria.

Day 10

Victoria - Vancouver

This morning you drive north to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal in time for your ferry across to Tsawwassen. Crossing the Strait of Georgia delights you with the stunning scenery of the Gulf Islands. On arrival, you drive back to where it all started in downtown Vancouver. The rest of the day is free to reflect upon your experiences from the last few days.

Overnight: The Loden Hotel B

Day 11

Depart Vancouver

Today you drive your car back to the airport and drop it off before catching your international flight home.

Trip Details

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safaris is one designed specifically for you, around your taste, budget, people travelling, interests and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and changed to make it perfect for you

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