There are few places in the world that you can watch bears in their own natural habitat and the popularity of this pastime is growing year by year in Canada. Obviously, these excursions are pretty remote in out of the way locations but that is their great attraction.
Accommodation will probably be little more than a wooden lodge and you will be at the hands of specialists who understand these beautiful but wild creature. Grizzly and black bears are best viewed by boat for obvious reasons, and you can see these wild creatures busy catching salmon for dinner. Some of these bear viewing trips can last a week or so, and the other part of the time when you are not studying bears can be exploring the great Canadian wilderness. If you want to see the majestic polar bear you will have to go a little further afield and down to around Churchill.
The Broughton Archipelago is one of the most biologically fertile areas of the British Columbia coastline and in its heart is Berry Island. Berry Island is an enchanting place to see Grizzly Bears living as they have done for hundreds of years in their natural habitat.
During the spring the bears potter about searching for berries, roots and sedge but in early summer the bears go after the returning salmon and watching them emerge onto the broad estuaries is an incredible sight as they fish for their supper. Grizzly bear watching should only be undertaken with a professional guide who will have access to viewing platforms and zodiac boats.
The black bear can be seen almost everywhere in Canada and if you take a motorhome vacation you are bound to come across these busy creatures as you drive through the roads in the country. One of the most popular places to watch black bears is on Vancouver Island near Tofino. Here there are many organized trips either by boat or on foot that you can sign up for on the day. The best time to see the bears is during May to October.
A little earlier on in the year there are plenty of black bears north of Quebec City at the Laurentide Wildlife Reserve, book a wilderness lodge and experience sleeping out in the wild knowing the bears are wandering about outside.
There are legends from the First Nation of Canada that relay tales of a Spirit Bear which was a remnant of the old ice age. This bear is actually a type of black bear although their fur is bewilderingly white. To see one of these beautiful bears is meant to bring luck for life.
It is estimated that only 400 of these gentle creatures exist in the world and in particular in British Columbia in the Great Bear Rainforest. The only time you may be able to glimpse a Spirit Bear is during August to October and even then, a sighting is far from guaranteed. Taking the opportunity to see one of these magnificent creatures could well be a bucket list chance, and it is in Canada that you have some of the best chances to spot one of these rare animals.