Let's celebrate Canada's 150th birthday the RIGHT way—by getting outdoors and having an adventure.
Are you looking for unique and wild experiences you can only have in Canada?
Prepare yourself for eight essential wildlife adventures that are sure to BLOW YOUR MIND.
(PLUS: Scroll to the bottom for access to 150 amazing adventures!)
1. Spot the Spirit Bear in British Columbia
Destination BC/Clare Levy
Searching for a Spirit Bear is an accessible adventure—after all, the majority of Spirit Bear watching around Princess Royal Island, on British Columbia’s northwest coast, is done via powerboat or perhaps kayak daytrip from a luxury eco-lodge. However, actually finding a Spirit Bear could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Why? Well, the odds aren’t in your favour. For starters, the subspecies of black bear known as the Kermode Bear only exists in a remote corner of northwestern BC, near Prince Rupert and particularly on Princess Royal Island. And only about 10 per cent of Kermode bears carry the gene that makes these typically obsidian bruins cream-white—which are known as “Spirit Bears.” Like spotting a ghost in the rainforest, one sighting will captivate you for years to come.
2. Sleep Amongst Bison in Alberta WinterSolsticeYuri
Elk Island is the largest fenced-in national park in Canada. But just because it’s fenced, doesn’t mean it’s tame. This parkland preserve holds serene lakes, lengthy trails and robust wildlife, from coyotes, to elk, to moose, to its ubiquitous and intimidating bison (of which you’re practically guaranteed to see). Most come for the day. But you’re going to buck the trend and stay the night. Reserve a comfy oTENTik through Parks Canada and you’ll not only enjoy the daytime trails and wildlife spotting, but the starry night sky in the park’s Beaver Hill Dark Sky Preserve, which is often coloured with the dancing Aurora Borealis.
3. Discover Polar Bears in Manitoba
Most people will never set eyes upon a real, wild polar bear as it lumbers across the frozen tundra. But you’re not most people. And you know where such sightings are guaranteed—Churchill, the Polar Bear Capital of the World. Imagine—the planet’s largest land carnivore in all its glory, just metres away from your camera lens. You can choose to see these bruins from the comfort of a tundra buggy, or venture onto the ice with a guide for a daring on-foot bear viewing experience. (Summer and winter viewings offered.)
4. Explore the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick
Tourism New Brunswick
Fundy Tide Runners—an ethical whale-watching operator—has an eight-metre Zodiac ready to go at the government wharf in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea. Don a Mustang suit and in just a few minutes you’ll be in prime whale-watching waters. Extreme Fundy tides stir up nutrients to feed the food chain—including minke, finback, humpback and, occasionally, blue whales. Plus, plentiful porpoises entertain between big-whale sightings.
5. Feed the Tuna in PEI
At the right time of year, you can hop on a boat and head off the northeast coast of Prince Edward Island for one of the great wildlife spectacles of Canada—you’re going to hand-feed wild bluefin tuna. And maybe even go for a swim with them! These monsters of the deep can reach 500 kilograms and swim at 50 kilometres per hour—so be careful. Even if you don’t hop into the icy Atlantic, you’re sure to get an eyeful as these blue-bullets careen below the water, snatching baitfish right off the surface in an impressive display. (Of course, you can also angle for the fish too.)
6. Cruise for Cape Breton Whales in Nova Scotia
At the northern tip of charming Cape Breton Island, some of the world’s best whale watching awaits. Head to Bay St. Lawrence—home to whales species like minke, humpback and fin whales as well as abundant pilot whales and frisky dolphins. You’ll board a repurposed fishing dory for a leisurely cruise through these pristine Atlantic environs. In between whale sightings, sea cliffs, soaring birds and pastoral coastline homesteads will keep your eyes entertained. (But there likely won’t be much time between sightings.)
7. See the Arctic Big Five in Nunavut
Africa is famous for its Big Five animals—but the Canadian Arctic has its own Big Five, which is arguably more exclusive and more exciting. These beasts include: walrus, caribou, muskox, polar bear and a species of Arctic whale, such as a beluga, bowhead or narwhal—the latter is the quintessential Arctic Big Fiver. And you can see them all on a single trip to Nunavut, if you're lucky. Numerous operators specialize in wildlife watching trips—late spring and early summer will likely result in the best chances of photographing this quintuplet.
8. Herd Reindeer in the Northwest Territories
Tundra North Tours
Immerse in the True North during the frigid and exciting winter season. Fly to Inuvik, the largest centre in the Western Arctic—located two degrees of latitude beyond the Arctic Circle. From there, your Inuvialuit guides will lead you via snowmobile along the frozen Mackenzie River Delta to an area that’s home to 3,000 domesticated caribou, or reindeer. Learn to herd these impressive animals like an Arctic rancher. Sleep in an igloo while the Northern Lights dance overhead. Skate on the famous Ice Road. Finish your experience with a tour of Tuktoyaktuk, one of Canada’s most remote settlements.
Discover More Adventures!
Download our free eBook today:
These eight adventures are just the start. Discover these plus 142 MORE amazing outdoor adventures in our brand-new, totally free e-book: CANADA'S 150 MOST AMAZING OUTDOOR ADVENTURES.