The adventure starts once you have boarded the seaplane flight from Port Hardy to Great Bear Lodge, situated in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. The aerial views of one of the world’s few intact temperature rainforests are spectacular, looking over an area that covers some eight million acres.
Set on the edge of the rainforest, Great Bear Lodge is a low impact floating lodge, generating its own energy through solar panels and wind. The only wildlife viewing operation on the river system, the experience at the lodge is made even more exclusive and intimate by only catering to a maximum of 16 guests at a time, in eight en suite rooms.
The location allows for outstanding wildlife spotting, the main attraction being Grizzly bear viewing. The peak viewing season starts in May and lasts through to October, and each season offers a different viewing experience. Spring (mating season) offers good opportunities to watch bears feeding on sedges and plants on the estuarine grasslands.
Summer brings the season’s berries for Grizzlies to feast on; the bears are more spread out during this season so you may need to travel further to be able to catch a glimpse of these majestic beasts. Autumn is one of the best seasons for Grizzly viewing, and is when the bears feed on salmon from the river edge; this is also the best season for spotting bear cubs.
Each full day at Great Bear Lodge will include two bear viewing sessions from a range of estuary or river sites which are reached either by boat or wilderness hiking trails. The wildlife in this area isn’t just limited to Grizzly bears - you may also be lucky enough to see Black bears, River otters, Minke whales, Bald eagles and Harbour seals.
Great Bear Lodge was used as a base when the BBC filmed the ‘Magical Forest’ episode of ‘Secrets of Our Living Planet’.
International Airport – Vancouver
Domestic Airport – Port Hardy
International Airport – Vancouver – 9 hours 45 minutes
Domestic Airport – Port Hardy – 1 hour 5 minutes
Seaplane from Port Hardy – 50 minutes