— Base Camp Kayaking —
WHALES AND GRIZZLY BEARS
— Base Camp Kayaking —
Whales and Grizzly Bears
WHALES AND GRIZZLY BEARS – BASE CAMP KAYAKING
Seeing a humpback whale lunging through a school of bait fish, a grizzly bear chasing salmon in a shallow river, or a pod of killer whale, also known as orcas, surfacing in unison are often considered once in a lifetime experiences and all three are possible on Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures’ “Whales and Grizzly Bear” base camp tour.
There is no better place in the world to kayak with both humpback and killer whales (orcas) than Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound off the northeastern corner of Vancouver Island. This area is recognized as one of the most predictable places in the world to see these great marine mammals and Kingfisher’s base camps are located right in the heart of these wildlife rich waters on an island covered in old growth rainforest.
We spend the first three days of this tour viewing the diverse marine life by kayak and late each afternoon return to the comforts of our base camp. Kingfisher’s guides are well acquainted with the natural history, whales, and other wildlife of British Columbia’s coast, knowledge which they eagerly share. It is hard to miss a killer whale’s six foot dorsal fin as it passes your kayak, but your guides also help you spot the less obvious sea stars, urchins and anemones in the shallows and educate you about the other whales, seals, porpoises, and dolphins that frequent these waters. Early on the fourth morning we get picked up by boat for a day of grizzly bear viewing. Your First Nations guides will take you on an intimate and immersive wildlife experience in their traditional territories.
This all in one experience brings you to the natural habitat of Western Canada’s grizzly bears, while looking out for whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, wolves and eagles while you cruise towards the coastal Mainland’s viewing sites. Listen to the guides interpretation of local landscapes, and the ancient villages that were once occupied by the Musg̱a̱makw Dzawada̱’enux̱w people. Viewing is mostly boat based as the grizzlies will be foraging on sedge grass and turning over rocks on the beaches looking crabs and mussels. Later in the season as the salmon return to the rivers we may have viewing opportunities on land.
2021 Price: $1850 CAD per person plus 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Dates: This tour runs every Saturday to Tuesday from early-July to mid September. See the calendar below for availability.
Group Size: Maximum of ten guests and three guides.
Participants: This tour is adult-oriented but participants as young as 15 may be accepted.
Suitability: Beginner to advanced kayakers.
Departs: Port McNeill, Vancouver Island.
A note on early July departures: Early July is a great time to be kayaking in Johnstone Strait and there is an unbelievable assortment of wildlife. The resident (fish-eating) orcas, however, are not reliably seen until mid-July. They may be intermittently seen during early July along with the transient (mammal-eating) orcas but are not as consistent as later in the summer. You can be assured that an early season tour provides a great kayaking experience and a wide variety of wildlife is present without all the extra people that visit mid-summer.
Whales and Grizzly Bears Kayak Tour - Base Camp We just returned from Kingfisher's Whales and Grizzlies adventure and it was amazing! From the orientation session provided the evening before the trip, to the final drop-off of our gear back in Port McNeill, everything was exceptional. Our guides, C... read moreCherylnghbr7/26/2019
Whales and Wilderness Expedition I recently participated in the June 2019 whales and wilderness kayak expedition with Kingfisher in the Broughton Archipelago. I attended as a solo, It was a great group of people who all had a background of outdoor adventure experience.
Our guid... read morekezsherwood6/23/2019
Kayaking with Whales July 23 - 26 My husband and I joined Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures for a Kayaking with Whales Adventure last week. Great weather, awesome food & the best kayaking we have experienced. Loved the base camp on Hanson Island, and the nights spent camping in... read morekartonv7/31/2019
Kingfisher Whales four-day Kayaking trip We went on Kingfisher's four day (3 night) kayaking trip off Port McNeil staying at a base camp on Hansen Island. We were a small group--four young German tourists and my husband and me (both of us over 60 Americans) plus the two (Canadian) guides. ... read moreMarilyn M.7/31/2019
Base Camp Kayak With Whales and Grizzly Bears My husband and I participated in a 4-day-3-night base camp Whale and Grizzly Bear trip with Kingfisher and we had an AMAZING time! We are both scientists and have gone on lots of cool outdoor adventures, but this trip was exceptional. We saw so much ... read moreKristen R.9/01/2019
The West Coast at its BEST! We did a four-day base camp with whales tour in September 2020. I have been on many kayaking trips all over Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii but this trip is a highlight. I have never seen so much marine life in one area - humpbacks, orcas, sea lion... read moreJohn G.9/01/2020
Best way to experience Vancouver Island's wild west coast My husband and I just returned from our second trip with Kingfisher - an expedition trip in the Nutchatlitz area: Kayaking with Sea Otters. It was even more fabulous than our first base camp trip in the Broughton Archipelago. We saw sea otters every ... read moreElizabeth C.7/01/2021
Outstanding company with focus on safety and enjoyment - loved it We nearly booked a tour with another company but so glad we went with Kingfisher. We also booked our accommodation (Black bear resort) and the separate grizzly tour through Kingfisher and more than happy with both of those. Kingfisher is very profess... read moreNewcastleKiwigirl10/06/2018