Wildlife Tours Holiday Mammals Bears and Musk Ox, Caribou and Tundra Swans of Arctic Canada with Greentours
The cascading waters of the Hood and Burnside rivers drop abruptly from the vast tundra of the Barrenlands Plateau and meet the Arctic Ocean at Bathurst Inlet. Red-roofed lodge buildings and twenty local Inuit homes sit prettily between the sea and a huge river delta. It is very isolated - surrounded by nothing but mile after mile after mile of untouched Arctic wilderness.
Only open for a month each year the lodge provides a comfortable base from which to explore one of the world's last great wildernesses - a land of Musk Oxen, Grizzly Bears, Arctic Wolves and Caribou. Arctic Poppies and pink Pallas's Wallflowers bloom by Inuit tent-rings and kayak-racks. Local Inuit co-own the lodge and they help to spot the wildlife and get us close to it. Musk Oxen spend these weeks on the flowery tundra by scenic Swan Lake and with care we can get close to them. The Caribou are really rather inquisitive! Wolves and Wolverines are seen regularly though not every week (both on our last tour), but Grizzly Bears are commoner and we should see them, hopefully several. Fireworks Flower and pretty Diapensia bloom amid a magnificent show of Cassiopes, Louseworts, Saxifrages and Painted Cups. Yellow-billed Loons and Tundra Swans sit upon the reflective waters whilst white-phase Gyr Falcons and Golden Eagles hunt overhead.
Wood Buffalo National Park is an immense tract of northern Wilderness, this remote park is bigger than Switzerland, yet is hardly visited. Set up ninety years ago to protect the last remaining Wood Bison (successfully) Wood Buffalo is also home to Whooping Cranes as well as Woodland Caribou, Lynx and Beaver. North America’s largest undisturbed grass and sedge meadows, mossy ‘muskeg’, bizarre ‘salt plains’ and karst limestone host a fabulous flora including Twinflower, pink and yellow Corydalis sempervirens and Saline Shooting Star.
A Pre-tour takes us to British Columbia, a land of sweeping forests, endless mountains and unspoilt rivers and lakes, and nowhere is this truer than on Vancouver Island. Marine and land mammals can be seen more easily and in higher numbers than perhaps anywhere on the continent. The island’s waters are home to a bounty of nature’s magnificence including Steller’s Sea Lions, Dolphins, Porpoises, Bald Eagles and of course Orcas. Boat trips are well-known for their guaranteed wildlife shows with pods of Orcas frequently observed at close range. This is the ideal season to see Gray Whales and Black Bears are on the agenda, and it will be a special treat to have such great opportunities to photograph beautiful Sea Otters at rest and at play.
Mammals, Flowers, Birds, Arctic Scenery and Inuit Culture.
Page Burt, Gary Vizniowski
Usually only two or three miles a day, sometimes up to four or five. Always at a slow pace, ideally suited to photographers.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, meals and accommodation in Canada. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature including insurance, are not included.
The minimum is 5 and the maximum is 15.
In the Arctic the remarkable Bathurst Lodge has basic but comfortable rooms. These have en suite WCs but showers are shared at a ratio of two rooms to each. The main lodge building doubles as a fascinating museum of Inuit culture, library, restaurant, bar and lounge. The large windows in the lounge have spectacular views over the inlet and delta - Musk Oxen and Grizzly Bears have been spotted from them on our last two visits! In Yellowknife we stay at the modern Days Inn & Suites. On the Wood Buffalo extension, we’ve a night in the Cambridge Executive Suites, Hay River and in Fort Smith we stay at the pleasant Pelican Rapids Inn for three nights, followed by a night at the Best West Western at High Level en route to Edmonton. The hotel in Yellowknife and those on the extensions to Wood Buffalo and the pre-tour to Vancouver Island have en suite rooms.
The first night on the Vancouver Island Pre-tour takes us to the Qualicum Beach Inn. The inn has large airy rooms and a most unusual circular restaurant with great views out over the bay. After a night here we’ve three nights in the wonderful Blackrock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet, a truly lovely hotel that combines contemporary comfort and quality service with an amazing natural setting. As its name suggest this hotel has wonderful sea views and the hotel design, with lots of space and natural light really seems to bring the environment right into the heart of the hotel. We follow this with two nights at the Moonwater Lodge in Malahat. This lodge claims to have one of the best views in Canada and as Canada has many of the best views in the World… The lodge has been designed so that all the rooms can enjoy the same marvellous panorama in superb comfort and each has a balcony too. The restaurant features fresh caught local fish and hormone-free and organic local produce.
Flights are to Yellowknife via Calgary outbound, (Vancouver if you are doing the Pre-tour) returning via Edmonton, and are from London Heathrow*, London Gatwick or Manchester*. Indirect routes from other regional UK Airports* are available. *These routes may incur a supplement.
Please contact us for prices and availability of upgrades to premium economy.
At Bathurst Inlet you need to be prepared for everything. Temperatures vary from just 5°C up to around 20°C. There is usually a reasonable amount of sun and overall rainfall is low, however rain can take a day or two to pass. Wood Buffalo National Park is a little warmer without the possibility of very cool weather!
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information.
Flower, bird and mammal checklists are available.