Spirit Bear Photo Tour
In August of 2011 National Geographic Magazine referred to British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest as "The Wildest Place in North America". They were right, the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia is the largest piece of intact temperate rain forest left on the plant, and contains some of the most sought after animals in the world to photograph.
Workshop Leaders: Chris Pepper
Dates: August 20, 2017 to August 25, 2018
Price for the Workshop: $5995CAD plus taxes (Min 6). The current price in USD is approximately $4307USD plus 13% tax. Please check the exchange rate at time of booking.
Deposits: $1000CAD with balance due May 15, 2017
Included in Pricing - Return airfare from Vancouver to Bella Bella, Ground transfers aboard 15 passenger taxi from Bella Bella airport to Bella Bella dock, return water taxi from Bella Bella to lodge, all meals as outlined in tour itinerary, all transportation to bear viewing areas, professional local guides, two professional photographer guides, full day excursions to main Grizzly, Black and Spirit Bear viewing areas, Half day morning excursion on departure day, coastal watchman program user fee.
Not Included in Pricing - gratuity for staff, travelers insurance, international airfare, items of personal nature, laundry, alcoholic beverages, hotel for one night in Vancouver.
Details of the Trip: Towering green, forested mountains give way to richly bio diverse river valley bottoms and estuaries which teem with wild salmon. It is the home of the great Grizzly Bear, coastal wolves, cougar and many other terrestrial mammals.
The Pacific Ocean which laps the forests shores is also home to pods of orca and humpback whales who swim and hunt the labyrinth of complex fjords and channels in the area.
It is here in the Great Bear Rainforest that the kitasoo/Xai’ais First Nation has lived since time immemorial. They he shared the forest and the salmon with a very special creature they call, moskgm’ol (White Bear). Their legend of the origin of the moskgm’ol holds that Goo Wee (Raven) made on in every ten black bears, white to remind the people of a time when glaciers covered this land and that people should be thankful for the lush and bountiful land of today. Many of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais believe the Spirit Bears hold supernatural powers, hence the name Spirit Bear – a name that suits its mythical like presence.
It is only fitting then, that our lodge is situated in the small remote Kitasoo/Xai’xais fishing village of Klemtu. Located 280 nautical miles north of Vancouver, Klemtu is truly in the heart of the rainforest.
Nestled in a remote archipelago of small islands and this protected from the wild Pacific, Klemtu is centrally positioned to offer unparalleled access to some of the best Grizzly and Spirit Bear viewing in the region.
Because our lodge is owned and operated by First Nations, the staff, many of whom were born and raised in Klemtu, have exclusive access to some of the special Spirit Bear viewing areas in the recently created Spirit Bear Conservancy.
These trips are about exploring, seeing, and photographing all the riches of the Great Bear Rainforest. They are NOT dedicated solely to photographing the rare white Spirit Bear. While our track record on finding (and photographing) Spirit Bears is excellent, we cannot guarantee that participants will return with Spirit Bear photos. But we can guarantee that we will do our absolute best to ensure they will see - and photograph - as much of the biological diversity, including Grizzly and Spirit Bear of the Great Bear Rainforest as possible!
Day 1 (Sunday): For those that want to arrive in Vancouver and transfer to our hotel for the night. We will gather as a group for a nice dinner and have the opportunity to get to know everyone before our departure tomorrow.
Day 2: For those that want to arrive on day two, you can land in the morning as we will not depart Vancouver aboard Pacific Coastal Airlines at 1:30pm for our scheduled 2 hour afternoon service to Bella Bella. Short transfer by 15-passenger van to boat dock. From there we will be met by the staff and board our water taxi for 90-minute journey to Klemtu and our Lodge. Check in, receive welcome orientation.
Relax, you’re here! Buffet dinner at 7pm, followed by next day activity briefing, photography instruction and an evening presentation at 8pm on some aspect of coastal ecology.
Day 3: After breakfast, we will meet on the dock at 8am for first full day bear viewing adventure to one of our main grizzly viewing stuaries!
During our day you will see the spectacular waterfalls in Carter Inlet as well as the Grizzly Bear, Black Bear and Spirit Bear feeding on the spawning salmon in one of three rivers.
We will return by 6pm; buffet dinner at 7pm followed by evening presentation on some aspect of Great Bear Rainforest, Bears or First Nations culture.
After the presentation we will gather and go through your images on our laptops and gives you some photography advice and editing advice.
Day 4: 7am breakfast, then on the water at 8am for Spirit Bear viewing safari on foot in one of our Spirit Bear rivers. Return by 6pm for dinner and evening program and go through your images on our laptops and gives you some photography advice and editing advice.
Day 5: another 7am breakfast, followed by one more additional Grizzly viewing tours to Fiordland Recreation Area. Return later in the day for our last dinner together.
Day 6: After breakfast, choice of morning sea kayak paddle along the shores south of Klemtu, a rain forest walk or cultural tour, or walk down to the Pacific ocean and photograph some of the local sea life like Orca, Humpbacks, Sea Lions, or even the Bald Eagles.
At 11am board our water taxi for 90-minute trip to Bella Bella arriving in time to catch afternoon flight back to Vancouver arriving YVR between 5-7pm.
Ready to photograph the bears? Click on the button and we will see you in British Columbia