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Wildlife In Canada: 11 Places To Have Life-Changing Experiences

It's not hard to see why people travel from all over the world to spot wildlife in Canada.

From grizzly bears and polar bears to elk, puffins and narwhals, countless incredible creatures call this country home.

If you're ready to head out on a wildlife adventure like no other, we've got you covered!

Here are just a few examples of the life-changing experiences you should put on your Canada bucket list right now.

Orcas near Vancouver Island

Where: Vancouver Island, BC

When: April to October

Why You Need To Go: Thanks to its position in the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver Island is known as one of the best orca-watching spots in the world.

Whether you decide to search for these magnificent creatures via kayak, open-air boat or luxury cruise, you'll need to keep your eyes peeled.

If that wasn't enough, this place is also home to other whale species, including giant humpback whales and grey whales. Just don't forget your camera!


Puffins in Newfoundland & Labrador

Where: Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, NL

When: Any time

Why You Need To Go: Is there anything sweeter than a puffin? Bird-lovers flock to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve and the town of Elliston just to get a glimpse of these stunning feathered friends.

The reserve has one of the largest puffin colonies in North America and they're not the only cool critters here, either.

Take a boat tour and you might spot a whale en route, too!


​Kermode bears in B.C.

Where: Princess Royal Island, Great Bear Rainforest, BC

When: June to October

Why You Need To Go: Not many people can say they've seen a Kermode bear (otherwise known as a spirit bear) in real life. A subspecies of the black bear, these magical animals are as rare as they are stunning.

One of your best chances to spot one is by joining a land or boat tour into B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest.


Moose in Alberta

Where: Jasper National Park, AB

When: Any time, but keep your eyes peeled at dusk and dawn

Why You Need To Go: Undoubtedly one of the most iconic animals in Canada, you'd be remiss not to look out for moose if you're in Jasper National Park.

The best time to look for these huge animals is at dusk and dawn, but be sure to keep your distance as they can be pretty dangerous if provoked or frightened.


Narwhals in Nunavut

Where: Eclipse Sound, Pond Inlet, NV

When: Mid-May to early July

Why You Need To Go: As Canada is home to the world's largest population of narwhals, it's a no-brainer to visit them here. Otherwise known as the "unicorn of the sea," you may have to see these mystical creatures in person to believe they're truly real.

For an authentic experience, connect with local guides in Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet or Resolute.


Bison in Alberta

Where: Elk Island National Park, AB

When: Any time

Why You Need To Go: Although it's located just over 40 kilometres east of Edmonton, this national park is a wildlife haven like no other. Open year-round, it's the perfect place to get up close and personal with these magnificent animals (but don't get TOO close!).

You'll find tons of bison here, but that's not all you'll be able to spot. In addition to hundreds of bird species, there are also moose, deer and elk. There's also a dark-sky preserve where you can get a great view of the stars and planets in the sky.


Polar bears in Churchill

Where: Churchill, MB

When: September to November

Why You Need To Go: Is there any better place to spot these majestic creatures than the "polar bear capital of the world?"

Residents of this remote Manitoba town share their home with polar bears throughout the year and you'll have a decent chance of spotting them simply by visiting.

If you really want to up your chances, you can take a tour in a special Tundra Buggy, which has been specifically designed to navigate the northern terrain.


Grizzly bears in Alberta

Where: Banff National Park & Jasper National Park, AB

When: April to November

Why You Need To Go: While you don't want to unexpectedly or accidentally run into a grizzly, seeing one from a safe distance is a treasured experience.

These majestic and iconic bears are solitary animals. To see one, consider a guided tour with experts or experienced guides, or perhaps a vehicle tour, to ensure both you and the bears are as safe as possible.


Belugas in Nunavut

Where: Western coast of Hudson Bay, NV

When: June to August

Why You Need To Go: If you find yourself in Nunavut, you'll be in one of the best places on Earth to spot a beluga whale.

This arctic marine mammal (closely related to the narwhal) is incredibly rare to see in the wild, so you should take advantage of the opportunity if you're visiting the region.

One of the best ways to catch a glimpse of these striking sea creatures is through a guided boat tour. Connect with a local guide in Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet or Resolute for the best chance.


Seals in Quebec

Where: Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

When: February to March

Why You Need To Go: Each year in February and March, tens of thousands of harp seals congregate on the ice around the Îles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Islands) to have their pups. Keep an eye out for the extra fluffy babies.

If you want to see them up close, you can take a seal-watching excursion in the area.


Critters in Jasper

Where: Jasper National Park, AB

When: Any time

Why You Need To Go: It's not hard to see why Jasper National Park is a haven for wildlife lovers.

Here, lucky spotters will be able to find everything from marmots, chipmunks and ground squirrels to elk, mountain goats, moose, black bears, wolves and so much more.

Aside from expert-guided tours, one of the easiest ways to find any of these creatures is on one of the stunning alpine hikes in the national park, or on trails in Canmore and Kananaskis.


Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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