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The vast forests and snow-cladmountains of British Columbia are stillroamed by the continent's mostformidable predator, the Grizzly Bear. Forthousands of years Grizzlies have livedalongside the native peoples of this regionand been honoured for their great strengthand intelligence. Whilst respect for theGrizzly remains strong amongst theseindigenous peoples, the bears are not heldin such high regard by other sectors ofmodern society. Today they face a widevariety of threats throughout their range,from the relentless march of the loggingindustry to trophy hunting and illegaltrapping. Despite these threats, the GrizzlyBear is still widespread in British Columbiaand it is to these beautiful forests, inletsand islands that we head, on this tour, inour quest for North America's top predator. We begin with a flight to Vancouver, avibrant and cosmopolitan city backed bythe pine-clad mountains of the CascadeRange, and will spend a day visiting someof the region's top birding sites, includingBoundary Bay, Iona Lagoons and the Reifel Bird Reserve. Spring migration willbe in full swing by mid-May and we hopeto find such species as Western Sandpiper,Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Townsend'sand Yellow-rumped Warblers, WesternTanager and the diminutive RufousHummingbird. The following morning we take a ferryacross the Straits of Georgia to VancouverIsland. Both Dall's and Harbour Porpoisesply these waters, whilst small pods of Orcas are occasionally seen at this time ofyear. In May huge numbers of sea-duck,divers and other seabirds head norththrough the straits on their way to theirArctic breeding grounds and during thecrossing we will look out for such speciesas Surf, White-winged and Black Scoter,Pacific Loon, Rhinoceros Auklet, MarbledMurrelet and the beautiful Harlequin Duck.Arriving at Nanaimo, on the east coast, wedrive across the island to the smallcommunity of Ucluelet within the PacificRim National Park. This is a dramatic areaof rocky headlands and sandy beachespounded by the full force of the Pacific andbacked by some of the last remaining old-growth rainforest in the region. It is also onthe migration route of the Grey Whale asthe species migrates from Mexico's BajaPeninsula to its summer haunt in the BeringSea. On one morning we will head out ontothe water to look for these dramaticmammals, together with Steller's SeaLions, Sea Otters and such birds as PigeonGuillemot, Harlequin Duck and the beautifulTufted Puffin.After three nights in the Pacific RimNational Park, we head north on a long butscenic drive through a diverse range ofspectacular scenery to Campbell River. Thefollowing day we move to Zeballos in thenorth-west of the island, where we have anexcellent chance of viewing the charismaticSea Otters which are often found in largerafts in the area at this time of year.Now our adventure really begins as weboard a float-plane at Port Hardy for thespectacular journey to Great Bear Lodge.This small floating wilderness lodge is setamidst breathtaking scenery in the GreatBear Rainforest, one of the last strongholdsof the Grizzly Bear. Within the rainforest liesthe Nekite Valley, its river estuary - filledwith the sedges, succulents and grassesthat make up the spring-time menu of thebears - a magnet for hungry Grizzliesemerging from their long winter fast andalso for Black Bears in search of inter-tidalproduce. May is also the time to seemother bears with their inquisitive newborncubs and perhaps to spot a male bear ashe leaves the forest to find a mate. Ourbear-viewing will be done by boat, with thebears generally being most active in theearly morning and late afternoon. At othertimes you may take a boat trip to explorethe glacier-carved inlet, or enjoy someforest walks or birdwatching. At this time ofyear the forests will be alive with such birdsas the beautiful Varied Thrush, Townsend's,Yellow and Yellow-rumped Warblers, HermitThrush, Fox Sparrow, Pacific-slopeFlycatcher and Red-breasted Sapsucker,and the newly arrived summer visitorsshould be busily proclaiming their newterritories with a variety of unfamiliar songs.Alternatively, you may prefer simply to relax at the lodge and enjoy the completesilence and solitude broken only by thecries of Bald Eagles flying overhead or the splashing of River Otters playing in the water. Leaving this wilderness paradise behind,we return to Port McNeill on VancouverIsland before sadly retracing our steps toVancouver for our final night in Canada,stopping en route to look for the numerousdivers, ducks and grebes that frequent thecoastal waters. In Vancouver we will havemost of the day at leisure, enabling us towatch the Racoons and birds in StanleyPark, wander the streets of historic 'GasTown', or simply relax by the waterfrontbefore our evening flight home. Spring in Canada'sPacific North-westA 14-day holiday to the beautiful forests and fjords of Canada's Pacific North-west in search of the Grizzly Bear and other wildlife. Saturday 11th May - Friday 24th May Cost: £4,995 Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Vancouver.Day 2Vancouver area.Day 3/5Ucluelet.Day 6Campbell River.Day 7Zeballos.Day 8/10Great Bear Lodge.Day 11Port McNeill. Day 12Vancouver.Day 13Depart Vancouver.Day 14Arrive London.AccommodationComfortable hotels, motels and afloating wilderness lodge; all haveprivate facilities.FoodAll meals included except fordinners in Vancouver. Allow £30-£40.GradingA. Day walks only.FocusGrizzly Bears, birds, whales andother mammals.LeaderLee Morgan or Paul Stanbury.Single room supplement£695. Not available at Great BearLodge. ExtensionsAvailable on request to all parts ofCanada and the USA.Web quick search: CAN04186Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryKNIGHT INLET JOHNSTONE STRAIT CAMPBELL RIVER PORT MCNEILL ZEBALLOSPORT HARDY GREAT BEAR LODGE UCLUELETSTRAIT OF GEORGIA NANAIMO VANCOUVER VICTORIA JUAN DE FUCA STRAIT PACIFIC OCEAN UNITED STATES WESTERN CANADA BRITISH COLUMBIA VANCOUVER ISLAND Grizzly BearSea OttersGreat Bear Lodge

In springtime, where the frozen oceanmeets the open ocean, an area known asthe floe-edge is formed, creating one ofnature's most amazing landscapes. Ajourney to the floe-edge is one of the classicArctic adventures: passing magnificentmountain scenery, sculpted icebergs deep-frozen in six-foot thick sea-ice, glaciers andancient Thule (early Inuit) sites, as well asoffering the chance to see a variety of Arcticwildlife. This exciting new tour explores theland to the east of Pond Inlet, with BylotIsland and Sirmilik National Park on one sideand the towering glacier-clad mountains ofBaffin Island on the other. Pond Inlet, onCanada's Baffin Island, is one of the veryfew places in the world where the elusiveNarwhal can be seen reliably. Thisexpedition is only for the adventurous. Ledby experienced Inuit guides, we will travel bysnowmobile across the ice to the floe-edge(or 'the line of life', as it's sometimes called),where we will set up our base camp, locatedon the sea-ice. During the spring, wildlifegathers at the floe-edge and a wonderfulvariety exists there, including seals, seabirdssuch as Brünnich's Guillemot and Ivory Gull,and such iconic mammals of the high Arcticas Polar Bear, Beluga, Bowhead Whale andthe elusive Narwhal. For those with a truespirit of adventure and a reasonable level offitness, this trip offers an extraordinary polarexperience.Our tour begins with a flight to Ottawa wherewe will relax for one night in a comfortablehotel before flying to Iqaluit the followingday; from there we board a smaller plane toPond Inlet on the north of Baffin Island. Nowour expedition begins in earnest - we willhave an evening briefing and gear checkbefore a welcome supper, in preparation forour voyage to the ice floe-edge. From thecommunity of Pond Inlet, we will travel bysnowmobile and 'komatik' - an Inuit sled inwhich we may sit and relax while observingthe incredible scenery of the sea-icetowards the floe-edge. Led by experiencedlocal Inuit guides and an expedition leader,ice conditions and weather will determineour exact route, but we will travel betweenfive and eight hours, depending on theconditions, making stops on the way to takepictures and video, as well as to warm upand stay well fed! Once a suitable area hasbeen chosen, our comfortable base campwill be created on the sea-ice, which willserve as a hub for the expedition and thevarious activities that will be undertaken.Despite the remote Arctic location, ourguides will make our camp as comfortableas possible, and we will have individualtents to sleep in, a special cooking tent, acommunal tent for group meetings, and aseparate toilet tent.We will spend the next five days makingexcursions from our base camp in search ofArctic wildlife. This far north, the weatherand ice conditions can change quickly, so atall times we will be guided by our Inuitleaders, who know this territory best. Onething we can guarantee is that it will be aspecial and privileged experience to be inthe company of the native people of BaffinIsland, who have learnt the tough art ofsurvival in this land over the millennia . andno day is likely to be the same. Among thewildlife we will be searching for are birdssuch as Long-tailed Duck, King andCommon Eiders, Little Auk, Black Guillemot,Long-tailed and Arctic Skuas, Ivory Gull,Snow Goose, Snow Bunting and Glaucous Gull. There's a chance of seeingPolar Bear, but this is not a Polar Bearobservation trip; the mammalian stars of theexpedition are far more likely to be thespecial whales which inhabit these icywaters, and in particular we will be hoping tosee the extraordinary Narwhal, as well asother Arctic whales: the Beluga andBowhead. Narwhals are a high-Arcticspecies of small grey-brown whale. Theirmost distinctive feature is a unique 3-metretusk, which the males (and occasionally,females) grow; a few males even developdouble tusks! Hundreds may congregate incertain feeding areas, and they migrate enmasse, typically in same-sex groups. This isa species of whale only the very lucky,privileged few ever see, and Pond Inlet onBaffin Island is one of the only reliableplaces to see Narwhals in the world - evenso, a sighting of this rare cetacean must beconsidered a bonus!Our guides will lead our daily excursions,and we will travel with them short distancesacross the ice and sea-ice by means ofsnowmobile, skis, komatik or - for thosewho wish - sea-kayak. Our guides will takeus to locations they know well, and wherethey think we are most likely to see thewildlife we are looking for. However, we willneed to be flexible, as we will move to betterareas if we do not have success at first. Thearea is also rich in Inuit culture and we mayvisit an ancient Thule site or an old whalingstation.Inuit Adventure: Narwhals &other Wildlife of Baffin IslandA thrilling 10-day 'adventure of a lifetime' based on the ice floe-edge on Baffin Island in northern Canada, this tour offers a classic Arctic expedition led by Inuit guides, and a chance to see Narwhal, Beluga and Bowhead Whale as well as a host of other polar wildlife.Sunday 2nd June - Tuesday 11th June Cost: from £8,995Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationBAFFIN ISLANDIQUALUITPONDINLETOutline itineraryDay 1Arrive Ottawa.Day 2Fly Pond Inlet.Day 3Travel to the floe-edge.Day 4/8Explore the floe-edgewith Inuit guides.Day 9Fly Ottawa.Day 10Fly UK.AccommodationComfortable hotels in Ottawa andPond Inlet; serviced camping onBaffin Island.FoodAll meals except for those taken inOttawa and Iqaluit are included.GradingB/C. You will need to be physically fitand healthy to enjoy this tour. Wewill be travelling at times overuneven, snowy ground in sub-zerotemperatures.LeaderExpedition leader plus local Inuitguides.Single room supplementTo be advised.Web quick search: CAN07 187Baffin IslandNarwhals