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The province of British Columbia in thewest of Canada embraces vast areasof wilderness and spectacular sceneryand plays host to a large and diverserange of wildlife. On this tour we will travelthrough a variety of different habitats,giving us an outstanding chance of seeingboth Orcas and Grey Whales as well assome excellent birdwatching. FromVancouver Island we will travel to NekiteValley on the mainland. Our destination isthe Great Bear Rainforest, a remote andtemperate coastal rainforest which is hometo several threatened species and one ofthe last strongholds of the Grizzly Bear.Here, in a true wilderness environment, wewill stay on a floating lodge from which wewill be able to travel a short distance towitness one of the most exciting wildlifespectacles in the world - Grizzly Bearscongregating to fish for salmon, togetherwith their retinue of attendant Bald Eagles.We begin our tour with a flight to thecosmopolitan city of Vancouver on the westcoast. Crossing the Strait of Georgia byferry the following morning throughmagnificent coastal scenery, ourdestination is Vancouver Island and thepicturesque district of Ucluelet, locatedwithin the spectacular Pacific Rim NationalPark. The park has outstanding examplesof coastal rainforest, sandy beaches andcoastal marine-life and we will take acouple of days to fully explore thiswonderful region. The cold, nutrient-richseas off the Pacific Rim National Park are aparticularly reliable area in which to see the Grey Whales, a population of which stopsoff here for the summer months instead ofheading further north to the Bering Strait.Birdlife is also plentiful in the area and wewill be on the look-out for Chestnut-backedChickadee, American Dipper, Steller's Jay,several species of warbler and VariedThrush. The Black Bear is still flourishing in British Columbia and we have anexcellent chance of observing them fromthe water, as they forage for food in theinter-tidal zones.Leaving Ucluelet, we will drive to Zeballossituated in the north-west of VancouverIsland. The drive is a long one but it willtake us through a diverse range ofspectacular scenery, from rainforests andmountains to beautiful beaches. FromZeballos we will take a boat trip in searchof the charismatic Sea Otters often found inthis area before moving to Port McNeill onthe Johnstone Strait, an area which isknown to be one of the most accessibleand predictable places to view Orcas. Inaddition, we will have excellentopportunities of seeing Harbour and Dall'sPorpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphin,Harbour Seal, Steller's Sea Lion andpossibly, if we are extremely fortunate,Minke, Humpback and Grey Whales.Birdlife in the area is plentiful and shouldproduce such species as RhinocerosAuklet, Marbled Murrelet, Red-neckedPhalarope, Pelagic, Brandt's and Double-crested Cormorants, Surfbird, BlackTurnstone and Black Oystercatcheramongst others.From Port McNeill we will travel the shortdistance to Port Hardy, from where we willboard a float-plane, travelling overbreathtaking scenery to Great Bear Lodge,our base for the next part of our holiday.Here we will find ourselves in truewilderness, on a floating lodge nestlingagainst a backdrop of snow-capped peaks,forested hills and waterfalls. Enveloped insilence and tranquillity, our only neighboursare the birds and mammals which inhabitthe area. One of the definite highlights ofour tour will be the unique chance toobserve the magnificent Grizzly Bear fromthe safety of enclosed viewing standssituated along the river. Outstanding photographic opportunitieswill present themselves as we watch thebears fishing for salmon in the watersnearby. Our concentration on thisincredible spectacle will be matched by theBald Eagles congregating in the nearbytrees, intently watching for any scraps offish the bears may leave. In the eveningswe will have ample opportunity to discussthe day's events over an excellent home-cooked evening meal, before talking withthe local guides or just relaxing andwatching the moon rising over themountains. Birdlife will not be ignored and we will hope to see Marbled Murrelet,Pigeon Guillemot, Western Grebe andnumerous Bald Eagles, which often fly very close to the lodge itself. Whilst out inthe boats, we will also be watching theshore for sightings of Black Bear. TheGreat Bear Rainforest, where our lodge issituated, is also home to an exciting rangeof other animals and we might catch sightof Otters or even a Grey Wolf if we are very fortunate.Leaving this wilderness paradise to returnto civilisation will be extremely hard but wewill carry lasting memories with us. Ourreturn float-plane will give us anotherchance to enjoy the spectacular viewsbefore we land back in Port Hardy. Thefollowing day we will make our way downthe east coast from Port McNeill and backto Vancouver on the mainland, where wewill have a last chance for somesightseeing, shopping or some finalbirdwatching in the area, visiting the nearbyBoundary Bay or Reifel Bird Sanctuary.Here we should get farewell sightings ofthe more common bird species of theregion such as American Robin, Steller'sJay and Red-winged Blackbirds andperhaps some of the more unusual speciessuch as Barrow's Goldeneye, HoodedMerganser and Harlequin Duck.Canada - The WestA 14-day wildlife and whale-watching holiday, including a unique opportunity to view Grizzly Bears catching salmon.Friday 6th September - Thursday 19th September Cost: £5,695Thursday 12th September - Wednesday 25th September Cost: £5,695Tuesday 24th September - Monday 7th October Cost: £5,695Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Vancouver.Day 2/4Ucluelet.Day 5/6Zeballos.Day 7Port McNeill.Day 8/10Great Bear Lodge.Day 11Port McNeill.Day 12Vancouver.Day 13Depart Vancouver.Day 14Arrive London.AccommodationComfortable hotels, motels and afloating wilderness lodge, all withprivate facilities.FoodAll meals included except fordinners in Vancouver. Allow £30-£40.GradingA. Day walks only.FocusGrizzly Bears, whales, othermammals and birds.LeaderLee Morgan, Peter Dunn or AndySmith.Single room supplement £695. Not available at Great BearLodge.Web quick search: CAN01188Call now or visit www.naturetrek.co.ukfor your free Trip ItineraryJOHNSTONE STRAIT CAMPBELL RIVER PORT MCNEILL PORT HARDY GREAT BEAR LODGE STRAIT OF GEORGIA NANAIMO VANCOUVER VICTORIA JUAN DE FUCA STRAIT PACIFIC OCEAN UNITED STATES WESTERN CANADA BRITISH COLUMBIA VANCOUVER ISLAND ZEBALLOSUCLUELETGrizzly BearGreat Bear LodgeOrcaRiver Otter

Home to the only French-speakingsociety in North America, Quebec isdistinct from the rest of the continent.Covering over one million squarekilometres, Northern Quebec forms thegreater part of Canada's largest province, aland where nature reigns supreme and theinfluence of the Arctic is strong. On thisexciting new tour we will explore both thenorth and south sides of the Gulf of St.Lawrence, seeking mammals such as theMoose, Caribou and Black Bear inhabitingthe province's impressive forests, andwhales such as Beluga and Blue Whale thatcome to feed each year in the rich waters ofthe St. Lawrence River and off the GaspéPeninsula. A sparsely populated province,civilisation clusters mainly around the northshore of the great St. Lawrence River and inhistoric Quebec City, which sits at thenarrowing of the St. Lawrence and is themost easterly point connecting the northand south shores of the river. The GaspéPeninsula forms the south shore of the St.Lawrence, with the Chic Choc Mountainscreating a rocky backbone along the centreof the peninsula and marking the end of thefamous Appalachian Chain.We begin our holiday with a flight toMontreal and then transfer to Quebec City,the only fortified city in North America. Iftime permits, we will do a short walking tourof the old town, which is a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site, before driving towardsTadoussac on the north shore of the St.Lawrence. We will stop en route at CapTourmente, hoping to see a few 'earlyarrivals' of the Snow Geese which visitannually during the Fall. The mouth of theSaguenay Fjord on the St. Lawrence Riveris renowned for its superb marine-life: it ispossible to see Fin, Humpback and MinkeWhales as well as Grey and Harbour Seals,and there is also a small resident group ofBeluga here all year round! During our 2-night stay at Saguenay Fjord, we will joina whale-watching cruise on the St.Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord,hoping for our first glimpse of the area'sfamous Belugas and other marinemammals. At dusk we will visit a viewinghide, where we have a good chance ofobserving Black Bear.Next we cross by ferry to the GaspéPeninsula on the south side of the St.Lawrence River. Based for three nights inthe heart of the Gaspésie National Park wewill join local guides to explore some of thepark's forest trails looking for Quebec'sthree special members of the deer family:Moose, Caribou and White-tailed Deer. Wewill pass from dense forest to tundra on themountain summits and it is in the latter thatCaribou are found. As we walk, we will lookout for birdlife, including a variety of birds ofprey such as Bald Eagle, Red-tailed andBroad-winged Hawks, American Kestrel,Merlin and Peregrine. We have a goodchance of finding Moose along the trailsand we will look for their huge, elegantforms, which are often surprisingly wellconcealed amongst the trees. After threedays spent enjoying the spectacularscenery and wildlife of Gaspésie NationalPark we continue our drive around theGaspé Peninsula, past beautiful bays,lonely lighthouses and steep cliffs to Percé,a small seaside town on the easternmost tipof the peninsula, its vistas dominated by theimpressive Rocher Percé, a beautifuleroded rock formation jutting out into thesea in front of the town. Percé is an idealbase from which to explore BonaventureIsland, home to the world's largest Gannetcolony - 200,000 Northern Gannets neston this tiny island at the peak of thebreeding season. At the time of our visitthere should still be many birds, if weatherconditions and fish stocks are favourable,though nesting will be over. Blue,Humpback, Fin, Long-finned Pilot andMinke Whales, as well as Atlantic White-sided Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises, visitthe waters around Percé and Gaspé eachyear to feed, often being seen near toshore, and we will make whale-watchingexcursions in search of these cetaceans, aswell as seabirds such as auks, Double-crested Cormorant, and Surf, White-wingedand Black Scoters among many otherspecies. We will also spend a day in thestunning Forillon National Park, where themighty Appalachian Mountain chain, whichoriginates in the southern United States,finally gives way to the Atlantic Ocean.Among Forillon's variety of forest andmountain animals are birds such as Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks, Osprey,migrating flocks of Blue Jays, White-throated, Lincoln's and White-crownedSparrows, and such warblers as AmericanRedstart and Yellow-rumped, Magnolia andBlack-throated Green Warblers, whilstmammals include Beaver and Black Bear -signs of the latter being obvious all over thepark!Quebec is home to a wealth of wildlife, aswell as some of Canada's most beautifulscenery: craggy peaks tumbling down tojagged coastlines, maple and birch-cladmountainsides, and gîtes oozing old-fashioned French charm presenting anenticing landscape for the keen naturalist toexplore.Eastern Canada: Whales,Bears & Fall MigrationA 12-day holiday focusing on the special marine and land mammals of Quebec, as well as migrant birds and spectacular scenery. Monday 9th September - Friday 20th September Cost: £4,395Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationQUEBECUSANEWBRUNSWICKGULF OFSAINT LAWRENCEGASPÉ PENINSULAGASPÉSIENATIONAL PARKFORILLONGASPÉNATIONAL PARKPERCÉPRINCE EDWARDISLANDST LAWRENCE RIVERQUEBEC CITYBAIE-SAINT-PAULTADOUSSACFJORDDU SAGUENAYMONTREALOutline itineraryDay 1Arrive Quebec.Day 2Cap Tourmente andBaie-Saint-Paul.Day 3/4Whale-watching,Tadoussac andSaguenay Fjord.Day 5/7Wildlife excursions,Gaspésie National Park.Day 8/9Whale-watching andvisit to BonaventureIsland, Percé.Day 10Forillon National Park.Day 11Depart Gaspé.Day 12Arrive London.AccommodationComfortable gîtes, hotels andauberges, all with private facilities.FoodAll included in the price.GradingA. Mostly easy wildlife walks butsome more demanding optionalhikes.FocusWhales and other mammals, plussome birdwatching.LeaderPaul Stanbury.Single room supplementTo be advised.Web quick search: CAN06189Gaspésie National ParkBlack BearBeluga Whales