With a rich diversity of animal and bird species and its unique landscapes, Canada marks a favorite safari destination. As the world’s second-largest country, the landscape here alters throughout the terrain, and the flora and fauna change with it.
Coastlines speckled with whales and bobbing icebergs, rolling prairies bordering the sphere’s largest span of boreal bogs, intact rainforests ascending over the lush mountain ranges, and the barren topography of the arctic highlands- the entire country is a bountiful display of earth science mingled with terrestrial life. Similar to the landscape, many lifeforms are unique and particular to the country, often cherished as national living treasures.
To learn more, here is a list of 15 most epic safaris in Canada to visit at least once in a lifetime.
African Lion Safari combines the essence of African wildlife with the earthbound nature and eco-tourism of Canada. With over half a century of animal husbandry, the park encompasses a fine example of ecological captivity, integrated with modern studies and conservation techniques.
Driving through the Game Reserve is an ultimate experience; where you can watch over a thousand species, including the African lions meander along the reserve, and enjoy the sight of playful elephants while swimming in their pools. Joining the “African Boat” and “Nature Boy” train tours, and feeding and petting the safari’s farm animals, watching the spectacles of parrots or the majestic presentation of the predatory birds- and the amusing list of activities going on.
Situated at the natural boundaries of Hamilton, African Lion Safari provides an authentic exploration of the luxury of Ontario’s locales- hence one of the country’s most favorite family safari destinations. The park also includes a children’s play area, an entertaining water park for people of all ages, together with restaurants and snack kiosks.
Hudson Bay’s shorelines embrace the native habitat of bearded seals, marking the polar bear’s favorite hunting ground from autumn to spring. Labeled as the world’s polar bear capital, the bay expands along with the Churchill River mount, dotted with groups of beluga whales, often easy to spot from the shore.
Hudson Bay Safaris evolve around whale watching boat trips and polar bear excursions from close proximity. The most iconic vista of Churchill’s nordic bears is from the surrounding hilltops, overlooking the bear ambushes, playtimes, or merely resting over the boreal marshlands- sided with colonies of migrating birds such as sea ducks and ptarmigan.
A little far from the coasts, caribou woodlands are home to Nordic animal species including arctic foxes, Canadian moose, wolves and wolverines, and black bears- a perfect destination for a day’s wildlife hike. For a night’s stay, eco-lodges offer roofed shelters on the bay, presenting a chance to watch the curious polar bears just outside the chalet’s windows, while preparing cozy camping meals at the comfort of a crackling fireplace. Located above the Arctic Circle, Churchill ranks as a renowned northern light viewing destination, lasting from early Fall to the being of spring.
The country’s icy oceanic waters shelter numerous Nordic sea mammals, particularly whales. In Spring, Myriads of humpback whales return to their native home around the coasts of the Great Bear Forests. Kayaking and boat tours display the best views of these whales, known for the splashy appearances on the surface. Additionally, coastal dears are common to spot, together with the seasonal flocks of migrating birds and the blooming wildlife in nearby forests
Blackney Pass ranks as a premium summer safari, sheltering numerous peculiar sea mammals including sea otters, humpback whales, bearded seals, dolphins, and birds of prey flying over the Pacific coastlines. Besides the great many wildlife sighting occasions, the region boasts the most pleasant of temperatures this time of the year; Salmon fishing, swimming with the whales and dolphins, kayaking, canoeing, and camping around the coastline backcountry lodges, highlight the recurrent recreation here.
Every fall, multiple humpback whales migrate to their winter residence in the deep waters of central America. Characterized with the sight of breaching whales, Vancouver Island bids a delightful whale watching destination, accompanied with outdoor hot springs on the shores- a suiting remedy for the early fall’s brisk winds.
Similar to African Lion Safari, Parc Safari aims to educate while providing ecological refuges for numerous animal species from both Canada and around the globe. Visitors can drive through the vast game reserve of African animals, or walk through the glass tunnels amid the large feline zones-where humans remain in captivation and the big cats are free to roam-, or wonder at the outlandish life of reptilians; Parc Safari conceals countless attractions.
A petting zoo allows it to come in close contact with domestic animals- an all-time favorite for the young visitors. Safari Aquaparc takes the fun to another height, presenting glides with viewpoints over animal enclosures, fun slides, and aquatic games at Hemmingford, Québec.
The highest concentration of grizzly bears in Canada is protected within the Great Bear RainForest and the heritage valley of Bella Coola. Each summer, the bears are lured to the salmon pools and fishing creeks, occasionally followed by their adorable offsprings.
Besides fishing, the bears prepare for their long winter hibernation, indulging in fruit foraging, climbing up the verdant slopes, finding medicinal herbs on the meadows, and even taking hot spring baths. Helicopter tours over the canopy of temperate forests broadcast a birds-eye perspective of the bears’ lives and the region’s hidden attractions.
These unique ecoregions are home to the great spirit bear as well; pale-colored and quite easy to spot between the brown and green backgrounds of forests. Eagles, horned owls, blacktail deers, and many other unique species of migrating birds are the region’s wildlife specialties.
Tweedsmuir Park Lodge sits amid the forest, hosting the safari visitors of the Bella Coola. They grant cozy accommodations, gourmet food sided with British Columbia’s exquisite wines, and touring facilities such as helicopter trips, kayaking tours, and on-foot jungle excursions.
Grizzly bears are the iconic feature of North America’s wilderness; a creature both majestic and awe-inspiring to observe. Several locations across the country are valued as grizzly safari destinations, each possessing a unique landscape and charisma.
At Ni’iinlii’njik Territorial Park, summer is the fishing season for grizzly bears. With the vegetations thriving at a lower rate compared to those in BC or Alberta, spotting the salmon-feasting bears becomes rather simple. Temperatures of the summer winds in Yukon reach below zero occasionally. While fishing, the drenched fur of grizzlies freeze into hanging ice-locks, providing an excellent sight for capturing rare and striking portraits.
Caribous, Canadian moose, wolves, and bison are the park’s permanent residents. The adventure group at Bear Cave Mountain is renowned for its posh tourism and facilitated camping; Helicopter safari tours, guided on-foot trail guides and eco-tourism, comprise the camp’s amenities, adjacent to the First Nation reserves and heritage fishing spots.
One of the world’s largest protected eco-zones lies in Wood Buffalo National Park. It embraces a large territory of verdant foothills and boreal wetlands of Northwest Territories and Alberta. Testified as the ancient residence to Canadian wood buffalo, the reserve was once the ancient hunting ground for the natives.
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park is highlighted for its mesmerizing landscape, watching buffalos swim across the low-lying rivers in large herds, or get a close look at the roaming buffalos just outside your car window.
Backcountry shelters and tent pitches accommodate the park’s visitors, integrated with basic facilities. world’s biggest beaver dam with numbers of adorable beavers around the streams, other native species such as the majestic moose, caribou, rare amphibians, lined with extensive hiking trails and campgrounds- amid the legendary landscape of the reserve.
Native to the boreal forests of North America, the Canadian moose is the country’s national mascot. Algonquin reserve is streaked with an interlocked chain of lakes and rivers, presenting an ideal habitat for these water-loving creatures. The extensive canoeing routes suggest a composed journey through the reserve’s wilderness, sided with interesting amphibians, migrating birds and the sight of grazing moose sometimes sided with a curious calf.
The park’s wildlife sightseers can stay either at tent pitches or backcountry chalets, highlighted with road panels for self-guided safari and heritage tours. However, an extensive immersion into the detailed overview of the native animals and geographical landscape requires resource and experience; Voyageur Quest grants moose spotting and photography kayak tours, along with camping facilities, gourmet-grade cuisine, and much more.
Dog sledding existed in Yukon since the existence of the initial humans in North America. Aboriginal tribes tamed the arctic wolves into graceful huskies, and have served the First Nation people for thousands of years. Canadian Eskimo Dogs, particularly Inuit Dogs and Labrador Huskies, are marked as national treasures.
Yukon’s sledding dog safaris peek into the lives of Eskimo breeders, ancient training techniques, and the world’s most adorable puppies. Although they are trained working dogs, most of the sledding huskies are friendly and well-mannered with their unfamiliar visitors. The safari tours also provide personalized sledding packs for the guests to roam the terrain of Yukon the ancient way.
Ranked as the largest rodents worldwide, Canadian beavers are famed as masterful dam engineers and the country’s national emblem. Wood carving, dam building, and the rudder tail characterize the Canadian beavers- often spotted while building enthusiastically.
On the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains of Parc national de la Mauricie, numerous lakes, ponds, and creeks are decorated with beaver logs. Over a hundred lakes offer ample opportunity for spotting the beavers by water; paddling the way through the scenic national reserve and watching them build a wooden artwork or just lazing around the tranquil lakeshores.
The park is a popular safari destination for spotting moose and the rare Canadian wood turtles as well. Semi-serviced campsites are dotted along with the reserve’s landforms, affording a humble refuge for Maurice’s visitors throughout the year.
Whether watching the courting and nesting rituals, or gazing at the feathery patterns and vivid colors, or simply listening to the fey melodies of the songbirds’ world-bird safari tours reveal the wonders of another kingdom.
With almost 700 hundred unique bird species and thousands of migrating birds each year, the country is a must-have on every bird watcher’s bucket list.
Point Pelee National Park boasts plains of marshlands, reaching up to the verges of Lake Erie. The sparse tree coverage and open wetlands provide a premium birdwatching ground here. In springs and summers, Point Pelee is the destination of migrating songbirds from across the continent. Birds festival in May celebrates the return of avifauna in this nature reserve.
Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve, on the other hand, houses numerous bird species, including rare bird groups, flanked by spectacular boreal landforms of Newfoundland.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary holds true to its name, welcoming hundreds of fascinating migrating birds, alongside native species, in the woodlands of the Calgary area.
African Lion Safari displays domesticated bald eagles’ performances at the enchantment of their spectators; though watching these birds of prey in their natural habitat is described as a truly rewarding experience.
Squamish River banks swirl around the valley’s primary forests and its inhabitants; Elks, black bears, wolves, and shy cougars prowl the land while the sky remains the bald eagle’s prime territory. Eagle safaris here run from the beginning of winter to February, presenting prizewinning photographing tours and kayaking safaris.
Noted as one of the country’s bird treasures, Sheffield Mills celebrates the splendor of the Nova Scotian bald eagles each winter. For decades, the bird feeding festival attracts hundreds of circling eagles over the live-feed farms, presenting a rich aerial display of these magnificent creatures.
Following the damp footprints, looking out for scratched tree barks or resting beds, following the bear trails in Canada is a centuries-old entertainment. As the tradition has it, horseback rides enabled the longer extrusion, compensated with the remarkable vista of black and grizzly bears country.
Marking a prominent bear habitat, the lush jungles of the South Chilcotin Mountains are veined with groomed trails and flourishing wildlife. Regional adventure tours offer safari excursions, horses, multi-day adventures, cozy wood cabins, and delectable meals.
Thrilling and unforgettable are the words associated with the unique experience of kayaking around the killer whales. Despite their predatory nature, Orcas are rather friendly and accustomed to the nearby kayakers. From mid-spring to October, the salmon run draws countless whales to the bordering shorelines of Vancouver.
Kayaking along the Strait of Georgia, particularly the picturesque Gulf Islands, marks one of the world’s eminent whale watching routes, topped with posh tourism and modern amenities. Though the earth’s best location for following the killer whales lies at Johnstone Strait.
Each summer hundreds of whales travel across the bay, following the migrating salmon trail. Telegraph Cove sea resort serves as a marine camp for the region’s kayakers, exhibiting the whale-speckled waters, Broughton Archipelago’s phenomenon landforms and the Broughton Archipelago Paddler Inn-a self-declared paddler’s paradise.
Open grasslands and the Atlantic coast of Elliston transform into the courting and breeding grounds of Puffins. Nicknamed as “sea parrot”, these migrating birds are enlisted among one of the world’s prettiest sea birds At a paddling distance, Avalon Peninsula’s ecological reserve is a seasonal haven to thousands of Puffins each year, only observed from a tour boat or kayak-for the more adventurous visitors.
Cape Breton islands and its bird sanctuary are a seasonal epicenter for puffins, mingling Nova Scotia’s breathtaking vistas with displays of Puffin’s wooing efforts, newly hatched chicks, and the famed fishing skills of these friendly birds.
Among the extraordinary safaris in Canada, the rarest and most rewarding is the blue whale safari, following the trail of the world’s largest animal known to ever exist. While living in the cold bottoms of the northwest Atlantic and rarely resurfaces, it is often that blue whales are spotted, straying off to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and around Baffin Islands.
Please note that these mammals remain rare to spot and blue whale safari tours are often combined with other whale watching excursions such as the biosphere’s second largest mammal, the fin whale, beluga, and killer whales. Whale safari season starts from May to October in Canada, varying from small zodiac boats, kayaks, and even fancy cruise tours- fusing oceanic wilderness with luxury tourism.