Witness the majestic orca whales in their natural habitat, from aboard a cruise boat, from the shore of your camp or from your sea kayak.
Destinations > Western Canada > Johnstone Strait Orca Camp
three nights camping, meals as per itinerary, whale watching cruise, camping equipment, guiding and park fees
Mondays; 04 Jul - 05 Sep '16
Wildlife & Safari
Few camping experiences can match the fascination and beauty of this sea kayaking adventure in Johnstone Strait, one of the best places in the world to watch orcas in the wild. British Columbia waters are home to around 250 resident orcas, which congregate in the Southern Queen Charlotte Sound and Johnstone Strait during the summer months. Possibly no other place on earth boasts such a large number of these beautiful animals.
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Chance to view orca whales in the wild from your sea kayak, whale watching boat or the pebbled beach of your camp.
Opportunities to see other marine wildlife including minke whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions
The beautiful seaside location of the base camp, situated along a beach adjacent to an old growth forest.
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This morning you will take a taxi from your hotel to Port McNeill where you will meet your fellow travellers at 9.15am in the lobby of the Haida Way Motor Inn. From here take a taxi (at your own cost) to the wharf for your whale watching trip aboard the Naiad Explorer. This 55 foot vessel offers comfort, heat and washroom facilities for passengers. The trip is between four and five hours in duration and lunch will be provided onboard. Dress warmly as it can be cool out on the water, even in the summer months. The probability of observing orcas is extremely high, however sightings cannot be guaranteed! Other species that frequent the area that you may have a chance of seeing are humpback whales, minke whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises, harbour seals and Stellar sea lions. Upon your return to Port McNeill you will meet your watertaxi for the one hour trip that brings you to the base camp where the guides will brief you on the base camp set up, sea kayaking procedures and safety precautions. Enjoy dinner served oceanside. (L)(D)
Spend the next few glorious days exploring the main areas frequented by the orcas by kayak. There will also be time for short hikes and interpretive walks or beachcombing. Some of the popular kayaking routes are:
Paddling west along the Vancouver Island shoreline
Paddling across the Strait to Blackney Passage
Kayaking around Hanson Island
Paddling east for a full view of Robson Bight
Your experienced guides will take into account weather, currents, the orca’s travel patterns and the tides to make the most of your daily outings. Enjoy well balanced, nutritious and great tasting meals and barbeques – they taste best while watching wildlife right from the kitchen or from your folding chair on the beach; perhaps with a glass of a locally grown red wine or a cup of organic coffee in your hand. (B)(L)(D)
The beautiful shoreline and beach where your base camp is located sits adjacent to old-growth forest with trees that are hundreds of years old. This area is perfect for spending time on the trail as part of an interpretive hike or for capturing photos of resident wildlife such as bald eagles, ravens, seagulls and ducks, the seals, sea lions and rare otters. You may even see a bear roaming in the distance. The pristine seaside location offers many advantages over a moving camp or expedition style trip. It offers more comfort and much more time to sea kayak and whale watch. The camping area includes sleeping tents as well as a “camp kitchen” with two big table and bench combinations, camping chairs and a small library. There are beaches all along the coastline for strolling, and great fishing holes right off the shore. Group activities include hiking, interpretation of natural and native history as well as relaxation. (B)(L)(D)
Weather conditions permitting, there might be time after breakfast for one last morning paddle before the water taxi arrives to take you back to Port McNeill. From here you’ll take a taxi (at your own cost) to Port Hardy where you will spend the night. (B)(L)
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