Seek out Spirit Bears Great Bear Rainforest, Canada
Shy, elusive and shrouded in mystery, the enchanting white bears that roam the pristine river valleys of British Columbia are a rare genetic anomaly. Spirit bears – also known as the kermode bear or moskgm’ol (white bear) – are relatives of the black bear, but a single recessive gene causes one in 10 to be born with a white coat. Embark on a spirit bear tour during September when a banquet of salmon leaps from the water in a frenzied surge upstream.
Travelling by boat to the Great Bear Rainforest, you’ll traverse lush valleys and bubbling rivers on foot so your guide can bring you within a stone’s throw of these magnificent animals. Watch with wonder as they forage for berries or gorge on freshly caught fish. The bears are protected by the Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy – the only conservancy of its kind in the world – and the local Kitasoo Xaixais people have a vast knowledge of the species dating back thousands of years. Lean on their expertise for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with these fur balls you’ll want to cuddle but definitely shouldn’t.
Four-day stays at Spirit Bear Lodge start from about US$2075 a person, twin share, including meals, all transportation to bear viewing areas and your choice of various half- and full-day tours.