A Guide to Wildlife Watching in Western Canada

If you are an animal lover and like to (safely) observe animals in their natural habitats, there are a variety of unique species to view in Canada, and specifically Western Canada. You may like to set out on your own for a hike or walk in an area that wildlife frequents, and hope to observe the wildlife you are seeking. Or you may be more inclined to take a guided tour with the specific goal of seeing particular animals.

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Either way, there are several cities, areas, and destinations in Western Canada that are perfect for wildlife watching. Consider the following areas as you plan for wildlife observation in Western Canada:

Churchill, Manitoba

Churchill is located in northern Manitoba and is actually known as the polar bear capital of the world. The polar bears are drawn to this area in the fall because they feed near the shoreline of the Hudson Bay. You can take a vehicle tour to follow the polar bears.

In the summer, you can see beluga whales in the Churchill River. If you have always wanted to see a polar bear in its natural habitat, consider a visit, or even a move, to the polar bear capital of the world. 

Banff, Alberta

To watch wildlife in Banff, you must visit Banff National Park, which contains some of the Canadian Rockies and many lakes. This combination of mountains and lakes attracts diverse wildlife to the park, including moose, bears, bighorn sheep, elk, and mountain goats.

If you would like to move close to Banff National Park to be able to observe this diverse wildlife throughout the year, there are many Banff homes for sale.  

Sidney/Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Sidney is a town on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, but the whole Island is great for wildlife watching. Sidney, in particular, is known for whale watching, and you can take whale-watching boat tours that leave directly from Sidney to see orcas (also known as killer whales).

Vancouver Island in general is a great jumping off point for whale-watching, and there are also humpback whales and minke whales to be seen from the Island. If you are hoping to catch a glimpse of some majestic whales breaching the water, consider a move or visit to Vancouver Island.

Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia

The Great Bear Rainforest is located on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia and known for being the home of Canada’s three bear types: grizzly bear, black bear, and spirit bear (a type of black bear with genes that cause lighter, cream colored fur). This is a great option for a visit if your goal is to observe bears. 

Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan

Prince Albert National Park is located in central Saskatchewan and home to many species of Canadian wildlife, including bison, wolves, elk, and bear. This area is a great option for a visit or move if you hope to see the amazing bison, as well as many others.

Elk Island National Park, Alberta

Elk Island National Park is east of Edmonton and famous for the conservation of bison. You can take a guided tour to see the bison, and your vehicle may even get stuck in a herd of bison. While the park is known for bison, you may also see elk, moose, and deer on your visit

There are so many outstanding options to see the diverse and beautiful wildlife of Western Canada. Whether you are whale-watching or polar bear spotting, be sure to maintain a safe distance from the animals and to preserve their natural habitats.

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