Canada Greatest Wildlife Experiences

From the glacial grandeur of the Canadian Rockies to the spume-wreathed coastline of the Pacific Rim, Canada offers some amazing wildlife experiences
A raccoon in the Canadian Rockies
A raccoon in the Canadian RockiesFlickr

Sequestered in the protected environs of its 38 National Parks and 8 National Park Reserves are a host of stunning habitats, where visitors can sample the awesome delights of Canada's wild heritage. You can go snorkelling among migrating salmon in Vancouver Island's Campbell River or head out to the massive puffin colony at Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. One can even sign up for a visit to the tundra wastes of Labrador to witness the migration, from the south, of the of the barren ground caribou, with the black bears, wolves, and the elusive Arctic fox right behind them. What an amazing experience it is to see the gathering of over 3,000 beluga whales that arrive each year at the Churchill River estuary in Manitoba, to feed and give birth to their babies.


Summer visitors go hiking, whitewater rafting, paddling, mountain biking, cycling, birding and mountaineering. In winter snow-lovers hit its ski slopes around Lake Louise Ski Area, Sunshine Village, and Mount Norquay, and there's also the allure of ice walks, snowshoeing, and dogsled rides. In summer and winter, wildlife tours open up sightings of moose, grizzly bears, caribou and wolves. In autumn, fall colours are a magnet for photographers!

Millions of wildlife and nature lovers have, down the decades, been exploring the wild expanses of Alberta at the million-acre Banff National Park, Canada's first national park, designated in 1885. The beginnings of its potential as a secure habitat for its fabulous array of flora, fauna, avifauna and snow-capped mountains and gorgeous vistas, was kicked off by the unexpected discovery of a natural hot spring in the folds of the Canadian Rockies, and the creation of the 26 sq km Banff Hot Springs Reserve. The rest, as they say, is history. The rapid development of the town of Banff (Canada's highest town at 4,540 feet) is largely attributed to the growing footfalls of visitors to the pristine environs of the National Park who arrive here, not only to enjoy its fabulous setting and wildlife, but also for its alluring range of adventure activities. An intrinsic part of the UNESCO-acclaimed Canadian Rocky Mountain World Heritage Site, Banffs highest elevation is the 11,850 ft Mount Forbes. Its glacial lakes, Louise, Moraine, Bow, and Peyto have become hubs of intense visitor attention. Visitors also throng the 16-mile long Banff Legacy Trail which showcases some of the most beautiful aspects of the park.

A beautiful view of the Rockies
A beautiful view of the RockiesFlickr


From March to June and again from September to November, visitor activity at the nearly 3 million acre Jasper National Park is intense. Home to creatures great and small, Jasper with its multitude of grizzly and black bears, mountain caribou, moose and wolves is a magnet for the wildlife buff. Its also the ancient stamping ground for the likes of marmots, pikas and Columbian ground squirrels, and a vast array of avifauna, including the bald eagle.

Sharing space with Banff National Park, Jasper is part of the UNESCO-acclaimed Rocky Mountain World Heritage Site (and the largest NP in the Canadian Rockies), and a core part of the worlds largest national park system. Home to the world's second largest glacier-fed lake, Maligne Lake (the best place for moose sightings along with Pocahontas Ponds), this National Park in Alberta was established in 1907. Each year its massive terrain easily accommodates the stream of 2 million tourists visiting for its wildlife, the Columbia Icefields and pristine eco-systems and the summer camping ( there are around 82 backcountry campsites), scenic drives, fishing, horseback riding and hiking. In winter, Marmot Basin is a huge draw for the skiing and snowboarding community. Moose-viewing (by the Athabasca River) is best from August-September in the rutting season. Straddling the Continental Divide, the Columbia Icefield is the source of at least eight important glaciers of these the most spectacular is Athabasca.

Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park
Medicine Lake, Jasper National ParkFlickr


Looking for big moose in the wilds of Canada Head for the ancient forestlands of Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park with its assiduously protected lakes, rivers, bogs and glorious canopy of conifers. Canada's oldest provincial park (estd. 1893), Algonquin offers the promise of over 5-10 sightings in a day of these beasts which gather here in multitudes.

In the spring you might find moms and babies trying to find salt (spread by the rangers to thaw the ice) by the park's main road or ditches in this ample habitat. The park is Canadas best hot-spot for moose-viewing, which can be done along the main road itself. Moose antlers can grow to over 3 ft in length and 40 lbs in weight, each year, to replace the old ones. The park, which has 40 species of mammals, is also big on black bears and wolves (who are particularly vocal on August nights) and is home to 2,000 beaver ponds. If you're here in April or in early May, do join locals in the annual spring rite of ice-out when the ice cap on a lake disappears.

Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Provincial ParkFlickr


This fabulous wilderness landscape in British Columbia's truly wild and isolated outpost of mists and surf, marine magic and lush rainforest was the haunt of intrepid adventure buffs undaunted by its inhospitable landscape and driven by the allure of its wild beauty. With the birth of the National Park in 1970, a lot of things changed. The 126,500 acre sprawl can be found on Vancouver Island, where today millions of visitors follow the Pacific Rim Highway to enjoy some of the most spectacular views of Canadas beautiful Pacific Coast. Camping, fishing, surfing, whale viewing and whale festivals are just a few of its charms. A favourite is Long Beach, an untamed coastal space running parallel to the lush emerald rainforest and far mountains, between the town of Tofino in the north and Ucluelet in the south, where visitors base themselves. In the ocean park area, the archipelago of the Broken Group Islands lies at the heart of Barkley Sound. East of Ucluelet, it is a hotspot for kayaking. One can enjoy its labyrinthine regions only by boat. Hikers head for the 10,130-acre West Coast Traila gorgeous world of unspoilt rainforest and remarkable beauty, its open between May and late September each year.


Spread over 11,070,000 acres across the spectacular wilderness of Alberta and the Northwest Territories lies Canada's largest national park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park is an important IUCN conservancy space and one of the last bastions of the world remaining. Visitors arrive in droves to marvel over the world's largest beaver dam and in-land freshwater deltas - the Peace-Athabasca Delta.

The salt plains of Wood Buffalo National Park
The salt plains of Wood Buffalo National ParkFlickr

Canada's diverse landscapes offer a breathtaking array of wildlife experiences that are as varied and vast as the country itself. Canada is a destination that promises unforgettable moments, each set against some of the most spectacular backdrops the planet has to offer.

Getting there

The flights available from Indian international airports to Canada are mostly connecting flights, landing at Vancouver International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport among others. You will require a Visitor Visa to travel to Canada.

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