We went to the HOMALCO First Nations land to see Grizzly Bears ( approx. 8hr trip re boat ride to and from the Homalco lands and including Bear watching).
We were met by Mark The Naturalist and Capt John. Both were very professional and friendly.
We were a group on this tour and en route we came across approx. 60-70White Pacific Porpoises and sailed to them and watched them bow ride the boat for 10-15 mins which was excellent. They were turning on their side looking up at us, while we were on the boat watching them.
This started our tour. It was excellent and Mark and Capt John turned the boat around for us all to see the porpoises which was an excellent experience.
We arrived on our Grizzly tour and unfortunately the weather was very hot. So the bears were not on the river as had been earlier in the morning due to the unusual hot weather.
Also a group of CEO people who think they are self important/VIP's flew in on a green helicopter, I believe this group come once a year due to financial aid to the Homalco nations and they didn't help bringing the Grizzlies bears out to the river by laughing and joking at the river and asking how do they get a licence to shoot a Grizzly bear! Total idiots. Rude. Who had to be advised to quieten down a few times.
Unfortunately this group arrived in their helicopter on our visit this day - we may have had more luck without them initially. They had to be advised to quieten down by Mark and be aware re health and safety issues; which they thought they would ignore. Hmmm ignoring health and safety with a 300-500lb Grizzly bear!
Mark had to speak to them a few times and dealt with them professionally even though they were not with our group. I would fully back Marks actions against this group. Mark was professional and considering all peoples safety at this location.
We finally seen a Grizzly at a distance but due to the noise of the other group the bear moved on.
I advised Mark the naturalist that seeing Grizzlies was part of my bucket list. He was excellent and was doing his utmost to get the bears sighted. Him and James and his wife(both Homalco First Nations) were looking for bears and monitoring the groups safety.
We saw another Grizzly bear sitting in the river trying to fish for salmon and then Mark heard that where the CEO/Green helicopter people had gone their was a female Grizzly and 3 cubs, unfortunately this group wasn't in the tower but by the river and the bears wouldn't come near. Mark explained this to this group and they were rude to him.
They finally left, and as Mark had stated as soon as they left the mother and 3 cubs came towards the tower (we were around and in the tower) and she was trying to get one of the cubs to eat a salmon on the bank. So Mark was right, they came nearer and he had our safety in mind as a group.
We watched them for some time. Mark had promised me we would see bears even though it was too hot for them. We even stayed longer than booked and I am glad Mark had agreed this with James and his wife(Homalco first nations) due to the fact seeing the 3 cubs and mother was excellent and was when we should have left. We stayed an extra 50 mins on the land. The whole group was very grateful we stayed longer and got to see the 3 cubs and mother Grizzly bears.
Mark stated finally seeing the cubs/bears was for me re my bucket list.
On leaving we drove past 2 bears in the river, which had returned after the helicopter group had also gone.
Capt John and Mark were excellent and professional. Also a big thankyou for James and his wife(Homalco First nations) for their time in guiding us on their land and for giving me a Homalco cap)
I would have liked to have rebooked another visit the next day but we were leaving Campbell River that following day.
I would highly recommend Discovery Marine Safaris for the Grizzly Bears and seeing the porpoises was a total 100% bonus. ( we had been on other whale watching tours by other operators the previous days in Victoria and Telegraph Cove; but this was the best at Campbell River - which was down to Mark, Capt John, James and his wife from the Homalco Nations).
I would like to say a big thank you to Mark for the extra time locating the Grizzly bears and cubs.
The weather being hot was against us but he persevered. He is very knowledgeable, professional, has a good sense of humour and polite. A genuine guy who cares for what he does and nature. He also takes the groups safety as paramount.
His expertise and knowledge made our trip a one in a lifetime experience. Glad I met him - thanks Mark for making this trip amazing. The boat ride back was also excellent watching the sun go down over the Homalco land and mountains
If as and when I return to Campbell River I would book Discovery Marine Safaris and return to Homalco first nations land and even do a whale trip with your company.
You may think its expensive trip; but how often in your life do you get to see a Grizzly bears or cubs in the wild, feeding on Salmon in a beautiful First Nations land. Grizzly bears acting natural.
Part of the price goes to the Homalco First Nations, who are very friendly people.
This trip is a must see Grizzly trip and I would highly recommend 100% Discovery Marine Safaris/Homalco. Just wished I had longer in Campbell river due to the fact I would have done another Grizzly Bear trip the next day and booked a whale trip as well.
Big thankyou to Mark, Capt John, James and his wife of the Homalco Nations
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.