Hi, Everyone!

My wife, Ingrid, and I are planning a trip to Vancouver Island for this coming September and into early October. Does anyone have any hot tips for

  1. Best all round wildlife spots / areas
  2. Best whale-watching / bear-watching companies – esp. Tofino, Campbell River and Victoria areas
  3. Best places to try for wolves and cougar
  4. Best areas for Vancouver Island Marmot – esp. around Mt. Washington?

Many thanks!

Miles Foster

Post author

Miles Foster


  • Ian Thompson

    Hi Miles,
    Lots of suggestions. It might be easiest to have a zoom call to discuss. If you e-mail me at ibtson@yahoo.com we could set up a time to connect.
    Regards, Ian

  • JeffHigdon

    Hi Miles, my wife and I spent a week there last September (late in the month). I’d highly recommend Homolco Wildlife and Cultural Tours out of Campbell River for grizzly bears in Bute Inlet. We also had a great whalewatching trip with Campbell River Adventures. Dipped on marmots at Mount Washington, we may have been too late in the year. The chair left also wasn’t running on the weekday we were there, so weekends might be best. You can read my trip report here:

    Good luck!


    • Miles Foster

      Thanks, Jeff,

      Thank you. Yes, I have read your report, which is very helpful especially as it is exactly the time of year we are planning to visit. Unfortunately, Homolco are fully booked but we have found other tour operators in the area who are not and who also receive excellent reviews, so we will probably go with one of those. Yes, I suspect you are right about the marmots but I have written to the Marmot Recovery Foundation to see what they have to say. Thanks again.

      • Ian Thompson

        The marmots are generally in hibernation by the beginning of September, unfortunately. However, September/October is the best time of year for cetaceans, if that’s any consolation.

        • Miles Foster

          Thanks, Ian,

          as I suspected… we will be booking several whale- and bear-watching tours as well as scouring the woods and waters.

  • simonfeys

    We were there in August last year (combined with a few days in Washington), and missed the marmots as well (too hot when we were there?). We did a whale-watching trip from Tofino (where we saw a.o. Sea otters, Steller’s sea lion and 2 Grey whales), and one from Telegraph Cove (several Humpbacks, Orca’s, Dall’s porpoise and Pacific white-sided doplhins), both of which were very good. I am planning to write a short report about it soon, if you need more information, just ask. All my mammal-sightings can be found at this link: https://observation.org/users/40127/observations/?date_after=2022-08-01&date_before=2022-08-31&species_group=2&rarity=&search=&advanced=on&species=&sex=&province=&validation_status=&life_stage=&activity=&method=


    • landerz19

      Hi Simon,

      I am planning on visiting the area in late August with my family. It is mostly a family trip with not much wildwatching involved, but I´ll try to see orcas. Telegraph Cove seems to be the place for that, could you please give me some more details about the trip that you did there? I am also interested in visiting Tofino but I might give more importance to birdwatching in that part of the trip.



  • Miles Foster

    Thank you, Simon,

    sounds as though you had a good trip. Telegraph Cove is a very special spot, isn’t it? It will be our first trip to Tofino, so fingers crossed! Thanks for the link.


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