One of the foremost reasons people come to Telegraph Cove is for the opportunity to see whales. It is world-renowned as the best place in the world to see Killer Whales or Orcas. In addition to over 200 Northern Resident Orca who return every summer, to gorge on salmon and rub themselves on the beaches of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, we are visited year-round by pods of Transient Killer Whales, while Humpback Whales forage our narrow straits. Our sea kayak tours will take you to the specific areas we know these whales frequent and our camps are located on beaches we know they swim by. The rest is down to luck, the time of year you come and how much time you spend with us. With our local knowledge and our team of guides, North Island Kayak provides the best opportunities that Vancouver Island can offer.
In addition to the whales we also regularly see Steller Sea Lions, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Dall’s Porpoise, River Otters, Black Bears, Bald Eagles, Mink, Deer, Minke Whales, Harbor Seals and salmon.
Our Wildlife Seasonality Chart is based on data collected from 3 day trips. We do not guarantee sightings of any kind. The more time you spend on the water, the better your chances of sighting wildlife become!
An ever-increasing number of Humpback Whales are returning to this area. Since the early ’80s when there were none, their numbers have steadily climbed to be over 70. These giants of the ocean have become a great favourite among both guests and guides due to their antics and reliable sightings. Tours of over four days are your best bet to see them while kayaking. Affectionally called “humpies”, these magnificent whales are easily identifiable as they dive “humping” their backs and gliding effortlessly by cruise ships and whale watching boats, putting on a show for the tourists.
There doesn’t seem to be a lack of black bears on northern Vancouver Island and sightings have become a regular occurrence. Most sightings occur by the roadside where the bears eat grass, or on one of our numerous beaches, where they can be found flipping over rocks foraging for crabs. Black bears are mostly non-aggressive unless threatened or antagonized. There are very few attacks; however, you should still treat this animal with respect.
Steller Sea Lions
Steller Sea Lions are regularly seen on our sea kayaking holidays of Johnstone Strait & the Broughton Archipelago. Our Steller Sea Lions are the largest of the sea lion family. They weigh in at around 2000 lbs or 900 kg. Males have fur on their backs and chests; thus the name. It is believed that their long-ago land ancestor is the Grizzly Bear.
The bald eagle is one of nature’s success stories. After years of being listed as an endangered species, believed mostly to be due to pesticides interfering with their ability to lay healthy eggs, the bald eagle has persevered and is thriving in a variety of habitats today.