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The Best of Baffin Island: Wildlife encounters to add to your bucket list

April 05, 2018

For those looking for a unique travel experience, Baffin Island is a destination you’ll never forget. Baffin Island wildlife include some of the most sought-after animals in the Arctic, including polar bears and the elusive narwhal.  The largest island in Canada – and fifth largest in the world – trips to Baffin Island offer opportunities to observe Arctic wildlife in their natural, unspoiled habitats. 

Located in Nunavut, travellers to Baffin Island are able to encounter unique wildlife close-up, travel on land and sea among vast landscapes and enjoy all of the wonders of the Arctic in some of the more remote locations in the world. Capture awe-inspiring Arctic photography like no other, with wildlife and incredible scenery that bring life to every shot! 

Keep reading to find out the amazing wildlife you can see on Baffin Island: 

Polar bears

Polar bears are one of the largest carnivores that live on land and can weigh more than 770kg (1700lbs). These bears have always been icons of the Arctic, and one of the most popular animals that guests want to see on our Arctic Safaris. The Canadian Arctic is home to more than 60% of the world’s polar bear population, and you can get chances to spot polar bears in every season throughout Nunavut.  

To learn how to see polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, click here.   


Whale watching is one of the most popular experiences travellers want to cross off their bucket lists in the Arctic and there are several different species of whales to discover!  

Located at the northern reaches of Baffin Island, the floe edge of Lancaster Sound is world-renowned as one of the most prolific wildlife areas and offers some of the best whale watching in the Arctic – including narwhal! Other locations for spotting bowhead whales include Igloolik and Qikiqtarjuaq, NU.  

Narwhal (Monodon monoceros)

Known for their iconic tusk, the narwhal is the most sought after whale among its species. Narwhal live in the Arctic year-round but are not easily spotted. They congregate at the floe edge of Lancaster Sound where adventurers on Narwhal & Polar Bear Safari have seen more than 50 in one sighting! 

To learn more about narwhal, click here. 

Top 10 Fun Bowhead Whale Facts | Arctic Kingdom

Bowhead (Balaena mysticetus)

One of the longest living mammals in existence, scientists have estimated that bowheads can live from 100 to over 200 years. Their massive bow-shaped heads are used to break through thick sea ice up to 60 cm (23 in) and their skull makes up one-third of their total length.  

Our guides at Arctic Kingdom discovered a new bowhead molting location on our Polar Bears & Glaciers of Baffin Island trip, where bowheads congregate and gives travellers the opportunity to get close-up to this majestic mammal.  

 Learn more about bowhead whales here. 

Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas)

The beluga, or white whale, are a smaller species of whales. Their size ranges from 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) and weigh 907 to 1,361 kg (2,000 to 3,000 lbs). Similar to the bowhead whale, belugas have a distinctive bump on their heads called melons. Beluga have diverse communication skills including mimicking human speech and an unusual ability to turn their heads without rotating their body! Travellers on Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage often witness beluga at the floe edge, during the annual migration to their summer feeding grounds.

To learn more about beluga, click here. 

Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

Often spotted on our Kings of the Arctic safari, these enormous creatures are unmistakably one of the most majestic and recognizable animals in the Arctic. They are cherished among wildlife enthusiasts around the world. Walrus are typically about 7.25 to 11.5 feet in size and can weigh up to 1.5 tons (3,000 lbs or 1,360 kg). That is similar to the weight of a small car!  

To learn more about walrus, click here.


Birders from all over the world visit the floe edge on Narwhal & Polar Bear Safari to experience diverse Baffin Island wildlife, including thousands of migratory birds. On this trip, travellers visit the Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a bird lover and wildlife enthusiast haven. It offers opportunities to view 100 species of birds including Yellow-billed Loons, Thayer’s Gulls, Golden Eagles and Willow and Rock Ptarmigans. 

Want to experience amazing Baffin Island wildlife?

 Explore the raw beauty of the Arctic on trips to Baffin Island. View all our Arctic Safaris here. 

Need help planning your trip?

Contact one of our Arctic Travel Advisors to start planning your adventure. Choose from one of our Arctic Safaris that run from March to November or talk to us about planning a Private Journey.

We can build a fully-customized itinerary for opportunities to view prolific wildlife, awe-inspiring landscapes and natural phenomena to bring your Arctic dreams to life. 

Contact us to get started!

By: Elise Zerafa