Our visit to Omega Park is something that will stay with us for such a long time. This Canadian, one-of-a-kind safari was so unique and something we had never experienced before, it really doesn’t feel over the top to say that our visit to Omega Park was magical.
Just an hour outside of Ottawa and a little longer from Montreal, the indigenous animals roam in a natural environment throughout this 2,200 acre site within the Outaouais Valley and you’re able to self-drive it or get on a tour bus. I should probably start by saying that Park Omega is kind of a zoo, by way of the dictionary definition. But, if a zoo was going to exist, then this is the best kind! The safari takes you along a 15km route where you can spot native animals throughout Omega Park and you can even feed them with carrots that you can purchase from the gift shop if you wish. The park is in Quebec so it’s French name is Parc Omega but everything, as with everywhere in Quebec it seemed, was available in both French and English.
We were incredibly lucky to have park technical director Serge Lussier as our guide and I honestly enjoyed every moment of our time with him. His dedicated work within his field spans decades and his legacy will live on for decades to come due to the amazing work he has done. He came out of retirement to run this park, knowing how special it was and how parks like this can change the world, through the people who visit and what they take away from it.
How Wild Are The Animals At Omega Park?
At Omega Park you’ll find many animals such as moose, wolves bears, elk, arctic fox and bison. Yes, some areas are fenced off, but that’s for the safety of the public and the animals themselves; you don’t want the wolves strolling into a deer’s path, or a visitor for that matter! The animal’s diets are supplemented as they can’t hunt as they would do in the wild, but this definitely feels like you’re in the wild with them. There are however wild animals like raccoons who roam free and seem to have made Omega Park their home – I don’t blame them!
When Is The Best Time To Visit Omega Park?
Omega Park is open all year round so it’s perfect for whenever you’re on your family holidays in Canada. We visited in May, which was pleasantly warm, and the baby animals were hopping around which was lovely. There are so many activities you can do all year round, whether it be during the snow-covered winters or the flower filled summers. Have a look at the year-round activities at Parc Omega for details but I think no matter when you visited you’d see some spectacular things. A bonus of going in spring is you’ll see the black bears emerging from hibernation.
How to Navigate the Park
The park is set up in areas most natural to the animals’ habitats, little eco-systems such as forest, tundra or Alpine region. This ensures predator are fenced off from prey and the animals are comfortable in their environment. The safari path takes you through all these areas seamlessly. Make time to enjoy the First Nations area and Trout Lake and learn about why this area is so special.
Our Highlights At Omega Park
Getting up close and personal with the elk and deer as they pass by the car and put their heads in the window!
Photographing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat and the children being able to touch them.
Without a doubt spending time in Serge’s company impacted our lives and it was such a privilege to learn from him. Learning about the animals and their environment, especially teaching our children about them and impacting their future thoughts about the delicate natural world.
Feeding the passing animals’ carrots and getting out of the car to walk among them.
The many intricate, wooden sculptures – find the Algonquin eagle at the Land of the First Nations for a chance to walk beneath it’s wings and have your wishes granted! The new sculptures at the enchanted house were incredible, the detail and painstaking skill involved in creating them really blew us away.
Feeding the wolves! Serge had helped design a viewing platform to watch the wolves without disturbing them and we were lucky enough to feed them from above, a very special experience! The boys now shout Allez! Allez! every day to call animals over (Serge’s secret call!) It was really interesting to learn all about how a pack works and the hierarchy.
Where To Stay For Omega Park
You can even stay at Park Omega to sleep with wolves in log cabins and tipi’s, which would be a brilliant experience. However, if you were looking for a grander accommodation for a longer stay I would highly recommend the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello nestled in the scenic village of Montebello and surrounded by nature, just 5 minutes down the road from Omega Park. The stunning hotel is the world’s largest log cabin which boasts a huge stone fireplace centrepiece that dominates the interior. Here you can unwind in the health spa, swim in their ginormous pool or enjoy 18 holes of golf before enjoying one of the 6 restaurants and the most enjoyable sleep! The breakfast here was incredible and you can enjoy it whilst feasting on the beautiful view out to the lake.
A Few Tips For Your Visit to Omega Park
Obviously, I realise we were very lucky to have Serge as our guide, but if you self-drive then here are a couple of tips to make the most of your time at Park Omega.
Leave enough time, you can easily spend a whole day here (and night!) so don’t scrimp!
Take a pack of wipes or tissues – the animals can get very slobbery when you feed them!
Don’t have your car cleaned before you go. This is an off the beaten track experience!
Keep your windows half way – the animals can get very intimate!
Pick up the park’s radio station for guidance and directions.
Don’t forget your camera! And binoculars if you have them.
Take walking boots if you want to go on one of the many hiking trails available.
This is a collaborative post. Our tour and entry of Park Omega and stay at Chateau Montebello was kindly gifted but we would definitely go back as a paying guest as we loved it so much.