It was our 3rd journey to Churchill, Manitoba – The Polar Bear Capital of the World. It was late October when we flew right into Winnipeg the evening prior to triggering on a polar bear safari to our remote lodge on Hudson Bay. The last time we saw Seal River Lodge with Churchill Wild, it was cold, this moment about, it was a pleasant absolutely no levels Celcius (32F) in Winnipeg. The weather condition expectation for Churchill was around minus 10 levels. Perfect weather condition for polar bear trips. This was mosting likely to be a great week.
Polar Bear Tours Churchill Wild
We believed we were the great individuals taking our 3rd journey to see the polar bears with Churchill Wild. That is up until we satisfied an additional pair from Switzerland that had actually been 9 times a male from China that was checking out for the 6th time. Polar Bear trips are addicting. Once you’ve seen a polar bear in the wild, the experience sticks with you and you wish to return over and over.
We had actually checked out Churchill when in the summertime and afterward in the winter months. Churchill Wild has actually included numerous polar bear trips to their toolbox with polar bear safaris such as their Den Emergence Tour to see women polar bears and their newborn cubs, the Cloud Wolves of Katai, and the summer journeys to see Birds, Bears, and Belugas. See every one of Churchill Wild’s Polar Bear Tours
Polar Bears in Summer
Summertime trips are rather various from the winter months however equally as amazing. Seeing polar bears with the environment-friendly expanse landscape contrasting their white layers is a view to look at. You can review everything about that experience in these write-ups: Walking with Polar Bears – The Greatest Arctic Safari / Read much more: Kayaking with Beluga Whales in Churchill
Arctic Gear Provided
After touchdown in Winnipeg on our trip from Toronto, we grabbed our baggage and strolled nearby to The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel where Churchill Wild safari visitors invest the evening prior to flying out the following early morning.
Everyone that publications a polar bear scenic tour with Churchill Wild is offered a parka, snow trousers, and winter months boots to assist endure the Northern Canadian chilly. Weather can be unforeseeable and it can quickly drop to minus 40 Celcius with the windchill. When checking out Churchill for polar bear safaris, it’s important to layer and be gotten ready for anything.
Make certain to load, mittens, balaclava, hats, cozy socks, and thermal layers of merino woollen. We likewise loaded hand warmers and toe warmers which are a lifesaver. We have a whole blog post regarding layering for winter and you can view our video clip from the last time we remained in Churchill with -45 level weather condition. Read our complete post: 5 Winter Layering Tips to Dress for Extreme Cold Weather
Orientation in Winnipeg
We increased to the leading flooring of the Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel for our suitable, ordered our equipment, and invested the remainder of the mid-day repacking and arranging our bags for the Greatest Arctic Safari you will certainly ever before have.
After a fast positioning regarding what to anticipate on a polar bear journey to Seal River Lodge, our team of 9 individuals delighted in a dish with each other while being familiar with each other. It was a brief dish though, as trips to Churchill with Calm Air leave early in the early morning. Our wake-up telephone call was for 4 am.
Flights to Churchill, Manitoba
Morning came early, however we were so thrilled we didn’t really feel worn out. We all strolled en masse to the flight terminal covered in our matching parkas triggering greater than a couple of individuals to take notification. Our Churchill Wild companions did all the benefit us making check-in a wind. They were also enabled ahead with protection with us to ensure most of us jumped on the airplane. Now that is solution!
Calm Air is the airline company that is the portal to the North. The trip to Churchill from Winnipeg is 2 1/2 hours and it is the coolest experience. Everyone goes out onto the path where our steward welcome us while putting on Canada Goose parkas. No pictures are enabled on the path, however that’s fine, this is the best time to simply delight in the experience. We are heading to the Great White North.
Arrival in Churchill
The traveling day isn’t over when you land in Churchill, there is still another trip to go. We collected our baggage from the belt and place on our snow trousers and cozy weather condition equipment to enter into a tiny twin-engine airplane that took each Churchill Wild team to their particular lodges.
We took a brief scenic tour while we awaited our trip to the polar bear holding center close by. This is where polar bears that have actually strayed as well near to community and won’t leave are placed in holding while waiting to be transferred away from the city. You can review everything about it below: Best Things to Do in Churchill Manitoba
Churchill Wild Eco Lodges – Sustainability & Responsibility
Churchill Wild has 3 lodges on Hudson Bay – Dymond Lake Eco Lodge, Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, and our holiday accommodation for the following 5 days, Seal River Heritage Heritage Lodge.
The trip has to do with 20 mins to cover the 60 kilometres trip north from Churchill. It was a lovely breathtaking trip where we saw the icy coasts of Hudson Bay and some moose working on the land listed below.
Seal River Heritage Lodge
Seal River Lodge has its very own airstrip, and as the lodge emerged with our home window, I can really feel the expectancy grab. Will we come one-on-one with a polar bear quickly?
Our hosts and overviews were waiting by the airstrip with the last team of polar bear spectators, and as we got off, they bid goodbye. It was after that on the ATVs to make our method to the relaxing lodge for an intro, some warm coffee, and reduced and witness our very first polar bear discovery!
This heritage lodge is a deluxe eco-lodge situated on the coasts of Hudson Bay. At high trend, the waters come right approximately the residential property. The silent cove was when a goose searching lodge and a beluga whale study terminal that made it a prime quit for the polar bear movement to the Hudson Bay. It was changed right into a polar bear lodge three decades back by Mike and Jeanne Reimer. Since after that, Churchill Wild has actually ended up being the leading polar bear scenic tour driver in Churchill and the just one of its kind that strolls with polar bears.
The lodges comply with a minimal strategy to its high-end safaris. Electricity is solar-powered and each lodge was developed utilizing regional and recycled lumber with a style to enable as much sunshine as feasible to lessen using power. Trust me, it can obtain downright warm in there when the sunlight is radiating, also when it is listed below absolutely no. Water from the lodges originates from close-by lakes that are three-way triple-filtered.
Most notably, a lot of Churchill Wild’s polar bear trips are carried out walking to lessen their use mechanized automobiles. The lodges lie in prime wild animals hangouts, so we don’t need to go much to see wild animals. By approaching see polar bears, we hardly affect their daily lives.
Once the polar bears notice us, they determine if they will certainly enable our team to remain or otherwise. If they are fine, we reach stand and view them for a bit prior to carrying on. Our overviews never ever overstayed their welcome, regardless of just how excellent the photo ops were.
The Reverse Zoo – Polar Bears Watching Humans
The lodge has gorgeous bay home windows encountering in all instructions. There are ranges and field glasses established to see polar bears distant, however they are commonly just spending time the lodge. This lodge lies precisely a silent cove on the Hudson Bay where polar bears often get in the ice moves once it ices up.
Its prime place makes it the best area to view polar bears. If you didn’t wish to leave the substance, you didn’t need to. One lady missed the early morning strolls to just delight in the sights by herself from the cozy fire inside. She saw polar bears galore from the home windows.
Walking with Polar Bears
Unlike various other polar bear trips in Churchill, a journey to Seal River Lodge obtains you out from behind the glass of an expanse buggy and out strolling on the Tundra with polar bears. We went outside evictions two times daily for 2 to 3 hours on each stroll. On standard, we had to do with 100 meters from polar bears however they commonly strolled more detailed with interest and in some cases we had to do with 20 meters from the bears.
Safety Training for Guests Walking with Polar Bears
The strolling polar bear trips are carried out in tiny teams to make certain that the overviews can keep an eye on the security of all visitors and lessen the influence on the bears and their all-natural environment. We had a team of 9 visitors with 3 overviews (Boomer, Jess, and Dave) guaranteeing our security. Before starting any type of strolls, visitors get comprehensive rundowns on security treatments and we were all informed regarding just how to act when at polar bears.
Before leaving the substance, our overviews Boomer and Jess revealed us just how to stroll in a file, just how to relocate a pinwheel, and just how to stand once we quit and they considered it secure. Each individual needed to align in a “V” shoulder behind shoulder so we can snoop on the bears while covering the quickest range feasible. If births see a lengthy line, they can check out that as a danger. When we stroll file they are not worried.
We after that quit when we were within a risk-free range from the bear and can expand right into a limited angled line. It is just after the bear has actually seen us, really feels comfy with us, and allows us stay that we are enabled to extend straight to take our images and video clips. It is an efficient and tried and tested system that has actually enabled Churchill Wild to run these trips for years without occurrence.
But you have to follow your overviews. When they claim cams down, there is no reluctance, cams have to drop. When they claim, to begin transforming the pinwheel, you require to comply with instructions. The motions are not just for our security however, for the convenience of the polar bear. If they don’t really feel endangered, they will certainly enable site visitors right into their domain name. In truth, I believe they like the firm.
We invested 5 days strolling with polar bears two times a day. And each experience was much more wonderful than the last.
Boomer ensured that everybody had excellent sights and constantly seen to it that everybody can see. They were extremely mindful regarding ensuring that everybody can picture and see the bears when we quit, while ensuring the team and the bears were secure.
The Polar Bear Safari
Before each stroll, we had a conference to review the regulations of strolling with polar bears and what to anticipate once we arised from behind the high fencings. After our conferences, most of us mosted likely to our relaxing spaces to prepare yourself.
After getting ready in our thermal layers, parkas, and hand, and foot warmers, we entered into the breezeway to place on our parkas and boots and after that satisfied outdoors in the fenced-in lawn to either check out polar bears from the monitoring systems or to open up evictions and head exterior.
The strolls give unequaled chances to observe polar bears in the wild. Unlike much more typical expanse car trips around Churchill, strolling offers you a much more intimate and ground-level point of view. You could see bears strolling the coast, foraging, and even play-fighting. We saw them all!
There is likewise an opportunity to observe various other Arctic wild animals, such as Arctic foxes, red foxes, frozen hares, and ptarmigan.
Is strolling with Polar Bears Safe?
Whenever we discuss that we’ve strolled with polar bears, individuals constantly inform us, “That’s not safe!” We made use of to believe that also. I made use of to believe that individuals can never ever obtain near to polar bears. That is up until I did it. Check out: Adorable Tundra Animals – The Canadian Arctic Comes to Life
I would certainly never ever head out in the wild looking for polar bears alone. It’s essential to work with experienced overviews that comprehend polar bears and understand their habits. Churchill Wild has actually developed a collection of security methods and treatments to make certain the health of both the visitors and the polar bears. We have actually constantly really felt secure and comfy on our polar bear safaris and think me, we have actually been simply simple feet far from polar bears in the wild without an obstacle.
Experienced Guides at Churchill Wild
Churchill Wild utilizes extremely skilled and skilled overviews that comprehend polar bear habits and are outfitted to take care of close experiences with wild animals. Our overviews are likewise learnt emergency situation feedback and bring security tools in all times.
We had miraculous self-confidence in our overviews. They bring rifles however have actually never ever utilized them. As Boomer stated, “It would be irresponsible for us to go out into the wilderness without a rifle.” But a rifle is the last hope. The deterrents that overviews utilize initially are voice and seem like banging rocks with each other and after that body movement like tipping towards the bear. It is outstanding to see just how a little audio or motion can make a bear drop in its tracks.
Guides likewise bring sound manufacturers, however they hardly ever (if ever before) utilize them also.
Churchill Wild overviews are proficient at translating polar bear habits and keeping a considerate range from the pets. Should a bear strategy, the overviews understand just how to carefully take care of the circumstance and utilize their training to maintain everybody secure.
A Day in the Life at Seal River Lodge with Churchill Wild Polar Bear Safaris
The day at Seal River Heritage Lodge starts at 7:00 am with a fresh pot of coffee and a cozy fire. We usually loosened up, underwent images, or talked with our fellow polar bear lovers up until morning meal at 8 a.m.
At 8 a.m., it was time to experience the breezeway to the morning meal space where we were fed a passionate dish each early morning. The cook can fit all nutritional demands from vegan to gluten-free.
After morning meal, our overviews Boomer or Jess inform us the prepare for the day. While we’ve been consuming and appreciating coffee, the personnel have actually been outdoors on the crow’s nest or checking out the ranges to see where the polar bears are. From their they make an intend on what instructions we will certainly stroll that early morning.
It’s after that back to our spaces to obtain dressed, grab our electronic camera equipment, and place on our layers and boots in the great breezeway. Once outside, most of us leave evictions with each other in a file looking for polar bears.
Polar Bears Sightings
During various other polar bear trips, we invested a great deal of time strolling and looking for polar bears, however on this last see to Seal River Lodge, we hardly needed to leave the substance. We shed matter of the number of polar bear experiences we had. But I do understand that we saw a minimum of six various polar bears throughout our safari.
Many early mornings saw polar bears resting outdoors awaiting us. It’s like they were delighted to see us. Boomer stated that these polar bears are tired. They’ve been patiently awaiting the ice to ice up on Hudson Bay and we are their home entertainment. Instead of heading out evictions, we strolled to the checking out systems to see the bears set about their day. And a lot of the moment, they made a decision to view us also.
Seal River Lodge is positioned on Hudson Bay straight on the course that polar bears require to head out onto the ice circulation. In the months of October and November, bears are patiently awaiting the ice to ice up, while saving their power. There isn’t a great deal to consume besides algae and turf now, so they are attempting to maintain as much fat on their bodies to ensure that they can go out on the ice to begin searching seals.
With the lodge being right on the coast, we saw bears walking the fencing and peering within, oversleeping front of our bay home windows, and taking a seat to view the odd beings in a zoo along their course to the water. They genuinely were one of the most interested animals.
Usually, we invested regarding half an hour taking a look at the bears from the numerous systems prior to the bears wearied and went on. Once they were securely away, we can open up evictions and begin our stroll.
Polar Bear Encounters Canada’s Best Adventure
We never ever invested as well lengthy with one bear. We constantly invested simply enough time that they were fine with us viewing, however we never ever broke our welcome. The top worry for the Churchill Wild overviews is to ensure that the bears fit and trouble-free. Once they began strolling towards us for a better look or if they revealed any type of indicators of rate of interest in what we were doing, our team went on and left the bear to set about its company searching for algae or turf to forage upon.
During our 5 days (4 evenings) at Seal River Heritage Lodge, we shed matter of the number of polar bear experiences we had in between the 5 or 6 various polar bears we saw. There was a large male polar bear that hung around each day at the lodge. He would certainly approach the fencing to greet and after that put down to search in at us for hours at a time. He rested outside the bay home windows all evening to sanctuary from the wind and went after off smaller sized polar bears consistently.
We saw the prettiest mother and cub when we took the ATVs bent on go across the lake. This was genuinely our most wonderful mid-day. The day prior to our overviews identified the mother and cub distant, however we didn’t make it available to see them. The following early morning, they made a decision to pack us onto carts and take us close so we can leave onto the lake for a much better sight.
The cub was enjoyed see us and it appeared as though it wished to play. It maintained grabbing a rock and dropping it like it desired us to play bring. The mother appeared delighted to be able to relax while the cub was busied with us. Mom maintained one eye on her valuable cub while setting for a remainder as the cub ate on branches, had fun with rocks, and maintained taking a look at us.
Boomer recommended that the cub possibly had a brother or sister that didn’t make it considering that the majority of polar bears bring to life 2 cubs. It’s impulse is to play, so it checked out us as a play friend. However, these are wild pets, so as adorable as it was, Boomer and Jess maintained us a risk-free range back and whenever the cub came as well close, they would certainly claim “Hey Bear.”
Polar births stay in silence with extremely little sound besides wind. So the very best deterrent for polar bears is audio. When they listen to a voice, it surprises them and they retreat. As Boomer and Jess discussed to us, our voices and motions are our ideal deterrents.
It is genuinely a wonderful experience to be enabled to peer right into the lives of polar bears. We viewed polar bears position for placement on the bay with the old bigger male triumphing. Small polar bears would certainly go through the location and we would certainly see their behavior immediately alter the minute they noticed the bigger man.
We enjoyed some polar bears attempt to decide and strategy the bigger man while others shrank away. We saw some have a standoff gradually chasing after one and after that changing settings while the various other chased them back. We saw mother and cub going across the ice and we saw a young bear attempting to find out just how it was perhaps mosting likely to make it through the winter months.
It was a glance right into the animal globe that couple of ever before reach see and it was an advantage. We came away with a much deeper understanding and regard for polar bears. Like numerous pets, they wonder, innocent, and gorgeous. But you have to have a healthy and balanced regard for wild animals. They might be adorable and snuggly outside, however if prompted, terrified, starving, or perturbed, they can transform wild in a heart beat.
The Lodge Experience
It wasn’t all company and polar bears throughout our time up at Seal River Lodge. Evenings were a great deal of enjoyable as we traded tales with overviews and visitors and reviewed the outstanding days we had. We appreciated 5-star dishes with red wine pairings and after that retired to the lodge to view discussions regarding polar bears, and life in the Arctic or to obtain pointers from resident digital photographer and overview Boomer.
Churchill Wild genuinely thinks about every little thing. Our spaces are elegant and comfy with en collection washrooms, warm water, and warm with a comfortable quilt. We rested like children. That is up until we were woken up by among the overviews to see the north lights.
Each evening overviews maintain a hunt for north lights and if you desire them to wake you up, they will certainly knock on your door. Boomer also assisted individuals establish their electronic camera setups beforehand so they can go out and break terrific images. We have actually run into north lights each see to Churchill. With the opportunity of seeing them 300 days of the year, everybody has a fantastic possibility. Read much more: Best Places To See the Northern Lights in Canada In 2024
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Polar Bear Tours
Are there Polar Bears in Canada?
Yes, Canada has numerous polar bears. In truth, Canada is home to two-thirds of the approximated polar bear populace which is around 23,000 polar bears.
Is it harmful to stroll with Polar Bears?
It is necessary to keep in mind that polar bears are wild and unforeseeable pets, and there is constantly an aspect of danger when near to them. However, the dangers are taken care of meticulously by the safari drivers to produce a risk-free atmosphere for a remarkable experience.
As individuals on these safaris, we complied with all standards offered by overviews and continued to be knowledgeable about our environments. We belonged to the safari. The concern of drivers like Churchill Wild is to make certain the security of their visitors while maintaining the all-natural habits and environment of the polar bears. And as individuals that have actually strolled with polar bears 3 times, we can testify, they do care deeply regarding the health of polar bears.
Polar Bear Tours in A Nutshell
Wrapping up your days at Seal River Lodge seems like leaving an item of your wild heart. This isn’t your ordinary journey; it’s a polar bear strolling safari that welcomes you right into the globe of these worthy titans at a rate that allows you saturate everything in. Churchill Wild has this entire journey to an art, stabilizing excitement with take care of our fuzzy close friends’ home lawn. Ready for a getaway that’s a little uncommon? This is your sign to participate in and walk gently right into the polar bears’ yard.
Book your following polar bear safari with Churchill Wild. Choose from among their numerous wild animals trips below. Polar Bear trips begin at $13,295 CAD each. Approximately $9,600 USD or €9,000.