Winter Northern Safari
Welcome to the Polar Bear Capital of the World!
When To Go
Polar Bears: October - November
Northern Lights: September - November/February-March
Churchill, Manitoba is one of the best places in the world to see majestic polar bears in their natural environment. Churchill is perfectly placed to watch as polar bears move from their summer homes on the sub-arctic tundra to wait on the shore for the Hudson Bay freeze before heading out to hunt for seals.
The Great Canadian Travel Company offers a special Polar Photography Tour that gives you extra elbow room and space for camera equipment aboard tundra vehicles.
The eco-friendly Watchee Lodge, about 60 kilometres south of Churchill, borders a world-famous polar bear denning area at Wapusk National Park. It's open for only a short time each spring when indigenous guides lead photographers to within 100 metres of polar bears as mothers and cubs emerge from their dens.
Churchill Wild safaris whisk you to one of three fly-in lodges on Hudson Bay where you can enjoy luxury accommodations and fine dining along with panoramic views from lodge towers and guided ground-level wildlife excursions.
Whatever option you choose, keep your camera handy: sometimes, curious bears stroll right up to lodges and tundra vehicles to get a closer look at you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I drive to Churchill?
Unfortunately, no. Churchill is a remote community that sits on the Hudson’s Bay. The only way to get there would be to take the train, or fly. (VIA, Calm Air)
When is the best time of year to visit Churchill?
For Polar Bears – During the fall, typically October/November. This is when the bears are making their trek across the tundra and through the town of Churchill to go spend winter hunting on the frozen Hudson’s Bay. Polar bears can still be spotted on the tundra from July - September.
Beluga Whales – Summertime is the best time of year, around June – September. During this period, nearly 60,000 whales have made their way into the Hudson’s Bay and Churchill River.
Northern Lights – January through March is the best time of year to view the Northern Lights, though they can be seen most nights throughout the year, except durning the longest days (June), and when there is cloud cover.
What should I pack for a trip to Churchill?
Fall – During peak polar bear season, be prepared for snow and cold conditions. Several layers of clothing, including an insulated parka or waterproof jacket, insulated boots, thick mitts or gloves, toque (woolen hat), and long underwear are recommended.
Winter – Add a balaclava, quality snow boots that are good to a temperature of -45˚ C (-25˚ F), snow/ski pants, and sunglasses to your fall weather gear.