Polar Bears
An unparalleled safari in Canada’s subarctic

Photo by Max Muench (Churchill | Treaty 5)

Polar Bears

See wild polar bears in their natural habitat.

Known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World, the northerly port of Churchill is perfectly placed to view polar bears in the wild as they congregate and wait for the ice to form on Hudson Bay. Numbering almost 1,000 bears, Churchill boasts the most accessible polar bear population in the world.

Every summer and fall, savvy wildlife and photography enthusiasts gather in Manitoba’s north to witness one of nature’s greatest migratory events. Known as polar bear season, mid-October to mid-November is the prime time in Churchill to see large numbers of polar bears. July and August provide opportunities to see thousands of beluga whales in the Churchill River Estuary, as well as more rarely spotted polar bears lounging on the shorelines of Hudson Bay.

Fall is the prime time to see polar bears before they head out to the ice in winter.

Featured Experiences

Great White Bear Tours Inc

Ultimate Polar Bear Viewing Experience

Travel with our experienced guides and drivers in our custom-built Polar Rovers and witness the majestic polar bear and other Arctic wildlife in their natural habitat.

Churchill Wild

Walk with Wild Polar Bears and Wolves

Churchill Wild’s ecolodges are the only places on earth where you can experience both wild polar bears and wolves on foot. Our professionally trained guides have been delivering these world-renowned safaris for over 30 years.

Lazy Bear Expeditions

Ultimate Polar Bear Adventures

Lazy Bear Expeditions provides the best Polar Bear and wildlife adventures—Up North and Personal™—on Arctic Crawlers™, aboard the new cruise vessel Matonabee or trekking where few humans have on a Journey to Fireweed Island.

Hudson Bay Helicopters

Take a flight with us!

See all that Churchill has to offer from the safety and comfort of our helicopters. Our experienced pilots will be your personal tour guides. We specialize in 60 and 90 minute flights. Conveniently located in downtown Churchill. Walk Ins are welcome.

The thrill of seeing a polar bear in the wild never gets old for Churchill’s seasoned guides, as they watch their guests' faces light up at the first sight of a great white bear on the taiga landscape.

There are a variety of tours for viewing polar bears in Churchill in both the summer and fall season and deciding on which one is best for you depends on your level of adventure, your desire for exclusivity and your budget.

Witness a Natural Wonder
Northern Lights

While the natural wonder known as the northern lights or the Aurora Borealis can be seen throughout all of Manitoba, Churchill experiences the phenomenon nearly 300 nights a year.


Can I drive to Churchill?

There are no roads to Churchill. Churchill is a remote community that sits on Hudson Bay and the only way to reach the town is by train or plane!

When is the best time of year to visit Churchill?

The best time to see polar bears is during the fall and winter, from mid-October to mid-November, when the bears make their trek across the tundra and through the town of Churchill to spend winter hunting on the frozen Hudson Bay. Polar bears can also be spotted in Churchill from July - September, but in fewer numbers.

The best time to see beluga whales is in July and August, when nearly 60,000 whales have made their way into Hudson Bay and the Churchill River.

While northern lights can be viewed year-round, February to March is the ideal time of year to visit due to cold weather and longer nights.

Polar bear illustration

Polar bear fur is transparent with a hollow, light-reflective core that makes it appear white to the eye.

What should I pack for a trip to Churchill?

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.

During northern lights season, add a balaclava, quality snow boots that are good to a temperature of -45˚ C (-25˚ F) and heavy duty snow/ski pants.

Summer in Churchill is temperate but layers are still recommended, as well as a bug net and/or bug spray.

When To Go

  • Summer safari: July to August
  • Winter safari: Mid-October to Mid-November

Getting There:

Seal River Heritage Lodge
Make Your Trip to Churchill Unforgettable
9 Wildlife Wonders
As far as once-in-a-lifetime wildlife viewing goes, Churchill is at the top of the list. This remote area of northern Manitoba draws in wildlife photographers and enthusiasts like moths to a flame – and it keeps them coming back time and time again.

View All Polar Bear Experiences