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Posts Tagged ‘arctic safari’

Top African Safari Guide Ian Johnson visits Seal River Heritage Lodge

It was almost a year ago that we met with Ian Johnson of Epic Private Journeys in the Johannesburg Airport and chatted about “stepping out” of the warm safari scene in Africa and organizing a slightly more chilling expedition in the form of an Arctic Safari.

One of Africa’s top professional guides and photographers, Ian was true to his word, and ventured over to visit us with friends Soren and Egler from Shanghai, to experience an arctic adventure with our great ice bears.

Below normal temperatures, down to -38 C with the wind chill, delighted the polar bears during Ian’s visit, and resulted in very quick ice formations reminiscent of the ’80s. As a result, the bears began their steady trek out onto the frozen surface of Hudson Bay.

Everyone agreed that the early accumulation of ice and snow cover created some incredible sea and landscapes as a fantastic backdrop for our bears and foxes. As the bears ventured back out onto the ice we were able to get some over the top shots that included the new ice formations.

Thanks for visiting Ian, Soren and Egler!

Ian Johnson Photos


Arctic Safari draws high praise for Churchill Wild from award-winning photographer

Peaceful polar bear in Northern Manitoba. Charles Glatzer photo.

A good day to be a polar bear in Northern Manitoba. Photo Credit: Charles Glatzer

World-renowned professional photographer Charles (Chas) Glatzer was among the first group to experience our sold-out Arctic Safari in 2011 and he had glowing praise for Churchill Wild.

Just wanted to say thanks again for a fabulous trip. As in past years, the staff and service was impeccable, the lodge inviting, and meticulous. And, the meals WOW! I just hope CalmAir does not start weighing guests on the return flight.

Your family’s warm heart and good nature make all who visit Churchill Wild feel like you have invited us into your home. Your family values obviously carry over to your business, as both are equally beautiful and a pleasure to be around.

Our guides Andy and Tara, both highly skilled professionals, always put our safety first. We often got close, but at no time did anyone ever feel the least bit threatened, surely a testament to their years of experience and incredible knowledge. Rest assured I will be back again with more groups for years to come.
– Charles (Chas) Glatzer

Thank you Charles!

Charles Glatzer - Shoot the Light

Glatzer has won over 40 prestigious photography awards during his 28 years in the field and his images appear worldwide in publications that include National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, Discover Diving, Smithsonian, Professional Photographer, Birder’s World, Birding, Nature Photographer, EOS, Digital PhotoPro, Travel & Leisure, Computer Life, Boy’s Life, The Atlas of Endangered Species, Environmental Science (Third Edition), Speech for Effective Communication and more.

One of the most respected, knowledgeable, and sought after wildlife photographic instructors/speakers in the world, Glatzer also owns Shoot the Light and hosts Instructional Photographic Workshops throughout the United States and abroad. His images are recognized internationally for their lighting, composition and attention to detail and his diverse photo background provides workshop participants and seminar attendees with an unparalleled resource. Read more…

A small sample of the photos Glatzer took on his Arctic Safari follow below. For more photos or to learn more about his photography workshops please visit Shoot the Light and the Shoot the Light Blog.

 

 

 

 

The Legend of the Enchanted White Caribou

White bears, white whales and white… caribou?

Churchill Wild Staff got an unexpected treat – aside from the great caribou numbers along the Northern Manitoba/Nunavut border, in the Schmok Lake area they spotted a rare white caribou!

rare white caribou

a rare white caribou

According to our Inuit staff & friends, the white caribou is an “enchanted caribou”, NOT something to be hunted, and they are apparently quite rare.

The legend goes something like this:

It seems that a long time ago, people had the power to turn into animals, and animals could turn into people. It was a time of magic – people had only to say what they wanted for it to come true.

There was young woman named Tyya who wandered far from home in search of driftwood, bones and caribou antlers. A thick fog rolled in and she became lost.  She was rescued by Etasack, a young caribou hunter, who brought her to his home.

The next day before he left to go hunting, he warned Tyya not to let anyone enter the tent. But she was tricked by an evil shaman who turned her into a white caribou.

Etasack was very sad when he found her gone, but the sprit of his grandmother, another powerful shaman, gave him the magic means to break the spell.

The next day, the young man headed out to the tundra. He sought out the white caribou in the herd, recited the magic spell and returned Tyya to her human form.

Since then Inuit hunters have been kind to the white caribou, as it might be an enchanted person.

Another legend of the people of the north says the white caribou are shape-shifters, and can change between human and animal form. Many native hunters would leave them alone for this reason.

There is also a children’s book written in the 1980′s by Canadian author Elizabeth Cleaver called “The Enchanted Caribou“, which is often acted out with shadow puppets.

enchanted white caribou

The Enchanted Caribou by Elizabeth Cleaver

Incredible Northern Lights at Seal River Heritage Lodge for Churchill Wild’s Arctic Safari

World renowned professional photographer Charles Glatzer is at Seal River Heritage Lodge right now sampling Churchill Wild’s first ever Arctic Safari. Charles circulated this picture to some friends, as well as Churchill Wild staff & guests:

Charles Glatzer's Northern Lights at Seal River Heritage Lodge (click to enlarge)

You can see more of Charles’ incredible work on his website and blog.

The Arctic Safari is Churchill Wild’s most ambitious adventure. When it was announced last May it immediately sold out!

Fashioned after a traditional African safari, Churchill Wild owner Mike Reimer saw an opportunity to offer Churchill Wild’s own version of “The Big Five” in the arctic. Set against the visually stunning fall colors of early September, the Arctic Safari promises to be an all encompassing encounter with endless photo opportunities and arctic wildlife experiences.

A small window in early September provides the perfect apex to see the widest variety of wildlife and brilliant displays of Aurora Borealis. The Arctic Safari takes you over 20,000 square kilometers of the wildest regions in the Arctic; providing the potential of seeing wolves, caribou, moose, three species of bears (polar, black and grizzly), beluga whales, arctic and colored fox, wolverine, beaver, pine marten and arctic birds.

To find out more about the Arctic Safari or other polar bear watching tours offered by Churchill Wild check out the website. Every adventure offered by Churchill Wild includes the one-of-a-kind access of walking with polar bears, on the ground, up close & personal (and safe).

Magazine editor Katie Nanton details trip to see Churchill polar bears at Seal River Heritage Lodge

Polar bear relaxing on rocks at Seal River Heritage Lodge

Polar bear relaxing on rocks at Seal River Heritage Lodge – Photo Credit: Robert Postma

Katie Nanton, an assistant editor with NUVO Magazine, was at Seal River Heritage Lodge for the Birds, Bears and Belugas Adventure last summer.

A seasoned adventure traveler, writer and editor with world-wide safari experience, Katie wrote a story about her Churchill Wild experience for NUVO entitled A Canadian Safari – Churchill, Manitoba: the polar bear capital of the world, which appeared in their Spring 2011 Issue. Below are a few excerpts from Katie’s Story with a link to the original story. Enjoy!

First polar bear

I see the first bear in the distance. A big, beautiful Ursus maritimus. Adrenaline kicks in and the quiet chatter halts, followed soon after by the clicking of camera shutters and zooming of lenses. Our guides remind us to be silent – although this bear is familiar with the presence of people by now, we don’t want to disturb or frighten it – and we take a few steps forward until I’m standing about 10 metres away from this larger-than-life beauty. I eye the guns slung over our guides’ shoulders: loaded, and a necessary precaution, they are very rarely used, and only to scare off an approaching bear. Nothing stands between us and this wild animal but a short distance and a few rocks; polar bears are capable of running up to 40 kilometres an hour.

A  fight in the morning

One foggy morning, I awaken to an early morning knock on my bedroom door and a commotion outside. A night watchman stands  guard over the lodge each night, eyes peeled for curious bears and Northern Lights. I’m expecting flashes of green and blue aurora borealis, but out of the main-room window is a more unexpected early morning sight: far in the rocky distance, two bears are stretched up on their hind legs, standing at least eight feet tall, their furry arms in the air like boxers, jabbing, dodging, and blocking each other, paws flailing. Their show of strength is spellbinding. I want to get closer. I walk with my guide until we come within about 15 metres…

Full Story: A Canadian Safari – Churchill, Manitoba: the polar bear capital of the world

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About NUVO Magazine

NUVO Magazine LogoInspired by quality, NUVO is a lifestyle magazine for the Canadian sophisticate. It is our mandate to create an editorial environment that is stimulating, evocative, entertaining and informative, and relevant to both the amateur and the connoisseur.  The NUVO reader is the inquisitive, culturally aware, well-travelled urbanite who appreciates a blend of insight and entertainment. We share the NUVO reader’s discerning taste in travel, food and wine, film and TV, fashion, art, architecture, design, business, automobiles and music.  NUVO features the finest in writing, photography, illustration, design and production. Our commitment to quality is essential to being a leader in the magazine industry. It is thus our assiduous intention to craft a magazine that is quite simply unlike any other.