An extreme adventure in polar bear denning territory.
“Nanuk in the winter, is a very special place indeed.” — Andy Skillen, FaunaVista.com
The goal of this expedition is to find and photograph female polar bears and their newborn cubs in the area of Cape Tatnam on Manitoba’s Hudson Bay coast. This experience is undoubtedly the most rugged of our adventures and not for the faint of heart or weak of knee. The physical participation level is very high.
When Sir Ernest Shackleton (greatest explorer of the 20th century) advertised for potential members to join him on his quest for the South Pole he stated, “Needing a few hardy souls to venture into the unknown, promise long days, minimal food, Spartan accommodations, grueling conditions AND safe return doubtful!” Well, at Churchill Wild we feel we can deliver on a high adventure experience without the extreme physical discomforts that Shackleton and his men encountered.
Instead of struggling for survival in leaky old tents at -70 °F, while “dining” on seals and penguins, we will be warmly ensconced in a modern 5 star wilderness lodge enjoying fine wines with chef prepared gourmet dinners. And our state of the art expedition quality Arctic clothing, daily electronic communication with the outside world and use of modern aircraft for transportation will ensure that our return will be a safe and successful one!
The base of operations will be Churchill Wild’s Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, located 220 kilometers east of Gillam, Manitoba. This adventure begins and ends in Winnipeg, Manitoba and includes commercial airlines to Thompson and/or Churchill and private air charter access to the lodge. Travel on location will be via snowmobiles, on foot and snowshoes.
Accommodations: Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge is located on Manitoba’s Hudson Bay coast, 300 meters from the Arctic Ocean. This is a luxury Arctic lodge, BUT due to possible EXTREME weather conditions and very low temperatures at this time of year, there is the possibility of difficulties and delays with maintaining running water. Showers might be available for limited use. Heated water will be available daily for washing. Chemical toilets and a heated outhouse will be used in some situations. There will be no laundry facilities. You are in the Canadian Arctic, completely “off grid”.
Meals: Arctic gourmet. Chef on site. Family style meal service.
Guides and Equipment: Expedition is fully guided with all related transportation and safety equipment provided.
Clothing: Environmental conditions will include temperatures of -20 to -40 °C with possible storm conditions and high wind chills with blowing snow and blizzard conditions. We do typically have a lot of clear skies during this time period, but it is generally very cold. Only the very best winter clothing is acceptable and for this reason we will provide you with insulated boots, pants and parka for this expedition. For your own safety and comfort we will also supply you with an additional list of what to bring.
Additional Photo Ops: This coastline has the highest concentrations of moose in the province and a very strong “attending” wolf population. Sighting opportunities are often very high. Foxes, wolverine and pine marten also frequent the coast and might be seen. Aurora borealis sightings are among the best in the world here, so be prepared for a few sleepless nights! Many viewing and photo ops take place near the lodge, so it is not always necessary to venture further abroad for wildlife encounters, should we have what we call a very “blustery day!”
Additional Notes: Due to the customized nature of this safari and the extreme weather that may be encountered, please allow for flexibility in daily activities and flight times. This expedition is limited to only 8 participants to ensure a very high level of personal service. There will be professional guides and photo leader(s) on this very exclusive adventure, to assist us in our quest for polar bear mothers and cubs.
Your Adventure Includes: All air and ground transfers between Winnipeg and our lodge, winter pants, boots and parka, accommodations and meals, as noted below.
Polar Bear Den Emergence Quest - Dates and Rates
|Price (per person)||Single Private Room||Children|
Prices are subject to taxes of 9%. Children from ages 8 to 12 qualify for the child rate.
* Single guests can sign up to share a room with another person of the same gender at the regular rate per person based on double occupancy.
Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge is located 250 km southeast of Churchill, Manitoba on the Hudson Bay coast near the historic York Factory. A relatively new destination offered by Churchill Wild, we are particularly proud of this lodge due to the phenomenal wildlife access it provides.
Recent upgrades to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge include a new lounge and dining area with panoramic views of Hudson Bay, and a cozy fireplace for added ambiance. Heated private guest rooms with ensuite bathrooms are cozy, wild and perfectly comfortable.
Nanuk’s star attractions are polar bears – more than you are likely to encounter anywhere else on earth, and we have been overwhelmed by the abundance of bears and other wildlife in the area. Sightings have consistently exceeded our expectations. Additionally, Manitoba Conservation officials recently discovered a large number of denning females in the area that may be equal or great in number than those found in Wapusk National Park.
14 Days, 13 Nights
Day 1 - Anticipation builds during your overnight stay in Winnipeg
Your safari begins in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where you will enjoy a relaxing stay at our choice hotel, The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel. After arrival you will be fitted for your winter gear before the 7:00 p.m. dinner. A Churchill Wild representative will host an orientation dinner and provide you with an overview of activities. Churchill Wild will have personal items such as balaclavas, gloves and toques on hand should you require any of these accessories.
Day 2 - Arctic frontier arrival
Fly to Thompson/Churchill, where you will be met by our staff, and then on to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, located 250 km southeast of Churchill. After settling in at the Lodge, your guides will conduct a final gear check. If time and daylight permits, you’ll head out on the first of your expeditions to search for polar bear dens.
Includes: breakfast lunch dinner
Days 3-13 - Your adventure begins!
Your days will start with a hearty, full-course breakfast to fuel your daily activities. These activities will consist of guided expeditions to search out wildlife opportunities, primarily mothers and new born cubs. Guides and/or scouts will patrol the area daily to seek out dens and bears traversing the coastline with their newborn cubs. These guides will have radio contact with base at all times in order to coordinate viewing/photography opportunities either at den sites when they are found or intercept opportunities with bear families as they make their way from the den sites to the coast and onto the sea ice.
Includes: breakfast lunch dinner
Day 13 - Back to Winnipeg
Time to say goodbye to the Lodge and the wildlife whose home you’ve shared over the last 10 days. Your flight south to Winnipeg will take place today and we hope to see you back at one of our Eco-Lodges for more polar bear viewing very soon!
Includes: breakfast lunch dinner
Day 14 - Homeward Bound
After a restful sleep you will enjoy a debriefing with a Churchill Wild representative over breakfast, after which you are free to fly home.