Polar Bear Blog

Andy Skillen returns from… everywhere… to lead fall Polar Bear Photo Safaris at Churchill Wild

Polar bear at Seal River. Andy Skillen photo.
Polar bear at Seal River. Andy Skillen photo.

Churchill Wild photo leader Andy Skillen has been on whirlwind of wildlife trips this year both as a photo lead and a participant, but he’ll be back in Canada just in time to lead our Fall Dual Lodge Safari and Polar Bear Photo Safari at Nanuk in October!

The award-winning wildlife photographer started out the year photographing wolves in India in January, followed that up with a trip to Botswana for the zebra migration, and then showed up on Baffin Island looking for polar bears. After that it was on to Nambia to photograph rhinos, back to Botswana as a photo leader, and on to Canada for a month of brown bear and black bear photography. By the time Skillen gets back to us in Manitoba he’ll also have led wildlife photography trips to Zambia, Kodiak Island and the Brazilian Pantanal. Whew!

“I’ll be in Brazil’s Pantanal for two weeks and then fly directly from there to Winnipeg,” said Skillen. “I’ll arrive about an hour before the welcome dinner for the Fall Dual Lodge Safari. Ironically, I’ll be rounding out the year with polar bears and wolves, the same way I started it.”

Lone wolf at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Andy Skillen photo.
Lone wolf at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Andy Skillen photo.

Skillen will be on a couple of National Geographic Traveller panels in the UK before heading back to Brazil. The panels are invited “safari” nights with a few hundred guests each. He’s also been asked to be a headline speaker at next year’s Adventure Travel Show in London, where his talk will be “Walking with Bears: Working with grizzlies and polar bears.”

Churchill Wild will no doubt be part of Skillen’s presentation at the Adventure Travel Show, and the early part of 2019 will be spent on a regular stream of speaking engagements in the UK before more photography trips. Skillen’s guided trips sell out quickly and he’s already put up a booking form on his Guided Safaris page for the 2020 photo safaris.

“My ethos for leading tours is simple,” says Skillen on his FaunaVista.com website. “It must be a dedicated, completely focused photography experience, and not one that is simply claiming to be. I want you to get the best possible opportunity for securing that ‘once in a lifetime’ shot, as well as have a great holiday at the same time!”

And when it comes to photographing polar bears…

“I’ve always advocated, there’s only ONE way to experience the arctic, and that’s on foot. Embark upon a proper, eye-to-eye adventure, whether that be in the high arctic in spring, or with me at the lodges of Churchill Wild in the autumn – where you can get the full lot… bears, wolves, caribou, moose and all manner of fox.. all at ground level, and on your terms.”

A sample of Skillen’s photos follows below. You’ll also want to check out his Limited Edition Galleries, especially 40 Below.

That’s where the the polar bears live.

Andy Skillen Photo Gallery

Video Gallery Enquire

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