Every October and November, polar bears congregate in the Churchill area to await the return of the sea ice and access to their preferred prey: the ringed seal. This year our trip to Churchill was in late October. The weather was starting to get snowy, but the ice had not yet formed. Numerous bears were known to be in the area.
We traveled by way of Winnipeg and a flight up to Churchill. Our group stayed inside the Churchill Wildlife Management Area at the Northern Studies Centre, a research facility that houses the scientists and their research. Each year the Centre welcomes a few visitors such as our group. While at the Centre we were introduced to the ecofriendly facility, learned of the current research, and had a thorough orientation to polar bears in this region. It is a comfortable facility with meeting rooms, media rooms, a workout room, and we enjoyed the observation deck and night observatory dome. At times we had wildlife sightings from the windows of the Centre: a fox visited daily, a hare, birds, and a bear came close.
We combine driving around the outskirts of town with touring on the tundra vehicles in the reserve area. It is unpredictable each year which will give the best encounters and I am glad we schedule both.
Churchill has a history that is told through its relic buildings. Many of them have been covered with wildlife theme murals. They provide interesting photo opportunities when we do not have wildlife in front of us.
The wildlife of Churchill is more than polar bears. We see bird species like ptarmigans and snowy owls and several of the different species of fox. Arctic hare are surprisingly large and camouflaged.
The numerous polar bears in the area at this time of the year makes Churchill a great choice when wanting to see and photograph these great bears. With options of the tundra vehicle in the and driving by car around outside of town we have multiple ways to get to the wildlife.
Check my website for my next polar bear trip