Commune with polar bears and enjoy a dog-sled ride with a backdrop of the mystical northern lights.
FiveZero’s Polar Bear Photographic Safari brings you to the magical town of Churchill, for an experience you’ll never forget. Nestled between the banks of Hudson Bay and the Churchill River in Northern Manitoba, it is known as the Polar Bear capital of the world and is one of the best places to view the Northern Lights. On the short flight to Churchill, keep an eye out for caribou, seals, wolves and of course these “Great Ice Bears”.
Ready to get rugged and remote? This is a safari catering to the dedicated wildlife photographer willing to spend long hours in the field getting up close and personal with Arctic wildlife. Your photos will have stunning backdrops with the sea, snow, and ice. Furthermore we are afforded an exceptional number of clear nights for capturing the elusive Northern Lights. Evenings are spent near the fireplace downloading images, sharing the day’s adventures, or taking in an informative lecture or slide show. While you’re there don’t forget to do a little dog sledding or heli-tour to make this magical experience complete.
For those looking to expand your stay in Canada, we have several options to customize your experience. Let FiveZero help you plan your ideal wildlife safari adventure.
Contact us for more information.
Photos from previous safaris. Click to view at full-size.
Itinerary for The Polar Bear Safari in Canada
Day 1: Arrive in Winnipeg, Canada
Arrive in Winnipeg, Canada where you’ll stay the night before your early morning departure to Churchill. Here, you’ll have a chance to relax and meet your safari group.
Day 2: Arrive in Churchill, the heart of polar bear country
Once you arrive in Churchill, you will be met at the airport by a lodge representative and transferred to the lodge via a fixed wing aircraft. This exciting flight takes you out over the historic Churchill River, and then northwest up the rugged Hudson Bay coast to Canada’s most exclusive polar bear viewing properties. Keep a sharp eye out for caribou, seals, wolves, and, of course, the “Great Ice Bears.”
Kurt Jay Bertels, your host, will greet you at the lodge to give you a tour and get you settled into your room. Set in a wildly rugged and remote location, the authentic wilderness lodge features expansive picture windows for spectacular views and a common area with a fireplace to make even the coldest winter nights cozy.
The location offers ground level photo opportunities to capture Arctic wildlife – including polar bears – in a pristine wilderness setting. Your photos will have stunning backdrops with the sea and landscapes surrounding the lodge. Its shoreline location is ideal for photographing bears on snow and ice. And, with an exceptional number of clear nights, you’ll see why Churchill is known as one of the best places for northern lights photography.
A thorough orientation on traveling in polar bear country will be provided prior to any outings.
Day 3-5: Churchill Wildlife Reserve
Each morning we’ll head out to the Churchill Wildlife Reserve, where the polar bears gather in droves until the Bay freezes so they can head out on sea ice for their winter hunt. The vastness of the icy landscape provides a magnificent setting to photograph the bears in their natural habitat.
We’ll head out on foot to search for wildlife including arctic and red foxes as they move around the snow and ice looking for a meal. Meandering over a system of established trails, enjoy the scenery, search for wildlife and take photos. When daylight begins to fade and we are finished photographing the bears and other Artic animals for the day, we’ll head back to the warmth and comfort of our base lodge.
We’ll gather each night to share stories and photos from the day over appetizers followed by a veritable feast for the palate. Meals are prepared by Canadian bestselling cookbook authors and accomplished chefs. Using local ingredients and recipes inspired by Northern Canada, expect a delicious culinary experience.
This once-in-a-lifetime holiday adventure can be enhanced with dog sledding excursions and the opportunity to capture the spectacular glow and colorful display of the Northern Lights.
Day 6: Arrive in Churchill
After a thrilling aerial tour, we arrive back in Churchill where you’ll have time to explore and wine and dine at your leisure before heading back to Winnipeg.
Experience the town’s unique northern charm visiting local places such as Cape Merry, the Port of Churchill, the Eskimo Museum, the Polar Bear Jail and short hikes along the coastline. Dog sledding and helicopter charters fit nicely into this afternoon if you’re so inclined.
After taking in the local sites, we will meet up and help you with your transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Winnipeg.
Day 7: Depart/Back to Reality
After a restful sleep you will pack your bags in preparation for your flight home. You will also enjoy a breakfast at your hotel before your trip back to reality.
Please note: The above day-by-day Itinerary is only a guideline. The daily itinerary is weather-dependent and sightings-dependent, it could vary slightly.
Highlights from The Polar Bear Safari in Canada
October 29, 2017 - November 4, 2017
6 nights / 7 days
Authentic wilderness lodge in Churchill
Winnipeg Airport (YWG)
Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes, Red Foxes, Northern Lights, Ptarmigan, Arctic Hare
All internal flights and transfers
All scheduled safari excursions
A La Carte:
Some suggested activities may have additional fee
Recommended camera equipment:
Camera equipment can be rented through FiveZero. For those looking to purchase or bring their own equipment, Kurt Jay Bertels, your photographic safari host, recommends the following equipment for The Polar Bear Safari in Canada:
- D-SLR camera body
- Zoom lens Should ideally be no smaller than 300mm
- Wide angle lens 18-55mm or 24-105mm
- Memory cards and spare batteries
- Tripod is essential