Safari Overview

This uniquely Canadian adventure is a blend of wildlife and wild places set amidst the breathtaking colours of autumn.

At our Tundra Camp in the Barren Lands you’ll explore the ancient migratory grounds of the Qaminurjuaq caribou herd and learn about ancient archaeological sites. You’ll also enjoy four days of ground-level trekking in search of polar bears at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Highlights:

  • Daily, guided hikes across the tundra to view polar bears and other Arctic wildlife, up-close-and-personal, in their natural habitat.
  • Indulging your taste buds with our tundra-inspired cuisine, complemented by select Canadian wines.
  • Sky gazing! Our location beneath the auroral oval offers nearly 300 nights of aurora viewing each year. If conditions permit, you will be able to enjoy the greatest light show on earth from within the lodge or out in our secure compound. There is a moderate to high chance of seeing the lights on this safari.
  • Educational evening presentations by our lodge managers or naturalist guides about our Arctic ecosystems, landscape and lifestyle.
  • Camping in the vast Barren Lands in a private expedition tent.
  • Joining acclaimed photographer Jad Davenport on assignment for National Geographic Creative. Gather tips and inspiration from Jad as he helps you document your experience and develop your own unique storytelling style. Informal evening sessions will give you pointers on topics such “blue-hour” photography and capturing the Northern Lights.
Sights:
Polar bears, northern lights, black bears, wolves
Lodge:
Seal River Heritage Lodge
Date:
September (detailed dates below)
Length:
8 nights
Level:
Challenging (10+ km walking/day, some hilly terrain, two nts tundra camping)
Weather:
Average: 0C to 9C (32F to 48F)

Lodge + Location

Perched on the rugged coast of Hudson Bay lies Seal River Heritage Lodge. Located near the Seal River Estuary, this Lodge is in a prime location for observing polar bears as they wander the coast during summer and fall waiting for the Bay to freeze and viewing beluga whales in July and August.

The fenced-in compound, viewing platforms and tower lend themselves to unique photography opportunities for northern lights and the wildlife that approach to check out the sights, sounds and smells of the Lodge.

Accommodations are eight, double guest rooms each with an en-suite bathroom. The guest wing is away from the lounge and dining room, allowing you to enjoy quiet time as needed.

Our cozy lounge, complete with fireplace, is the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine, sharing photos or talking with new friends.

Seal River Heritage Lodge

60 KM NORTH OF CHURCHILL BY PLANE

59° 09’ 09.87” N / 94° 46’ 54.87 “ W

Nestled on the shores of Schmok Lake, just a few kilometres from the Manitoba-Nunavut border, sits our Tundra Camp. This camp is set up for just a few weeks each September to allow guests an immersion into the Canadian Barren Lands.

A double, electrified and alarmed fence encloses the compound that contains seven cozy Arctic Oven expedition tents. Each equipped with a heater and a composting(?) toilet, these tents can comfortably accommodate up to two guests. Within the compound is a heated bathhouse containing lockers, a shower, sink and toilet. Meals will be served in a larger expedition tent, or on the beach if the weather cooperates!

Enjoy an evening aperitif around the fire, perhaps watching the northern lights dance across the sky, before settling into your tent. You’ll sleep soundly, breathing in pure tundra air, ensconced in nature’s stillness.

Barren Lands Tundra Camp

200 KM NORTHWEST OF SEAL RIVER BY PLANE

59° 54’ 00"N / 97° 02' 00"W

2022 Dates

Download Sept 4th ItineraryDownload Sept 6th & 10th Itinerary

Dates

Lodge

Availability

Inquire

September 4 – 12, 2022
Seal River Heritage Lodge

Available

September 6 – 14, 2022
Seal River Heritage Lodge

Available

September 10 - 18, 2022
Seal River Heritage Lodge

Available

2022 Rates

Price (per person)

$16,295 CAD

+ taxes and gratuity

Single Private Room

$30,195 CAD

+ taxes and gratuity

Children

$14,695 CAD

+ taxes and gratuity

Prices are subject to taxes of 8.5%. 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. If a single guest prefers to have a private room option we also have a single private room rate as listed above. This rate guarantees a private room at the Lodge as well as at the hotels required within the package.

Inclusions

  • Roundtrip airfare between Winnipeg and Churchill, Manitoba
  • Roundtrip airfare between Churchill, Seal River Heritage Lodge and Tundra Camp
  • Two nights’ accommodations in Winnipeg
  • Four nights’ accommodation at Seal River Heritage Lodge
  • Two nights’ accommodations in Tundra Camp
  • All meals, excursions, and guide services while in Churchill and at Seal River Lodge/Tundra Camp

Not Included

  • Taxes and gratuities

Itinerary

*Please note this itinerary is for September 6 & 10 departures.
View itinerary for September 4 departure here.

Day 1

ARRIVE IN WINNIPEG
Arrive in Winnipeg where you will enjoy a relaxing stay at our choice hotel, The Grand by Lakeview at the Winnipeg Airport. Meet the rest of your group at an orientation dinner hosted by a Churchill Wild representative.

Includes: dinner

Day 2

THE ADVENTURE BEGINS!
After an early morning flight, arrive in Churchill where our expediter will meet you at the airport and provide you with instructions of the morning transfers.

Your approximately one-hour flight will take you northwest along the rugged Hudson Bay coastline and then inland until you arrive at our Tundra Camp. In the heart of Canadian Barren Lands, this remote camp is perched on the edge of one of Manitoba’s 100,000 lakes, near the Nunavut border. Upon arrival, our staff will show you to your private expedition tent and give a brief orientation.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 to 4

NATURE TREKKING IN THE BARREN LANDS AT TUNDRA CAMP
Your days will typically have a morning and afternoon excursion, with lunches served in Tundra Camp. You may also head out on a full-day excursion with picnic lunch.

After a long and rewarding day of exploration, enjoy a glass of wine with appetizers before sitting down to a full-course dinner prepared by our chefs.

Your time in the remote wilderness surrounding Tundra Camp will be filled with unforgettable adventure: camping in the Barren Lands, walking in the ancient migratory path of the Qaminurjuaq caribou herd and learning about Arctic flora and fauna. The Hudson Plains and Taiga Shield are rich ecosystems filled with history, and our expert naturalist guides are eager to share their extensive knowledge with you as you explore the area on foot during interpretive hikes.

After one last excursion in Tundra Camp, you will be transferred to Seal River Heritage Lodge for the second part of your adventure.

Includes: breakfast lunch dinner

Days 5 to 7

WILDLIFE VIEWING AT SEAL RIVER HERITAGE LODGE
The location of Seal River Heritage Lodge on the coast of Hudson Bay puts it directly in the path of polar bears who wander the shoreline as they await freeze-up. Your wildlife excursions will target on-the-ground viewing of these iconic animals. During your stay you may also encounter coloured and Arctic fox, sik-siks (Arctic ground squirrels), and Arctic hare. Due to the timing of your trip there is also the potential to see a myriad of Hudson Bay migratory and shorebirds. The stunning backdrop of fall colors will make for spectacular photography throughout your safari.

Your days at Seal River will follow the same general timeline as in Tundra Camp, though meals may sometimes be delayed in favour of wildlife viewing and/or photographic opportunities.

Includes: breakfast lunch dinner

Day 8

EXPLORATION OF HISTORIC CHURCHILL
Return transfers are scheduled to begin after breakfast. Have your cameras at the ready for the return flight as it will be the final opportunity for aerial shots.

Back in Churchill, you’ll spend the day with one of our tour guides exploring the town and surrounding area and learning about its rich history as a seaport and ex-military base. Your tour will include stops such as the Parks Canada exhibit, the Itsanitaq Museum, and the Polar Bear Jail. Along the way, your guide will point out murals that were commissioned in 2016 as part of the SeaWalls mural festival. Before a group dinner, your guide will give you free time to shop for last-minute souvenirs at the unique gift stores in Churchill.

Your flight south to Winnipeg will take place this evening. Upon arrival, you will collect your bags, head out of the arrivals doors and back to The Grand Hotel.

Includes: breakfast lunch dinner

Day 9

HOMEWARD BOUND – WINNIPEG
After a restful sleep you will pack your bags in preparation for your flight home.

Churchill Wild reserves the right to make changes to this itinerary due to weather and logistical complications that can arise from traveling in the north and to remote locations.

Meet Your Photo Leader

Jad Davenport

Jad’s career in photojournalism began as a documentary photographer who started developing his talent for image storytelling while covering more than a dozen wars. His knack for capturing the essence of an experience have defined his career, and Jad is a full time travel photographer with an open assignment with National Geographic Creative. Jad’s abilities have garnered no less than four Lowell Thomas awards which is one of the most respected awards in the field.

His work has frequently appeared in many of the world’s elite publications including Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Men’s Journal, Audubon, Sierra, Coastal Living, and many more while also appearing in esteemed galleries including the Smithsonian.

Jad’s work has taken him to some 160 countries in some of the wildest places on earth; from photographing the mountain gorillas in the Congo war zone to the black pearl farms in Tahiti – and of course, the polar bears of Churchill Wild!

Jad specializes in the art of capturing images that take you back to the time and place and elicit the emotions which make an experience profound. Jad provided the first digital cover and inside story for National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and he is adept at using any of the variety of digital tools now available for the modern traveler who is not always able to travel with the latest and greatest photographic lenses and equipment.

With Jad’s direction, you will be able to capture your journey into the Arctic like never before, whether using an iPhone, point-and-shoot, DSLR or mirrorless camera. Jad’s focus on the subject and composition make the art of photojournalism accessible to all, regardless of your present level of photographic sophistication.

Quote.

It’s been an experience never to forget and to reminisce about for years to come. The lodge is snug and cozy – it always felt like coming home after a hike. Thank you so much.

Toine P. and Michel C.

This experience rates in my Top 3 holidays. Everything exceeded my expectations. The icing on the cake were the bears and wolves. The tundra camp was real wilderness that will stay in my mind. Best wishes to you al for your continuing success.

Beryl M.

Thank you so much for making this once in a lifetime experience as incredible as it was! We enjoyed every second and felt comfortable and well taken care of. We are so grateful for everyone’s expertise and hospitality. A trip to remember.

Anna P. and Dave B.

Thank you all so much for a fantastic experience! Tundra camp was awesome. The tents are amazing. We loved the fall colors and listening to the loons. Seal is beyond words. The accommodations are five stars. The staff is great! The guides do a fantastic job of managing wildlife encounters to maximize our experience of observing them in their world. Jad is a real asset in helping everyone regardless of ability to learn how to take the best photo to tell the story. We love this place and hope to come back one day.

Teresa and Carl R.

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