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Polar bear relaxing on the rocks at Seal River. Camilla Taylor-Swift photo.

Polar bear relaxing on the rocks at Seal River. Camilla Taylor-Swift photo.

By George Williams and Vanessa Desorcy

The first few weeks of our 2019 season at Seal River Heritage Lodge have been absolutely magical. The Hudson Bay coastline has blessed us once again with wonderful wildlife, stunning scenery and fabulous foliage. Add to that all the love we feel for the amazing guests we’ve had so far and we’re feeling on top of the world.

Rudi Shumpert was among our first guests of the season and captured some amazing photos of belugas, bears, and the beauty of Churchill. Photographer Chet Stein was also at Seal River for Birds, Bears and Belugas and captured some of the most beautiful bird portraits we’ve ever seen, along with polar bears, smaller furry friends, and the colourful fireweed that blankets the tundra at this time of year. You can see more of Chet’s photos in his Churchill Wild 2019 Photo Album.

On July 17, we welcomed an amazing group on assignment for Matador Network. Quin Schrock,  accompanied by a talented crew and his lovely partner, Jess Dales, spent five days with us, capturing the beauty and the magic of the Hudson Bay coastline.

Quin (@everchanginghorizon), Cody (@codydoucette), Brian (@brianlewismedia) and Piotr Wancerz of Timelapse Media were a blast to work with and we’re very excited to share the details of their project in the near future.

“I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around what a privilege it was to spend some time with these magnificent creatures on the edge of the Arctic circle,” said Lewis about the polar bears at Seal River Heritage Lodge, on one of his Instagram posts.

Our friends over at Scott Dunn Travel sent one of their experiential travel reps over to us, Camilla Taylor-Swift, and she was also gracious enough to share some of her photos, including the beautiful shot of the polar bear on the rocks at Seal River, which was used as the featured image at the top of this post.

Churchill Wild also appeared in the media In July!

Footage of polar bears and wolves, along with some of our smaller creatures at Seal River Heritage Lodge and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, were included in National Geographic’s new series Wild_Life: The Big Freeze, courtesy of filmmaker Bertie Gregory. Thank you, Bertie! Churchill Wild guide Steve Schellenberg had a great time helping Bertie’s crew get the shots they needed. You can watch Steve in action behind the scenes with the polar bear and the film crew here.

On a somewhat related note, National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World came out with their 2019 Sustainable Tourism in Action Report, a publication definitely worth reading if you love beautiful places and the people that care about them. Both Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge (page 42) and Seal River Heritage Lodge (page 67) are members of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection.

Kirsten Hines wrote about Walking to Polar Bears at Seal River Heritage Lodge and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge for her Kirsten Nature & Travel site; Karen Tietjen included Churchill Wild in 8 Safari Trips To Add To Your Bucket List This Summer, which appeared in The Zoe Report; and Seal River Heritage Lodge was also mentioned as a place to make sure to visit in Into the Wilderness – Love it Like a Local, which appeared in Gourmet Traveller Magazine.

Polar bear lunch meeting at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Paul Scriver photo

Polar bear lunch meeting at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Paul Scriver photo

And from the Churchill Wild staffers…

Churchill Wild polar bear guide Andy MacPherson wrote that Birds, Bears and Belugas lived up to its name in the first week of 2019 and guide Paul Scriver described a polar bear lunch meeting at Seal River that included 16 polar bears!

Scriver also wrote about his Arctic woolly bear caterpillar sighting and why it could bode well for our fall polar bear photo safaris, and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge manager Bella Waterton began to post photos from Nanuk to her Instagram profile @bwaterton. Bella loves to post beautiful things, especially flowers and plants. Thanks Bella ????

Jeanne Reimer’s father Doug Webber wrote about our new SHERPS and their adventurous journey up the Hudson Bay coast from Churchill to Seal River and Hubbard Point, and Churchill Wild staffer Kaity Barnes described their arrival at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

And finally, Vanessa Desorcy wrote about Mike and Jeanne Reimer’s son-in-law Riley Friesen’s new Arctic Organics project, which will supply the Churchill Wild lodges with fresh produce and enhance the culinary experience for our guests. Well done Riley!

Mike and Jeanne definitely knew what they were doing when they named the first of their polar bear safaris Birds, Bears and Belugas, but we couldn’t do this without the kind words (and visits!) from guests, media, filmmakers and staff, all of whom have become loyal evangelists for the Churchill Wild brand.

Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories, photos and videos with the world!

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Please note: Our staff will be away from the office for a team building retreat May 23 - May 25, 2024.