Travelling to Northern Canada meant Lauren Jarvis could tick three things off her bucket list — getting face to face with polar bears, seeing the northern lights and kayaking with beluga whales. Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge turned out to be just the place for the former Editorial Director of National Geographic Kids magazine, who is now a freelance editorial consultant and travel writer based in London.
Lauren traveled to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge last summer on one of our media trips, and recently wrote about her experience in the July 24 issue of Grazia UK, Britain’s #1 glossy magazine. Below are a few excerpts from Lauren’s article. It sounds to us like Lauren had a fabulous time at Nanuk! We think you’ll agree!
“The afternoon I arrive we set off just after lunch to see bears out in the wilderness. Although it’s summer, it’s still cool and I’m dressed in warm waterproofs, a woolly hat and wellies for wading across the mud flats of the bay. Our group of 16 heads out on two ‘rhinos’ – sturdy, open-top, all-terrain vehicles which cross the rocky rivers and sandy flats that border the bay with ease. We’re accompanied by guide and naturalist Andy MacPherson and our indigenous Cree tracker Albert ‘Butch’ Saunders.”
“We’re just seconds from the lodge gate when we spot ‘Big Mama’, a large female polar bear who’s a regular visitor to the lodge; she’s sleeping under a bush, soaking up the sun. We quietly climb down from the rhino and now that we’re on level ground with one of the world’s most ferocious predators, the safety briefing rings in my ears: be silent; walk in single file; stay behind Andy and in front of Butch; do nothing to take the bear’s attention away from them. Slowly we approach her and it’s heart-pounding and humbling to enter her domain…”
“My heart is thumping in my chest as I stand frozen, vaguely registering the silence-shattering sound of a camera click somewhere behind me. In front of me, the world’s largest and deadliest land predator is looking me straight in the eye. The bear and I are in the breathtaking sub-Arctic wilderness of western Hudson Bay, in the northern Canadian province of Manitoba.”
“Big Mama is just the first of many incredible bear encounters that fill the four days we’re there. Each day we trundle over the rugged tundra, through crystal clear streams and along the Hudson’s silty shores, all the time spotting bears and descending from the rhino to take a closer look. There are mothers walking with cubs and countless lone males wandering the banks of the bay. Some ignore us, some are inquisitive, others keep their distance. While constantly aware of the potential for danger, I feel safe with Andy and Butch…”
Read full story: We’re going on a polar bear hunt (with cameras!)
About Lauren Jarvis
Lauren is Editorial Director of DAD.info (Europe’s biggest website for fathers), Travel Editor for Breathe (the bimonthly women’s lifestyle magazine, on sale in the UK, US, France and Australia), and a freelance travel writer and editor.
With over 20 years of publishing experience, she is the former Editorial Director of the UK edition of National Geographic Kids (the world’s biggest magazine for children) and she was also Editorial Director at leading UK publisher, Attic Futura (later Attic Media), overseeing the company’s youth portfolio.
As a freelance editorial consultant, travel writer and photographer, Lauren has contributed to a broad range of publications including National Geographic Traveller, The Times, The Guardian, Grazia, Spear’s, Adventure Travel, Travel Africa, Outdoor Adventure Guide, Destinations of the World and Selling Travel magazines.
Lauren is also a Director of two youth mentoring organisations, Inspired Life and YOUYOU, and Chief Editor of Children’s Eyes On Earth, an international organisation which aims to raise awareness of environmental and humanitarian issues among young people through the use of photography.