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Young wolf playing with pack at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Perfect pose. (Christoph Jansen /

Young wolf playing with pack at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Perfect pose. (Christoph Jansen /

Note: This year, Christoph and Fabienne Jansen of will reach their 30th departure with Churchill Wild. They are currently at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge for back-to-back departures of both the Nanuk Emergence Quest and the Cloud Wolves of the Kaska Coast safari and are providing us with weekly updates and photos. This is their fourth wildlife update of 2024 for Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. You can see all of their updates from Nanuk for spring 2024 at the end of this post, and they’ll be back with more from Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge in the fall. Thank you Christoph and Fabienne!

by Christoph Jansen

We had incredible wolf encounters on March 18! We hadn’t seen the wolves for some days, so we wanted to make a final push to the Michichi River, where we last saw them. But suddenly, we discovered wolf tracks just next to our snowmobile tracks. And there they were, quite far away still, but making their way east, towards the lodge.

So, we turned around at the Fourteen Mile River and headed back towards the lodge. We didn’t get far, though. At one of the creeks of Fourteen Mile, we spotted a wolf approaching us from the side. Seven more members of the Opoyastin Pack followed. They came close, checked us out, and moved on to the east.

Three wolves watching. Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. (Christoph Jansen /

Three wolves watching. Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. (Christoph Jansen /

They were now using our snowmobile tracks for easy travel. We obviously didn’t chase them, but gave them enough time to get ahead of us. We then proceeded towards the lodge. The wolves must have left our trail somewhere, and we must have passed them. Then, all of a sudden, there they were, popping out of the willows just at the west branch of the Opoyastin Creek, close to the lodge.

For the remainder of the day, they hung around the lodge, allowing for more great encounters. The weather was deteriorating quickly, but we had beautiful views of them in blizzard conditions and they were impressive!

Wolfpack waking up after snowstorm at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. (Christoph Jansen /

Waking up after a snowstorm at Nanuk. (Christoph Jansen /

After a stormy and snowy day on March 19, the new guests had to wait until the next morning to fly in. Since the wolves were assumed to be west of the lodge, we did an all-day adventure to the Menahook River with the new guests. With an unusually cold -32°C, this was a pretty tough trip. While we didn’t see any wildlife, it was still a wonderful day.

The next day, we wanted to repeat the adventure, but instead we headed east this time. It was even colder, and we were already gearing up for another long day in the field when the wolves showed up close to the lodge. Instead of driving east, we just walked a few hundred meters to the east of the lodge. We spent the entire day watching the wolves getting snowed in, shaking the snow off, rallying and sleeping, and had some awesome encounters.

Wolf with frosty breath. Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. (Fabienne Jansen /

Frosty breath at Nanuk. (Fabienne Jansen /

Since the wolf tracks were again heading west the next day, that was our destination, too. We made it all the way to the Menahook River again and discovered them close to a snow drift, sleeping. It was still cold and windy, but especially beautiful.

The next day, we did an all-day push to the west again. We made it all the way to the Michichi River, but we didn’t encounter the wolves. If they went even further, to the Hayes or the Ten Shilling River, they would be off limits to us.

Wolf pack hunkering down in a snowstorm at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. (Christoph Jansen /

Wolves hunkering down in a snowstorm. (Christoph Jansen /

Today, we explored fresh territory, at least for this group of guests. We drove inland for 15 km and then down the Opoyastin Creek to the lodge. Since this trail had not been used in quite some time, it was completely covered with fresh snow and barely (or not at all) visible. That was quite an adventure, trying to find tracks hidden somewhere under the powder.

Wolves showing affection at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. (Christoph Jansen /

Affection. Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. (Christoph Jansen /

We spotted a few moose in the distance and also some foxes. With warmer temperatures and sunshine, we had a really pleasant day.

We look forward to returning to Nanuk in the fall!

Lone wolf in black and white approaches photographers at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. (Christoph Jansen /

Wolf in black and white at Nanuk. (Christoph Jansen /

More on Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge from Christoph and Fabienne Jansen of

Wolves in a Snowstorm at Nanuk

The World's Greatest Arctic Safari

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