Wildlife Viewing Seasons:

  • End of May to mid June:   birds, birds and more birds (over 200 species).
  • June and July: lots and lots of wildflowers 
  • July to mid August: Beluga Whales, wildflowers, goose berries, wild blue berries, soap berries.  Lots of snow geese.  Polar Bears can also be seen.
  • Mid-October through November: Polar Bears.  It is the polar bear that Churchll is known for and what brings tourists in from around the world.  It is said that Churchill is the most assessible place on the planet to view polar bears in their natural habitat.

August sunsets are truly spectacular. The sky looks like it is on fire.

Northern Lights can be seen almost any time of the year, although the best time is January and February since the skies are usually clear (unlike the spring and summer). Summer is typically not a good time to see the aurora as the nights do not get dark enough near the summer equinox (late June/early July).  Northern lights can be seen in August, as the nights get longer and darker.  Best to photograph using a digitial SLR camera with manual settings, and a fast wide angle lens.  Tripod is mandatory as you'll be shooting long exposures in excess of 10 or even 20 seconds.  Many do have success shooting the old fashioned way with film cameras but manual settings, fast wide angle lens and a tripod are still required.

Churchill is surrounded by both tundra and taiga. The shores of Hudson Bay are also covered with large greywacke rocks. The Churchill Northern Studies Centre offers courses of many different interests.  North Star Tours offers a day tour that covers the entire area and the history and wildlife surrounding Churchill.   The tour starts at 9 a.m. and continues until about 3.   There are several other tour companies (see below)  that offer polar bear tours on the tundra buggies but all use one of two tour buggy companies:  Great White Bear Tours or Tundra Buggy Adventures.  Both buggy companies also offer tundra lodge experiences for those who want to sleep and eat with the polar bears. 

Taken at The Great White Bear Tours' lodge (Nov. 08):

 Nov.08 

  

 

Small group adventures to Churchill are offered through Churchill Nature Tours and Natural Habitat Adventures.

  • Every meal is included in your tour (arrival dinner in Winnipeg before your adventure actually begins through breakfast on the morning of your departure from Winnipeg to return home)
  • All ground transportation
  • Tours (inc. Wildlife Management area, Hudson Bay, tundra buggy/polar rover drives), the Eskimo Museum and some added special evening programs)
  • R/T flights between Winnipeg & Churchill

 

There are other tour companies that offer nice options for those seeking a Churchill based "packaged experience" that includes:

  • Transportation from Winnipeg to Churchill (either by plane or train)
  • Lodging
  • Some/most meals
  • An activity or two

In addition to Northern Studies Centre, North Star Tours and Tundra Buggy Adventures already mentioned, the following are also worth investigating if you're considering a trip to Churchill:  Lazy Bear Lodge, Frontiers North AdventuresNatural Habitat Adventures and Polar Bears International.

For nature and photo enthusiasts interested in a full emersion program, Natural Habitat Adventures' Tundra Lodge and  Tundra Buggy Adventures' Lodge at Polar Bear Point provide a complete package, that is all inclusive (r/t airfare from Winnipeg, all meals and lodging).   Note that these tour packages typically do not include time in Churchill.