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Wildlife Viewing Seasons:
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):
There are other tour companies that offer nice options for those seeking a Churchill based "packaged experience" that includes:
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 Adventures, Natural 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.