If you’ve been planning a polar bear safari tour during the summer then Churchill, a small town in Manitoba, is among the best places to visit.
Packing for the trip is an adventure by itself. The Arctic summers can bring heat, rain, bugs, and winds. But they also bring a lot of beauty, wildlife, and spectacular moments that make up for its fluctuating conditions.
Each year, polar bears follow their migration route to the western Hudson Bay. The migration route happens to take the bears through the town Churchill. The town is relatively accessible by car, train or air and is recognized to host tourists from across the globe.
Here is what you need to know when planning to see polar bears:
If It’s Your First Time, Book A Tour
Yes, Churchill is relatively accessible by road. You can also hire someo\ne to drive you to where bears roam through the town. It’ll save you on cost but compromise your safety. Don’t do this!
The best and safest way to see polar bears is by booking with a tour company. It will offer the experience of a lifetime while still being guided by professionals. Before you plan your trip, be sure to also read the official safety pamphlet on the Churchill website.
How Do You Get to Churchill
So, you’ve decided to visit Churchill. The question is, how do you get to this town?
The area is accessible by plane or by train. Due to its small population, very few flights exist directly to Churchill. In most cases, you’ll have to pass through Winnipeg.
From Winnipeg, weekly flights by small turboprop planes are available. The flights run daily during high season. At times, the trip to or from Churchill can be delayed due to inclement weather or other factors so it’s essential to allow some time when scheduling connecting flights. Alternatively, you can also travel by train. The journey from Winnipeg to Churchill takes approximately two days.
When Is The Best Time to Travel?
The best time to travel to Churchill summer through fall and early winter (June to December). At this time, you’re likely to see beluga whales, birds and polar bears.
During the winter, the town is frigid and covered in ice. The temperature can go below the 40 degree mark. As you can imagine during this time, there are few or no visitors at all.
If your travelling plans revolve around seeing the polar bears, then you must plan the trip carefully. The best season for this would be the beginning of winter, which is mid-October to mid-November. At this time, the landscape is covered by snow, presenting the perfect backdrop for the bears at play. As they gather, waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze.
Churchill is one of the only places in the world where tourists can observe polar bears, up close and in total safety. Polar bears move from their summer habitat on the tundra back to waiting by the seal-hunting territory – the ice that forms over the Hudson Bay. Being able to observe this magnificent creature is an experience of a lifetime and can be completed with just detailed planning!