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Arctic Canada

Ga Aurora Northwest Passage
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Arctic Canada Safaris

The far northern reaches of Canada are a true wilderness of pristine icy expanses and rugged landscapes, with very little human presence. Home to an abundance of wildlife, specially adapted for life in the extreme cold, including being the home to over 65% of the world’s polar bears. The Canadian North is a fairy tale place of pioneer spirit, northern lights, migrating beluga whales and fantastical-looking narwhals, the ‘unicorns of the sea’. Caribou, wolves, moose and arctic foxes also roam the tundra plus an array of bird life such as snowy owls, eider ducks, kittiwakes and much more.

With very sparse human settlement and only 100,000 inhabitants, Arctic Canada is defined as the area north of the Arctic Circle, which constitutes the expansive wilderness of the provinces of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. On the edge of Hudson Bay, lies the small town of Churchill, the starting point for most adventures and one of the few human settlements where it is possible to see polar bears in the wild, with an estimated 1,000 bears living here. From Churchill, soar high above the Arctic tundra on your private charter flight to your remote lodge, affording you the perfect opportunity for aerial photography of the polar bear migration. Live amongst the bears and track them on foot, try dog sledding or kayaking if the conditions allow, not forgetting of course the infamous phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Expeditions to remote locales such as Baffin Island require expert guidance from the local Inuit, a great deal of weather-appropriate clothing, a willingness to set up camp in the frozen wilderness, and above all, an intrepid mindset.

Why Natural World Safaris for your Arctic Canada Safari?

Our fascination for bears originally started over 10 years ago with our niche company named World Bear Safaris. Our CEO and Founder Will Bolsover spent many years alongside our specialists locating the best bear haunts in the midst of Canadian wilderness. As a leading specialist operator, we have specifically chosen lodges that are in some of the most remote areas in the heart of bear country, where it is possible to experience incredible close encounters with polar bears. Our team have first hand experience staying in the remote accommodations of the Canadian north, so we only use lodges that place you right in the center of the polar bear action, optimizing your chances of an encounter with the king of the arctic. Our wealth of on-the-ground knowledge, leads to expert advice on the options available, matching you with the perfect safari to suit your needs.

How much does Arctic Canada Cost?

Typically, expect to budget around £8000 per person for a 7 day safari to stay in a remote lodge, this includes charter flights from Winnipeg to Churchill and from Churchill to your lodge and back. To camp on the ice floes around Baffin Island, expect to budget £12500 per person for a 8 day narwhal and polar bear safari. For a truly in-depth 17 day experience onboard the Sylvia Earle across the Northwest Passage, expect to budget £14195 excluding national flights.

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The Arctic Canada Safari Experience

You may wish to include the following in your Arctic Canada Itinerary:

  • Polar Bear Tracking - Live amongst the bears out on the tundra in cosy lodges or track the King of the Arctic on foot.
  • Explore Ice Formations - Explore some of the most impressive ice formations on the planet on foot under the midnight sun. Baffin Island surprises some for being the fifth largest island in the world and is a land of glaciers, fjords, streams and mountains with excellent wildlife spotting.
  • Whale Watching - Spot bowheads, belugas and the unicorns of the sea - narwhals breaching the Canadian waters.
  • Northern Lights – A quite spectacular sight when coupled with the constellations revealed through the lack of light pollution
  • Unique accommodation - Camp on the ice floes around Baffin Island or sleep among the bears in unique Tundra Lodges.
  • Polar Bear Cubs Trips - For only one week in March, watch polar bear cubs emerging from their dens for the very first time with their mothers
  • Arctic Birds - Spring and Autumn birds are on their annual migration and to nest. A hot spot for Gyr Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Snowy Owls, Tundra Swans, Arctic terns and gulls.
  • Arctic Photography - taking photos in such bright light can be difficult and we have specialist safaris that will help you get the best photos possible from your experience with our trained expert photographers.

Where to Stay in Arctic Canada?

As Canada’s last frontier and remote wilderness, the accommodation options in the area are not extensive, and the geographical isolation means that resources and provisions are more limited. Accessible only by scenic flights, we only use lodges that place you right in the center of the polar bear action. Despite the lodges being relatively basic, they are all clean, comfortable rooms and extremely cosy - perfect to enjoy hot food and warm beds that you need after a day of exploration on the tundra. Read more about where to stay in Arctic Canada.

When To Go to Arctic Canada?

The best time to see the polar bears in Arctic Canada is between October and November, as they wait on the tundra for the “Big Freeze”, ready to begin the seal-hunting season; you are also likely to see the northern lights at this time. For other wildlife, typically the best time to visit is May through September. Read more about when to go to Arctic Canada here.

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Arctic Canada Safaris FAQs

How cold is the Arctic in August?

In the Arctic, August is relatively warmer with average daytime temperatures ranging from around 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F) along the coast and -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F) inland. However, temperatures can vary, and travellers should be prepared for chilly conditions, especially at night.

When heading to the Arctic, pack essential items like insulated waterproof clothing, layered outfits, warm accessories (gloves, hat, scarf), waterproof boots, moisture-wicking socks, eye protection (goggles, sunglasses), sun care (sunscreen, lip balm), a small backpack, swimwear (for saunas or plunges), indoor casual attire, and remember to consult guides for any specific requirements.

What clothes do I need?

In the Arctic, you can engage in diverse activities such as observing polar bears, beholding the Northern Lights, partaking in dog sledding or snowmobiling, immersing in indigenous cultures, pursuing photography, kayaking, hiking, embarking on Arctic cruises, touring research stations, engaging in sauna and polar plunges, camping, fishing, partaking in traditional pursuits, scenic flights, and attending enlightening lectures. It's important to bear in mind that the availability of activities hinges on your location and the time of your visit.What can we do when we get there?

What wildlife is there in the Arctic?

Arctic wildlife is surprisingly varied and includes, Arctic foxes, polar bears, caribou, walruses, seals, whales, Arctic hares, lemmings, birds like snowy owls and puffins, Arctic wolves, musk oxen, and more.

These animals have evolved unique adaptations to survive in the cold environment, from polar bears hunting on sea ice to Arctic hares with specialised fur. The delicate balance of this ecosystem relies on the interactions between these species, each playing a vital role in the Arctic food web and contributing to its biodiversity.

Can you holiday in the Arctic?

Guided tours and cruises allow travellers to experience the unique landscapes, wildlife, and cultures of the Arctic region. These safaris can include activities such as wildlife viewing, cultural interactions with indigenous communities, photography, adventure sports (like kayaking and dog sledding), and experiencing natural phenomena like the Northern Lights. Keep in mind that Arctic tourism is typically seasonal, with the most popular times being summer for milder weather and wildlife sightings, and winter for the Northern Lights and snowy landscapes.

What is the best month to go to the Arctic?

The best time to visit the Arctic depends on your preferences. Summer (June to August) offers milder temperatures, wildlife sightings, and activities like hiking. Winter (September to April) is ideal for experiencing the Northern Lights and snowy landscapes.