This trip was booked over a year in advance because the places on the tour fill up fast. My dear old friend, Judy, got me interested in doing this and we had an absolutely wonderful time. My usual research turned up Natural Habitat Adventures and their ‘Tundra Lodge Adventure'. We booked this for the final week of the bear season — November, 2010 — when I figured more bears would be around waiting for Hudson Bay to freeze over so they could hunt seals–a wise idea, we found out. The tour started with an overnight at the Fort Garry Hotel, and a day in Winnipeg, Manitoba, followed by a charter flight to Churchill, Manitoba. We stayed outside of town in the Tundra Lodge, a ‘train’ of mobile home-type structures that’s rolled out to the tundra at the start of bear season and rolled back to town at the end. While not luxurious, the Lodge was warm, comfortable, and the food was good. Each of the group had a single bedroom about the size of a double bed (!) with either an upper or lower bunk and a tiny window to look out of while one's head rested on the pillow; four bathrooms with showers were shared by the group. A kitchen, dining room, and lounge completed the accomodations — spartan but adequate. At the end of the 'train' was an open porch with an expanded metal floor under which the bears could come and sniff at our boots. But best of all, the bears hung out at the Lodge because they smelled food there—US! Thus the bear viewing exceeded our wildest dreams. The tour package included one night in Winnipeg both before and after the tundra experience and a morning in Churchill during which I took a dog sledding excursion. Each day we went out in a ‘Tundra Buggy’– a big, hulking, ponderous vehicle purpose-built for moving about the tundra – looking for bears and other wildlife; except for a few well-camouflaged ptarmigans, the local wildlife was hiding.
I would recommend this company and this way of interacting with the bears without reservation. Judy and I will be talking about this for a long time.
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10 Nov 2010....Chicago O'Hare ORD — Winnipeg, Manitoba YWG
10 – 13 Nov.....Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
13 Nov.............Churchill, Manitoba
13 – 17 Nov.....Tundra Lodge
17 Nov.............Winnipeg, Manitoba
18 Nov.............Winnipeg YWG — Chicago O'Hare ORD