November 17, 2008
In the Best of IgoUgo page’s first week, superb stories and photos from MilwVon’s Canadian polar bear adventure ice-stormed the rankings. Here are some of the companies she and other members hot on the bears’ trails recommend using for a memorable trip to the tundra of Churchill, Manitoba.
Churchill Nature Tours
“The BEST tour company in Churchill,” proclaims MilwVon’s review of Churchill Nature Tours, and, after reading her two journals about her experience with them, we have to agree they would be hard to beat. Besides tundra-buggy excursions (with flush toilets!) and helicopter rides, the tour company organized everything from accommodations and meals to a meeting with local Inuits in a caribou-skin tent.
Great White Bear Tours
MilwVon also sings the praises of Great White Bear Tours for their top-notch tundra vehicles and service. The company takes care not to fill their buggies to capacity, allowing every passenger to snag a window seat and extra space. Plus, in addition to the repeatedly heralded flush toilets, their buggies feature large viewing decks and hot beverages. In these pleasant conditions, MilwVon says, she “had two very successful bear-viewing days, with 16 on the first day and six the second,” and “the quality of the experience was outstanding in spite of or perhaps because of the driving blizzard storm.”
Tundra Buggy Adventure
Offering several different types of bear outings, another buggy option is the Tundra Buggy Adventure from Frontiers North Adventures, recommended by travelwhiz1799. “Honestly, it was one of the best tours I have ever had in my life!” she says. “The tour guide was awesome, full of tons of interesting facts and able to get us within safe viewing distance of many beautiful animals—not just polar bears, but even arctic foxes, ptarmigan, hares, and reindeer.”
Hudson Bay Helicopters
A helicopter tour to see polar bears from a different vantage point was one of the activities included in MilwVon’s Churchill Nature Tours package, and Hudson Bay Helicopters delivered with sightings of seven or eight bears in one hour, including a “large polar bear eating on a caribou carcass” as “blood-stained snow showed the trail from the kill site in a small patch of willows.” A striking, if not unusual, Hudson Bay sight: amandabeth saw a similar scene involving an arctic fox on her Manitoba trip.
For those of you looking to book a trip north, we should also note that we have it on good authority that Natural Habitat Adventures provides a wonderful polar bear experience and education as well. And, of course, you can get even more ideas for your trip from IgoUgo travelers right here.