Harland, Marge – Churchill Polar Bears

February 27, 2017 | Lois Farley

It is ironic that I spend most of my life in Manitoba but I have to move away to California to realize that I really needed to see and experience a Polar Bear adventure back in Churchill, Manitoba. And what an experience it was! These giant bears are among earth’s mysterious and fascinating animals and seeing them is akin to my trips to see lions, tigers and elephants. And with climate change happening I was even more compelled to arrange a trip to visit them.

Our hotel was good – clean and comfortable. Not the Ritz, but that is very much expected in going to a place like Churchill. Besides, it was the tundra vehicles that I was most interested in and they were very comfortable. The giant windows made it easy to scan the tundra at all times looking not only for polar bears but also for Ptarmigan, snow owls and arctic fox – all of which I was fortunate to see. A great hot lunch and the knowledge of the guides really made the trip exceptional.

But it was the proximity top the bears that still sends shivers up my spine. The feeling of seeing this massive bear standing literally within arms length cannot be described. And to feel that power as he gently rocked our tundra vehicle with some 16 adults in it made me shrink back. My pictures simply do not do the bears justice but by being so close to them I know the feeling when I then look at a professional photo of exactly how beautiful and magnificent these animals are.

I would have loved to see the area from the air in the additional helicopter ride as others that I had spoken to had indicated that it gave you such a great overview of the land. I also very much wanted to see the Prince of Wales Fort and from the air would have been a perfect way to view it. But alas, fog prevented us from flying that day and I had to content myself with a wonderful visit to the Eskimo Museum.

Thank you for planning the whole trip departing from my home in Sacramento. You made the whole experience top notch and truly explained what I was getting into and what I should expect. I really appreciated the Great Canadian Scarf and I have sent a couple of pictures of myself wearing it as well as my favorite polar bear shots. I am not a professional photographer – nor even a good one – but I didn’t have to be, when they are only 10 feet away!