Canadian Arctic Wildlife Safaris

By Steven Wright

If you are looking to go where few have gone before and to get up close and personal and eye to eye with wildlife in their natural environment then an Arctic Safari is the ideal destination and vacation for you. There are incredible opportunities to touch the Arctic, talk with the Inuit people and even experience snorkeling and diving with Narwal and Beluga. Staying in low impact, mobile safari inspired camps designed with the location in mind, offering all the comforts of home and zero environmental footprint in the “Serengeti of the north”. With gateways from Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal there are small group tours to experience the Arctic coming alive March through October. These excursions are amazing opportunities for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts alike, and great for individuals, families and groups.

In March, travelers can experience newly born Polar Bears and amazing Northern Lights in Western Hudson Bay . Although the temperatures are still pretty cold at -15 to -20 with approximately 8 hours of daylight, this is the only time to see the baby Polar Bears. These tours offer accommodations in a rustic lodge setting with travel by heated vans and you will need your Canada Goose Down jackets for optimum enjoyment.

In April through June the Arctic starts warming up with temperatures -7 to +10 offering spring skiing like weather and 24 hours of daylight. During this time tours head to upper Baffin Island to experience wildlife migration, staying in ice based safari camps and travel by Qamutik, a Inuit sled pulled by snowmobile. Travelers are taken to experience the flow edge where numerous Narwal (the unicorn of the sea) and Beluga Wales are waiting for the sea ice to break up. This is the only place in the world to see Narwal and have the opportunity to snorkel in dry suits with both Narwal and Beluga Wales. Here you can see many bird species and Polar Bears crossing the ice, not to worry, the Polar Bears are well fed during this season.

July through September is the warmest season in the Arctic with temperatures of +5 to +22 with 24 hours to 17 hours of daylight, this is the optimum time for family vacations to the Arctic. Tours offer land based safari camps with wooden floors, raised beds and sleeping bags or you can even upgrade your stay to a yurt. During this time there is hiking with Inuit guides, and travel by boat to see icebergs, Walrus, Bow-Back Wales and land based Polar Bears in lower Baffin Island. The tours also include iceberg tea.

The Arctic starts cooling down in October and November with temperatures of -5 to -20 with 10 hours down to 8 hours of daylight. Staying in Polar Bear observation cabins, travelers experience the Polar Bear migration in Western Hudson Bay and have the experience of walking with Polar Bears with Inuit guides. The cabins give you prime viewing as the bears cross literally in front of the observation cabins and offer the most spectacular Northern Lights at night.

There are opportunities to book private group tours of the Arctic including a stay on a 45′ expedition yacht, allowing your own customized experience in the Arctic. For more information or to book your Arctic Safari, please contact me.

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