Time to add Churchill to your bucket list!
I spy with my little eye, something white, furry and rolling in snow! I will give you one guess what that might be! If you guessed, polar bear, you win! Here’s a high five! It’s polar bear season in the sub-arctic and as the Polar Bear Capital of the World, Churchill, Manitoba gets ready to host the world during late October and early November.
As ice forms in Hudson Bay along the shores of Churchill and Wapusk National Park in northern Manitoba, polar bears start coming out of hibernation and get themselves ready to jump on the ice flows in search of food, such as seal, narwhals, beluga whales, and bowhead whales.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit Churchill in the summer. While it wasn’t polar bear season, we managed to see a few polar bears from a helicopter as we flew over the northeast tip of Wapusk National Park. Seeing the polar bears frolicking in Hudson Bay made me yearn for another trip to Churchill in the winter. A day trip to Churchill would satisfy that yearning desire to view polar bears up close in the blowing snow in the willows.
Peek-a-boo, I see a polar bear and it’s coming our way!
Shortly after landing in Churchill and hopping onto our bus, we came across our first polar bear. Peeking amongst the rocks along the gravel road enroute to the Tundra Buggy station, we were greeted by a curious polar bear that came right up to our bus. As our tour guide mentioned, this was the first time in his experience in over 20 years that he’s taking travelers to Churchill where a bear has come that close to a bus.
On our tour, over 40 polar bear enthusiasts, wildlife photographers and bucket list travellers. Some travellers as I found out, were simply on the one-day tour from as far as China. It may sound nuts, but the German tourist I was sitting next to in the Tundra Buggy travelled specifically to Churchill for the one day tour. Consider this for a moment. He travelled from Germany, for ONE day to experience seeing polar bears in Churchill. While we were up in Churchill, film and TV crews from all over the world were in Tundra Buggies trolling and following polar bears as they played in the snow or walked across frozen lakes.
In recent times, celebrities such as Martha Stewart, Dan Acroyd, Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough were spotted in Churchill. The most recent being Ryan Seacrest last weekend as he and representatives from Coke-a-Cola made a donation towards WWF activities to help promote polar bear conservation.
The Filipino Journal would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Travel Manitoba, Heartland International Travel and Tours for their assistance and cooperation for coordinating a wonderful day trip to Churchill, Manitoba. Rob Buenaventura was our lucky winner in our “Win A Day Trip to Churchill” sponsored by Heartland International Travel and Tours.