Do you want to see Polar Bears? If yes you have to visit Churchill in Manitoba, Canada in October or the first 10 days of November. In this time of the year some 800 polar bears are coming to the Churchill-river and are waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze so they can go on the pack-ice and hunt the seals.
How to get there: The hub to Churchill is Winnipeg (YWG). I got there from Munich (MUC) over Toronto-Pearson (YYZ).
There are numerous provider for this adventure. I choose the biggest one Frontiers North.
What do you need there? The tour operator of your choice will provide you information about the clothing, I would like to tell you what kind of equipment do you need there and why.
1. tripod and a wide angle lens 14-24mm to photograph the Northern lights. You don't need tripods for the bears, rather a beam-bag.
2. 70-200mm f2.8 to photograph the bears in the early morning. The bears will come very close to you
3. 500-600mm to photograph sparing bears or swimming bears or polar foxes or polar hares...
Most of the time you will spend with your buggy driver and with your photographer. I was lucky to have two people with charm and spirit, Jessica to my right and J.P. to my left.
But let me first tell you more about Churchill in Manitoba.
I was picked up from the Airport and our first destination, next to the airport was the bear-jail. If bears are coming to close to Churchill, the rangers will try to banish them and if this doesn't work...
... they go to the jail....
My first picture of the Hudson bay, still not frozen jet, which actually is very sad, as polar bears need Pack Ice to hunt. Following some pictures from Manitoba as first impressions.
I love the next ice sculptures created by nature.
Tundra-Buggy-Lodge, this was my home for 5 nights. In the foreground you see the reason, why it is strictly forbidden to touch the ground while living there.
Here is the reason why you need 70-200mm lens.
300 days a year there are Northern Lights in Churchill... One need only clear sky to see them... and here is the reason why you need a 14-24mm lens. and a tripod.
The sunsets in the white tundra can be very spectacular.
Right the first day we saw a swimming polar bear... and I knew this journey is already a success.