Experience the spectacular wildlife of Manitoba with an adventure that takes you from the dense forests of Riding Mountain National Park to the colourful tundra of Churchill. Frontiers North’s Big Five Safari is a nod to the incredible array of mega-fauna that populate the forests, tundra and rivers of this beautiful province. Photo: ©Eric Lindberg
I’ve just arrived in Winnipeg and am so excited for my Big 5 Safari tour! Tonight I’ll be spending the night at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, which is just a quick walk from the Winnipeg Airport. I check into my room and have some time to settle before heading to my pre-arranged meet-and-greet with my Frontiers North guide and the rest of the tour group to go over our itineraries in more detail.
Following an early breakfast, we depart Winnipeg on a 3.5-hour drive to Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP). The drive takes us from beautiful prairie skies to the rolling hills of the Manitoba escarpment. We arrive in Riding Mountain in the afternoon and drop into the Parks Canada Centre for a private escorted tour. Prior to checking into our bed & breakfast we have a chance to enjoy an evening safari in the park - our first chance to search for moose, black bear and bison.
Our accommodation for our time in Riding Mountain is the quaint family-run Honeycomb Bed & Breakfast located just outside the national park.
Photo: ©Doug Ross
We wake up to a bright sunny morning and are ready for a wildlife adventure! After breakfast, our group climbs aboard our bus and head out on a morning safari in Riding Mountain National Park. The park is home to many species of animals, but our time here is spent seeking out black bears, moose and bison.
After our morning safari around the park, we meet with a Parks Canada Interpreter at a look out point located inside the captive bison enclosure to learn about the history of the enclosure and it’s significance to the park. Our next stop is a family run café for lunch.
In the afternoon, we enjoy some free time to relax at the resort or explore the town of Wasagaming before dinner. In the evening our Frontiers North guide offers us the chance to do an evening safari and or group jumps at the chance to see the park in the beautiful dusk light. Tonight will be our last night staying at the Honeycomb Bed & Breakfast.
Photo: © Eric Lindberg
Our day starts off with a last morning safari through Riding Mountain National Park to spot wildlife, and then we return to the Honeycomb for a full breakfast.
Although we’re sad to leave the beauty of Riding Mountain behind, we’re very excited for the next portion of our tour – polar bears and beluga whales in Churchill! After breakfast we board the bus for our return to Winnipeg where we’re spend the night at the Sheraton before our morning flight to Churchill.
After breakfast, we board an early morning flight for Churchill. Upon landing we head out for a Churchill Town & Area Tour that gives us a chance to explore the town and surrounding landscape and learn about the historical and ecological significance of the area. After stopping at our hotel to check in, we enjoy lunch at a family-run restaurant.
In the afternoon we head to the outskirts of Churchill to enjoy a dog sledding program with an area dog musher where we take part on a mile long dog cart (on wheels) through the boreal forest and learn about the history of dog sledding and the importance it holds in northern communities.
Dinner is at a local Churchill restaurant and we have the evening to ourselves to head to the pub for a pint, or relax in our hotel guest lounge getting to know other travelers and guests.
Photo: ©Doug Ross
We wake up bright and early for breakfast before heading out on the water for our first beluga experience. Today we are taking part in a Beluga Boat Tour with a stop at the historical Fort Prince of Wales.
The boat tour takes us into the Churchill River estuary where hundreds of beluga whales are gathering to feed on small fish and give birth to adorable baby belugas! We don’t have to go far to find the whales either – they are curious creatures and pretty soon we find ourselves in the middle of a pod of smiling whales. After a couple of hours of whale watching – it goes by so fast – we stop on the far side of the Churchill River for a guided tour of Fort Prince of Wales, the oldest most northerly stone fort in the country.
After our boat tour we head right out onto the Tundra Buggy for our 6-hour excursion into the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Our buggy diver and Interpretive guide do an incredible job of explaining the geological and natural history of the tundra while we enjoy beautiful colourful landscapes and spot dozens of species of birds and other wildlife. We stop for a picnic lunch, eaten on the Tundra Buggy while we photograph wildlife. We even have the lucky chance to see a summer polar bear cooling itself in the waters of the Hudson Bay!
As the light fades we head back into the town of Churchill for a delicious dinner and a chance to relax. We’ve been told that Churchill sees over 300 nights of auroral activity per year, so if we have the luck to have clear skies tonight we might even get to see the northern lights!
Today is our last day in Churchill and we’re getting even more up close with the largest beluga whale population in the world on a 3-hour Beluga Zodiac Tour.
As we jet around the river estuary, dozens of whales surface just metres away and swim under and around the boat - so close we feel like we can reach out and touch them! They seem especially fond of the bubbles created by the boat’s motor and follow us around swimming in our wake. The time flies as we capture incredible photos of the pods of whales that are seemingly endlessly popping up around us.
After the tour we head back to town for lunch and some free time to explore the shops of Churchill. At the end of the day, we’re transferred to the Churchill airport for our return flight to Winnipeg, where we check into the Four Points by Sheraton hotel for our final night in Winnipeg and our final group dinner.
Photo: ©Doug Ross
My adventure has come to an end, and I head home with hundreds – if not thousands! – of photos to commemorate my incredible wildlife safari in Manitoba.
You arrive in Winnipeg and transfer on own to the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. The tour begins when you meet your Frontiers North Interpretive Guide for a meet and greet in the evening. Activities: Evening will meet and greet hosted by Frontiers North Guide. Meals: None
Morning bus transfer to Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP). Activities: Introduction to Riding Mountain National Park; evening wildlife safari. Overnight stay at Honeycomb Bed & Breakfast. Meals: B, L, D
Activities: morning wildlife drive; Interpretive bison enclosure presentation by Parks Canada; free time to explore the town of Wasagaming; guided tour of Parks Canada Visitor Centre. Meals: B, L, D
Activities: early morning wildlife drive before breakfast. Return by bus to Winnipeg. Evening at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. Meals: B, L, D
Early morning flight to Churchill. Activities: Churchill Town & Area Tour; Afternoon dog carting program. Meals: B, L, D
Activities: Morning Beluga Boat Tour with a stop at the historical Fort Prince of Wales. Six-hour Tundra Buggy excursion into the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Meals: B, L, D
Activities: Three-hour Beluga Zodiac Tour; Evening flight to Winnipeg. Check into Four Points by Shertaon Hotel. Meals: B, L, D
Guests may depart Winnipeg at their leisure. Meals: None
|Aug 2-9, 2016|
Tour Code: B5E
|Frontiers North's Big Five Safari|
Lodging: 3 nights Winnipeg, 2 nights Riding Mountain, 2 nights Churchill
Maximum 18 people
$1,125 Single Supplement
1 800 663 9832 (toll free)
1 204 949 2050 (international)
All prices CAD, plus applicable taxes.
All prices, inclusions, and dates may be subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.