Tundra Buggy Frequently Asked Questions

General Tundra Buggy® FAQs

How many people can fit on a Tundra Buggy?

A Tundra Buggy can hold up to 40-passengers, however our Enthusiast and Specialist level multi-day packages have a lower maximum capacity to allow for more room.

Are lunch and refreshments provided on the Tundra Buggy?

All guests will enjoy a light meal and refreshments during their Tundra Buggy excursion. The lunch may include homemade soup, sandwiches, and cookies. Canned soda is available on board, as well as water, coffee, hot chocolate, and tea (but don’t forget to bring your own reusable mug and/or water bottle).

What should I bring on the Tundra Buggy?

Don’t forget to bring a sealable, reusable travel mug for your water, coffee and tea. Bring whatever else you need for the day, including: a camera, extra camera batteries, sunglasses, and any necessary medications. The Tundra Buggy tours are long (eight hours in autumn and six hours in summer) so bring everything you’ll need to feel comfortable that day. And remember to dress in layers!

What should I wear on the Tundra Buggy?

Check out our What to Wear in Churchill – Autumn Edition video and blog and the What to Wear in Churchill – Summer Edition blog for packing suggestions and tips.

When is the best time of year to see polar bears from the Tundra Buggy?

Although you can see polar bears in the area as early as June, the prime time to see polar bears in their natural habitat is during October and November when the polar bear population around Churchill is at its highest. It is possible to see polar bears in the summer during our Tundra Buggy excursions, but our main focus at this time of year is the landscape, plant life and other northern wildlife, including birds.

What other wildlife can I see on the tundra?

Every day on the tundra is a little different but our guests most often spot: polar bears, arctic fox, red fox, ptarmigan, snow geese, gyrfalcons, snowy owls and a plethora of other birds and wildlife that call the Churchill Wildlife Management Area home. Visit the Churchill Northern Studies Centre’s website for more information on all the species that call Churchill home.

How big is a Tundra Buggy?

Tundra Buggies are large vehicles that can safely maneuver the rough terrain of the tundra, while still allowing our guests to have amazing wildlife viewing opportunities.

The tires on each Tundra Buggy vehicle are 1.7 meters (5.5 feet) high and 1.1 meters (3.6 feet) wide, and sit on 63.5 centimeter (25 inch) rims. A wide-bodied enclosure sits on top of the wheels and provides even more height, security, comfort and ability for guests to move around to view and photograph wildlife.

The average male polar bear is 2.5 to 3 meters (8 to 10 feet) tall when standing on its hind legs. The window opening for viewing on the Tundra Buggy is just over 3 meters (10 feet) above the ground. This means that even the tallest average bear can stand vertically on the side of the Buggy and guests will remain safely out of reach.

What are the seats like on the Tundra Buggy?

Each Tundra Buggy is outfitted with 40 seats that are arranged in groups of two. They are comfortable, and there is space on the floor beneath the seat to store your bags for the day.

How does a giant Tundra Buggy affect the environment and polar bears?

Our Tundra Buggies operate on a set of established trails created by the military in the 1950s.  By staying on these trails we help prevent further damage to the delicate tundra ecosystem. Our Tundra Buggy can hold up to 40 people which is more environmentally friendly than if individuals were separated into multiple vehicles. It’s like car pooling on the tundra.

We’ve replaced all the electric block heaters in our Tundra Buggies with diesel-fired units which have a smaller impact on the environment.  Our Tundra Buggy fleet uses environmentally friendly propylene glycol (i.e. engine coolant) and mineral oil lubricants, both whose Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) indicate no negative environmental impact.

Do you guarantee polar bear sightings?

Wildlife and weather are unpredictable which means we can never guarantee wildlife sightings. However, we have an excellent track record (check out our 2016 Churchill Wildlife Count) and our team of Tundra Buggy drivers work together in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area to ensure our guests have the best viewing opportunities possible.

How do we board the Tundra Buggy? Are the steps steep?

The location for boarding the Tundra Buggy is approximately 20 minutes outside of the town of Churchill. Once you are transported to the Tundra Buggy launch area, you will have to climb up approximately 12 wooden steps to a platform that is level with the Tundra Buggies. There is a handrail on the steps and if you need assistance up the stairs, please ask one of our staff to help. They will do their best to assist you when it is safe to do so.

Can I bring my mobility aid on the Tundra Buggy?

Unfortunately we do not allow mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs onto the Tundra Buggy due to lack of storage space.

 

Tundra Buggy Day Tour FAQs

How many people will be on the Tundra Buggy day tour?

Our Tundra Buggy day tours are capped at 40 and during peak seasons have a tendency to sell to capacity. We highly recommend booking your Tundra Buggy Day Tour(s) as early as possible. 

What time does my Tundra Buggy day tour start?

  • Autumn day tour guests are picked up from Fifty Eight North - Home of the Tundra Buggy at 7:45 AM in the morning. Fifty Eight North will open at 7:15 AM and the bus will depart no later than 8:00 AM. 
  • Summer day tour times vary, depending on the tide times. Please review the specific tour time of your booked day tour here. Summer day tour guests will meet at Fifty Eight North – Home of the Tundra Buggy located at 124 Kelsey Boulevard.

 

 

Photo © Robert R. Taylor

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