Small Group Safari

Caribou Migration & Autumn Arctic Tundra

An extraordinary 7 day Arctic safari to explore the tundra in hopes of seeing the 350,000 strong herd of caribou on the Canadian Barren Lands.

Duration 7 days
Price From $7,117
When Aug - Sep
Destination Arctic Canada

Safari Overview

This extraordinary 7 day Arctic adventure takes you deep into the Arctic tundra where you will find the 350,000 strong herd of Qamanirjuaq caribou preparing for their journey south for the winter. With the vibrant autumn colours of the Arctic tundra providing the perfect photographic background you’ll be able to get close to groups of caribou. Exploring this wilderness paradise you may also encounter wolves, grizzly bears, black bears and golden eagles. Highlights include an aerial view of the magnificent tundra as you arrive by private charter plane and the opportunity to explore the lakes and rivers by boat in search of swimming caribou.

What makes this trip extraordinary?

  • See one of nature’s great events, the caribou migration.
  • Hopefully encounter wolves, grizzly bears, black bears and golden eagles.
  • Experience true Arctic wilderness, exploring by boat, small plane and on foot.
  • Opportunity to see the Northern Lights.

Something a little different, with a focus on the spectacular caribou migration.

Day by day

Day 1

Yellowknife - Canadian Barren Lands

After arriving in Yellowknife you will be flown by private charter to Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge in the early afternoon. Flying to Arctic Haven, you’ll see the Barrens from the air, the endless lakes and caribou paths forged into tundra, the sparse trees dotting the tree line amidst a fall backdrop of crimson reds, bright oranges and dark greens. Before dinner you will have the opportunity to explore the surrounding area with a short excursion by foot to scout for caribou.

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge D

Day 2

Ennadai Lake

After breakfast, you will head out onto the waters of Ennadai Lake by boat where caribou can often be found swimming in small herds as they island hop on their migration south. Explore the northern reaches of Ennadai Lake, it is here above the tree line that caribou can be found on islands and shorelines. Majestic bulls can be seen on the shores, grazing and slowly making their way south. Females and calves can be seen cautiously moving across the tundra. Your afternoon is spent cruising amongst the islands to spot caribou, with short walks on land to view them closer. After your full-day's excursion, you can attend informal lectures by Richard Weber, an internationally recognised polar explorer, who recounts his unassisted journey to the North Pole.

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge B, L, D

Day 3

Blind Hill or Grayling Rapids

Take a 20-minute boat ride to the shoreline where your hike to the Blind Hill esker begins. This 9km hike takes you from the soft and wet blueberry flats to a dry and well-worn caribou trail on the spine of an esker, to an open tundra ridge overlooking the lakes and land below. An alternative option to hiking today is a fishing trip at Richard’s shoal and Grayling Rapids. At the shoal, trout like are abundant and Grayling Rapids offers an opportunity to fly fish for grayling.

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge B, L, D

Day 4

North Arm and Big Bear

Today you will head to the North Arm exploring the far reaches of the lake where caribou are most frequently seen. Your day includes a short hike up to Big Bear, the highest point on the lake. From the summit, you can enjoy a truly awe-inspiring panoramic view. Head out again in search of more caribou, which you will try to stealthily approach from land to get a better view. After dinner photographer Nansen Weber offers an informal lecture on his photographic experiences on the Barren Lands.

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge B, L, D

Day 5

Ennadai Lake and Blind Hill

Today you can choose from a range of activities, using the cabin outpost as a central hub. You will board the boats for a 40 minute boat ride to Cabin Island, where you can explore before choosing their activity for the morning. Optional activities include; kayaking amongst the islands, fishing from the boats at nearby shoals and a unique opportunity to visit historical sites where Ahiarmiut have camped for hundreds of years. Back at Cabin Island, enjoy a fish fry lunch. After returning to the lodge, you can choose to attend a short informal presentation on the Mythology and Folklore of the Aurora Borealis. If it’s a clear night, your evening could come to a close gazing out above the lake at the majestic aurora.

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge B, L, D

Day 6

Kazan River

Heading south into the tree line, today’s excursion starts with a short boat ride up the Kazan River - one of the largest rivers in the Barrens. Here, the tundra begins to turn into forest –with caribou trails weaving amongst the forest. This location is also excellent for tundra swans and moose. For the more adventurous, there is a spectacular 7 km walk along the eskers, following caribou, moose and wolf tracks. For those who want to walk less, a short walk amongst the forested eskers bring you to the final paths of the Qamanirjuaq caribou - only a few miles south from here they overwinter. Wolves have been seen here in the past and a den is strategically placed near one of the eskers.

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge B, L, D

Day 7

Depart Canadian Barren Lands

Today you can take a short hike, following the caribou trails on the esker near the lodge. Wolf and caribou tracks can be followed in the sandy paths and beautiful shimmering ponds are seen through the black spruce forest. You’ll return to the lodge for lunch and you are free to relax for the afternoon before the plane arrives to take you back to Yellowknife.

Trip Details

Dates and Prices

This is a specialist-led set departure departing on specified dates.

2017 Departures  Prices 
Aug 26 - Sep 1  From 5,195 per person 
Sep 1-7  From 5,195 per person
Sep 13-19 From 5,195 per person

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Your Next Steps

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