• Wolves in Arctic Canada

Arctic Wildlife in Canada

The far northern reaches of Canada are a true wilderness of pristine icy expanses and rugged landscapes, with very little human presence and an abundance of wildlife which is specially adapted for life in the extreme cold; including the majority of the world’s polar bears. Caribou, wolves and arctic foxes also roam the tundra, while the Arctic waters are home to a variety of whale species, including belugas, bowheads and the fantastical-looking narwhals, the ‘unicorns of the sea’.

The indisputable star is the King of the Arctic; the polar bear.

Arctic fox, Arctic Canada safari

The polar bears & other main players

The polar bear is the main attraction for many visitors hoping to observe the ‘King of the Arctic’ in its natural habitat. The small town of Churchill on the edge of Hudson Bay is one of the few human settlements where it is possible to see polar bears in the wild, and there are an estimated 900 to 1,000 bears in this population. The best time of year to see these magnificent creatures is between October and November as they wait on the tundra for the “Big Freeze”, ready to begin the seal-hunting season. Polar bears here are relatively fearless of humans, so your chances of encountering them on one of our specialist expeditions is very high. In the Spring, you may also have the chance to see newborn cubs, as they emerge from their dens for the first time and take their first tentative steps into the frozen wilderness. 

This stark yet fascinating environment is not only home to the great white bears, you can also witness wolves, caribou, Arctic foxes, beaver, pine marten and numerous bird species as you traverse the icy terrain. Nunavut archipelago, which includes Ellesmere Island, Baffin Island and Victoria Island, covers an expanse of 2.2 million square kilometres, which collectively comprises one fifth of Canada and is a kaleidoscope of deep fjords, mountains and snowy expanses. During the summer months, the ice melts and the tundra becomes carpeted with colourful flowers, making this the best time to see large herds of caribou which come to feed on the summer grasses as they prepare for their migration.

During migration, caribou can form herds of up to 350,000 to travel thousands of kilometres across the tundra, a phenomenon which is best viewed from the air.

Polar bear cubs, Arctic
Narwhal, Arctic Canada safari

Other wildlife highlights

Whales also dot the waters of Hudson Bay and during the summer months of July and August you can kayak alongside the beluga whales and enjoy Zodiac exploration of the waters. From the floe edge of Canada, it may even be possible to see narwhal, a once in a lifetime sighting for any wildlife enthusiast. This is also the best time to see many of the seabirds that spend their summers in the Arctic, including kittiwakes, murres and eider ducks. 

Finally, this part of the world is also one of the finest to witness nature’s most dramatic light show – the Aurora Borealis, which lights up the skies with a mysterious display of colour between November and March, when the sky is clearer than other times of the year.

From narwhal and beluga whales, to seals, polar bears and foxes. The Arctic is a remote wilderness and a haven for wildlife enthusiasts looking for something that bit special.

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Why book with us

We are destination specialists

Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived, guided or explored in great detail the destinations that they sell.

We are wildlife specialists

As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

We really care about our destinations

We frequently monitor the social, economic and environmental impact of our travel operations to ensure our trips are sustainable and ethical.

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