If you ever wanted to see a polar bear with your own eyes then Alaska gives you one of the greatest chances. The most popular area to go to see one of the amazing creatures up close is in Churchill. There is only a brief window to try and see these majestical creatures as they only really accessible during the middle of October to the middle of November. There are a couple of tourist organizations that will take you in their special Tundra Buggies to see the animals.
These vehicles have been specially constructed for protection and clarity of viewing, with a maximum of forty people allowed they are often fully booked so it is advisable to organize your trip well in advance. The vehicles have dual pane windows which never frost up so if a bear does appear you will have a fantastic view.
How Long is the Tour?
Your polar bear experience rather depends on the size of your wallet, tours start at a couple of days but can last as long as you want.Churchill is a fine example of how people live in this icy wilderness and you may want to extend your stay to have a better look around. There are also great dogsled and helicopter rides to explore even more of the remote surrounding country around Churchill.
One of the very best experiences is to stay in a wooden lodge during your holiday. These act both as accommodation and viewing spots for the bears, although polar bears can be seen as early as July it is in the later months that more bears leave for their hunting grounds.
The lodge experience does not use Tundra Buggies and most of the viewing from your lodge will be done on foot accompanied by an experienced guide. The lodges are situated in stunning places that will give you an entirely different perspective of the life in this great white wilderness, and a much better opportunity of getting up close to the huge animals.
When the night comes there is complete silence as the lodges are far away from anybody and electricity, you will feel at one with the landscape and the animals. An added bonus to all this is the opportunity to see the Aurora later on in the calendar.
This part of Manitoba is perfect country for getting up close and personal with the great arctic bear. Although polar bears can also be seen in Norway, Russia and Greenland they are most common in Alaska.
Polar bears have a magnificent sense of smell so good they can smell prey over fifteen kilometers away. Although rather clumsy on land the bears are excellent swimmers and have even been spotted by boats as far as one hundred kilometers from land. Their large paws act as paddles and they can reach speeds of almost ten km/h.
Even with all this swimming prowess they prefer to catch seals on a hunting or ice platform, there they will wait until the seal appears and grab it in their huge jaws. Known as the white bear this is not strictly true, the fur is transparent that reflects light. If all these whets your appetite to visit Alaska and see the bears then the advice is to book early as it is becoming a most popular experience.