Luxury comes in many forms… possibly the greatest luxury is access to the truly exceptional and very remote. This is where Churchill Wild shines. Seal River Lodge is the result of a dream. Mike Reimer had been working with his wife’s family’s outfitting company. He imagined polar bears walking by a wildlife ecolodge. In spring 1993, he hopped on a plane, flew north and found his perfect spot. He secured the permits and started creating. The result is pure magic. Polar bears spend their summers hanging out on land and in shallow water waiting for the ice to form. They are pretty chill during this period of walking hibernation. Seal River sits on the edge of Hudson’s Bay exactly where the bears are . Belugas also flock here in summer. The relatively warm water is the perfect place to bring their calves to fatten up before winter comes. Polar bears are nothing if not adaptable. The Hudson Bay bears have started feeding on the whales. This is new and makes them more active. The lodge opened in July 1994. They had one guest that season for their first on foot Polar Bear Safari. The goal…have zero impact on the bears…neither positive nor negative. Churchill Wild doesn’t want them to get used to people. Bears are never fed. Garbage is never left where they might get it. Guests are the ones inside the fence when hanging at the Lodge. Rooms are spacious and well appointed. The beds are comfortable. There is a large lounge with a wood burning fireplace where everyone hangs out when not out exploring. This is where you’ll find the cookie jar. Every evening there are talks from experts, a chance to learn about the animals, the local area and share stories. Meals are delicious, served family style. Wines & beers are Canadian. But you are not coming for any of those things. You are here for the bears, the belugas and the northern lights. Depending on conditions and where the wildlife is days are spent on zodiacs, special vehicles or on foot. Walking with the bears may not get you as close as the big, wheeled tundra buggies but it is way less damaging on the environment. A unique way to see them in their real and natural habitat. All in, a truly exceptional experience.
Number of Rooms: 8
Sweet Suite: Guests are assigned rooms upon arrival. They are all slightly different but basically the same except for the beds…they have king beds, queen beds and rooms with two single beds. All have ensuite bathrooms with single sinks and showers. There is tons of hot water. They come with hair dryers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel.
Favorite Thing: So hard to pick… the guides are outstanding…knowledgeable and eagle eyed. Nicole and Ben are fantastic managers who lead an incredible team all of whom are charming and good humored. Polar Bears are truly remarkable…so cute, adaptable and majestic. But my favorite thing just might be the cookie jar….Cookies are my weakness; these are all homemade and change daily. Divine.
Near By: Not much! And that is the point. You are here to see wildlife. While there are no guarantees, nature is unpredictable, I saw tons…polar bears, belugas, seals and birds. What you are likely to see changes with the season.
Amenities: Delicious and plenty of food served family style in the dining room or out on the tundra picnic style. Canadian wines and beers. Boutique. Cookie jar. Tea, coffee and snacks available almost always. Rain gear and wellington boots provided (you’ll need them, it gets muddy). Special life jackets provided. Wood burning fireplace, outdoor viewing tower and platforms.
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