Manitoba is Home to World’s Largest Beluga Population | Summer

kayaking with belugas

Starting this summer, travelers can visit Churchill, Manitoba to view the world’s largest population of beluga whales from mid-June through end-of-August. The scenic western Hudson Bay region is home to 60,000 beluga whales looking to inhabit the warmer waters of the Churchill River and other Northern Manitoba river estuaries (such as the Seal River) after the ice breaks from the fierce winter.

Northern Manitoba is the only place in the world where travelers can get up close and personal with beluga whales, which are social, playful and curious creatures. These beluga whales spend the summer in the western Hudson Bay and warm waters of Manitoba’s northern rivers to feed and give birth. In the autumn and winter seasons, they migrate north. Guests can experience the unspoiled scenery of Churchill and watch hundreds of friendly belugas say hello as they feed on schools of Capelin during the warmer months.

To see beluga whales, visitors can take boating, kayaking, aqua-gliding, and stand up paddle boarding tours through Sea North Tours, Lazy Bear Expeditions, Churchill Wild, and Frontiers North Adventures.

Boat, aqua gliding and stand up paddle boarding tours take place on the Churchill River and the kayaking tour is a soft adventure where guests paddle around Churchill River. On boat tours, guides will lower a hydrophone into the water to allow guests to hear the high-pitched whistles, clicking, chirping and other enchanting underwater vocals that these “sea canaries” make. Oftentimes, these belugas are so curious that they approach guests during these water activities and ride in the motor wake or give kayaks a playful nudge. Guests can also watch grey calves pop in and out of the water alongside their moms who have snow white skin to camouflage among the sea ice.

For travelers fishing for more to explore, Churchill is also recognized as the polar bear capital of the world and one of the top destinations anywhere to view the Northern Lights. Manitoba is a province at the longitudinal center of Canada bordered by Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west. Winnipeg, the province’s capital, sits at the southern edge of Manitoba and at the northern tip resides Churchill on the west shore of Hudson Bay.

Manitoba is Canada’s sixth-largest province, has more than 100,000 lakes and waterways and a population of about 1.2 million. It is bordered on the north by Nunavut Territory, on the west by Saskatchewan, on the east by Ontario and on the south by North Dakota and Minnesota. While considered one of Canada’s Prairie provinces, Manitoba actually has three distinct geographical zones: the agricultural triangle in the south; the sub-arctic tundra in the far north; and the predominant Precambrian Shield with its rugged terrain and thousands of pristine lakes. Winnipeg is the capital and largest city in the province while Churchill is a town on the Hudson Bay renowned for polar bear and beluga whale sightings in addition to Northern Lights viewings.

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