The Great Caribou Migration

A journey of epic proportions as we follow in the path of the Arctic Caribou migration, the largest mammal migration outside of Africa where more than 350,000 strong herd of caribou travel across the Ennadai Lake in the epic northern wilderness of the Canadian Barren Lands. This is a wilderness few got to witness and we invite you on this extraordinary sojourn to witness this remarkable spectacle. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Witness the great Caribou migration

Witness wildlife such as Arctic wolves, wolverines, grizzly bears

See the northern lights as early as September 

Sit amongst the autumn tundra colours

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE YELLOWKNIFE

Arrive into Yellowknife today and meet your fellow travellers for a welcome expedition briefing and rest and relax at leisure. 

Overnight: The Explorer Hotel, Yellowknife

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: YELLOWKNIFE / ARCTIC HAVEN WILDERNESS LODGE

In the morning, be transferred to Yellowknife Airport for your charter plane that will fly you 500 miles to the Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge flying over tree lines over the Canadian Barren Lands to begin your Arctic adventure. Circling before landing on the airstrip, witness endless lakes and caribou paths forged into tundra, sparse trees dotting the tree line amidst a backdrop of crimson red, bright orange and dark green foliage. On arrival, you will be whisked into an environment far away from civilization and into the Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge, situated on the shores of Ennadai Lake. Be warmly welcomed by your hosts who will provide you an introduction and briefing for your adventures taking place over the next few days. Prior to dinner, a short excursion by foot into the tree line is led by polar guide, Richard Weber as we begin to scout for the caribou herd following the natural eskers, paths worn into well-defined trails from centuries of migratory travel. 

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 3: ARCTIC HAVEN WILDERNESS LODGE

After breakfast, a short introduction and safety briefing is given prior to heading out onto the waters of Ennadai Lake by boat. Travelling by boat is an excellent choice to take in the surrounding landscapes, shifting from trees to barren hills as we travel along the shoreline, away from the tree line towards the local islands. Migratory birds including eagles, falcons and over 25 species of ducks call the water's edge home. The local islands, some only a few hundred feet wide, are used by the Qamanirjuaq caribou to cross the lake, often swimming in herds of two to twenty, the caribou "island hop" on their migration south. Other wildlife also uses these islands. Arctic wolves follow the caribou herds across the islands while martins, black bears and arctic hares also call the protected berry rich island coves home during the summer and fall months. We stop in a cabin for an outdoorsy-lunch and later, we continue our tracking of the caribous. On our return slowly trolling back to the lodge, you have the opportunity to try your luck at catch and release fishing for Arctic lake trout and northern pike. This evening when the skies are clear and nature allows, a chance to witness the northern lights beckons!

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: ARCTIC HAVEN WILDERNESS LODGE

We begin the day today heading towards a local wolf den. A short boat ride north of Arctic Haven, we head towards the rapids on the west arm of the Ennadai Lake. The shallow waters of the rapids spilling into the lake and the adjacent height of land make for the perfect location for a convergence of wildlife. A relaxed walk from the rapids to a local wolf den that has unspoiled views of the surroundings. The den is used in conjunction with several other dens in the area with the wolves alternating with the seasons and availability of food. A special lunch is served today upon returning to the boats and you have the opportunity to try your hand at Arctic Grayling fishing. As we enjoy lunch, golden eagles hover while caribous often drop by. This evening, enjoy a lecture by internationally-recognized polar explorer and owner of Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge on his North Pole adventures where his historic 1995 unassisted journey to the North Pole and back remains a feat that has never been repeated. 

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

DAY 5: ARCTIC HAVEN WILDERNESS LODGE

After breakfast, we head north to Halfway Bluff, suitably named by early explorers for the iconic hillside protruding well above the shoreline, the area is part of the migratory route of the caribou and a perch for eagles. We spend the afternoon exploring the migratory caribou trails and then lunch is served on the tundra and on the edge of the trail as we watch caribou passing through. Across the lake is an abandoned prospector's cabin complete with abandoned racks of stone core samples. This evening, photographer Nansen Weber offers an informal lecture on his photographic experiences on the Barren Lands. The principal photographer at both Arctic Haven and Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodges, Nansen has spent the past 10 years photographing some of the most important and dramatic wildlife events in the arctic. 

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

DAY 6: ARCTIC HAVEN WILDERNESS LODGE

Embark on a full day excursion today focusing on the history of the Ennadai Lake region. A boat ride north and a 2km walk through the trees and across the tundra brings us to "Blind Hill" on the edge of the tree line. Here, we can look south to the tree and north to the treeless tundra, ripe with fall colours during this period. Lingondon berries, blue berries and arctic cranberries provide essential nutrients for the Barrens Lands grizzly and black bears getting ready to hibernate for the winter. This evening after dinner, perhaps try your hand at catch and release fishing for the Arctic lake trout. With the shallow waters and glorious sunset, feel the inspiring hues of nature's instagram. 

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

DAY 7: ARCTIC WATCH WILDERNESS LODGE

We head south today into the tree line where we start off with a boat ride up the Kazan River - one of the largest rivers on the Barrens. Here, the tundra begins to turn into forest - birch, spruce, and tamarack trees lay claim to the territory, with caribou trails weaving amongst the sparse yet impressive arctic forest. A short walk amongst the forested eskers bring us to the final paths of the Qamanirjuaq caribou - only a few miles south from their resting grounds in winter. We may spot some action taking place with wolves often strategizing and ambushing the caribous. Enjoy lunch in the wilderness and perhaps, another great opportunity to fish for Arctic grayling. The swift current of the waters of the Kazan River is prolific with some of the most abundant graylings in the world. 

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

DAY 8: ARCTIC HAVEN WILDERNESS LODGE

Today's adventure takes us on a boat ride 30mins north to one of the highest points of land surrounding Ennadai Lake, aptly-named "Critter Hill". An easy 3km walk north towards the summit brings us to one of the best locations for wildlife on the tree line. The convergence of tree line ending on the caribou paths combined with the high top views makes the location excellent for spotting wolves, grizzly bears and grazing caribou. As you guessed it, lunch will be served here with front row high definition views of all the action. 

Overnight: Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

DAY 9: ARCTIC HAVEN WILDERNESS LODGE / YELLOWKNIFE

A splendid escape in nature comes to an end as we return by charter plane in the late afternoon to return to Yellowknife where on arrival, continue on your onward journey home or continue your adventures in Canada. 

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

HOTELS

Boasting an onsite restaurant and bar, The Explorer Hotel is just 5km from Yellowknife Airport. Rooms are simple and well-appointed and offers a relaxing stay and an ideal base before and after your adventures in the Northwest Passage. 

The Explorer Hotel, Yellowknife

Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge is a Nunavut resort, located on the Arctic treeline in the Barrens Lands - home to more than 250,000 strong population of Qamanirjuaq caribou herd. Arctic Haven offers access to hiking, kayaking, boating, world-class fishing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snow mobiling and arctic safaris with northern lights, arctic wolves, caribou, grizzling bears, wolverine tracking. 

Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

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