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View the fall caribou migration from an Arctic lodge in Nunavut


Experience and photograph the fall caribou migration from this Arctic 5 star lodge in Nunavut.

One of the largest herds in North America, the Qamanirjuaq caribou herd of over 350,000 roam the Canadian  Barren Lands west of Hudson’s Bay. Twice per year they migrate north and south. Their trails follow the eskers (long thin hills left by glacier in the last ice age) and lakes (when there is ice).  Some of their routes are on the eskers by the lodge.

The Qamanirjuaq caribou herd's range straddles the Nunavut-Manitoba border and runs north through Nunavut's Kivalliq region up to Baker Lake. The range extends into parts of southeastern Northwest Territories and northeastern Saskatchewan. 

Every fall the Qamanirjuaq caribou herd leaves their summer calving grounds and journeys five hundred kilometers southward to their winter home. The Qamanirjuaq caribou are one the healthiest herds in Canada and several narrow sections around the lake provide natural crossing places for the caribou. This lodge is located on their migratory path.

Many other animals such as wolves and wolverine depend on the caribou. Large numbers of caribou means large numbers of predators. At this lodge you may also see wolves and wolverines.  Fresh tracks around the lodge are common.

The lodge offers a variety of easy to moderate hiking opportunities as you explore the area and search for the caribou. The lodge is located at the heart of the treeline and natural trails forged by the caribou provide excellent paths to explore the area. A fleet of boats are used to travel the lake and are the best way to spot the caribou. Fall is also an excellent time to view the aurora borealis or northern lights and in the evenings there is a good chance of seeing this phenomena right from the lodge.

For the avid angler the lodge offers excellent fishing for lake trout, northern pike and arctic grayling. Spin tacke or fly fishing gear can be used and your guides know all the hot spots to catch the big one.

 

 

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$8795.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Wildlife Watching
SEASON

late August to late September

DIFFICULTY
Easy / Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
24
GUIDE INFORMATION

Each day your guides will take you out on the lake for a new adventure. The on site guides have a vast knowledge of the lake and the area and they are passionate and professional experts. They will take you to all the well known caribou crossing areas to give you the best opportunities to view these animals. They also know all the fishing hot spots and you are always welcome to drop a line in the water as you explore the lake and the area.

RESTRICTIONS

There is no age restriction for participating on this program. All guests must have average mobility and be able to get in and out of the boats and walk on uneven or rocky terrain from time to time. The guides are available to assist at the boats for people with more limited mobility. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Requirements: Good rubber boots you can walk in, good rain gear and fishing license if planning to fish (can be purchased at the lodge).

Environmental Policies at the lodge

This lodge is located in the Arctic, an enviromentally fragile area. Your hosts are very aware of the sensitve nature of the land and wildlife that surrounds the lodge. They strive to make as little impact as possible.

Maximum group size at the lodge is no more than 24 people per week. The is the maximum number your hosts feel that the land can support and view the wildlife without disturbing them.

Boats are used to navigate throughout the lake. It is the best way to spot the caribou and minimize scarring on the tundra or disturbing the migration paths. ATV's on site always remain on the trail system to minimize any disturbance of this sensitive area.

This lodge generates 80-95% of it's electricity from the on site solar panels and wind mills and it has an eco friendly decomposing septic system.

The staff uses environmentally friendly products for cleaning. Metal, glass and non-burnable garbage is packaged and returned to Yellowknife for recycling.

TRANSPORTATION

The trip begins and ends in Yellowknife, NWT. The package includes a charter flight to and from Yellowknife. The lodge has it's own runway and the flight time from Yellowknife is approximately 2 hours.

WEATHER

Weather in the north can change quickly. In the fall you can expect anything from sunny and hot to windy and rainy. The average day time temperature at this time of year is 10-15 C.

REGION
Nunavut
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

Aluminum boats to travel the lake, ATV's, fishing gear, use of the lodge facilities.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

Comfortable rubber boots, hiking boots, rain gear, warm fleece or wool clothes (layering is best), warm socks, gloves, hat, lodge shoes. A full packing list will be supplied upon booking.

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Camera, binoculars, daypack, water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen.

ACCOMMODATIONS

This 'green' lodge generates most of it's electricity from the on site solar panels and wind mills and is the only one of its kind in Nunavut.

Constructed and opened in 2002, this lodge is located on Ennadai Lake, on the tree line in southern Nunavut, Canada’s largest and newest territory, which formally came into being in 1999. Originally built as a fishing lodge, it is modern and comfortable accommodation that’s the equivalent to that of a five-star hotel in Nunavut.

The lodge is a five thousand square foot beautiful post and beam timber frame lodge with twelve private bedrooms.

Constructed with a central dining room and living room, forty by forty feet over looking the lake and wings on each side.  There are six bedrooms in each wing. Each heated bedroom has a full bathroom with shower, electricity and WiFi.

80-95% of the electricity needed to run the lodge is generated by solar panels and wind mills. A generator is on site as a back up. The lodge has an eco-friendly decomposing septic system.

The main lodge has a comfortable lounge, bar, wood stove, dining area and pool table.

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

Gourmet meals are prepared fresh at the lodge by the on site chef. Home made soup and freshly made bread is always on the menu. The experiened chefs offer a variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they can easily cater to vegetarians or anyone with dietary requests or retrictions. Bring them a fresh lake trout from the lake or pick some wild blueberries and they will put them to good use. 

The lodge has a bar on site that offers a variety of wine, beer and spirits.

7 day tour, available late August - late September
$8795.00 / per person - CAD
2019 dates: August 25-31, August 31-September 6, September 6-12, September 12-18, September 18-24, September 24-30.
PAYMENT INFORMATION
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A $2500.00 deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 180 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
Any cancellations before 180 days prior to the departure date will receive a full refund. Any cancellations after that are not eligible for a refund.

7 day tour, available late August - late September

Day 1

Depart Yellowknife at 2 pm from the Air Tindi Hangar where you will board a private charter for the 2 hour flight to the lodge. Upon arrival guests will meet the Arctic Haven team and be given a short introduction on wildlife and safety in the Arctic. After settling into their rooms dinner will be served. In the evening there will be time to walk the tundra, unwind in the wood fired sauna and/or take in the Northern Lights.

Day 2

Daily at 8:30 am breakfast will be served. A water safety briefing will be given prior to going out on Ennadai. Head to the northern reaches of the lake, above the treeline (20-30 km from the lodge) where there are islands used by migratory wildlife - search for the Qamanirjuaq caribou, wolves, and wolverines. The photo opportunities are unparalled so be sure to bring your camera. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach. Spend the afternoon cruising around the islands and going on short hikes to get a closer look at these majestic animals. Visit archaeological sites where the Ahiarmiut in the area have camped for hundreds of years. Return to the lodge for a gourmet meal, and an informal lecture by Richard Weber on his North Pole expeditions - highlighting his historic (and unrepeated) 1995 unassisted journey. There will be the opportunity to unwind in the wood fired sauna and take in the Northern Lights.

Day 3

Start the day with a 20 minute boat ride to the start of the nine kilometer hike for the Blind Hill esker. Go from the soft, wet blueberry flats to an ancient, dry caribou trail to an open tundra ridge overlooking the lakes and land below. Stop for lunch in a sheltered forest gully. Continue on over rolling terrain to reach an ancient stone Inuit hunting blind. The vibrant changing colours of the landscape are nothing short of breathtaking. A variety of berries - lingon, crow and blueberries cover the ground. At the end of the hike, on the Blueberry Flats, guests are welcome to harvest blueberries which our chef will incorporate into one of the meals. For those who prefer not to hike, there is an option to fish at Richard’s shoal and Grayling Rapids. After another delicious dinner, there will be a presentation on the Ahiarmiut or “people of the deer” - the Inuit who lived on the shores of Ennadai until the 1950’s.

Day 4

Board one of the boats and head to the North Arm to explore the far reaches of Ennadai where caribou are most frequently seen on land or swimming between islands. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach of Paradise Island. Arctic Haven has a remote camp in this area - so staying for the night is an option. Take a short hike up to Big Bear - the highest point on the lake, where the bedrock is exposed. It’s a fantastic vista. Back at the lodge, Nansen Weber will give an informal lecture on his experiences photographing the Barren Lands. Enjoy a sauna or the Northern Lights before tucking in for the night.

Day 5

Using our remote cabin and its beautiful sandy beach as base, guests can choose their own adventure: go spin fishing from the shore or on a boat - your guide will provide gear and tips; learn proper techniques from our certified kayaking guides to enable you to get into the sheltered bays and inlets of the islands where the opportunity to see caribou is high; or visit archaeological sites where the Ahiarmiut in the area have camped for hundreds of years. After a freshly caught fish fry lunch, guests once again have the opportunity to stay in this very private and secluded location - it’s the perfect spot for a one-night getaway. The day’s pace is very relaxed, upon returning to Arctic Haven another locally inspired meal will be served. In the evening an informal presentation on the Mythology and Folklore of the Northern Lights will be given - it is inspired by stories from around the world about the Aurora Borealis.

Day 6

Take a short boat ride up the Kazan River - one of the largest rivers on the Barrens - here the tundra turns to forest. Birch, black spruce and tamarack trees dominate the landscape. Moose have been spotted in this marshy forested area, along with tundra swans. If you’d prefer, embark on a spectacular 7 km walk along the eskers, following the caribou, moose and wolf tracks. This hike takes about 4 hours. In the afternoon fish for grayling in the Kazan. Then enjoy the final evening’s gourmet meal. Afterwards, your host Josée Auclair will give an informal workshop on local edible tundra sourced items. A demonstration on cleaning and filleting fish is also available

Day 7

This is the perfect opportunity to experience Ennadai Lake and surrounding area from above with our Heli-Safari/Heli-Hiking Add-On. It’s the ultimate way to experience the wildlife and stunning landscapes. Stop to hike or visit the remote North Kazan River to fly-fish in the rapids for grayling along the way. Seeing the tundra in all of fall’s magnificent colours and wildlife from the sky is a not to be missed opportunity (more details below). By now, guests are familiar with the area, and can opt to do an activity that they missed or would like to repeat. Then it’s an afternoon departure for Yellowknife to catch your return flight home.