Wat’chee Expeditions, established in 1994, is a full-service non-consumptive wilderness lodge located 40 miles south of Churchill, Manitoba owned and operated by Michael and Morris Spence. The lodge is a refurbished navy communications base adjacent to Wapusk National Park and the world’s largest polar bear denning area. Open for only a short period every year, Wat’chee Expeditions offers a unique opportunity in North America to see polar bear cubs and their mothers in their natural habitat. With a rare operating permit from Parks Canada, Wat’chee Expeditions brings visitors as close as 100 metres to the bears, while they learn about various aspects of the bears’ dens, habits and life cycle. Other wildlife viewing opportunities include ptarmigan, arctic foxes, caribou herds and wolves in addition to night time viewing of aurora borealis.
Wat’chee Expeditions was recognized by Travel Manitoba and awarded the Aboriginal Tourism Award at the 2008 Manitoba Tourism Awards. Wat’chee Expeditions was named a finalist in the Business of the Year category (single unit) in the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s (TIAC) National Tourism Awards program.
Wat’chee Expeditions has long been a coveted secret of naturalists and wildlife photographers. Images and video taken at Wat’chee Expeditions have been seen around the world resulting in international exposure for Manitoba. Many pictures of polar bear cubs and mothers have been taken at Wat’chee Expeditions and are commonly seen in magazines, books, calendars, et cetera.
Wat’chee Expeditions is a beautifully refurbished navy communications base which stands 300 feet on top of an old beach ridge located about 40 miles south of Churchill, MB. Canada.
The lodge is a world-renowned destination for the adventurous naturalist, the avid nature photographer, or for any and all vacationers who want to fully experience the world-class travel opportunities that the Canadian sub-arctic has to offer.
Wat’chee in the Cree language means “a hill covered with trees in the middle of the tundra”. Like an island surrounded by tundra, Wat’chee Expeditions is situated in the middle of the world’s largest polar bear denning area adjacent to Wapusk National Park.
Wat’chee Expeditions has a commanding view of the vast Hudson Bay lowlands that sprawl to the seashore of Hudson Bay, dotted by stands of one-sided spruce trees, tundra hummocks, small lakes and willow-lined creeks. This is the habitat of the Willow Ptarmigan, Cape Churchill, Caribou herds, Wolf, White Fox and the Polar Bear: – – the world’s largest land predator.