WILD ENCOUNTERS WITH THE ARCTIC ANIMAL KINGDOM
Land of the Inuit, the Quebec Far North region of Nunavik is also the realm of a fantastic wildlife. Ruled by the legendary polar bear, this vast territory concealed above the 55th parallel is also home to one of the largest caribou herds in the world, and a sanctuary to small groups of archaic muskoxen, straight out of the ice age. From the edge of the boreal forest up to the ends of the northerly tundra, memorable encounters await you in Nunavik!
The breathtaking landscapes of this region of Quebec’s Far North certainly make for an ideal backdrop to capture a photograph of the majestic polar bear in its natural coastal habitat, where Nanuq undeniably reigns as king of the Arctic. And if this noble animal tends to blend in better in its home environment than at the zoo, your Inuit guides, who know the territory like the back of their hands, will without a doubt succeed in finding at least one of them during a summer outing at sea in their big motorized canoes. Aerial safaris are also a great way to find the sought-after white bears.
Back on solid grounds, you will definitely be able to make the most of the long polar summer days to take a walk on the wild side. Led by Inuit expert guides and/or knowledgeable naturalists, you will be able to safely roam the tundra on a hike in search of a group of magnificent muskoxen. One of the rare prehistoric mammal species still living on earth, these daunting creatures somehow managed to survive the climate disturbance of the ice age. Their warm woolly coat resembling a long beard —which earned them the name of umimmak in Inuktitut, the Inuit language— certainly had something to do with it. A journey to the Far North of Quebec is a privileged opportunity to track these ancient beasts in silence, as they wander the Arctic plains, feasting on grass, moss and lichen.
But a visit to Nunavik wouldn’t be complete without bearing witness to the great caribou migration. Treading upon the barren tundra in small scattered groups or by the thousands, often having to swim across great rivers flowing in this immense territory, braving the current to follow their migratory route, these hoofed animals that Inuit call tuktu, definitely have panache. As a matter of fact, their antlers will make a nice trophy on the wall in a picture frame that is likely to attract attention.
Definitely at the top of the list, these big favourites amongst the Arctic animal kingdom are not the only specimens there is to see up in Quebec’s Far North, as the region is teeming with life. Not only is Nunavik a true Eden for bird watching enthusiasts, but many other non-winged creatures, all perfectly adapted to the harsh northern climate, can also be spotted during a summer adventure off the beaten track in the region. With the help of your guides’ watchful eyes, you could also encounter a variety of animal species, which are sure to delight nature lovers and photographers alike.
FOLLOW THE CALL OF THE WILD TO NUNAVIK
This summer, join one of Nunavik’s adventure tour operators on a journey to the remote and wild tundra of Quebec’s Far North, led by expert Inuit guides and/or naturalists, to observe and photograph polar bears in their natural coastal habitat, get up close and personal with small herds of ancient muskoxen roaming the land, witness the great caribou migration or catch a glimpse of Arctic wolves with their cubs around the den, and much more! Whether on motorized canoe outings from one of the remote Inuit communities of Nunavik, from a satellite base camp in the wilderness or during an aerial safari, the choice is yours!
514-457-3319 or 1-855-657-3319 toll free from the U.S. and Canada
Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures 608-370-5071
Rapid Lake Lodge
418-949-2549 (October to May) or 819-389-5832 (June to September) http://rapidlake.com/en/