Arctic Haven: Arctic Wolf Photography
Led by Nansen Weber, this rare opportunity is for four guests only to photograph arctic wolves. Set amidst the backdrop of one of the largest remaining caribou herds in North America (The Qamanirjuaq caribou herd), you’ll be guided by expert wildlife guides as we spend a week observing, tracking and photographing the Arctic wolves of Ennadai Lake. As of 2019, the wolf pack consisted of two alpha adults, four individuals and four wolf pups.
Arctic Haven is our basecamp for the week as we set out onto the fall colours of the Arctic Barren Lands to observe these magnificent creatures. The fall season and caribou migration near Arctic Haven attracts grizzly bears, wolverines, eagles, wolves and more. Behold the majestic Northern Lights, and the spectacular reds, greens, and golds of autumn on the tundra.
Four days of helicopter supported adventures allows you to access more terrain and make the most of what the Arctic Barren Lands has to offer. Weather permitting, a helicopter on site is used as a shuttle to extend our range and access remote points from where we launch the day’s excursion.
Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge is situated on the shores of Ennadai Lake, Nunavut. Located in the Arctic Barren Lands, the lodge is along the migratory route of the Qamanirjuaq caribou herd. Arctic Haven is Nunavut’s only green-energy powered lodge and is designed to have as little impact on the fragile environment as possible. Accessible by private aircraft only - guests fly from Yellowknife NWT direct.
Wildlife/Nature Sightseeing; Photography
Travel to the Arctic used to mean a tent on the tundra, not anymore. Arctic Haven’s post and beam structure was designed to have as little impact on the environmentally fragile area as possible, yet provide guests with a high standard for accommodation and comfort in Nunavut. In addition to the common area and dining room, there are 12 private guest rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
Where the wild meets the refined, enjoy a distinctly Canadian epicurious experience with gourmet meals inspired by every province. Taste locally sourced Ennadai Lake trout sashimi, tundra blueberry compote along with Okanagan Valley wines, Alberta organic beef and more. Daily, our talented chef prepares fresh breads, yogurts, ice creams and other treats to satisfy you at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Any cancellations before 180 days prior to the departure date will receive a full refund less a $500 administration fee, per person. Any cancellations after that are not eligible for a refund.
As per Canadian Law, all rates are GST applicable at 5%. Prices are in Canadian currency.
We include two days of helicopter supported excursion per week for our guests on this special excursion. Additional flight time can be purchased ahead or onsite.
In the wild and unpredictable Arctic, weather patterns and wildlife can disrupt even the best-laid plans. All of our itineraries are ‘suggested’– we strive to ensure your visit to Arctic Haven is a trip of a lifetime and showcases the variety of activities and sights Arctic Haven has to offer. Each day’s activities take into consideration the dynamic environment we operate within and may not always reflect the suggested itinerary outlined below.
When booking airline tickets to arrive in Yellowknife, NWT, we have scheduled a 2:00 pm departure for Arctic Haven so guests can arrive the same day if they choose. However, weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to give a buffer if you are travelling a long way. There are many options for accommodations, restaurants and attractions in Yellowknife.
Depart Yellowknife at 2pm from the Air Tindi hangar where you will board a private charter for the two-hour flight to Arctic Haven. Upon arrival guests will meet the team and be given a short introduction to what can be expected during your stay at Arctic Haven. After settling into your rooms, dinner will be served family style. In the evening there will be time to walk the tundra, unwind in the wood fired sauna and/or take in the northern lights. Prepare your camera gear for the following day.
Breakfast is served daily at 8:30 am. A water safety briefing will be given prior to going out on Ennadai Lake. Head to the northern reaches of the lake, above the tree-line where the numerous islands are used by migratory wildlife - search for the Qamanirjuaq caribou, wolves, and wolverines.
Today’s goal is a wolf den that lies about 5km from the shoreline. We enjoy a picnic lunch before hiking the tundra towards the den, situated on a local esker. Eskers are formed by glacial deposition which, after the retreat of the last ice age, left long winding trails of sand. Our goal is to quietly observe, but not intrude. In the autumn months of August and September, The wolves of Ennadai Lake are hunting the migrating caribou near Arctic Haven. It is a crucial time for the wolf pack, as they hurry to nourish their pups as well as pack members before the long winter sets onto the tundra.
A helicopter picks up our adventurers before dinner. The scenic flight over the open tundra, back into the tree-line provides stunning landscapes of gold, reds and autumn greens. 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.
Start the day with a helicopter flight to Grayling rapids - a natural corridor used by migratory wildlife and hunting wolves. Hike the caribou trails as we search for caribou and wolves before continuing onto the local wolf den where we’ll endeavour to observe the Ennadai Lake wolf pack. In the autumn afternoons, as the pups emerge from a long evening of sleep, the adult wolves tend to return from hunting with their catch. Observe curious pups playing in the afternoon sun. An evening flight home highlights “Golden hour”, the perfect time for aerial photos of the colourful fall tundra.
Board one of the boats and head to the North Arm to explore the far reaches of Ennadai Lake where caribou are most frequently seen on land or swimming between islands. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the sandy beaches of Paradise Island. Take a short hike up to Big Bear - the highest point on the lake, where the bedrock is exposed. The area is used by grizzly bears to hunt caribou. 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.
Today we head by helicopter to the wolf den. Using pop-up blinds, we’ll spend time near the den observing and photographing the wolves. An evening photographing northern lights is on the menu: practice your time-lapses of the dancing aurora borealis!
Today we return to the local wolf den - short helicopter flight landing a safe distance from the den ensures we’re positioned perfectly without disturbing the pack. Careful to not intrude onto the wolf pack, we’ll spend the day observing and tracking the pack as they go about their normal autumn behaviours - hunting, socializing and sleeping. A helicopter flight home to Arctic Haven has guests back just before dinner.
On your final day we will take a short boat ride up the Kazan River. Here, the tundra turns to forest and birch, black spruce and tamarack trees dominate the landscape. Moose have been spotted in this marshy forested area, along with tundra swans. A hiking option is available for those who would like to stretch their legs before the afternoon flight home while others might opt to enjoy the peaceful stroll along the Kazan river or fish for grayling.
At 60° North the Aurora Borealis can be seen on clear nights and veils of colour dance against the vast and empty backdrop. In the heart of unspoiled wilderness, we are exposed to the elements and weather can change quickly. Proper preparation and gear for an adventure in the Arctic is key to your enjoyment, comfort and safety. Normal daytime temperatures range from 5° to 18°C, and on warm days go as high as 22°C. Our packing list will ensure you are adequately prepared. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us.
All travellers must purchase travel insurance - even Canadian guests. We recommend trip interruption, cancellation and health insurance that includes air ambulance. If an air ambulance is required to Yellowknife, Iqaluit or Ottawa, all non-Nunavut residents are responsible for the cost. Baggage allowance on the charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Haven is 35 kg per person, including carry-on. If you have additional gear that will exceed the weight limit please let us know in advance.