Manitoba . . .
Manitoba is a vast province of just under 650,000 square kilometres located in central Canada with Saskatchewan to the west and Ontario to the east. The United States lies to the south with North Dakota and Minnesota as the border states. Nunavut and Hudson Bay are to the north making Manitoba the only prairie province with a marine coastline. Manitoba derives its name from the local Aboriginal word, 'Manitou' meaning 'spirit'. Like all provinces in Canada, a majority of the population lives in the south. Lake Winnipeg is the twelfth largest lake in the world by area. Manitoba is home to 145 species of birds including the Great Grey Owl, the official provincial bird. The official provincial flower is the Prairie Crocus and the official provincial tree is the White Spruce. The Red River is one of the few rivers in the world which flows from south to north. Manitoba has two national parks and dozens of provincial parks, and may have UNESCO World Heritage Site designation on the boreal forest east side of Lake Winnipeg in the near future. Along Hudson Bay, lies Churchill, the 'Polar Bear Capital' of the world. Manitoba is a naturalist paradise.
Quality Design . . .
Is our standard for all aspects of our tours, from accommodations and meals, to the vehicles and operators who support our tours. Our picnics are world famous for fine, fresh food "tastefully" presented in unique natural locations. Each itinerary is carefully designed to enable exciting encounters with nature at an enjoyable vacation pace. Our tour programme offers soft and hard adventures. Ground travel is by full-sized vans or luxury motorcoaches. Whale-watching tours are by Mike Macri's unique tour boat, custom-designed for the Churchill waters. Some tours have helicopter flights included. Travel to or from Churchill is by turboprop aircraft service.
Experienced Leadership . . .
Quality leadership fosters the discovery process and understanding of the natural and cultural resources encountered.
Thuraya Weedon owns and operates Riding Mountain & Churchill Nature Tours, based near Riding Mountain National Park. The late Daniel Weedon, along with Thuraya, founded this company in 1985 after serving as a Park Naturalist in Riding Mountain National Park for 10 years. By starting this company, Daniel hoped to show the world the natural beauty of Manitoba. Their tour company has since gained an international reputation for the finest nature tours in central Canada.
Our company has led countless tours throughout Manitoba, serving diverse groups, from expert birdwatching to general interest tours, from senior citizens to school groups. Thuraya Weedon is internationally renowned for her superb picnics, beautifully presented in quaint natural settings. Our staff leaders offer an array of expertise from ornithology and wildlife research (including Polar Bears) to horticulture, history, and nature photography.
Read our Tour Leader Bios
Read our Tour Leader Bios
Manitoba, the Heart of Canada
About Manitoba . . .
Geography...Over 15% of Manitoba's total area is freshwater. The lowest point is sea level on the Hudson Bay coast in the north east and the highest point is Mount Baldy at 2727 feet in the centre west. The ecozones of Manitoba include: southern arctic, taiga shield, boreal shield, boreal plains, prairies, and hudson plains. The climate type is extreme continental climate with hot summers and cold winters.
Flora and Fauna...Prairie grasslands cover much of the south although most of the land is dominated by agriculture (Manitoba has about 12% of Canada's farmland). About 48% of the total area of Manitoba is forest. The northern, eastern and southeastern areas of Manitoba contain boreal coniferous forests, Canadian Shield, muskeg and tundra. Tree species range from white and swamp birches to Jack and Red pines to white and black spruces to Eastern White Cedar. The south has mixed grass prairie, tall grass prairie and the rare Western Prairie Fringed Orchid. Manitoba is rich in animal species. It contains many large mammals including bears, wolves, coyotes, deer, moose, and elk. Manitoba is home to many bird species including the endangered peregrine falcon. Its lakes are home to 18 species of game fish like trout and goldeye (the Winnipeg AAIPB baseball team's namesake) and many more smaller fish species. Narcisse, Manitoba contains garter snake dens home to one of the largest concentrations of snakes in the world.
History and Demography... Human habitation began in Manitoba most likely 10,000 years ago when the last glaciers retreated. Multiple Aborginal groups eventually settled in Manitoba. These include the Cree, Ojibwa, Dakota, and Assiniboine. Multiple groups outside Manitoba traded with these groups. Agriculture began along the Red River long before European contact. The Chipewyan and Inuit arrived in northern Manitoba centuries before European arrival. The first Europeans to come to Manitoba were the British explorers Henry Hudson in 1611 and Sir Thomas Button in 1612. France ceded the area to Britain in 1763 following the French Indian War (Seven Year's War). Manitoba joined Confederation in 1870 following the Red River Resistance. Today, the biggest groups by ethnic origin are English, German, Scottish, Ukrainian, French, Irish, Aboriginal, Polish, Dutch, Filipino and Icelandic. Presently, the population is over 1,200,000. Today, Manitoba is home to people from all over the world and continues to be the proud homeland of its Aboriginal and Metis (Aboriginal and European ancestry) peoples.
"I have travelled in 14 countries but my best trip ever was the recent one with your company."
Yvonne Ferguson, West Virginia, USA