Exploring the Wild Winnipeg's Distinctive Bison Safari

Wilderness in Winnipeg: A Guide to the Bison Safari

As a true-blue Winnipegger, I can’t wait to help you uncover a hidden gem in our city – The Bison Safari adventure! 

In this travel guide, you’ll experience the perfect blend of our famous Winnipegian hospitality and the awe-inspiring presence of these magnificent creatures. We’ll dive into local tips and tricks, ensuring you an engaging and unforgettable journey with the bison. 

So, if you’re ready for a fun-filled adventure like no other, grab your hat and join us as we embark on this truly unique Winnipeg escapade!

About the Bison Safari in Winnipeg

LocationAddress: 1961 McCreary Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2K9, Canada

Google Maps: FortWhyte Alive

Contact NumberPhone: +1 204-989-8355
Operating HoursSunday 9 AM–5 PM

Monday 9 AM–5 PM

Tuesday 9 AM–5 PM

Wednesday 9 AM–5 PM

Thursday 9 AM–5 PM

Friday 9 AM–5 PM

Saturday 9 AM–5 PM

AdmissionAdult (18 to 64 years old): $10

Senior (65+ years old): $9

Student (with ID): $8

Child (3 to 17 years old): $8

Child (0 to 2 years old): Free

Members, First Nations, Inuit and Métis: Free

The Bison Safari at FortWhyte Alive in Winnipeg embodies a captivating blend of history, conservation, and immersive exploration. 

Located on the outskirts of the city, this unique experience beckons visitors to witness the grandeur of bison thriving in their natural habitat.

This initiative traces its roots to a profound commitment to conservation. FortWhyte Alive was established with a mission to revive the dwindling prairie landscape, and the Bison Safari stands as a testament to this endeavor.

Here, guests are transported into the heart of prairie history, encountering bison as they roam freely across the plains.

These magnificent creatures symbolize more than just a thriving ecosystem; they reflect the rich cultural history of the region. Through guided tours, visitors gain invaluable insights into the bison’s significance to the local Indigenous cultures. 

It’s a journey that delves into the delicate balance of nature, teaching about the interdependence between wildlife and the land.

The Safari serves as an educational platform, elucidating the importance of preserving these iconic animals. 

It’s an immersive experience that showcases bison’s majestic presence and emphasizes their role in sustaining a vibrant ecosystem.

And it leaves visitors with a deeper appreciation for conservation efforts and the profound legacy of the prairie landscape.

Best Time to Go to the Bison Safari in Winnipeg

The best time to experience the Bison Safari in Winnipeg is during the late spring to summer stretch, typically spanning from May through September. This period offers the most favorable conditions for an immersive adventure. 

The bison tend to be more active as the weather warms up, granting visitors a higher likelihood of observing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. 

The landscape also blooms with vibrant greenery during these months, enhancing the picturesque allure of the safari. 

The comfortable temperatures and longer daylight hours further contribute to an enjoyable visit, allowing ample time to explore and appreciate the beauty of this serene setting. 

Planning your visit within this timeframe is highly recommended for an unforgettable encounter with nature and an up-close experience with the iconic bison.

What to Expect at the Bison Safari in Winnipeg

The Bison Safari in Winnipeg offers a multi-faceted experience that combines education, adventure, and appreciation for nature.

Visitors not only witness the grandeur of bison but also gain a profound understanding of their significance in our world. It’s an experience that leaves a lasting impression, fostering a deeper respect and admiration for these iconic creatures.

1. Guided Tours

The Bison Safari in Winnipeg offers enlightening guided tours via bus, providing an exclusive view of these majestic creatures.

However, it’s important to note that the bus doesn’t accommodate wheelchairs, requiring passengers to board independently.

The success of these tours relies on weather and ground conditions. In some instances, tours might need cancellation or postponement for safety reasons or to maintain the authenticity of the experience.

Despite these considerations, the guided tours promise an immersive exploration of bison behavior and their ecological significance.

Through this experience, visitors gain unique insights into the world of these iconic creatures while ensuring their safety and comfort.

2. Safari Trail Exploration

The safari trails wind through breathtaking landscapes, allowing visitors on the guided bus tours to witness the bison in their natural habitat. 

The trail offers panoramic views and glimpses of diverse wildlife while providing an immersive experience of the picturesque wilderness. 

While staying aboard the bus, visitors can still appreciate the beauty and serenity of the surroundings while gaining insights into the bison’s habitat and behaviors.

3. Educational Sessions

The safari doesn’t just offer a visual spectacle; it’s also a learning experience. 

Educational sessions are conducted by knowledgeable guides who share intriguing insights into the bison’s behavior, historical significance, and crucial role in the ecosystem. 

These sessions are engaging and informative, appealing to visitors of all ages. It’s an opportunity to witness these animals up close and understand their importance in preserving the natural balance of the environment.

4. Interactive Demonstrations

For a more hands-on experience, interactive demonstrations are held intermittently throughout the safari grounds. 

These sessions allow visitors to engage with artifacts related to the bison, observe traditional bison-hunting techniques, and understand the cultural significance of these creatures to indigenous communities. 

It’s a chance to interact with the history and heritage that surrounds the bison, creating a deeper connection to these remarkable animals.

5. Wildlife Photography Opportunities

Photography enthusiasts will find the Bison Safari a paradise for capturing stunning shots of wildlife and scenic landscapes.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or simply an enthusiast armed with a smartphone, there are ample opportunities to capture the essence of the bison and the surrounding nature.

From shots of these majestic creatures to panoramic views of the wilderness, every corner of the safari presents a frame-worthy moment.

Tips When Visiting the Bison Safari in Winnipeg

Before Your Visit

Check Opening Hours

Confirm the Bison Safari’s operating hours to plan your visit accordingly. You can do this by visiting the official website or contacting the safari directly. 

Also, note any seasonal variations or special events that might affect their schedule.

Prepare for Weather Conditions

Winnipeg’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to be prepared for different conditions. Depending on the forecast, dress in layers and bring suitable attire for potential weather changes, including rain gear or sunscreen.

Make Reservations

Consider making reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons. Check the safari’s reservation policies to secure your spot and avoid lengthy waiting times, ensuring a hassle-free visit.

During Your Visit

Stay in Your Vehicle

Most safaris have guidelines that require visitors to remain inside their vehicles for safety reasons. This ensures your safety and prevents disturbance to the bison and other wildlife.

Maintain Distance

Respect the animals’ space by keeping a safe and respectful distance. Avoid sudden movements, loud noises, or behaviors that might startle or stress the animals.

Remember, these are wild creatures, and maintaining a safe distance is essential for their well-being and your safety.

Follow Instructions

Abide by the rules and guidelines provided by the park rangers or guides. These instructions are in place to ensure your safety and the well-being of the animals.

Bring Binoculars/ a Camera

Bring binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to observe and capture the beauty of the bison from a safe distance. This allows for a closer view without compromising safety.

Exercise Patience

Exercise patience during your visit. Clear wildlife sightings are not always guaranteed, so respect the natural behavior of the animals and avoid trying to coerce them into action for a photo opportunity.

Respect the Environment

During the guided tour, please ensure you stay on designated paths or roads when walking to and from the bus, as well as when moving around the vicinity.

Additionally, refrain from littering. It is essential to respect the natural habitat by leaving it undisturbed for the wildlife.

Practice Mindful Interaction

If there are designated areas for interaction under controlled conditions, follow the provided guidelines strictly and respectfully. These areas are often managed to ensure the safety and health of both visitors and animals.

Do Not Feed or Provoke the Animals

Under no circumstances should you attempt to feed the animals. Human food can be harmful to wildlife, and feeding them can alter their natural behaviors.

Avoid any behavior that might provoke or agitate the animals.

Prepare for Emergencies

Keep emergency contacts handy and be prepared for any unexpected situations. Familiarize yourself with the park’s emergency protocols.

Dispose of Trash Properly

Dispose of any trash or waste responsibly in designated bins. Leaving behind trash can negatively impact the environment and wildlife habitats.

Important Things to Note When Visiting Bison Safari in Winnipeg

Parking and Transportation

Upon arriving at the FortWhyte Alive, parking is conveniently available on-site, ensuring easy access to the safari grounds. If you prefer public transportation, various bus routes serve the area, providing a hassle-free commute.

Plan to arrive a little earlier, especially during peak times or special events, to secure parking and make the most of your visit without rushing.

Visitor Amenities

The Bison Safari offers a range of visitor amenities to enhance your experience. Facilities include clean restrooms, picnic areas, and shaded spots for relaxation. 

Also, don’t forget to check out the gift shop for unique souvenirs or educational materials about bison and wildlife conservation. Bring your own snacks and water, as limited refreshments are available on-site.

Recommended Duration and Suggested Itinerary

At FortWhyte Alive, beyond the Bison Safari, there are many activities and attractions to explore.

You can begin your visit by exploring the interactive exhibits and educational displays to gain insights into the history and significance of bison in the region.

Then, embark on the safari tour, which typically takes around an hour, providing ample wildlife viewing and photography opportunities. And finally, wrap up your visit by enjoying a leisurely stroll through the scenic walking trails.

But to maximize your experience at FortWhyte Alive, consider following this suggested itinerary:

  • Arrival: 9:30 AM
  • Exploring the Park: 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM
  • Bison Safari Guided Tour: 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Interpretive Center: 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Other Activities Available: 11:30 AM until the end of the day