A Tundra Buggy, originally invented & built by Leonard D. Smith in 1979, is an all-terrain vehicle used to view, photograph and study polar bears, in the Cape Churchill Wildlife Management Area, of Manitoba, Canada. Smith took his first trip on his Tundra Buggy to Cape Churchill in 1979 with a group of explorers and a ‘National Geographic’ film crew which created the movie “Polar Bear Alert”. Smith also created a company he named “Tundra Buggy Tours” and went on to build 14 Tundra Buggies and The Tundra Buggy Lodge. The lodge consists of a diner, lounge, two bunkhouses, kitchen, muktuk saloon and utilities unit. It is towed from Churchill, Manitoba, behind the Tundra Buggy vehicles for several miles and connected together like units of a train, on the west shore of Hudson Bay.
Polar bears congregate every year along the shores of the bay, waiting for the freeze up and to feed on ringed seals. Leonard D. Smith received the Manitoba Tourism Innovation Award in 1989, and the Order of Manitoba in 2004, celebrating 25 years of the operation of Tundra Buggy Tours. In the year 2000 Smith sold Tundra Buggy Tours to Frontiers North Adventures, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.