Ethnic expedition to Dolgan reindeer herders of Taymyr peninsula, nomading across the Far North in the sledge houses


April 8 to 15, 2025
Tour Taymyr Peninsula, Russia

tour to Taymyr to Dolgan reindeer herders expedition to Taimyr winter travel to raindeer herders festival to Khatanga travels to Russia
Our expedition on all-terrain vehicles goes deep into Tundra of an endless cold Taymyr Peninsula, where touristic companies don't know the ways, where unique of their kind reindeer herders Dolgans live their still traditional life, migrating with their baloks – square dwellings on sledges, covered with reindeer skins.

We will immerse into everyday life and culture of Dolgans, participate in Reindeer Herders Festival, hunt Aurora Borealis and feel like real researchers of the Russian Far North!


Dates of trip: April 8 – 15, 2025

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Number of participants: 4 – 10

Сost per person:

  • 199,000 rubles for 9–10 participants,
  • 219,000 rubles for 6–8 participants,
  • 239,000 rubles for 4–5 participants
Early booking discount - 10% (until November 8, 2024).

Everything is included, except for:

  • flight to Hatanga (Krasnoyarsk Krai) and back,
  • medical insurance,
  • russian visas (if required),
  • lunches and dinners in Hatanga.

Estimated cost of round-trip airfare Moscow – Hatanga – Moscow (via Krasnoyarsk): 60,000 – 75,000 rubles (Tickets for Moscow – Krasnoyarsk – Moscow flights are usually purchased independently. Tickets for KrasAvia flights Krasnoyarsk – Hatanga – Krasnoyarsk can be obtained through our representative).

Single accommodation supplement: 18,000 rubles (single accommodation is only available in Hatanga).


Day 0. April 7, 2025. Monday. Departure to Krasnoyarsk.

Evening departure from Moscow (or another city) to Krasnoyarsk. Meals: Not included Accommodation: Not provided

Recommended flight from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk:
  • Either by Aeroflot at 20:25, arriving in Krasnoyarsk at 05:05 on April 8,
  • Or by S7 at 20:45, arriving in Krasnoyarsk at 05:20 on April 8.
  • Or by any other flight from any city arriving in Krasnoyarsk no later than 5:30 am on April 8.

Day 1. April 8, 2025. Tuesday. Arrival in Hatanga, on the Taymyr Peninsula.

In the early morning (no later than 5:30 am), arrival in Krasnoyarsk. At 8:00 am, a flight with KrasAvia to Hatanga on the Taymyr Peninsula (3 hours in the air). Departure times may vary.
Around noon, arrival on the Taymyr Peninsula in Hatanga, a settlement located in the Far North, in the Krasnoyarsk Krai, 600 km northeast of Norilsk. Hatanga is one of the northernmost settlements in Russia.
After lunch, we will visit the village of Novaya (1 hour drive), where the main population consists of Nganasans.
Nganasans, according to some sources, are the oldest of the northern peoples, and certainly the northernmost. Once, Nganasans inhabited the northern part of the Taymyr Peninsula, hunting wild reindeer. They were among the last to engage in reindeer herding.
Perhaps their limited experience did not allow them to survive difficult times, and in the 1990s, having lost their reindeer, they were forced to move to modern villages, such as Novaya. Today, there are fewer than 800 of them, and those who remember the language and traditions are no more than two hundred.
We will visit Nganasan families. Despite living in modern houses, Nganasans have a unique way of life. For example, they have remained true to their pagan beliefs and have not adopted Christianity. Other Taymyr peoples previously did not consider Nganasans as potential marriage partners because they believed they had "sewn faces" – Nganasans used to have facial tattoos. Their traditional clothing is also interesting. Unlike other northern peoples, Nganasans sew garments in which only three contrasting colors are present: white, black, and red. It is believed that this resembles their totem animal, the mammoth, the most revered among all others. Nganasans also say that red symbolizes the sun, white represents our world, and black represents the afterlife. Nganasan footwear is unique – unlike any other people, they make shoes without a toe, resembling a mammoth's foot! This further hints at the age of this people.

In the evening, return to Hatanga. Accommodation at the Mammoth Hotel 4*. Dinner and night in apartments in Hatanga.

Meals: Not included
Accommodation: Mammoth Hotel 4* or similar

Day 2. April 9, 2025. Wednesday. Transfer to the Dolgan Encampment.

Early departure on TRECOL off-road vehicles to the northeast, along the Hatanga River, and further along the Popigay River towards the settlement of Popigay (about 300 km, travel time can reach up to 18 hours, depending on weather conditions). Evening arrival in the Popigay settlement. Meeting with the guide and further transfer to the Dolgan encampment in the tundra near the Popigay settlement (30 – 50 km, depending on the camping location).
Popigay is located on the 72nd parallel, over 600 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle.
The Dolgans are a Turkic people who mainly inhabit the Taymyr Peninsula in the Far North of Russia. The Dolgans are the youngest ethnic group officially recognized in Russia, acknowledged only in the late 1950s.
The Tungus (Evenki), who once inhabited the southern part of Taymyr and engaged in reindeer herding, underwent the influence of Yakut culture and language in the 18th century. On the other hand, from the west, the now extinct Samoyedic people, the Enets, introduced their characteristics into the culture of the Tungus belonging to the "Dolgan" tribe.
Thus, in the mid-19th to early 20th century, the cultural identity of the Dolgans began to take shape until the 1950s, when they referred to themselves as "Sakha."
Today, it is widely accepted that the Dolgans are essentially "Tungus people under Yakut influence."
Originally, the Dolgans were nomadic hunters and reindeer herders, but during Soviet times, everything changed significantly. Dolgans are known for their balkas – square dwellings covered with reindeer hides. Unlike other indigenous peoples of the Russian Far North, such as the Nenets, Khanty, or Chukchi, who need to dismantle and rebuild their dwellings (chums, yarangas) every time they move or migrate through the tundra, the Dolgans do not need to spend time on this, as their homes are built directly on sledges! In the first half of the 20th century, Dolgan reindeer herders invented the balok, replacing the chum with a balok for the winter season. This innovation, now a tradition, helps the Dolgans migrate in the extremely low temperatures of the Far North, where winter temperatures often drop below minus 60 degrees Celsius.
Late dinner (local food) and overnight stay in balkas.

Meals: Breakfast (packed lunch), lunch (packed lunch), and dinner included
Accommodation: Balkas (traditional Dolgan dwellings)

Days 3–4. April 10–11, 2025. Thursday–Friday. Dolgan Reindeer Herder Camp.

We spend two full days in the Dolgan reindeer herder camp, participating in the life of the nomads. This includes a trip to the herd, deer herding activities, a masterclass in throwing a mauta (lasso), and the possibility of participating in a ritual reindeer slaughter. There will be a masterclass on traditional preparation of reindeer meat and straganina. We will also get acquainted with northern cuisine.
Engage in conversations with the reindeer herders around the campfire, listen to stories about the tundra, culture, and religion. Most Dolgans practice ancient shamanistic beliefs, although some of them follow Orthodox Christianity.
Lunch and dinner will feature traditional nomadic food (raw meat straganina, various types of whitefish, shurpa, etc.).
If, during our stay, the Dolgans decide to move their camp ("argishit," as the Dolgans say), we will participate in the migration, moving the entire camp along with the reindeer and belongings to a new location in the tundra.
Join the Dolgans on snowmobiles for a seasonal hunt in the tundra (ptarmigan, hare). If fishing nets are still in place in April, traditional ice fishing with the Dolgans may also be possible.
In the evenings, we will hunt for the Northern Lights.
Nights in balkas.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included
Accommodation: Balkas (traditional Dolgan dwellings)

Day 5. April 12, 2025. Saturday. Reindeer Herder's Day in Popigay.

Early in the morning, departure on TRECOL off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, or reindeer-drawn sledges (depending on the distance) to the settlement of Popigay to participate in the Reindeer Herder's Day festival, if the festival is scheduled for this date.

If the Dolgans are celebrating Reindeer Herder's Day during our stay, we will witness the preparation of the entire herd and their migration to Popigay for the festival.

Throughout the day: photographing Dolgans participating in the festival, competitions in national sports, with reindeer sled racing being the central event.

Night in Popigay in a local house or the Cultural House, sleeping in sleeping bags, or a return to the Dolgan encampment and a night in balkas.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included. Accommodation: Local house, Cultural House, or balkas (traditional Dolgan dwellings).

*Reindeer Herder's Day in Popigay is usually held annually in April on these dates. The exact dates of the festival are determined by the local administration (usually in January-March) and may be subject to change in practice.
In the event that Reindeer Herder's Day in Popigay is not scheduled for this date, we may participate in the celebration of Reindeer Herder's Day in Novorybnoy or extend our stay in the Dolgan encampment for an additional day.

Day 6. April 13, 2025. Sunday. Transfer to Hatanga.

After breakfast, on TRECOL off-road vehicles, we return through the tundra to Hatanga (about 300 km). The journey will take the entire day, with lunch in Novorybnoy.
Late arrival in Hatanga. Rest after the long journey.
Dinner and overnight stay at the Mammoth Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch (packed lunch) included.
Accommodation: Mammoth Hotel 4* or similar.

Day 7. April 14, 2025. Monday. Excursions in Hatanga.

After breakfast, visit the northernmost Orthodox church in Russia – the Epiphany Church, the Local Lore Museum of Hatanga (Taimyr Reserves Museum), and, if accessible, the Mammoth Museum. The Mammoth Museum is constructed in an old abandoned glacier near the river port, where thousands of mammoth tusks and bones, along with those of other animals that once inhabited the area, can be found. The permafrost continually pushes the mammoth skeletons and tusks to the surface. Local adventurers regularly embark on expeditions in search of mammoth tusks. There is even a common phrase here, "go to the tundra for tusks."

Dinner at the Hatanga restaurant, where you might have the chance to taste wild goose or reindeer steak with cranberry jam.

*This day can serve as a backup in case of inclement weather.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Mammoth Hotel 4* or similar.

Day 8. April 15, 2025. Tuesday. Return Flight.

Late breakfast and transfer to the airport. At 1:00 PM (schedule subject to change), departure to Krasnoyarsk with KRASAVIA airline. Arrival in Krasnoyarsk around 5:00 PM.

Evening flight to Moscow or an overnight stay in Krasnoyarsk and a direct morning flight to Moscow.

*Recommended flight from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow (or another city):
- anytime not earlier than 9:00 PM on April 15
- alternatively, you can take a direct flight from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow (or another city) in the morning on April 16 (the hotel in Krasnoyarsk is paid separately in this case).

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Not included

*The organizer reserves the right to change the order of the program while ensuring the completion of all activities. The program may also be modified depending on actual weather/road conditions.
** It should be noted that flights from Hatanga to Krasnoyarsk may be delayed or canceled due to weather conditions. Therefore, it is recommended to purchase a returnable fare for the Krasnoyarsk – Moscow flight. Keep in mind that flights to/from Hatanga are not daily, which may affect the duration of your stay in Hatanga.
*** Tickets for KRASAVIA airline flights from Krasnoyarsk to Hatanga and

Cost includes:

- Transfers to and from the airport, and to the village of Novaya according to the program (minibuses or off-road vehicles).
- Transportation services according to the program in the tundra, including the use of the tracked vehicle "Trecol" and snowmobiles.
- Accommodation in a 4-star hotel in the village of Hatanga (double occupancy).
- Accommodation in a camp with traditional structures for all participants.
- Three meals a day and drinking water in the camp with traditional Dukha cuisine.
- Meals during the journey in the tundra in the form of packed lunches.
- Breakfasts in Hatanga.
- Participation in activities and immersion in the life of the Dukha people in the camp.
- Visits to museums in Hatanga.
- Experienced Russian-speaking driver-guides in the tundra.
- Processing of permits for entry into the border zone, if necessary.
- Satellite communication for safety.
- Services of a Russian-speaking local guide in Hatanga.
- Services of a Russian- and English-speaking team leader throughout the entire route.

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):
- Flight to Hatanga (Krasnoyarsk Krai) and back
- Medical insurance
- Russian visa (if required)
- Lunches and dinners in Hatanga (not specified in the program)
- Ritual slaughter of a reindeer.

To take with:

- Warm, windproof down jacket.
- Warm, windproof hat (2 pieces), trousers, gloves with windstopper (2 pairs required).
- Warm boots, warm waterproof boots (2 pairs of warm footwear required).
- Sets of clothing suitable for weather conditions (wool socks, cotton socks, wool sweater).
- Thermal underwear.
- Sleeping bag with a comfort temperature of minus 5 degrees (mornings in the dwelling may be around zero, but usually warmer).
- Self-inflating sleeping pad.
- Sunglasses (mandatory).
- Ski goggles (preferable).
- Balaclava or buff.
- Thermos.
- Headlamp.
- Personal hygiene items (including wet wipes, towel, soap).
- Minimal supply of favorite food and drinks (there will be nowhere to buy).
- Personal medications.
- Sun and wind protection.
- Photo and video equipment, spare batteries, tripod.

  • Stefano Ci
    see reco on Facebook
    We went to Siberia (Nenets people) with Aleksey. It has been one of the best trips I have done so far. Amazing landscapes, snowy and desolated, that give you the feeling of infinite and you understand what it really means when nature takes over. Aleksey really supported us in everything including nespresso coffee in the morning since we are italians :) organization was very good, really suggested!
  • Дима Пупин
    отзыв опубликован на Facebook
    Главное в поездках с Алексеем - не только возможность увидеть далекие места и экзотические ландшафты - но и уникальная возможность пообщаться с людьми у которых в голове зашиты программы очень сильно отличающиеся от наших, собираюсь уже в третий раз в этом году с ним поехать - был в Нигере и на Ямале теперь мечтаю об Амазонии
  • Giacomo Carlini
    see reco on Facebook
    I really really recommend Mzungu Expeditions!! I've been in Siberia with him to take pictures to Nenets People. It is a hard trip, because of the weather and the cold, but Alexey organized everything very well, and we could travel and move as we wanted with no problem at all. Alexey works with local professionals, so the experience is rich, full and safe. I loved my trip with him!!
  • Sara Bianci
    see reco on Facebook
    I had an absolutely amazing trip to Yamal. Alex is a great tour leader and an exceptional person as well. The expedition bringhed me into the authentic nenets's life. Thank you mzungu expeditions! :-)
  • Marco Marcone
    отзыв опубликован на Facebook
    Traveling in an authentic way, respecting people. Alex is reliable, experienced, a gentleman.
  • Dmitriy Shin
    отзыв опубликован на Facebook
    Trip that touched! Right people, in the right place and in the right time and of cause with the right trip provider! This is a trip I want to go more! Thank you Alexey Kolbov and Mzungu Expeditions, thank you all guy's from trip who became a real friends for me!
  • Сергей Мартьянов
    отзыв опубликован на Facebook
    Отлично съездили на Ямал. Приключений было выше крыши. Подобрала отличная команда.
  • Наталья Ципилева
    отзыв опубликован на Facebook
    #ЭтоТундраДетка �
    или как я оказалась на Крайнем Севере и узнала, что он бескрайний!
    Накануне Нового 2018 года, в 6 утра, ожидая вылета на свободную Кубу, было принято решение ехать на Ямал.
    Впереди было 3 месяца, чтобы собраться, но как это часто бывает, сборы откладывались до последнего. За 2 недели до поездки началась подготовка: покупка тёплых вещей, поиск туристических сумок, подбор спальника, термобелья, посуды, специальной обуви и так далее. Именно в этот момент я поняла, что это будет путешествие, которое будет отличным от всех других.
    С момента прибытия в аэропорт Шереметьево и начались наши приключения. Внезапный досмотр вещей, веселые посиделки в зале ожидания, потерявшийся багаж нашего путешественника, первая встреча с Салехардом. Переезжая Обь по зимнику, в шутку прощаясь с цивилизацией, мы смеялись над замёрзшей водой в бутылках.
    А потом...началась пурга. Не метель с мягкими снежинками, а пурга со снежной кбрупой, которая больно бьёт в лицо и руки. Когда не видно неба и земли. Через 5 часов ломается один из 3 трэколов. И водители в течение 3 часов под обжигающим ледяным ветром её ремонтируют.
    Дорога в арктическую тундру. Долгая, сложная и местами опасная. Но она и стала важной частью нашего приключения. Наверное за эти 15 часов в пути, по полному бездорожью понимаешь, что такое настоящий дикий Север.
    Уставшие, мы встретили рассвет 🌅 на месте нашего дальнейшего пребывания - в стойбище оленеводов. И расстелив по-быстрому спальники, заснули все как убитые. А утром началась адаптация к местной жизни, погоде, еде, иногда очень сильному ветру 💨 , метелям и яркому солнцу ☀️.
    Оленина и рыба 🐟 были основными нашими продуктами. И конечно чай ☕️ и что покрепче 😉🥃 Наши повара Лёня и Оля кормили нас очень вкусно! Через день мы были готовы пить из одной кружки и есть одной ложкой. Лишь бы успеть 😂 к обеду или ужину.
    Каждый день был расписан. Зимняя рыбалка, забой оленя и проба тёплой крови; разбор и сборка чума, катание на оленях, даже приготовление еды- это отдельная история. Ведь вода в тундре-это снег, который нужно натопить для начала.
    Не смотря на позднюю ямальскую весну, было много-много солнца и синего неба! И конечно, белоснежная сказка, которая окружила нас, погрузила всех нас в другой мир!
    Это была полная перезагрузка. Без телефонов, без соцсетей, без дресс кода, без каких-либо масок. Только ты и тундра. Только снег и олени . Только наша экспедиция в составе 13 человек и наши гостеприимные ненцы. И никого больше на 260 км. НИ-КО-ГО!
    Поэтому каждый из нас стал частью дружной веселой команды.
    И поверьте, самый грустный момент был тогда, когда пришла пора уезжать из тундры...
    Сейчас принято говорить «выйти из зоны комфорта». Так вот для меня, покидая бесконечную сНежную тундру, я выходила из настоящего душевного комфорта.
    Это авантюрное решение поехать на Крайний Север, жить жизнью оленеводов стало самым ярким приключением в моей жизни!
    Я счастлива знакомству и дружбе с Алексеем Кольбовым, а для нас просто Мзунгу, организатором нашей экспедиции, который пригласил меня и мою сестру! Спасибо Mzungu Expeditions за всё!
    И хочется сказать, до свидания 👋🏻 тундра, спасибо гостеприимный Ямал и надеюсь 🤞🏻 до встречи!
    Мечтаю о новых путешествиях и верю, что однажды я обязательно соберу рюкзак 🎒 и снова отправлюсь в путь!
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