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


April 6 to 15, 2020.
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 are going to dive into everyday life and culture of Dolgans and feel as real researchers of the Russian Far North!

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 are going to dive into everyday life and culture of Dolgans and feel as real researchers of the Russian Far North!


Dates: April 6 – 15, 2020

Duration: 9 days / 8 nights

Number of participants: 4 – 10

Cost of participation per person
- 135 000 rubles subject to 10 participants,
- 145 000 rubles subject to 8 participants,
- 165 000 rubles subject to 5 participants,
- 180 000 rubles subject to 4 participants.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before November 6, 2019)

Everything included except for:
- Flight to Khatanga (Krasnoyarsk krai),
- Medical insurance,
- Russian visa (if needed),
- Meals in villages and towns.
Estimated cost of flight Moscow – Khatanga – Moscow: 55000 – 70000 rubles. Usually bought on your own.

Single supplement: upon request (single accommodation is possible only in Khatanga).


Day 0. April 6, 2020. Monday. Flight to Taymyr via Krasnoyarsk.

Evening flight from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk.
Meals: not included
Accommodation: no
* Recommendation for flight from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk with Utair Airlines at 21:10 with arrival at 6:00 on April 7, or Aeroflot airlines at 20:25 with arrival to Krasnoyarsk at 05:05 on April 7, or S7 airlines at 20:45 with arrival to Krasnoyarsk at 05:25 on April 7.

Day 1. April 7, 2020. Tuesday. Arrival to Khatanga.

Early in the morning (at 5 – 6 a.m.) arrival to Krasnoyarsk. In 4 hours flight by Sapsan airlines to Khatanga (Taymyr Peninsula) (3 hours in the air).
In the afternoon arrival to Taymyr Peninsula, Khatanga, a village, located in the Far North in Krasnoyarsk Territory, some 600 km in the Northeast direction from Norilsk. Khatanga is one of the northmost village in Russia.
Meeting the guide at the airport. Transfer and accommodation in apartments (with heating, hot water and Internet access). In the afternoon buying products for the expedition.
Dinner and night in apartments in Khatanga.
Meals: not included
Accommodation: apartments

Day 2. April 8, 2020. Wednesday. Transfer to Dolgans' nomad camp.

Yearly departure by TREKOL all-terrain vehicles to the North-East, along Khatanga river to Popigay village or to the area of Syndassko or Novorybnaya villages (200 – 400 km, way time may reach 18 hours, depending on weather conditions).
Arriving to the Dolgan nomads camp in tundra in the area of Popigay/Syndassko/Novorybnaya village.
Dolgans are a Turkic people, who mostly inhabit Taymyr peninsula in the Far North of Russia. It is believed that the Dolgan identity began to emerge during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when they migrated from the southern lands of Lena river. Originally, the Dolgans were nomadic hunters and reindeer herders, but during Soviet times things changed significantly. Dolgan people are famous for their baloks – square dwellings covered with reindeer skins. As opposed to other northern tribes of Russia, such as Neneth, Khanty or Chukchi who need to set up their teepees after each migrating across tundra, Dolgan do not need to spend time for that, as their houses are constructed right on the sledges!
Dinner (local food) and overnight in balok.
Meals: breakfast (lunch box), lunch (lunch box) and dinner are included.
Accommodation: balok (Dolgan tradition house)

Days 3 – 4, April 9 – 10, 2020. Thursday – Friday. Nomad camp of Dolgan reindeer herders

We spend two full days in the camp of Dolgan reindeer herders, participating in the life of the nomads' camp. Trip to the herd, catching a reindeer. Master class on throwing a lasso. Ritual slaughter of a deer as an option. Workshops on cooking venison.
Communication with reindeer herders, stories about tundra, culture and religion around the fireplace. Most Dolgans practice old shamanistic beliefs, however, some are influenced with Orthodox Christianity.
For lunch and dinner – traditional food of nomads (raw meat "stroganina" "shurpa" soup etc.).
If during the days of our stay the Dolgans decide to migrate, then we participate in the transferring of the entire camp, together with reindeer and all belongings, to a new place in tundra. If reindeer herders participate in the Reindeer Herders Festival during our stay, we will watch preparation of the whole herd and migration to Popigay on the Reindeer Herders Festival.
Nights in balok.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
Accommodation: balok (Dolgan tradition house)

Day 5. April 11, 2020. Saturday. Reindeer Herders Festival in Popigay.

Departure by TREKOL all-terrain vehicles, by snowmobiles or by reindeer sledges (depending on the distance) to Popigay village for participation in the Reindeer Herders Festival, if the festival scheduled for this day.
During the day: taking pictures of Dolgans who came to the festival, national sports, including the most important one – Reindeer sledges racing.
For the night come back to reindeers nomad camp.
Meals: breakfast and dinner are included.
Accommodation: balok (Dolgan tradition house)
* Reindeer Herders Festival usually takes place in the 1st or 2nd decade of April annually. Exact dates of the festival are set up by local Administration and practically can be last moment changed. In 2019 Reindeer Herders Festival in Popigay was held on April 13, on the second Saturday of the month.

Day 6. April 12, 2020. Sunday. Dolgan reindeer herders' nomad camp.

After breakfast we go to tundra for seasonal hunting (partridge, hare). If there are fish nets still in April, traditional ice fishing with Dolgans is possible.
For lunch – traditional nomad food (slices of raw meat "Stroganina", shurpa and other).
Nights in balok.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
Accommodation: balok (Dolgan tradition house)

Day 7. April 13, 2020. Monday. Move to Khatanga.

After breakfast by TREKOL all-terrain vehicles we start the way back to Khatanga across tundra (200 – 400 km).
Arriving to Khatanga. Rest after long road.
Dinner and overnight at apartments in Khatanga (with heating, hot water and Internet access).
Meals: Breakfast and lunch (lunch box) included.
Accommodation: apartments

Day 8. April 14, 2020. Tuesday. Excursions in Khatanga.

After breakfast, visiting Museum of mammoth and the underground meat storage ice chambers called "lednik". At a depth of more than 30 meters under the earth, there is a polygon for shooting where we also can shoot with a rifle. Also in lednik we can try stroganina (raw meat) and other dishes in the IceBar.
Can be used as a spare day in case of bad weather.
Meals: not included.
Accommodation: apartments

Day 9. April 15, 2020. Wednesday. Flight back.

Early transfer to airport and flight to Norilsk. Arrival to Norilsk at 10 a.m. Later in the day connected flight to Moscow via Krasnoyarsk (total 7 hours in the air).
Meals: not included
Accommodation: no
* Recommendation for flight from Norilsk to Moscow by Nordstar airlines at 15:50 via Krasnoyarsk with arrival to Krasnoyarsk at 18:15 on April 15, and further connection flight to Moscow by Pobeda, Utair or Nordwind Airlines. Arrival to Moscow at 7 – 9 in the morning on April 16.
** It should be noted that flights to/from Khatanga to Norilsk may be delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions. Therefore, we recommend to buy refundable tickets Norilsk – Moscow. In case of flight cancellation from Khatanga to Norilsk on April 15 (Wednesday), alternative flight is from Khatanga to Krasnoyarsk on April 17 (Friday) by Sapsan Airlines. It should be considered that flights to / from Khatanga are scheduled not for every day. It can influence the duration of stay in Khatanga.
*** Air tickets for flights Krasnoyarsk – Khatanga and Khatanga – Norilsk by Sapsan airlines may be purchased by our representative.

* The operator reserves the right to change the order of execution of the program subject to keeping of all activities. The program can also be changed subject to weather/road conditions.

Cost includes:

- transfer to and from airport in Khatanga as per program
- transport services as per program (TREKOL snow and swamp vehicle, snowmobiles).
- accommodation in apartments in Khatanga
- accommodation in nomad camp in balok
- three meals daily in Dolgan nomad camp (national cuisine)
- activities (participation in Dolgan life) in nomad camp
- meals during transfer in tundra (lunchboxes)
- visiting museum and Lednik ice chambers in Khatanga
- experienced English speaking guide guide-driver
- formalization of approval documents for entering border area (if needed)
- satellite communication for safety
- Russian and English speaking team-leader and ethnographer services

To be addidionally (personally) paid:

- flight to Khatanga (Krasnoyarsk Territory)
- medical insurance
- meals in villages and towns (not specified in the program)
- reindeer slaughtering ceremony

To take with:

- very warm winter feather coat with windstopper
- warm hat with windstopper (two) and trousers, gloves with windstopper (two pairs is a must)
- warm boots, warm and waterproof high boots (two pairs of warm footwear is a must)
- wear sets up to the weather (warm wool socks, cotton socks, woolen sweater)
- thermal underwear
- sleeping bag for -5/-10 Celsius degrees comfort temperature (can be minus temperature in the morning in dwelling)
- inflating tourist mattress
- sunglasses is a must
- mountain skiing glasses (advisable)
- balaclava or buff
- thermos
- head torch
- personal hygiene products (including wet towel wipes, towel, soap)
- minimum set of favorite snacks and drinks (nowhere to buy)
- personal medical kit
- sun and wind protection
- cameras, spare batteries, tripod
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