Expedition to Nenets reindeer nomads' camp

YAMAL

March 30 to April 4, 2019
Tour Yamal peninsula, Russia

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Have you ever dreamed of going to the world's edge? But every people has its own one. Nenets nomad tribe calls it Yamal peninsula, where they migrate year in year out with their countless reindeer herds, and where further there is only cold Kara Sea and ice of the Arctic Ocean. Here, at the world's edge, you will experience fascinating "chum life" of Nenets people, who live practicing reindeer breeding and fishing despite the weather, migrating to new pasture areas and setting their chums as easy as if it was a tourist tent.
The expedition provides deep dive into everyday life and culture of reindeer herders in remote nomad camps.

Tour to Yamal Nenets. Have you ever dreamed of going to the world's edge? But every nation has its own one. Nenets nomad tribe calls it Yamal peninsula, where they migrate year in year out with their countless reindeer herds, and where further there is only cold Kara Sea and ice of the Arctic Ocean. Here, at the world's edge, you will experience fascinating "chum life" of Nenets people, who live their life practicing reindeer breeding and fishing despite the weather, migrating to new pasture areas and setting their chums as easy as if it was a tourist tent.

SHEDULE ANS COST:

Dates: March 30 to April 4, 2019

Duration: 6 days / 5 nights

Cost per person: 84 900 Russian rubles subject to 10 participants, or 89 500 Russian rubles subject to 8 participants.

Everything is included except for flight, Russian visa and travel medical insurance.
Estimated flight cost from Moscow to Salekhard roundtrip is about 12000 to 18000 rubles = 200 to 300 USD

Single supplement: 4000 Russian rubles. Single accommodation is not provided in the nomads' camp.


TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO YAMAL

Day 1. March 30. Festival of reindeer herders


8 a.m. meeting with the guide at the airport of Salekhard.
Set out for the venue of the Festival of reindeer herders in Aksarka village (TREKOL snow and swamp-going vehicle, way time 1 - 1.5 hours, subject to weather and road condition).
10 a.m. arrival to Aksarka at solemn opening of the Festival of reindeer herders.
Lunch in chum (national cuisine)
5 p.m. closing of the Festival of reindeer herders. Set out for Yamal Tundra reindeer herders nomad camp, area of Landiq'yato lake and Yenzor Yaha river, Yamal peninsula (TREKOL snow and swamp-going vehicle and snowmobile, way-time approx. 5-7 hours, subject to weather and road condition).
Late arrival to chum, meeting with the family. Dinner in chum (national cuisine).


Day 2. March 31. Set out for reindeer herd.

After breakfast set out for the main herd on snowmobiles or reindeer sleigh. Slow deep dive into the world of Nenets reindeer herder, i.e. in the world of His reindeers. Here is the whole life of a human is devoted to the pace of reindeers life... Every day despite the weather, they entrap reindeers. For this purpose they set corral of sledge, made in the morning at the herd coming. Thud of hooves as wake up clock. Sledges are forming semi circle, tied with a rope. First reindeers come into this corral, then they are caught and taken for gear up. Men leave the corral stepping over the rope, but women go under it.
Involvement into reindeers entrapment, sleigh riding, bread feeding, taking pictures.
Lunch, dinner (national cuisine), night in chum.


Day 3. April 1. Involvement in Nenets life

After breakfast getting acquaintance with everyday life of Yamal chum-keeper. It is women who build house for the whole family. To build a house is to curry, adapt, foul reindeer coat with smoke, than to sew niuk, cover for chum. Women are also in charge of sewing dress and footwear for the whole family. In terms of -40c it is very important to make warm and comfortable malitsa (reindeer parka) for men and yagushka for women.
Adapting reindeer coat, beadweaving, sewing and fitting of national dress master classes, taking pictures.
Lunch, dinner (national cuisine), night in chum.


Day 4. April 2. Ice-fishing

After breakfast ice-fishing. Setting or check up of fishing nets. Reindeer herder uses any opportunity to catch fresh fish for his family, as he knows which river or a lake is full of fish. As soon as a new nomad camp is set near such location, they take their nets and ready for catch. But it is not as easy as it may seem. You need to cut through one meter thick ice to set the net, yes, you have to work hard to catch the fish.
Guests can try fishing.
Lunch, dinner (national cuisine), night in chum.


Day 5. April 3. Involving in Nenets life

After breakfast series of master-classes: making rods for chum (choosing wood, preparing tree trunks, preparation and finishing), cargo sleigh repair, making special natural ropes of reindeer veins, reindeer slaughter optional, wood-stocking, ice-chopping, and other every-day routine of nomad camp.
Lunch (national cuisine)
Option of an evening devoted to customs and traditions of natives. Short review of spiritual culture.
3 p.m. set out for Salekhard (TREKOL snow and swamp-going vehicle and snowmobile, way-time approx 5-7 hours, subject to weather and road condition).
Arrival to Salekhard. Dinner. Hotel accommodation.


Day 6. April 4. The way back

Breakfast.
Transfer from the hotel in Saklekhard to the airport (by minivan)


* Activities schedule on days 2-5 may
be changed depending the weather conditions or subject to chum owners.
Cost includes:

- transfer as per program
- transport services as per program (TREKOL snow and swamp vehicle, minibus, snowmobiles).
- accommodation and meals in Salekhard
- accommodation in nomad camp
- three meals daily in chum (national cuisine), while transfer and in the town
- English speaking guide services


Additional cost:

- medical insurance
- flight to Salekhard
- reindeer slaughter ceremony
- issuing permits for entering border area


To take with:


- very warm winter feather coat with windstopper
- wear sets up to the weather (warm wool socks, cotton socks, wool sweater, thermal underwear, warm winter jacket)
- warm boots, warm and waterproof high boots
- sleeping bag for -5/-10 celsius degrees comfort temperature (can be minus 5 in the morning in chum)
- personal hygiene products
- minimum set of favorite snacks and drinks (nowhere to buy)
- personal medical kit
- thermos
- gifts to locals
- sun and wind protection
- cameras
KEY FEATURES:
TOUR TO YAMAL
Yamal peninsula, Russia


Best season: March April, August September, December



Traveling on TREKOL to 200km depthward Yamal peninsula, the area of ever frost, where temperature goes up to -50 degrees in winter.

Participating in celebration of the Festival of reindeer herders, where Nenets and Khanty people gather together from around and where the main activity is reindeer sledge racing.

Practical learning of culture and everyday life of "True people" (as Nenets people call themselves), overnights in traditional chums.

Posturing of an enormous herd, sometimes counting to 10 thousand units, in an attempt to find out who goes after who in Polar Tundra, reindeers after Nenets people or vice versa:)

Reindeer sledge riding

Reindeer roping skills and cooking traditional Nenets meals. During migrating seasons when Nenets people move several times a week, we offer participation in migration.

Traditional ice fishing

Chance to see polar lights (Aurora Boreales) in Yamal, which Nenets people ironically call edge of the world
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