To the Nenets at the 'Edge of the World'

Authentic Reindeer Herders in Arctic Siberia

This trip takes us to the Yamal Peninsula in Arctic Siberia. Yamal’s name means “Edge of the World” in the language of the Nenets, nomadic reindeer herders who have preserved the most traditional and colourful culture of any nomadic group on the planet.
Living in reindeer-fur teepees, dressed in reindeer fur clothes, eating raw reindeer meat and sacrificing reindeer to the gods of their ancient animistic religion, these people migrate thousands of kilometres each year on hand-made, wooden, reindeer-drawn sledges in in search of grazing..

During this trip we will live with a family of the Nenets in their tepee and fully immerse ourselves in the daily routines of the camp, migrating with them through the tundra in search of grazing lands for their herds. There is hardly any other place on earth, where you can still experience an old culture in such an authentic way.
Program
Day 1
Flight from Frankfurt or Munich to Moscow, Overnight in hotel
Day 2
Meet in lobby early for transfer to airport and flight to Salekhard, Arrive in Salekhard, meet your guide and transfer to the hotel, where we have our first group dinner, get to know each other and will chat about the experiences ahead.
Overnight in the hotel
Day 3
After breakfast at the hotel, we board a car or mini-bus, which will take us for an hour drive to the small village, located at the foot of the Polar Ural Mountains. Here we jump on the snowmobiles and sledges for travelling further north to the Nenets camp. Travel time will depend on the nomads’ location and will be advised on the spot.
These days, over 50 percent of Yamal’s Nenets are still nomadic. Unlike many nomadic tribes in Russia and the world-over, the Nenets are have largely retained their traditional way of life, and are famed for having longest nomadic migration routes in the world. They wear clothing made of reindeer fur, sewn using reindeer sinew as thread, and live in conical tents (tepees) made of reindeer fur and known as “chums”.

On arrival to Nenets camp meet our hosting family and enjoy a dinner and friendly chat with a Nenets family. The next nights we will spend in reindeer herder’s family in chum. If you are lucky enough this evening will spoil you with the magic show: look up for Aurora Borealis dancing in the starry sky.
Days 4 - 6
Live with the nomads, eating and sleeping in their chums (tepees).
There will be no fixed itinerary for these days.

Guests will merely observe and take part in the daily lives of the nomads and immerse themselves in this ancient culture. Daily life could include herding reindeer (up to 10,000 in one herd), lassoing reindeer with reindeer rawhide lassoes, migrating to a new campsite, cutting trees for firewood, collecting ice or snow for water, making new sledges, sewing fur clothing, and so on.
Day7
Participation in the Festival of Reindeer Herders
This is the most important annual event for the indigenous nomads of Yamal. Based on the cultural and spiritual traditions of the northern indigenous peoples, all activities are conducted that distinguish their unique culture: There are competitions for national sports, such as sledge jumping, lasso throwing, axe throwing and tug-of-war, sled racing and reindeer skiing.
In the vibrant atmosphere of the festival you will find stalls selling handicrafts made from bone, fur and pearls, as well as popular regional dishes cooked or frozen from reindeer meat. The nomads make great efforts to prepare for this festival - women wear their finest clothes to brag to friends, men adorn their clothes, reindeer and traditional sleighs.
Day 8
Return to Salekhard
We visit the excellent museum, with exhibitions about the indigenous population and the history of the conquest of Siberia. We can also visit an old fort from the 16th century, see the remains of the first Russian settlement or just stroll across the market square where the nomads offer fish, furs and furs.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 9
Flight back to Moscow, continuing flight to Frankfurt or Munich
Date:
28.03. - 05.04.2020

Number of participants
Minimum: 2, Maximum: 6

Price: 3.850,- Euro
What is included:
- Complete organisation of the journey,
- leadership through experienced English speaking guide
- all air-travels from Frankfurt or Munich (others on request)
- transfers to airport
- 1 night in Moscow (***-hotel, double/breakfast)
- 2 nights in Salekhard (***-hotel, double/breakfast
- land transportation from/ to Salekhard with all-terrain vehicle, bus and skidoo
- 6 days homestay with the Nenets
- overnights in Tepees
- all meals from and to Salekhard
- all permits
What is not included:
- lunch and dinners in restaurants, e.g. Moscow, Salekhard;
- personal meal requirements in the Nenet camp
- overnights and meals in case of flight-delays, if not accepted by the Airline
- personal expenses, e.g. overweight charges
- additional charges for single room occupancy
- Visa-charges
- entrance fees, travel insurances.
- obligatory health insurance

Special Winter boots, and -jackets can be rented
Are you qualified?
You should be healthy. A special fitness is not required. But we expect, that you have some outdoor-experience.
In particular you will have to be capable to sleep in a tepee (called "Chum") on its (insulated) floor and to get along with the Nenet's archaic life-style in general. Patience and psychic calmness are important characteristics in this environment!
You should be equipped with it!
Kindly take also note:
Early booking is necessary! For Yamal there are special Visa-requirements. You'll get the forms with the confirmation of your booking. You need a passport, which is still valid at least six month after the tour.

Temperatures in March are between +5 to -35 degrees Celsius. Average is -15 degrees.
The journey leads into a region with no touristic infrastructure.
You have to be aware: the comfort is very basic. You may NOT expect your accustomed standards!


If interested in this journey, kindly