Much of Arctic Siberia lies on a layer of tens of millions of mammoths that died and sunk into the ground over hundreds of millennia. These days, every year the melting permafrost pushes the tusks and bones of woolly mammoths out of the ground all over the Arctic for lucky people (such as guests on our Arctic Yakutian Highlights trip!) to find.

A mammoth tusk hunter from the Arctic coast of Yakutia

A mammoth tusk hunter from the Arctic coast of Yakutia


One expert, after years of research in one district of Arctic Yakutia, concluded that even in that one district (about 1000km from east to west and about 200km from north to east) there were 500,000 tonnes of mammoth tusks alone buried in the ground. Although at first glance this figure seems a bit excessive, it is probably not far off, as an average pair of mammoth tusks weighs 100kg. This means that around five million mammoths died in that district, of the 40 million mammoths believed to have lived and died in Siberia as a whole over the 400,000 years that woolly mammoths inhabited the region.
In Yakutia lots of people make their living by going out collecting mammoth tusks. In villages and towns of the Yamal Peninsula, you often see adverts hung or spray painted on walls saying, “I pay good money for mammoth tusks”.

We know the location of two reliable “mammoth graveyards” in Arctic Yakutia where we can guarantee visitors to find the remains of mammoths and, if lucky, sabre-tooth tiger, woolly rhino, bison and ancient horse too. But mammoth remains are 100% guaranteed!

We offer two mammoth-focused trips in different parts of the Yakutian Arctic:

1. Arctic Yakutian Highlights a 2-week trip with a visit to two mammoth graveyards, indigenous Yakut horse herders, a well-preserved gulag camp and more.

2. Mammoth tusk hunters. Cross 60km of frozen sea on snowmobiles with Yakutian mammoth tusk hunters to reach the rich mammoth graveyards of the New Siberian Islands.

Mammoth bones in Arctic Yakutia

Mammoth bones in Arctic Yakutia