Every one of Russia’s Arctic regions is home to nomadic reindeer herders, some of whom are among the most traditional and isolated tribal people on the planet. They are members of Asian indigenous groups who speak languages such as Nenets, Dolgan, Chukchi and many other languages as unrelated to Russian as English is to Japanese. Many of these peoples still migrate thousands of kilometres each year on hand-made wooden reindeer-drawn sledges, sew their own clothing from reindeer fur using reindeer tendons as thread, live in tepees made of reindeer fur, drink warm reindeer blood and eat raw meat, and sacrifice reindeer to the gods of ancient shamanist religions.

Nomadic Nenets reindeer herder on the Yamal Peninsula in winter, Arctic Siberia

Nomadic Nenets reindeer herder on the Yamal Peninsula in winter, Arctic Siberia

We offer tours to reindeer herders in the following regions. Please click the link to be taken to the area you are interested in.

Region Level of preservation of traditional culture
Kola Peninsula 2/5
Nenets Autonomous Region 5/5
Yamal Peninsula 6/5!
Taymyr 4/5
Yakutia 5/5
Chukotka 5/5

One thing needs to be emphasised – most of these nomads are very unused to outsiders. We only have the opportunity to bring a handful of outsiders to visit them each year due to the fact that we have built up close relations with certain nomadic families over years of work and travel in the area. Travellers visiting these nomads will be greeted with the fantastic warmth and hospitality these people extend to all visitors but will also not be pampered any more than a visiting relative would. A trip to the Nenets will not be a tour in the ordinary sense but a genuine experience of real nomadic life. Guests will need to fit in with the rhythm of this life and give up a few of the comforts they would expect on any of our other tours.