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Baikal Seal Observation

This tour is not available and is archived.
Easy - nothing more than normal walking while sight-seeing
Moderately Easy - 1-3 hours of physical activity daily
Moderate - 3-5 hours of physical activity daily
Challenging - 5-7 hours of challenging physical activity daily
Extreme - 7+ hours of challenging/extreme physical activity daily
Difficulty
Basic — most of nights in tents or rooms with shared WC, some nights in comfortable rooms.
Standard — most of nights in comfortable rooms, some nights in tents or rooms with shared WC.
Upgraded — all nights in comfortable rooms.
Comfort
Highlights
  • Nerpa observation in their natural habitat
  • Discovery of rock carvings
  • Tasting local cuisine
  • Homestay accommodation on Krestovsky Cape and in Uzury
Tour Overview

Lake Baikal is the only place on earth where it is possible to observe nerpa, the lake's freshwater seal. To our time scientists could not solve the riddle of its appearance in the lake. However, many researchers support the hypothesis that the seals went down the Yenisei River from the Arctic Ocean and adapted themselves to the conditions of the freshwater lake.

In late March – early April seals give birth to the young whose fur is white. The nature itself has seen to their safety having made them imperceptible on ice: seal-calves spend all their time on ice in their lairs near the holes waiting for their mothers to feed them.

We will go in motorcycles with sidecars by ice to meet nerpas in the strait of Maloye More (Small Sea) where ice is still solid enough. We will use an old technique of nerpa hunters, the only difference is that you will only armed with your cameras! During the tour you will also discover rock carvings, ice fishing, sites of shamanic cult and breathtaking scenery!

Tour programme
  • Day 1
    Meeting in the centre of Irkutsk city. Departure by car towards the western shore of the Baikal, to Krestovsky Cape. The route represents various landscapes: meadows, taiga, steppe reminding of Mongolian land. Stops near sites of shamanic cult to coax spirits of the Baikal. Lunch in a cafe serving Buryat cuisine. Tasting of traditional Buryat food. Arrival to the cape, accommodation in welcoming farm. Visit to the surroundings. Banya in the evening.
  • Day 2
    In the morning discovery of the rock drawings on the cliffs of Sagan-Zaba Cape. After lunch crossing of the strait of Olkhonskiye Vorota (Olkhon Gates) separating Olkhon Island from the continent. Accommodation in the homestead in Khuzhir, the central village of Olkhon Island. Tour of the village, the port, Burkhan Rock, residence of the Baikal's God. Banya in the evening.
  • Day 3
    Departure by 4x4 to the north of the island. On the way stops and treks in picturesque places: Buryat villages (almost abandonned), Sagan-Kushin Cape (cape of Three Brothers), sandy dunes, ruins of GULAG camp, Khoboy Cape, site of shamanic cult. Lunch near the fire, tasting soupe of omul (endemic fish of Lake Baikal). Arrival to the north of the island. Accommodation at the weather station of Uzury.
  • Day 4
    We will go by motorcycles in search of nerpas on the frozen lake. Wearing hunter's suit of white colour and equipped with binoculars, we will use toboggan to approach the closest to these fearful animals. We will also discover seal-calves in their ice lairs during our treks. Homestay overnight. Banya.
  • Day 5
    All-day leave in search of seals. Ice fishing and tasting local delicacies among which smoked omul is the best. Homestay overnight. Banya.
  • Day 6
    Baikal seal observation continues by motorcycles. Homestay overnight. Banya.
  • Day 7
    Return to Khuzhir by 4x4. Free time. Optional: horse, VTT, walks. Banya in the evening.
  • Day 8
    Return to Irkutsk. Arrival to the city centre. End of the programme.
                  Detailed description
                  New departures available soon
                  Price includes
                  • English-speaking guide
                  • Accommodation as per itinerary
                  • Transport as per itinerary
                  • Meals
                  • Medical insurance
                  • Excursions and visits as per itinerary
                  • Reserves and national parks entrance permissions
                  • Banya
                  Price does not include
                  • Administrative registration
                  • Personal expenses and tips
                  • Visa fees and travel insurance
                  • Transfer from airport / railway station on first day
                  • Transfer to airport / railway station on last day
                  For more info, please download the detailed description of the trip.
                  Note

                  Small group supplement (2-3 persons) 19 300 RUB / pers.

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