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In The Footsteps Of Siberian Evenks

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
  • Visit to the two capitals of the Baikal region - Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude cities
  • Voyage aboard a train by the Baikal-Amur Mainline
  • Discovery of the lifestyle of Evenk hunters
  • Moving away from civilization to the atmosphere of majestic landscapes
  • Unique itinerary off the beaten path
Tour Overview

The Evenks, nomadic people, were once the most numerous in Siberia. They inhabited undeveloped lands of the northern Baikal and were reindeer herders, fishermen, and hunters. Currently, their population numbers no more than 2000 people on Lake Baikal. Although the Evenks do not live in raw-hide tents any more, they did not forget their traditional occupations and take the ancient paths of their ancestry to find some food in generous taiga.

We invite you to follow these paths in beds of frozen rivers in the company of Evenk hunter. That was a wise thing of the Evenks to choose frozen rivers in impenetrable taiga and in the mountains of the Barguzin range to go to the most favourable places and protected from predators pasture lands. Snow-covered ice is not slippery and facilitates proceeding through dense taiga.

We will experience hiking along frozen rivers in full autonomy, 3-day cross-country skiing in snow-covered places, and sleeping in winter huts of Evenk hunters (heated with stoves). The capacity of these huts does not exceed six persons, that is why this travel is organized in small groups. We will carry our luggage ourselves for it is impossible to resort to the help of porters due to the lack of space in huts. It would be necessary to make sure that you took minimum things needed for the passage and that your backpack has no more than 8 kg in weight.

Anyway, day walking passages will not exceed 15-km/9-mi and phisical efforts will be recompensed with the beauty of wonderful landscapes - majestic mountains, glacial lakes full of never disturbed fish, snow-covered taiga with wild animals. We will also see deer reared by the Evenks. At present deer are not that numerous as they were in the 19th century since their meat and skin are not in popular demand any longer in Russia. However, local Evenks keep traditions of their forefathers and tend a small herd of these noble animals.

We will follow the same itinerary on our way back but splendidness of the route well deserves it. If lucky, we will see wild animals (sable, squirrel, Manchurian deer, elk, musk deer etc) or their traces. In the huts we will leave some food left over in the end of the journey and, according to the unwritten law of taiga, will prepare some firewood for future hunters.

Despite its adventure character, this journey does not require a high level of fitness, to be in good form is enough. But good spirits and sens of humour would be indispensable to overcome unconveniences of accommodation during 10-day trekking to an isolated land of Evenk hunters.

Tour programme
  • Day 1
    Arrival in Irkutsk. Pick up at the airport or railway station. Transfer to the homestay. Rest. After lunch walking city tour. Historic centre, old churches, wooden houses, the Angara embankment. Visit to the Decembrists museum. Dinner at homestay. Night train to Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia.
  • Day 2
    In the morning arrival to Ulan-Ude. Transfer to the homestay. Rest. Drive to the village of Old Believers to get acquainted with their way of life. Tasting traditional cuisine. Return to Ulan-Ude, city tour and excursion to the factory producing traditional felt boots - valenki. Homestay overnight.
  • Day 3
    Transfer to the airport of Ulan-Ude. Flight to the north of Lake Baikal to Nizhneangarsk town. Transfer to Severobaikalsk. Night at welcoming hotel 300 m (980 ft) from the lake.
  • Day 4
    After breakfast drive for the Evenk village of Angoya. We will go snowmobiling to reach Evenk nomad camp Svetlaya situated in taiga 50 km (31 mi) from the village. Night in winter hut.
  • Day 5
    Trekking along the Bogodikta River to meet deer. In the evening return to the nomad camp. Night in winter hut.
  • Day 6
    Following the ancient Evenk path we will reach Talakit nomad camp where there is the only banya in this area.
  • Day 7
    Skiing up the spring of Talakit. Breathtaking landscapes wait for you! Night in winter hut. Banya.
  • Day 8
    We will continue to follow the Evenks' path. En route discovery of abandoned gold diggers' camp. We will also try to pan out some gold with gold pan. Night in winter hut.
  • Day 9
    Skiing to the last camp called "the top of Ilokaluy". Discovery of frozen waterfalls and mountain lakes.
  • Day 10
    We will go skiing to the small lake for fishing davachan, relict fish that can be only found in the lakes of the mountains of the northern Baikal. Night in winter hut.
  • Day 11
    Skiing to the upper Svetlaya (Clear) River. Virgin taiga, traces of wild animals or even the animals themselves if luck smile on us. Night in winter hut.
  • Day 12
    We will make our way back to the previous camp. Night in winter hut.
  • Day 13
    Return to the nomad camp of Bogodikta. Night in winter hut.
  • Day 14
    Snowmobiling to Angoya and drive to Severobaikalsk. Hotel accommodation. True Russian banya to wash away the tiredness after many days of trekking.
  • Day 15
    If this travel is done in the period from February to April, we will go to the north-east of Lake Baikal to discover thermal station of Khakusy and bathe in its thermal springs in the open air. At other periods of time we will go to the thermal springs of Dzelinda 90 km (56 mi) north of Severobaikalsk. In the evening boarding the train and leaving for Irkutsk by BAM (the Baikal-Amur Mainline).
  • Day 16
    Day and night aboard the train (compartment). You will travel by the railway built by the prisoners of gulag and linked Lake Baikal with the Amur river.
  • Day 17
    Early morning arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to homestay, breakfast. Drive to Listvanka, the village on the shores of Lake Baikal which is 70 km (44 mi) away from Irkutsk. En route visit to Taltsy museum to see traditional Russian and Buryat architecture of XVII-XIX Cen. Lunch on the territory of the museum. Arrival to the village. Visit to the Baikal Museum, aquarium with nerpas. Port of the village and typical saleswomen of omul (endemic fish of the lake). Return to Irkutsk. Time at leisure. Festive dinner at the restaurant serving Russian cuisine. Homestay overnight in Irkutsk.
  • Day 18
    Departure after breakfast. End of the programme.
                                      Detailed description
                                      New departures available soon
                                      Price includes
                                      • Russian-speaking guide services
                                      • Accommodation as per itinerary
                                      • Transport as per itinerary
                                      • Meals
                                      • Excursions and visits as per itinerary
                                      • Reserves and national parks entrance permissions
                                      • Ski rental
                                      • Letter of invitation
                                      • English speaking guide during excursions in Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude
                                      Price does not include
                                      • Medical insurance
                                      • Administrative registration
                                      • Personal expenses and tips
                                      • Visa fees and travel insurance
                                      • Bathing in hot springs
                                      • Meals in train
                                      • Guide in the trains
                                      For more info, please download the detailed description of the trip.
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