The Dolgans – Nomads of the High Arctic
The nomadic, Asiatic Dolgan people, numbering just over 7000, migrate in the tundra of the Taymyr Peninsula and Anabar District of Yakutia, almost a thousand kilometres beyond the Arctic Circle in Siberia’s most northerly regions. They dress in home-sewn reindeer fur clothing, travel on home-made, wooden, reindeer-drawn sledges and live in log cabins insulated with reindeer fur and built on sledge runners that allow them to be pulled by reindeer during migrations. We organise trips that give travellers the chance to stay at an encampment of Dolgan nomads and experience their ancient way of life.
The area is so far north that it is also one of the world’s best places for seeing the Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights. They are often extremely bright green and purple here, sometimes filling almost the entire sky. If you come around the new moon in February you may well see them every night of your trip.
Number of travellers: 1 – 3
Time of year: December – April
Day 1: Take evening flight from Moscow to Yakutsk (7 hour flight, 6 hour time difference with Moscow)
Day 2: Arrive in Yakutsk early in the morning. Fly 3.5 hours north to Saskylakh in Anabarskiy District of Arctic Yakutia. Drive 100km along an ice road on the frozen surface of a river to Yuryung-Khaya, one of the most northern settlements in Russia. Overnight in a local wooden home.
Day 3: Travel on a wooden sledge attached to the back of a snowmobile to Dolgan nomads’ camp (50 – 100km)
Day 4 – 8: Live with the nomads. There will be no fixed itinerary. Guests will merely observe and partake in the daily life of the reindeer herders.
Day 9: Return to Yuryung-Khaya. Overnight in local home.
Day 10: Fly to Yakutsk. Overnight in hotel.
Day 11 – 12: Spare days in case bad weather delays the flight from Saskylakh to Yakutsk. If the flight is not delayed and these two days are to be spent in Yakutsk, trips can be arranged at extra expense to the Lena Pillars UNESCO World Heritage Site, to indigenous Yakut horse herders and to rock paintings on the Lena River cliffs.
Day 13: Fly back to Moscow. Arrive around midday.
|Number of people||Price per person|
*All flights and transport as per the above itinerary
*All accommodation as per the above itinerary
*Food while with the reindeer herders and in Yuryung-Khaya
*Letter of invitation for Russian visa
Price does not include:
*Accommodation, transport or food in Moscow
*Clothing, equipment or a medical kit
Payment: A 30% deposit must be paid to reserve the dates of your trip. The balance payment must be paid no later than 2 months before the trip start date.
Entry permits to a closed Arctic area:: All outsiders, whether Russian or foreign, require a special entry permit for Anabarskiy District, the area where this trip takes place. This permit is completely separate from your Russian visa and takes 2.5 months to process. We therefore kindly ask you to send us scanned copies of your passports a minimum of 2.5 months before the trip start date. Without this permit you will be stopped at Saskylakh airport and, in the best-case scenario, merely returned to Yakutsk on the next flight.