Photographical expedition with the last siberian nomads: Yamal’s Nenets

PRICE TRAVEL: from 3.250

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    The Urals Polar Mountains
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    The Reindeer Herders Day Festival is one of the highlights of this trip
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    The nenets are a very hospitable people
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    The nenet people is one of the most traditional in the world
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    Nenets are reindeer herders
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    Nenets always have things to do to improve their livelihood
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    In the Reindeer Herders Day Festival different competitions are realized
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    Camp nenet on the Siberian tundra
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It is so distant that most of its territory is located past the Arctic Circle and, to get there, you’ll have to cross half of the world. It is so inhospitable that Stalin decided to build his labor camps there. But Yamal’s natural beauty is just unquestionable and, if you want to travel far away… you won’t actually be able to go much further than Yamal.

You’ll be travelling to one of the least explored and most remote regions on Earth, where you’ll have the opportunity not only to enjoy the colorful reindeer festival but also to exclusively experience the Nenets ancient lifestyle, one of the most ancestral and traditional cultures on this planet. You’ll feel the excitement of living in their habitat, the tundra, an arctic environment surrounded by the Polar Ural, a natural border between the European and Asiatic continents.

We will be having a photographical experience rather than a more technical one in order to dive into the soul and spirits of the people of Yamal. Photography will be a tool at the service of artistic and vital expression. We will try to get closer to an unknown and distant culture that could be able to enrich us visually and personally.

You can travel to a country and take pictures during your visit… Or you can visit a country and photograph it while you experience it.

travel code


fixed departures:

4-13 April 2019











13 days


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The Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area is an entire country in the centre of Russia’s Far North. It is located on the West Siberian Plain, the largest such plain in the world. A small part of its territory is situated on the eastern slopes of the Polar Urals (the city of Payer).

Arctic Ural is considered the territory of Ural from the source of the river Khulga in the south up to Konstantinov Kamen's mountain in the north. In the west and the east ridges of Arctic Ural, the taiga and tundra of the Pechora adjoin, as well as the Western-Siberian lowlands. The territory of Arctic Ural Mountain area takes more than 25,000 km2.

The Yamal has been traditionally inhabited by the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North: Nenets, Khanty, Selkup and Komi (Zyryane). Inhabiting the high latitudes for thousands of years, the indigenous peoples of the Yamal created a striking and original culture adapted to the maximum to the severe Arctic natural conditions. The Nenets of the Siberian Arctic are the guardians of a style of reindeer herding that is the last of its kind. Through a yearly migration of over a thousand kilometres, these people move gigantic herds of reindeer from summer pastures in the north to winter pastures just south of the Arctic Circle.

While summer temperatures range from +5º C to +25º C (but can still be cold due to the wind), winter temperatures can reach bellow -60º C. Out in the tundra, the average winter temperature ranges from -25º to -30º C.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 -Arrival in Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport and transfer to the Airhotel Domodedovo*** (double room).

Day 2 - Breakfast and transfer to Domodedovo Airport. We will be taking a flight to Salekhard. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Salekhard, with 42,500 inhabitants, is located on the banks of one of the largest rivers in the world, the Ob. The city was built in 1595 as a Cossack fortress. In the Nenets language, Salekhard means "settlement at the Cape”. It is the only city in the world crossed by the Polar Arctic Circle (66º 33´N). Overnight in hotel, double room. (B)

Day 3 - Breakfast and visit to the Reindeer Herders Day Festival in Aksarka. Reindeers mean life in the tundra because they provide its inhabitants with food, clothing and warmth. The festival is based on the northern natives’ cultural and spiritual customs. All the activities in the festival are, therefore, devoted to support and preserve them. Its main attraction is the many different reindeer races: trotting, on a sleigh, on skis pulled by a reindeer and riding reindeers. National sport competitions, as sleigh jump, tynzyan throwing (throwing a rope to a wooden stick), ski hunting, long-distance axe throwing, wrestling or rope throwing are also held. Apart from the competitions, there are fairs where craftwork made with bones and reindeer skin, beads and other products are sold. You can also enjoy reindeer and frozen meat-based traditional dishes. Overnight in hotel, double room. (D)

Day 4 - Breakfast in the hotel and transfer (1 hour and a half) to Kharp, at the north of Salekhard and at the foot of the Polar Ural. Riding snowmobiles or sleighs pulled by reindeers, we will go north, enter the vast wilderness and cross the Polar Ural, extended from the northeast to the southeast (66-68º N., 63-67º E.). Just before joining at the coastal flatland, the Ural Mountains extend through the Valley of the Sob River, which flows along the Trans-Ural railway that connects Seida and Labytnangi. The last Ural Mountains’ groves can be seen in this area and within valleys protected from the wind. The Nenets will welcome you with a hot cup of «chai». Overnight in chum (traditional Nenet tent). (D, A, C)

Day 5,6,7 & 8 - Cohabitation with Nenet family. They will keep on living their traditional lifestyle, which has barely changed during the last century. We’ll live in the northern natives’ homes and will have the opportunity to get to know their way of life, to cook their traditional meals and to help them raise their tents, as well as performing rituals. We will immerse ourselves in the nomads’ daily life, we’ll rest in their tents and we’ll get to know their unique culture, full of ancient traditions. We’ll also be able to take part in daily activities as chopping wood, making fire, cooking, collecting water and helping out with the reindeers. We’ll go on an excursion on showshoes to the beautiful Ural Polar Mountains on one of those days. Overnight in shared chum. (D, A, C)

Day 9 - After sharing our breakfast with the family, we’ll head to Kharp riding snowmobiles or sleighs pulled by reindeers. There we’ll be picked up by a car that will take us to Salekhard. On the afternoon, you’ll have the option to take a bath (russian sauna). Overnight in hotel, double room. (D)

Day 10 - Breakfast in the hotel. We’ll head to the airport at 8:30 AM to board the 10 AM flight to Moscow. Arrival at Domodedovo Airport at 11 AM. End of the program


Map view for Yamal-Nenets



  • Flight Moscú-Salekhard / Salekhard-Moscú
  • Accommodation in Airhotel hotel Domodedovo*** (double rooms)
  • Accommodation in hotel Salekhard (double rooms)
  • Meals as specified in the program
  • Transportation as specified in the program
  • Homestay with local family
  • Local Guide
  • X-plore guide (photographer)
  • Activities according to the program
  • Arctic safety/security equipment
  • SAT telephone, spot, solar charger
  • Tents, cooking equipment and first aid kit


  • Flights to/from Moscow
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, tickets, phone calls, etc.
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage
  • Individual clothing/equipment, sleeping mat, backpack, cold-weather clothes, etc. (contact us for advice)
  • Any service in Moscow
  • Satellite phone calls (2 € per minute)
  • All services not specified before
All information in the next window. Details from Yamalia

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