Reindeer herders

Of 120 indigenous peoples in Russia, about twenty are traditionally nomadic reindeer herders. Due to the nature of the reindeer, many herders live in temporary dwellings and migrate with their animals. They move camp in search of fresh pastures. It is an ancient way of life that has, in many areas, changed little over the centuries. Around Lake Baikal, reindeer herders belong to the Evenki, Soyot and Tofalar peoples. Many Evenki have kept their nomadic lifestyle. Some in the Udokan Mountains have herds of 3,000. They live in felt tents or log cabins. Sadly, among the Soyots only around 20 – 30 people still work with reindeer. They lost most of their herds under the USSR. Among the Tofalars the number is similar, although they lost their reindeer in the 1990s.

The Soyots, the Tofalars and the Evenki all live in beautiful mountain terrain, which makes visiting

 

worthwhile. However, if keen to see large reindeer herds and a true nomads the Evenki are best. We work with several small groups in the mountains around Lake Baikal. Visits to them can be combined with ice fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, sledging and more. However, we also work with larger nomad camps in the Udokan Mountains, an overnight train ride east of Baikal. These are more interesting for those seeking the true nomadic lifestyle. Trips can be combined with ice fishing, gulag visits, the Chara Sands, sledging, snowmobiling, skiing and trekking. Please view our Kodar Mountains trips for information and prices.

Please get in contact to organise a trip to indigenous reindeer herders on or around Lake Baikal. Alternatively, please visit our sister sites Yamal Peninsula Travel, Arctic Russia Travel and Travel Yakutia for trips to nomads in other parts of Siberia.

 

Of 120 indigenous peoples in Russia, about twenty are traditionally nomadic reindeer herders. Due to the nature of the reindeer, many herders live in temporary dwellings and migrate with their animals. They move camp in search of fresh pastures. It is an ancient way of life that has, in many areas, changed little over the centuries. Around Lake Baikal, reindeer herders belong to the Evenki, Soyot and Tofalar peoples. Many Evenki have kept their nomadic lifestyle. Some in the Udokan Mountains have herds of 3,000. They live in felt tents or log cabins. Sadly, among the Soyots only around 20 – 30 people still work with reindeer. They lost most of their herds under the USSR. Among the Tofalars the number is similar, although they lost their reindeer in the 1990s.

The Soyots, the Tofalars and the Evenki all live in beautiful mountain terrain, which makes visiting worthwhile. However, if keen to see large reindeer herds and a true nomads the Evenki are best. We work with several small groups in the mountains around Lake Baikal. Visits to them can be combined with ice fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, sledging and more. However, we also work with larger nomad camps in the Udokan Mountains, an overnight train ride east of Baikal. These are more interesting for those seeking the true nomadic lifestyle. Trips can be combined with ice fishing, gulag visits, the Chara Sands, sledging, snowmobiling, skiing and trekking. Please view our Kodar Mountains trips for information and prices.

Please get in contact to organise a trip to indigenous reindeer herders on or around Lake Baikal. Alternatively, please visit our sister sites Yamal Peninsula Travel, Arctic Russia Travel and Travel Yakutia for trips to nomads in other parts of Siberia.

 

Tours to Lake Baikal’s reindeer herders