4-day summer homestay with the nomadic Nenets reindeer herders

A Nenets woman stands outside her chum in the summer on Russian Arctic Travel's nenets trip

Are you coming to Russia to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway? Take a few extra days for an incredibly unique experience in Siberia. With a flight time of under 3 hours from Moscow, this is a perfect opportunity for you to come to Yamal and experience Russian Arctic Travel’s Summer Nenets Trip. 

The Nenets are Siberia’s indigenous people and, even today, they continue the traditions of their ancestors. Each year they herd their reindeer through the arctic tundra along ancient migratory routes. There’s no better way to round off your Trans-Siberian holiday than by staying with the people who call Siberia home.

Start your trip in Salekhard before being taken by our expert local guides to a nearby Nenets camp. At the camp, you’ll spend 3 nights living with the nomads. This gives you time to get to know what it takes to live in this environment, where you’ll share meals with the Nenets and sleep in their chums. No matter the season, we’re sure that you’ll leave this magical place desperate to return.

This trip runs from August to September.
Contact us via email or phone if your preferred dates are unavailable.

Summer Nenets Trip campsite

Summer Nenets Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Moscow to Nenets Camp 

Arrive at Salekhard airport on an early morning flight and transfer to our staging point in a nearby village. We’ll have an arrival briefing to ensure you know what to expect in the days to come. Our local guides will check that your gear is suitable for the weather conditions you’re likely to experience.

Once we’ve loaded up the vehicles we’ll head out to the Nenets camp in the remote tundra. Upon arrival, we’ll be welcomed by our host family for the next few days, and then we’ll join them for dinner.

All meals are included during our stay here and are traditional Nenets cuisine. The food is simple and usually includes fish or reindeer meat. Accommodation will be in the chums (traditional tent made of reindeer skins and felt) of the Nenets and is basic, with pit toilets. 

Accommodation: Nenets homestay

Meals: L/D included

Day 2 – Nenets Homestay

Life with the Nenets. We will have plenty of time to observe the traditional way of life of the Nenets and the amazing ways that they cope with this harsh environment. You’ll have the chance to participate in the daily running of the camp. Help to chop firewood and learn about Nenets cooking, how to make reindeer-skin clothing, wooden sledges, and other essentials for polar life.

A dog sits outside the nenets chum

Depending on the time of year, the reindeer may be located next to the campsite, in which case you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to interact with these sweet animals. If you’re a dog lover then you’ll love meeting the Nenets Herding Laika dogs who have been specially bred to herd reindeer. We’ll eat with the Nenets again and sleep in the chum tonight.

Accommodation: Nenets homestay

Meals: B/L/D included 

Day 3 – Nenets Camp to Salekhard

This morning we’ll eat breakfast with the Nenets family before starting to pack our gear. We aim to depart the camp around lunchtime in order to make it back to our staging point in the late afternoon. We’ll transfer to Salekhard where you’ll check into your hotel for the night.

You have the option to enjoy a banya in the city before the farewell dinner this evening.

Accommodation: hotel in Salekhard (twin share)

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 4 – Salekhard to Moscow

After breakfast today we’ll transfer you to the airport so that you can catch your flight back to Moscow to resume your journey!

The Nenets sledges packed up for summer migration

Please note: We are very happy to extend this trip for you if you would like an additional night with the Nenets or in Salekhard, one of the only cities in the world located on the Arctic Circle.

Included

  • Accommodation: 1 night in Salekhard hotel (twin-share), 2 nights homestay with the Nenets
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Russian Arctic Travel English-speaking guide
  • All transfers in Salekhard
  • Vehicles and fuel on expedition
  • Arctic safety/security equipment
  • Permits and visa invitation documents
  • Return flights from Moscow to Salekhard

Not included

  • Personal expenses such as drinks, tickets, phone calls, etc.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Individual clothing, backpack, cold-weather clothing (contact us for advice – rental of clothing is possible)
  • Banya in Salekhard
A Nenets boy plays near a sledge outside his home

Note: The final route and activities may vary slightly, as the weather can be unpredictable here in Yamal. Your guide may need to adapt the program depending on the group, prevailing conditions and available options at the time. During the expedition the cooperation of all participants will be crucial – you‘re always welcome to lend a hand.

Other important information

  • Please be aware that you are visiting this nomadic family in their home and this is a very personal space for them. The guides will inform you of any specific considerations or taboos that you need to be aware of.
  • Alcohol is strictly prohibited during the whole stay with the Nenets family
  • The Nenets might move their camp at any time, so we will only know the exact location of our homestay just before departure
  • Accommodation in the chums is on a sharing base. Depending on the group’s size there might be a chum available for the group only
  • Using drones above the reindeer herds is prohibited

Fitness and dietary requirements

  • A basic level of fitness will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip, but no special training is required
  • Dietary requirements should be discussed prior but can usually be catered for

Recommendations for Clothing and Equipment

  • Will be sent at the time of booking

Visa Information

  • Russian Arctic Travel will provide visa invitation documents for you to apply for your Russian visa overseas

Price is based on double occupancy: a single supplement of €200 will apply if you are a single traveller and are not happy to share a twin room.