12 Day Nenets Reindeer Migration in Yamal

a nenets reindeer stares at the camera during the migration

Have the adventure of a lifetime with Russian Arctic Travel on our Nenets reindeer migration trip. The Nenets are Indigenous people native to Siberia. Nomadic reindeer herders, they thrive here in this extreme environment. Their annual migrations follow ancient routes and cover enormous distances across the Yamal peninsula every year.

Every Spring and Autumn, the Nenets start to move their vast reindeer herds. They move between their winter pastures in the taiga of the Russian mainland and their northern summer pastures far above the Arctic Circle. On these expeditions, you’ll join them for part of their journey and see first hand what it takes to survive in this wild part of the planet.

In the Nenets language, this place is called Yamal – the “edge of the world”. Living in conditions that most of us cannot imagine, the Nenets have adapted to survive. They set up camp in landscapes covered in permafrost and travel through freezing temperatures to move their herds. When you join the reindeer migration, you get a real experience of living the nomadic life of the indigenous Siberian people.

This trip runs in April and May and again in September and October.
Contact us via email or phone if your preferred dates are unavailable.

a nenets man leads reindeer with a lasso

Nenets Reindeer Migration Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Salekhard 

Arrive at Salekhard airport and transfer to the hotel where you’ll check-in before having an arrival briefing about what to expect in the days ahead. Our local guides will check that your gear is suitable for the expedition. 

In the afternoon we can organise a tour of Salekhard (the only city in the world directly located on the Arctic Circle) or you can explore by yourself. We suggest visiting the Shimanovsky museum, with its exhibitions of Nenets ethnology, archaeology and natural history, or the reconstructed wooden Obdorsky jail. 

Accommodation: Salekhard hotel (twin-share)

Meals: D included

Day 2 – Salekhard to Nenets Camp 

Following an early breakfast in Salekhard, we’ll go to our village base. This trip takes about 90 minutes. Once at the village, we’ll switch to snowmobiles and sledges or ATVs for our journey across the tundra to the Nenets camp. Today we’ll meet the Nenets family that we’ll be staying with for the next few days.

a nenets man sits on a snowmobile

All meals are included during our stay here and are typical of the Nenets diet. We’ll be having simple meals that usually include 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. In spring, we’ll keep our fingers crossed to see a display of the Northern Lights outside. In the Autumn, we’ll enjoy the beautiful colours of the turning leaves.

Accommodation: Nenets chum

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 3-10 – Nenets Camp

For the next few days, we’ll be living and travelling together with the Nenets family. There will be some travel and some rest days during the migration, so you’ll really get to experience the Nenets culture along the way.

It’s amazing to see how the camp is broken down in a short space of time, and you might even be able to lend a hand! Once the chums and other belongings are stored on wooden sledges, the reindeer herd is gathered and harnessed for the days’ journey. 

The traditional sledges, with snowmobiles and hundreds of reindeer, make a for a colourful travel group. As we wind our way through the wilderness you’ll see that this truly is a unique experience to be a part of. In the evenings the chums are set up again and give all of us shelter from the polar nights.

Accommodation: Nenets chum

Meals: B/L/D included

The Nenets homestay in winter

Day 11 – Nenets Camp to Salekhard

After a shared breakfast with our host family, we’ll say our goodbyes. Today we’ll go on snowmobiles or ATVs back to our base at the village where a car will pick us up and take us back to Salekhard. This evening we can arrange for you to enjoy a trip to the banya in Salekhard or you can simply relax in your room before enjoying dinner.

Accommodation: hotel in Salekhard (twin-share)

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 12 – Depart Salekhard

Transfer to Salekhard airport after breakfast to catch your flight.

Meals: B included

Costs & Services


  • Accommodation: 2 nights in Salekhard hotel (twin-share), 9 nights homestay with the Nenets
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Russian Arctic Travel English-speaking guide
  • All transfers in Salekhard
  • Snowmobiles and fuel
  • Arctic safety/security equipment
  • Permits and visa invitation documents
  • Return flights from Moscow or St Petersburg 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 is available)
  • Use of banya/sauna in Salekhard

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, conditions and other factors at the time. During the expedition, 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 it’s 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 shared basis, but 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.