The Lost World of Yakutia – Yakutia, June 9 - 19, 2017
Exclusive photo tour
Yakutia is an immense land that lies in Far East of Russia.
As the World’s Largest Federal Subject, Yakutia is also ranked among less-populated ones.
There’re plenty of tourists who would like to visit this land, and we’re happy to give you such an opportunity! You’ll be able to get not only to Yakutia but to Momsky National Park. We’ll also see the World’s Biggest River Ice-slick!
You’ll step into the shoes of a real explorer as there’re still too few photos of these amazing places.
What’s more, you’ll get the chance to take part in rites and ceremonies of the indigenous people of Yakutia.
While participating in sports fishing, you’ll be able to get yourself a unique trophy – the grayling or lenok (traditional Yakutian fish)!
We’ll go motorboating along two rivers that are attended by the workers of Momsky National Park.
Our professional team includes a photographer, experienced guide, translator, hunters from Momsky National Park and a cook.
The journey will start and end in the settlement of Khonuu that is located mere 10 km away from the Arctic Circle! Be ready to experience the midnight sun, i.e. it’s quite bright even at night.
During the tour a well-known Russian photographer will give you advice on the best shooting techniques and photo editing methods. Amateur photographers will enjoy special workshops on mastering sophisticated photo equipment, building the right composition and using filters. If you’re a seasoned photographer, you’ll learn more about shooting panoramas, focus stacking and night photography.
What’s more, the places we’re going to visit are so picturesque that you’ll take stunning pictures with a camera and even a smartphone!
- see Momsky ice-slick, which is the world’s largest river ice-slick
- go motorboating upstream the Moma River and the Indigirka River accompanied by experienced helmsmen
- visit the settlement of Khonuu inhabited by the Yakut and Even population
- take a look at two little-known ridges – the Momsky Ridge and the Chersky Range
- observe dormant volcanoes, which are Balagan-Tas and Emy-Tas
- examine a stunningly beautiful gorge – the Indigirka Gorge
- participate in the Yakut rites and ceremonies
- get the traditional Yakut fish
- meet the Yakut animals like moose, bears, wolfs, foxes, geese, ducks and many others in the course of our far-reaching expeditions. Although we can’t guarantee that you’ll see all the animals, we ensure your safety. Our guides and hunters are armed with rifles and have road flares
- technical grade – basic.
Gathering at the airport of Yakutsk. Catching a domestic flight to the settlement of Khonuu. During the flight you see the Lena River (the largest one in Eastern Siberia), and the mountains of the Chersky Range and the Verkhoyansk Range.
Moving to the settlement of Khonuu. Double accommodation in tents along the itinerary.
The first day of our tour is given to an internal flight, acclimatization and preparations for further travelling.
You can also walk around the settlement of Khonuu.
Discussing the shooting methods to use in the journey.
That’s the official beginning of the tour. Motorboating upstream the Moma River for a hundred of km. The travel time is 5 hours. The river itself is also of great interest as it has many creeks and islands. It’s surrounded by mystical Siberian taiga that makes the air fresh and cool. On the way we admire rocky banks and the crystal ice of permafrost.
Staying on the cordon in Momsky National Park near the Taas-Yuryakh River. The camping site is incredibly picturesque. On the opposite side the Erikit River flows into the Moma River, and it’s clearly seen that the waters at the confluence are of different colors. The right tributary Taas-Yuryakh disembogues into the Moma River under our camping site.
The confluence of these three rivers bristles with energy. Once you get there, you can feel your own energy restoring!
There you get acquainted with the Yakut tradition of feeding the fire.
What’s more, these places are perfect for taking pictures!
Some photographers even give up on sleep to take more photos. Indeed, it doesn’t get too dim during the midnight sun.
You can shoot many interesting places near the camping site.
Those who like fishing can enjoy catching the famous grayling in the Erikit River.
The morning starts with a usual photo session.
After having breakfast we go upstream the Moma River. This day we have to cover about 100 km which takes 5 hours.
We fix our camp near the base of Yturba, Momsky National Park. It’s not far away from Momsky ice-slick.
After a meal our group set off on a journey along the Moma River to see the key site, which is Momsky ice-slick or Ulakhan-Tarun. There you can admire a breathtaking scene. A large ice field lies in the river alley with the Momsky Ridge and the Chersky Range visible in the background. Its length is 26 km and width is 10 km. What’s more, numerous creeks cut its surface this time of the year.
This ice field has deep cuts, with a few meters thick blocks of blue ice seen inside.
We explore the nature of this phenomenon known as ice mounds (river glaciers).
There we get a great view of Emy-Tas Volcano and a narrow cone of Balagan-Tas Volcano.
We explore these ice mounds and take some photos.
There’s a fishing spot nearby where you can catch the Baikal lenok (however, the result of fishing depends on weather conditions).
The whole day is dedicated to Momsky ice-slick and shooting its most interesting points. We choose the most appropriate time for our photo session in order to get the best-possible results. The northern light guarantees you a great shadow play. During the day you can have a rest on the base.
This day starts with a photo session on the ice-slick.
After having breakfast we go motorboating and get to the base of Taas-Yuryakh. As we go downstream it takes us less time – about 3 hours.
The second half of this day and the night we spend at the base of Taas-Yuryakh.
After taking some pictures in the morning, we go motorboating downstream till we reach the settlement of Khonuu – the initial point of our itinerary. The travel time is about 3 hours.
We stay for the night in the settlement. There you get a chance to recharge your batteries.
The second stage of our journey begins. We continue the tour and go along the Indigirka River.
While going upstream, we cover the distance of 100 km in about 5 hours.
As we move through the bottom of the Momo-Selennyahskaya depression, the mountains seem to be distant. However, they gradually come closer to the river and form stone gates that look quite mythical. We go through the gates and see the Chemalginsky Range that is a part of the Chersky Range.
The Indigirka River in this area is of particular interest. On the way we make a stop to take pictures and have a bite.
Then we continue our tour along the river till we reach the mouth of the Chibagalakh.
There we fix a camp. This location is favorable to take the best shots without leaving the base.
You get a nice view of peaks of the Porozhny Range that is lit by the sun both in the morning and evening. The foreground of your photo is taken by large and polished stones from the Indigirka River. It’s an undoubtedly beautiful place!
If you’re lucky, you can catch the Baikal grayling nearby the camp.
Day 8 and Day 9
The best shooting location is situated near our camp.
However, it doesn’t limit our opportunities.
You can choose one of three far-reaching expeditions for these two days.
The first one is a trekking tour along the Chibagalakh River.
The second option is suitable for more experienced travelers and offers Mount Sogo Khaya. Once you get on the top, you enjoy the stunning valley of the Indigirka River and its surrounding mountains. This hiking tour takes all the day.
The third opportunity is to go motorboating upstream the Indigirka River and discover its creek, which is the Kuellyakh-Mustakh River. That’s the spot where you can see the most vigorous rift of the Indigirka River. Another option is to go downstream the Indigirka River and explore one of its creeks – the Nucha River.
A photo session takes place in the morning.
After having breakfast we leave this beautiful place on the bank of the Chibagalakh River. As much as we’d like to stay there forever, we should return to the initial point of our itinerary – the settlement of Khonuu.
Motorboats take us downstream for 3 hours. On the way we stop in a rather peculiar place to take more pictures.
Besides, we should save some time to catch a plane on the next day.
Our journey comes to an end. It’s time to go home. A flight to Yakutsk is planned afternoon.
Maximum Number of Participants: 8
Everything listed in the tour program together with accommodation and meals is included in the final price. It means that you won’t make any additional payments after arriving at the airport of Khonuu and till you departure from there.
- a domestic flight from Yakutsk to the settlement of Khonuu, and return
- double accommodation in tents along the itinerary
- transfer from the airport of Moma to the camp
- motorboat & helmsman services
- motorboat fuel costs
- three meals a day (FB). You can have additional snacks on the way. The food includes traditional Russian porridges with meat and snacks like chocolate. Some dishes are made of the local fish. If you’re vegetarian, let us know beforehand and we’ll prepare the menu without any meat
- permission to visit Momsky National Park and the corresponding fees
- license to fish
- photographer guidance
- guide services, including detailed information about the culture and traditions of the indigenous people of Yakutia
- travelling kitchen services
- translator services (English/Russian)
- guide and the workers of Momsky National Park armed with rifles who have also road flares and means of emergency communication
- mosquito-repellent spray and mosquito head nets
- the Russian banya once in the course of the journey
- flight tickets from your home town to Yakutsk. You’re advised to come to Yakutsk in advance on June 8. We recommend you to book the return tickets for no earlier than the evening of June 20 in order to avoid problems connected with flight delays
- hotel in Yakutsk – one night before setting off on a journey (June 8-9) and one night after camping (June 19-20). You’re advised to stay in the camp to avoid possible problems with flight delays
- meals in Yakutsk
- transfer from the airport of Yakutsk to the chosen hotel
- medical insurance and flight delay insurance
- Russian visa (we’ll provide a visa support document, also known as a letter of invitation).
We’ll travel by motorboats, so you won’t have to carry your luggage. The only thing you’ll have to carry yourself is your photo equipment. It’s better to leave large suitcases at home as they are hard to put in a boat. We recommend to take a waterproof backpack or a travel bag (or you can put your things into waterproof packages).
We’ll sleep in tents throughout the journey.
The itinerary can be slightly changed due to bad weather conditions.
Make sure to buy travel insurance coverage.
We’d like to draw your attention to the fact that we bear no responsibility for changing weather conditions and delayed flights.
You’ll be able to take a hot shower only upon your return to Yakutsk.
Try taking enough spare batteries for your camera as we will have only one chance to recharge them on the way (using your own battery charges). It’s better to bring no less than two or three batteries.
As we have a cook you shouldn’t worry about food. If you’re vegetarian, let us know and we’ll make a special menu.
Our guide and helmsmen will be armed with rifles, and will also bring road flares and hazard warning lights. In case of emergency, we have a sat-phone. Your safety is our first priority. In the beginning of the journey the guide will give you information on the safety rules that must be obeyed.
The technical grade of this tour is basic, and the journey will be suitable for everyone.
Being a Russian photographer, Andrey sees his mission as showing the world – both his fellow countrymen and foreigners – the true beauty of this largest country. He also wants to draw the public attention to the preserve its unique nature.
Andrey is a member of the Russian Geographical Society.
He made it to the shortlist of the photo contests “35AWARDS 2015” and “Wild Nature of Russia 2015” hosted by National Geographic Russia. One of his shot was included into Top 100 photos of 2015. Andrey became the winner of the photo contest “The Best Of Russia” with his landscape pictures in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also took part in the photo festival “100 Wonders of the World 2014” and was awarded in the category “Animalistic” in the course of the contest “At the Heart of the Image” hosted by Nikon.
Sergey graduated from the Russian State Geological Prospecting University. He’s a professional traveler with 30+ years experience, guide, photographer and blogger. In the very beginning of his traveling activities Sergey had been engaging in speleology for ten years.
As a member of the Russian Geographical Society and the Artists’ Union of Russia, Sergey aims to show hard-to-reach and little-known places mostly located in Russia.