Russia Trekking, in agreement with Tofalaria – Natural Federal Reserve (Map) located in eastern Sayan Mountains, is in charge to select a limited number of visitors, true belovers of pure and wild nature, for exploring one of the most untouched and amazing locations in Siberia. Tofalaria region is added to the other destinations in Siberia of Russia Trekking: Altai mountains, Putorana plateau and Kamchatka peninsula.
Picture: Kinzelyuk Waterfalls. One of the highest in Russia and between the highest in Asia. The water falls from the homonym lake at 1.600 asl for about 328 meters in a smaller lake in the valley. To reach the stunning view of the waterfalls from the Bear’s Lake you need about 4 hours of trekking ( Map )
Picture: a particular of the Bear’s Lake (Medvezhyie Osero). The Lake is at about 1.300 msl and far about 260 km from the last village reachable by road. The lake can be reached by fan boat or in Helicopter. The water is totally pure coming from the mountains around and the backdrop and the beaches have granitic nature. There is not water suspension giving to the water a crystal effect. (Map)
The symbol of the Reserve: The Sable.
The Tofalaria Reserve was founded first in imperial period in 1914 and then specifically in 1971 to preserve the sable and other animals used for furs along with the brown bear and noble deer. Located in central Siberia, about 500 km north of Mongolia, this area has heretofore been untouched by foreigners and Russians alike. With its 1.327 sq km of Taiga it is unaccessible by road. In fact, travelers will be brought in by boat and out by helicopter on their excursions into the park. Tofalaria is also an extraordinary botanical garden, as wide as the Italian Gran Paradiso, Gran Sasso and Aspromonte ranges put together.
Here the map of the Reserve.
Visitors will explore the protected area guided by local Rangers who strive to assure the minimum impact on a wholly preserved environment as delicate as Tolfaria. Travelers will experience firsthand patrol rounds, take in the natural beauty of Bears’ Lake, the Kinzelyuk Waterfalls, the Strelka Camp at the confluence of the Small and Big Agul rivers and the plateaus of the Sayan Mountains bordering the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions.
Picture: View of Agul Lake at about 900 asl at the east side of the Reserve. (Map)
Being totally absent any type of road or path, the transportation facilities are helicopter, motorboats, horse and fan boat Piranha. This special boat is used by Rangers to go up rivers in any season. The overnight is organized in tents and the typical refuge in wood endowed by a russian sauna (banya).
Picture: The refugee on Bear’s Lake built on a precise interlocking of logs. This is build on two floors, it has several beds and a kitchen area. It has a dependance used as sauna and a dressing room. In the late afternoon the stove is lighted on to heat the sauna for a healthy after dinner.
In order to receive supplies and to transport the guests back to the known world, it is used a large cargo helicopter. In about two hours and with a stunning view it flights from the Bear’s Lake to reach Krasnoyarsk.
Picture: The historical 18 meters long russian helicopter Mi-8, based on a original military project, has become a multipurpose transportation facility that permits to load an important weight of passengers and luggage.
The itinerary contemplate to go up the Agul River from Nova Marishka village that is inhabited by the so called Old Believers. They are a old community of orthodox believers that separate from the main russian one in 1666.
The village is about 180 kms far from Krasnoyarsk and it is run with a minivan. The itinerary along the river, initially smooth and sourronded by flat taiga becomes more and more wild. Hills grows around and are totally covered by birches and then beeches trees. After a itinerary of about 200 kms with some rapids on the way it is reache the Strelka Camp that represents the entrance of the Reserve of Tofalaria.
Picture: a Piranha fan boat 7,5 meters long. Project and russian manufacturing big huge fan mounted on a japanes engine permits to travel on few centimeters of water and also on ice in winter. It has six sits in the cabin a two on bow bridge. It can reach the 40 km/h speed.
Fishing in lakes and rivers, but also berries and fruits of the taiga contribute to the siberian culinary experience guaranteed by the chefs of Russia Trekking around the frire camp. The daily fresh fish catch is cooked in different tasty ways included the smoked one done at the camp fire. With such particular technique the fish cookes very slowly and adquire a unique taste. An other amazing siberian receipt is based on the crude fish seasoned with onions and aromatic herbs that astound for its original approach. Various are the products of taiga that can be tasted. Just to list some: the pine nuts of pine cedar, the tea produced with a specifical mushroom that grows on the birches trees, the berries that grows everywhere in the taiga, the mushrooms, the honey gathered by the local people.
On the east side, outside the Tofalaria Reserve, there is the village of Gutara. The village it is not connected by any road and it is inhabited by the people of Karghasi. The Stalin politics obliged of nomad origin to do not move anymore with their reindeer herds making impossible their breeding. From a population of about 2500 inhabitants it has reduced to about 700 people. The Karghasi now lives on site and bases its sustenance with the gathering of the taiga products, fishing and hunting. In the village lives also about hundred horses, cows and still some reindeers.
Picture : back from hunting of a Karghasian with its horse.
– See from the river Agul the taiga environment from the flat of Krasnoyarsk to the sweet valleys into the mountains area
– Life in Rangers’ camps as in Stelka camp at confluence between Small and Agul rivers and Bears’ Camp on Bears’ Lake.
– Trekking Escursion to the Kinzelyuk Waterfalls, the second for height in Russia and between the highest in Asia.
– Trekking Escursion to the Gornoe Lake – Learning about wildlife, botanics and history of Siberia.
– Motorboat excursions on Bears’ Lake
– Fishing your dinner in the lakes and rivers
– Enjoing great relax at the Bear’s camp with the Banya, the russian sauna, learning how to prepare it and get the best for your health
– Testing the Siberian cousine rich of tasty fish and natural products
– Visiting the amazing Stolby Park in Krasnoyarsk with its forest and famous stones.
– Enjoing the visit of Krasnoyarsk, capital of Siberia rich of history form its foundation by Cossacks to the soviet period.
Day 1: The first day you will reach Moscow from your country. Overnight then you will fly to Krasnoyarsk, capital of Siberia.
Day 2: We will be waiting for you at Airport and by minivan we will reach your accomodation. Depending on your arrival time we could make a brief visit of the city, capital of Siberia. Then we will reach the National Park “Stolby” located 40 kms far from the city. In this nice place you will get acclimatized after your long trip and compensate your jet lag.
Day 3: We will have a walk in the park with a local guide that will introduce you to the nature of Siberia and the specific point of interests of this Park.
Day 4: We will transfer in the morning to the banks of “Nova Marishka” a remote village of an old community of the so called “Old Believers” an Orthodox split. The village lays along the Agul River where we will board on a fan boat and some other motorboats that will bring us south. The fan boat is the Rangers’ main system of transport in the Reserve because it is the unique type of boat that can move with few centimeters of water or ice in winter. with passengers and supplies. We will route all day South for about 220 kms crossing an amazing territory covered by the taiga forest. We will have some breaks along the river banks. In the evening we will arrive at the mythical “Strelka” Camp, the entrance of the Tofalaria Reserve at the amazing confluence of the two rivers: small and large Agul. It will be established the first camp with the possibility to use the refuges of the Reserve as a log house and the Banya in alternative to tent camp.
Day 5: The morning after we will move by fan boat for about 40 kms to Orzagay river (2,5 hours on boat) where they will start to go walking to Medvezhije Ozero, the Bears’ Lake (2 Hours walking). Some horses will help us to transport the luggage and the equipment. We will arrive at the Bears’ Lake that lays in a wonderful large and green valley and we will cross the lake with a flat motorboat, landing at the Bears’ Camp. This wonderful place will be our base for some days. We can choose to sleep in tents nearby or in the large refuge log house.
Day 6: This day we will deserve to enjoy the camp, making brief excursions along the lake or by boat for fishing. We will have nice lunch and dinner and a great sauna in the evening.
Day 7: We will trek for about four hours to see from the top of a plateau the amazing Kinzelyuk Waterfalls having a light lunch at destination and coming at evening. The waterfalls are amazing. The waterfall starts from a small lake at 1,600 m asl close on three sides by rock cliffs in a nice round basin and fall down at 45 degrees for about 350 meters in a lower blue and green lake.
Day 8: We will stay at camp taking classes of some traditional Russian activities We can fish, have short walks and just resting as we like to do sometimes. We can learn some Russian language.
Day 9: We will trek to the Gornoe lake for the all day. Quick lunch at destination. The lake is over a plateau and the view from there of the valleys around it is stunning.
Day 10: The day ten we will stay at camp relaxing, fishing, walking around the lake. Any day our service will prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner and in evening will prepare the Russian Sauna in the typical wooden house called Banya.
Day 11: The day eleven we will get into the forest with the rangers to follow the footprints of the wildlife.
Day 12: The day twelve we will organise a trek on the mountains.
Day 13: We will have breakfast and will pack and prepare for helicopter flight to Krasnoyarsk to airport (about 2 hours flight). The flight it is amazing because till the end we will understand how far was the civilization from our jewel in the Reserve, the Bears’ Lake. The Helicopter is a Mi-8 a mythical original militar project that became a multipurpose system for rescue, cargo and passengers. We will reach the accomodation in Krasnoyarsk and after a farewell Siberian delicious dinner in in Krasnoyarsk we will have a deserved sleep.
Day 14: Everybody will fly back to home going first to Moscow.
Russian Trekking provides all the camp equipment as tents, thin mattresses, 120 liters waterproof bags, cooking tools, fishing tools as all the cooking and tableware tools.
Personal basic equipment that guests will have to bring with them are: – Sleeping bag medium density – Inflatable pillow – personal head light – trekking knife – metallic bottle for the excursions – raining mantle – personal dresses that you are used in usual trekking in summer on a mountain location with something warmer in case of a colder day. – Swimming dress and a large towel for Banya – Consider that the limit weight for the flights is 23 kilos in one piece so consider this as limit for the luggage.
PHONE COMMUNICATION The total area of the Reserve is not covered by any phone ground or cell connection. The camp to camp communications are guaranteed by VHF/UHF radio.
Emergency phone calls are guaranteed by a satellite phone which number will be communicated at arrival.
POWER SUPPLY At camps thanks to a sun cells power system it is possible to charge smartphones, cameras and any other electronic devices.
June: June 27th – July 9th
July: July 4th – July 16th July 11th – July 23rd July 18th – July 30th July 25th – Aug 6th
August: Aug 1st – Aug 13th Aug 8th – Aug 20th Aug 15 – Aug 27th Aug 22th – Sep 3rd Aug 29th – Sep 10th
September: Sep 5th – Sep 17th Sep 12th – Sep 24th
Price per person: CONTACT US
– Visa invitation – All tours/ activities listed in the itinerary – Accommodation in 4* hotels
– Accomodation in tents or refuges – Airport pick up and hotel transfers You need to bring with you your trekking dressing considering the possibility to have some rain, your sleeping bag, a personal torch. Detailed list of equipment will be delivered at booking.
We are proud to say that in the area there are totally no phone and internet connections.
We have satellite phones just for emergency and we communicate via radio with the other camps or helicopters. The number of satellite phone will be communicated at arrival for incoming strictly necessary calls .