This tour travels visits a very remote region, much of which has barely been touched by the presence of humans, and we strongly believe in maintaining its pristine nature. The nature of this trip means that some nights are spent camping. We strive to ensure that we leave these areas as we find them and our team have been trained in strict no litter policies, meaning that we take all refuse to either be recycled or properly disposed of back in Batagay. Washing of dishes is carried out well away from any water sources so as not to contaminate them.
Where there are tracks, we stick to them – not always possible as there are few tracks in this area but if travelling off track we ensure we travel as lightly as possible.
Our travellers are specifically briefed not to buy souvenirs made from endangered species – people in remote parts of Russia do not always have the same respect towards wildlife as most travellers will have, and can sometimes offer such things for sale. Instead, we focus on other handicrafts and produce, thus ensuring that local people still benefit from our visit.
As with many of the trips that we offer, this tour has a strong focus on local culture and different ethnic groups. Where possible we try to ensure that local people benefit from our presence. This includes staying with local families. We pay a fair amount to host families – not so much that it distorts local conditions, but a fair recompense for board and lodging. We buy our supplies locally where we can, which can include buying meat and milk from remote communities who rarely have an opportunity to earn cash.
We meet many different ethnic groups on this trip, all with their particular sets of customs. We are careful to ensure that we do not break any local taboos, and travellers are briefed on appropriate behaviour when visiting such groups.
We also visit a number of historic and spiritual sites on this trip. Where entrance fees exist, the inclusion of these within our tour price helps to maintain them, not just for other western travellers but for local people for whom they hold far greater significance. We also use local guides in such places – again where available – which helps to ensure that remote communities can gain from tourism, however small this may be in the grand scheme of things.