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baikal Seals photo tour route map
Tour information:  

Best season: the middle of March – the beginning of May.

The time of the tour may be changed depending on the weather and ice layer conditions on Lake Baikal.

* There is a traditional way of observing seals as people used to do in ancient times when hunting. A photographer puts on white camouflaged garb and kneecaps. Kneeling, he comes closer to the sealwhile pushing a special sledge with a white sail in front of him, which serves as a cover to avoid being spotted by the seal. There is a special hole in the sail for photo shooting and observation.

Photo tour “Baikal seals” (nerpa)

Fascinating travel to the mysterious world of the deepest lake on our planet, Lake Baikal. Usually in the middle of spring, the seals have their babies, which are called "Beliky", or in Evenk language "Kumutkany". They are white in color and often go to the icy surface of Baikal to enjoy the beams of warm spring sun.

Photo tour Baikal SealsYou will have a great opportunity to observe these unique endemic seals in their natural conditions. The Baikal seal is the only freshwater pinniped species on earth (predatory mammal with fins), and it only inhabits the deep waters of Lake Baikal.
Moreover you will see the fantastic heaps of blue ice and hot mineral springs, unique nature sanctuaries andcultural sites, beautiful landscapes and peninsulas of the Sacred Nose Peninsula.


Baikal Seals photo tour



Tour programme:

1st Day. Arrival in Ulan Ude. Transfer to hotel. According to arrival time, refreshment followed by guided city tour with visits to the History Museum. Lunch at the local restaurant. Afternoon excursion to the Ivolginsky Datsan, the most important Buddhist temple in Russia. (40 km from Ulan Ude). Visit to a Buryat yurt to enjoy folklore entertainment and traditional Buryat dinner. Return to the hotel.

2nd Day. After breakfast bus departure for Ust-Barguzin village (250 km). Lunch en route. Accommodation in homes of local families. Enjoy real country cooking.

Barguzinsky Bay in winter3rd Day. After breakfast drive to Barguzinsky Bay (Zabaikalsky National Park) to go to the seal rookery for observation and photo shooting. Excursion on the Bay, with wonderful views of Baikal in winter. Baikal’s endless crystal-clear ice with piled up floes will make you to feel like a trailblazer on a huge ice shield. Return to the friendly host families in Ust-Barguzin. Russian “banya” and dinner.

4th Day. After breakfast drive to Chivyrkuisky Bay (part of the Zabaikalsky National Park) by special off-road jeeps. Visit the hot mineral springs in Zmeinaya Bay. Go to seal rookery for observation and photo shooting. Excursion in the area and enjoy the beautiful winter landscapes of the lake. Fishing. Overnight in traditional hunting lodging.

Photo tours on Lake Baikal5th Day. Drive to Ushkany Island area for seal photo shooting and observation. Wonderful views of Baikal`s pristine beauty. Return to the friendly host families in Ust-Barguzin. Russian “banya” and dinner.

6th Day. After breakfast, take an excursion to the Barguzin Valley to see petroglyphs, the unique natural Suvo "Saxon" castle, and sacred rock Bukhe-Shulun (90 km). Return to Ust-Barguzin for Russian “banya” dinner and overnight.

7th Day. After breakfast, departure for Ulan Ude. Lunch en route. Accommodation at Hotel. Free time to relax. Dinner at hotel.

8th Day. After breakfast visit the Ethnographic Museum and see collections of traditional dwellings, clothes and furnishings of all ethnic groups of the region. Visit to the Old Believers' village (a Russian religious group that split off from the Russian Orthodox Church in the seventeenth century) and introduction to the original folklore and cuisine of the 'semeisky' ethnic group. Return to Ulan Ude for overnight at the hotel.

9th Day. Transfer to airport for departure after breakfast.

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