As the world’s largest country by far, the impossibly vast nation of Russia stretches from the edges of Europe in the west to Asia’s Far East, containing within its borders an array of landscapes, wildlife and peoples that defy easy categorisation. From mountain ranges to frozen seas, stark expanses of tundra to lush boreal forest, and metropolitan cultural centres to the shifting territory of nomadic reindeer herders, this is a land of extremes that holds countless opportunities for exploration. Polar bears gather for their summer breeding grounds on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Circle, the elusive Siberian tiger stalks through forests on the border with China, and Lake Baikal – the largest freshwater lake in the world – plays host to regular ice fishing. Below are just some of Russia’s many natural and cultural wonders.
Siberia is extensive; an untamed wilderness that encompasses tundra, forest and mountain ranges throughout most of Northern Asia. Our safaris concentrate on the far eastern region, encompassing territory inhabited by some of the world's most endangered big cat species including the rare Amur (Siberian) tiger and even rarer Amur Leopard. A stay here gives you an insight into the research conducted into tiger and leopard conservation and what is being done to protect their population. We work with leading Siberian tiger conservationist, Alexander Batalov, who is dedicated to saving the habitat of this big cat. We give you a real opportunity to explore the land of the world’s biggest, and most dangerous, big cat, on foot.
Siberian tigers aren’t the only wildlife that lives in this seemingly inhospitable environment though. Himalayan (or Asian) black bears can also be found here, skilfully avoiding encounters with tigers by climbing trees and Amur leopards can also be tracked in the Siberian wilderness. In regards to other mammals, there is also Manchurian roe deer, musk deer, wolf, red fox, sable, lynx, Amur badger, and Siberian polecat. Then there is a huge range of bird species too, from osprey and blue rock thrush, to white-tailed eagle, Ural owl and honey buzzard.
Situated as far east as one can travel in the Far East, Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula is a vast area of remote wilderness prime for adventure. Despite its size, there are less than 200 miles of paved roads here, and the best way of getting around is often by helicopter. Kamchatka contains the highest concentration of active volcanoes in the world, as well as freezing winters that are braved by nomadic reindeer herders. The volcanoes have been incorporated into an extensive UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including brown bears, sea otters and sea eagles. The region’s extensive network of rivers and proximity to the Sea of Okhotsk and Pacific Ocean allows it to play host to the largest variety of salmonid species on earth, including the sockeye salmon. The seas surrounding the Commander Islands are perfect for intrepid adventurers wishing to catch a glimpse of marine wildlife, with orcas, humpback whales and teeming seabird colonies often visible.