The Taymyr Peninsula
The Taymyr Peninsula is the northernmost part of the Eurasian landmass and one of the last great wildernesses left in the world. Together with neighbouring Anabar District of Yakutia, is surely one of Russia‘s (and the world’s) most extreme and fascinating travel destinations. Here nomadic reindeer herders dressed in traditional fur clothing migrate hundreds of kilometres each year on reindeer sledges, the animals pulling entire homes built on sledges from one pasture area to another. The world’s largest reindeer herd (1 million head) migrates through the area. Huge walrus rookeries appear in summer, together with the polar bears that come to prey on them.
No roads lead to Taymyr, as most of it is between 500km and 1500km north of the Arctic Circle. The nearest permanent road or rail networks are thousands of kilometres to the south. On top of this, the area is closed to all outsiders who do not go through the maddeningly complicated 2-month process of getting a temporary access permit. Fortunately though, all this isolation has helped ensure that the Taymyr Peninsula remains a wildlife lovers paradise, and that the local nomadic people have successfully retained much of their ancient culture and languages.
Western Taymyr can be accessed by boat from Krasnoyarsk to Dudinka, by flight from Moscow or Krasnoyarsk to Norilsk or by an extremely poor network of zimniks (temporary winter roads on frozen river surfaces) from Novy Urengoy in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region.
Eastern Taymyr can be accessed by flying from Krasnoyarsk or Norilsk to Khatanga, or by an extremely poor network of zimniks from Anabar District in Yakutia. There is also a zimnik connecting Norilsk in Western Taymyr with Khatanga in Eastern Taymyr.
Places to visit in Taymyr:
If you would like to consider booking a tour to visit the Taymyr Peninsula, whether for spotting polar bears or to live with nomadic Dolgan reindeer herders, please visit our site Arctic Russia Travel.