Kamchatka reindeer is beautiful and strong animal that makes its home in open fields. In the past, wild reindeer inhabited almost the whole peninsula, but today no more than two thousand individual reindeer are left in Kamchatka. The wild reindeer is included in the Red Book of Kamchatka. It is very hard to see these animals while visiting. However, reindeer sightings do happen occasionally. Reindeer breeding has always been the main and traditional activity of the Kamchatka native people. In previous generations the natives would breed wild reindeer, but now breeders raise domestic herds which everyone who wishes may come to see.
You can visit domestic reindeer herds in the Bystrinskiy cluster of Volcanoes of Kamchatka Nature Park (“Vulkani Kamchatki”). The quickest way to get to a camping ground is by helicopter. There true reindeer herders, or the Koryaks, take care of these animals. Reindeer migrate together for six to nine months per year, and their traditional daily routine remains the same.
The Koryaks create a yurta, which is a tent framed by poles and covered with animal skins. A fire is started in its center, and the floor is covered with cedar branches and sticks. Guests are usually fed a treat of reindeer special soup and Koryak flat cake, a delicious type of bread.
Encountering a large reindeer herd evokes a wonderful childlike excitement - you can feel the energy and power surrounding the herd. Even though these reindeer are domestic, they look completely different from what you might expect. The experience itself will make you not want to leave - being in the middle of the tundra near reindeer herds, far away from the towns and multitudes of people, you will see the real life of the Kamchatka natives. You will feel some kind of magic, as if all of this wild energy was passed into you and filled your soul, adding fresh drops of this magical water to your river of life!
And here you thought you only wanted to see reindeer… you can also see a real reindeer close to the town. Children of the North are the only community which has reindeer at their farm and in their breeding ground. It is a wonderful choice for families with kids - animals have got accustomed to people being there, so you can feed and even pet these gentle animals. Reindeer are now being actively trained to work in sleds, so guests will have a chance to ride them very soon!