Q & A with Irina Chernitskaya, Director of Tour Organzations, Baikal Nature, Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia.
Introducing the beautiful nature of Baikal to individuals and small groups. Tours are available in Russian, French, and English. In operation since 2007.
HOW IS YOUR STAFF TRAINED?
Every member of our crew has a degree in foreign languages (English + French). The managers passed educational training in tourism studies, focusing on the territory of Russian Federation with a special highlight on the Siberian region.
Our partners give us many recommendations. Our team also reviews incoming profiles delivered via the Internet.
WHAT COUNTRIES DO YOUR GUESTS COME FROM?
The majority of our clients come from France. The rest are from various countries in Western Europe, such as Sweden and Germany and also a variety of countries in Asia, such as China and South Korea. Some are from the USA.
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE LAKE BAIKAL NATURE RESERVE. WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THIS PLACE?
Lake Baikal is the biggest, deepest lake in the world. It is the “blue eye” of Siberia and so much more than a simple lake. It is world-famous for its unique flora and fauna. For example, it is the natural habitat for rare species of fish known locally as “golomyanka” and “omul.” Also, Baikal is the world’s oldest fresh water lake and to this day remains the second largest source of fresh water. When you travel from one side to another, you see different landscapes - taiga, steppes and mountain ridges - that seem to never repeat one another.
There is “Baikal by Kayak.” The “Grand Baikal” tour allows discovery of the entirety of Lake Baikal from south to north, west to east. And next summer we will launch “Grand Crossing of Russia.” On this new expedition one can follow the route linking Moscow to Magadan in one trip.
WHAT KINDS OF WILD ANIMALS CAN VISITORS SEE?
In many destinations it is possible to observe wild bears. Around the lake there are nerpas, which are endemic Baikal seals. Other wild animals are good at hiding which makes them difficult to see.
No, they don’t need to bring their own equipment because we provide everything that is necessary. For example, on the “Grand Crossing of Baikal” we provide sleeping bags, shoe traction cleats to prevent slipping on snow and ice, sleds and so on..
DO YOU RECEIVE MANY REQUESTS FOR THE TRANSSIBERIAN RAILWAY?
Yes, we do. So many, in fact, that we created a separate website in the French language devoted just to this one travel experience. We plan in the future to create a similar website in English.
WHAT ARE GUEST HOUSES LIKE?
The guest house is an accommodation with an ordinary Russian family. Some of our clients like this option very much. They will get a first-hand view of everyday life, learn about the customs, eat traditional food, including soups and salads, and sleep in typical Russian housing.
Certain trip conditions into the wild nature require special meal planning. That is why primarily we choose the products that do not have special requirements for their storage and can be easily consumed without long preparation. These foods include canned stewed meat, smoked sausages, fruits, and more.
DOES YOUR COMPANY MAKE DONATIONS TO RUSSIAN ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES?
No, but we do promote the protection of the environment. And we don’t mind devoting our free time to clean up around the shores of the lake. In our view, every small step counts!
BaikalNature has earned a reputation as a high-quality service company. Nothing is ever neglected. Our guests can expect our commitment to excellent communication and cooperation at every stage of interaction. They put their trust into us. We do our utmost to make every vacation special. The final consideration would be our prices, our goal is to offer the best quality-to-price ratio.
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