Frequently Asked Questions

FOR RETURNING UP CLICK 'BACK' BUTTON

How do I get there?
Can you organize a tailor-made tour or combine two or more tours for me?
Is there a guide for every tour?
Are wildlife sightings guaranteed?
Am I too young - or too old?
Do many people travel alone?
Do trips involve a lot of physical exertion?
Can I take a different flight or add one to the itinerary?
Are the itineraries likely to change?
How can I get a visa?
Is Petropavlovsk safe?
What can I spend my money on?
How do I obtain more information?
What stuff do I need to bring with me for a trip?
Can porters be hired?
How do I obtain information on using GPS devices, radio-electronic equipment, and computers in Russia?
Can I use my Visa Card and/or Travelers Cheques in Kamchatka?
What type of electrical outlets are used in Russia?
Please let me know the best method of paying for my trip?
How do I obtain more information on Russian foods?
Can you tell me what kind of tents you use and how many people sleep in them?
Is there a way of getting information to and from groups while they are in the wilderness?
Is there anywhere I can leave a bag I don't need on my trip outside the city?

How do I get there? For those coming from Europe, the most straightforward way to access Kamchatka is via Moscow. Aeroflot (Aeroflot' Russian International Airlines) fly direct, non-stop daily from Moscow to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. This 'great circle' 7500km (4687 mile) flight spans nine time zones.

Please check timetable of Kamchatka airport here.

For USA and Canada citizens Yakutia Airlines are pleased to announce plans to resume Alaska-Russian Far East air service in July 2017. The flights will operate for 8 weeks from Anchorage, utilizing 737-700 aircraft configured with business, premium economy and economy classes.

For UK citizens we recommend GO Russia who can arrange all your flights, hotels in Moscow (you will need to stay overnight at least one way) and your visa. Please contact Lilia at info@justgorussia.co.ukin their office.

For Australian citizens we recommend www.russian-gateway.com.au or www.jetabroad.com or Hunter Connection Flight Centre"For overseas travel information, visit the smartraveller.gov.au site of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade."

It is also possible to access Kamchatka through Japan, Hong-Kong, China or Korea, linking with feeder flights from Khabarovsk or Vladivostok in southeastern Russia (see Korean Air site. web site and Vladivostok Air Worldwide Offices).

It is not possible to get to Kamchatka by regular ocean going passenger vessels except on a cruise.

Can you organize a tailor-made tour or combine two or more tours for me? Sure. If you would like to have a special  trip for yourself or any number of participants, such as families, clubs, societies and companies, we will do our best to fulfill your requirements. Why an individual trip? Please read this

"...no other holiday has had this impact on us, ever. We know the reason why. Not only do you live in such a wonderful environment, but for the first time ever we really feel we have made friends. Normally we go on tours, to very interesting and exciting places, in groups of 10 or more. So we don't mix with the "locals" or really get to know much about their culture, other than what the tour guide chooses to tell us. For some reason Russia has always been there in our heart and now we know why. You have really spoiled our plans - we had the next 20 years planned out - all these places to tick off the list - but now all we've got is Kamchatka, Kamchatka, Kamchatka - we can't think of anywhere else :-)" Tracy & Gary Masters, UK.

If it is impossible somehow for us to implement your request, we will offer you information and contacts that can be useful for realizing your plan.

Is there a guide for every tour? Yes. Each departure is accompanied by at least one guide and, in some cases, there are two or more guides (in addition to local experts who often add further insight and knowledge). We believe that qualified guides are very important. From a practical point of view, especially when traveling to remote places, their considerable experience in travel can help to smooth the way and, indeed, they often solve problems before they are even noticed by members of the group. Our guides also enhance every tour: they are chosen for their leadership abilities, enthusiasm, sense of humor, and desire to share their extensive knowledge and love of the wildlife. In all cases, the group will be met by a LOST WORLD representative upon arrival in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and will be holding a sign reading LOST WORLD in large letters..

Are wildlife sightings guaranteed? There are no guarantees, of course, because we have no control over either the weather or the wildlife. Even after many years of living in Kamchatka we can never predict exactly what we will see. But that is all part of the fun! Nevertheless, we put a great deal of time and experience into identifying the best locations, and the best times of the year, to maximize our chances of seeing the most interesting species. We also try to keep our itineraries flexible to deal with unforeseen circumstances and to take advantage of new opportunities.

Am I too young - or too old? Most of our guests are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s, but some participants are in their teens and many are in their 70s or 80s. If you are young at heart, and are in reasonably good health, you will be able to enjoy any of the tours in these pages. Occasionally, we warn of potential problems - for example, if you have a bad back and boat rides are likely to be bumpy, it is worth checking the specific information for individual tours. Some of the tours are unsuitable for young children, but there are others for which we accept bookings for kids under 16s accompanied by an adult.

Do many people travel alone? A typical group consists of an interesting cross-section of people: traveling alone, with friends, or with their partners (men and women travel in roughly equal numbers). The basic prices are based on two people sharing a double room. If you are traveling alone, you can either share with another member of the group of the same gender (if there is someone available and willing to share), or you can pay the whole price and have a room to yourself (subject to availability - please ask for details).

Do trips involve a lot of physical exertion? The level of physical exertion will depend on your tour choice. We offer a large variety of trips with the aim of accommodating as many different agenda's, goals, and vacationing styles as possible. In short, we prepare trips which are conducted entirely with the support of trucks and helicopters and require little or no physical strain (Grade B) as well as trips which require a high level of physical conditioning and consecutive days of hiking over difficult terrain (Grade D). All our tours are graded for the level of physical exertion required. Please see an explanation of our tour grading system below for a better idea of the type of trip which you would like to participate in.

Walking Grades and Fitness
Grading is a somewhat difficult topic as much depends on the individuals own perception of his or her abilities. The following is intended as a general guide to our grading system. The levels of difficulty are divided into categories B/C/D. Although the trekking is not at great altitude, it occasionally traverses rough terrain and involves some long days and steep climbs.

Grade B walks (Moderate): are for those of any fitness level who are able to traverse moderately hilly terrain. Walking is limited to day excursions from a central location to which you will be transported. These day hikes are normally no more than 6 hours in duration and all walking may be done with no backpack or with a light day pack.
Grade C walks (Strenuous): are for the more serious hill walker and a higher level of physical fitness is required. However, no special physical preparations should be needed. Walking days are normally 6-8 hrs and may involve up to 900m of ascent and descent. You should be prepared for several consecutive days of walking, sometimes at higher altitudes, so stamina is important. However, occasionally rest days in the course of the trek will be included.
Grade D walks (Tough): require that you are very fit and previous trekking experience is strongly recommended. Grade D includes long walks with steep uphill and downhill gradients. There will be some hiking at high altitudes (up to 4000m) and corresponding cold weather conditions. These treks will also involve several long days (up to 8-9 hours) of trekking continuously without a rest day.

The tour descriptions provide more specific details.

Can I take a different flight or add one to the itinerary? Yes. If you would like to leave a little earlier, or stay after the tour has finished, send us an e-mail or call, and we will be pleased to help. Alternatively, you may like to combine two or more tours into one long trip (and, of course, save money on airfare). Wherever possible, our staff will tailor-make an itinerary to suit your own needs.

Are the itineraries likely to change? We try to keep to the itineraries as closely as possible, and while major changes may be necessary, they are unlikely. However, we do like to remain flexible - depending on the weather - to make the most of every opportunity.

How can I get a visa?  After we've received a signed Booking form from you, we provide a visa invitation to accompany the application for the visa. You should send a completed and signed application form, with three photographs, your passport and our visa invitation to the nearest Russian Consulate or Embassy. Click here for find more info about the World's Embassies & Consulates.

Is Petropavlovsk safe? Yes. Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka are generally safe. Hotel entrance is secured and you are quite safe to walk around the town at any time. People are usually friendly and can be very helpful. You just need to use common sense and avoid obvious danger, just like in any other foreign city.

What can I spend my money on? During the trip you will have the opportunity to buy souvenirs, arts and crafts, ethnic carvings in wood and bone, some extra food and drinks, maps, books etc.

Russian kopeeks and roubles.

Here are the average prices for food and drinks:

a can of 'Holstein' beer - 100Rbs/EUR 1.40;
a bottle of Russian vodka - 500Rbs/EUR 6.00;
a 100g jar of 'Nescafe' coffee - 250Rbs/EUR 4.20;
a loaf of bread - 70Rbs/EUR 1.00;
a box of juice - 120Rbs/EUR 2.00;
a carton of 'Marlboro' - 700Rbs/EUR10.00.

Nearly everything is available in Petropavlovsk at reasonable prices; 35mm film, batteries, film processing, toiletries, many electronic goods, outdoor clothing and equipment.

The current rubles rate is

You can exchange money at the airport, local banks and hotels.

You might have problems exchanging US$ bills dated earlier than 1991.

5 roubles
10 roubles
50 roubles
100 roubles
500 roubles1000 roubles


How do I obtain more information? Give us a call or fax at: +007 (4152) 498328 or e-mail to info@travelkamchatka.com and we will be happy to answer all your questions and provide further information

What stuff do I need to bring with me for a trip?

The following list is comprised of equipment and items which are either essential or beneficial for most travelers who visit Kamchatka. Additional clothing or personal equipment can be added, but it must be remembered that on extended hikes everything will have to be carried.

  • Passport, tickets and a money belt;
  • A well "broken-in" pair of good walking boots, comfortable and must have strong ankle support for glacier walking. We do not recommend borrowing or renting boots. It is a good idea to carry your boots in your hand luggage on international flights or wear them - should your luggage be delayed, your well broken in boots are the one thing which will be irreplaceable.
  • Trainers or trekking sandals. Useful around camp, in towns and when traveling. You will need an old pair of trainers or sandals for crossing rivers in - they will get wet! As an alternative, you will see many Russians wearing thigh-high rubber boots (bolotniki) for many hikes. Although heavy and uncomfortable to hike in for many, they do make crossing rivers and wet areas quite simple. The water in Kamchatka rivers is very cold and many have expressed a desire in the coarse of their trek to have had a pair of these hip waders with them. Simple hip waders may be bought in Petropavlovsk prior to the start of your hike.
  • Waterproof jacket and boots
  • For trekking tours: Backpack (in UK it is "Rucksack"): at least 80 liters is recommended plus sleeping bag and mat (about 12kg loaded) for an 8 day trek. It should be waterproof (or have a waterproof bag liner) and have good comfortable straps for extended trekking. Tents and food will be divided among the group (including a cook and a guide). Camera equipment can be heavy so think carefully when deciding what to take. It is a good idea to pack your backpack as a trial before leaving for the trip and to do at least one extended day's trekking with full load. Advice on how to pack and what to take on the trek will be given by our guides at the trek briefing.
  • Waterproof poncho: which may be worn over the top of other clothing and covers the backpack as well. This is a very desirable item for keeping everything dry while hiking in wet weather.
  • Anorak
  • Long warm pants/underpants
  • Warm hat and gloves, good socks and gaiters
  • Walking pole is highly recommended!
  • On hot day: shorts, lightweight trousers, long sleeved cotton shirt, T-shirt and sun hat are required
  • Sleeping bag and foam mat/sleeping pad (Term-a-rest or roll mat). We recommend 3-4 season sleeping bags. A cotton liner helps to keep your bag clean.
  • If you have a food dish and suitable camping utensils then you should take your own; otherwise Lost World can provide it.
  • Personal hygiene items, as well as alcohol-gel hand wash (or equivalent) to clean hands without water
  • Ear plugs (for helicopters flights)
  • Water bottle with at least 1-liter capacity
  • Head torch with spare batteries and bulbs
  • Swim suit
  • Thermal undergarments and/or fiber-pile clothing
  • Insect repellent (OFF or Jungle Formula) and mosquito head net
  • Sun cream, lip salve, sunglasses and/or snow goggles.
  • First aid kit for personal use, blisters etc.
  • Leatherman or Swiss army knife
  • Camera, film, polarizing filter, spare battery and dust proof bag. A cleaning kit is essential
  • Leisure reading
  • A box of Ziplock plastic bags to help keeping your equipment dry in the rain
  • Pack-safe cage if needed

    Winter snowmobiles and dog-sledding trips
  • You will experience severe conditions with night temperatures usually around -20C. It is vital to bring the correct equipment as listed below. Your guide will check that everyone has proper equipment and clothing before a trip leaves:
  • We recommend LaCrosse "Snow King" boots. Look through LaCrosse and Cabela's sites.
  • Expedition weight underwear: 1 pair.
    Light weight underwear: 2 pairs.
    Pile jacket and pants: 300 fleece with full side zips.
    Down jacket: expedition weight with hood. Needs to fit over all insulation layers. Must be windproof.
    Gore-Tex shell top and bottom: full side zips and bibs recommended.
  • Pile gloves: 2 pairs, expedition weight.
  • Pile Mitts and Gore-Tex or Windstopper overmitts: 1 pair.
    Hand warmer:Optional.
  • Balaclava: 1 heavy weight.
    Neoprene face mask: Optional.
  • Glacier glasses: 100% UV and IR, must have side covers.
  • Sleeping bag: Expedition quality to at least -20C.
    Ridge Rest sleeping pad.
  • Thermarest pad.
  • Gore-Tex socks.
  • Swiss Army knife.
  • Thermos flask: 1 litre, metal.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 40 large tube.
  • Lipscreen: SPF 40, at least 2 sticks.
  • Personal first aid kit: Aspirin, Moleskin, Adhesive tape, Elastoplast, Band-Aid, etc.

Can porters be hired?
Yes, porters can be hired but they should be arranged for ahead of time*. Porters cost EUR 20.00 per day (EUR 40.00 per day in Kronotsky Reserve only) and can carry your camping equipment, food and part of your personal belongings (14 kilos in total). Usually one porter is shared between two clients (carrying 7 kilos for each client). Of course if you wish to have the services of a porter to carry the entirety of your equipment and food you may hire a porter to work solely for you.
*Note: Porters are not a standard part of our tours or tour cost. They must be specially requested.

Can I use my Visa Card and/or Travelers Cheques in Kamchatka? Here are an abundance of bank machines in Petropavlovsk where you may withdraw money from your credit or debit card with your PIN number. Without a PIN you may withdraw money on your credit card from local banks but a commission of 2% is charged. You may use the following Travelers Cheques in Kamchatka: VISA, American Express and Thomas Cook. The bank commission on these cheques is 3%. It should be noted that most banks are unfamiliar with Traveler's Cheques and therefore cashing them is an ordeal. In any case you should have some ready cash on hand in US Dollars or EURO when you come to Russia.

What type of electrical outlets are used in Russia? The electric current in Russia is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European type plugs with two round heads are required. To use US electrical equipment, bring converter & adapter.

How do I obtain information on Russian foods? Contrary to popular belief, Russian food is as varied as it is delicious. Many visitors to Kamchatka go home laden down with their favorite foods, so great is their enthusiasm for tasty northern treats. Seafood here is abundant, fresh and exotic; try some giant King Crab or a hearty salmon ukha (poacher's broth), made from fresh fish with Cinnamon, cloves and pepper and simmered over an open fire. Of course there's plenty of very affordable ikra or krasnaya ikra (red caviar), and sweet treats like blini (small pancakes filled with caviar, fish, melted butter or sour cream) or aladyi (crumpets with the same filling and jam). Try some berries in your shot of vodka - but remember that once a bottle has been opened, it must be finished! Choose between local Arctic Blueberries, Brownberries, Cowberries and Honeysuckle berries.

A short stroll around PKC's central markets will surely turn into a lengthy feast. Pickled Korean salads, an endless variety of Russian cheeses, breads and meats - and check out the tasty individual-size cream cakes sold by the babushkas. Irresistible.

Here are some famous (and not so famous) Russian Epicurean"musts":

Borsch (borscht). This hearty red soup, traditionally prepared from beets and cabbage and served with a dollop of sour cream is a most popular first course. There are no less than 40 varieties of hot and cold borsch, depending on the vegetables and or meat in them. All borscht recipes are slowly simmered for maximum flavor. Soak up the juices with chunks of fresh sourdough bread, or tiny garlic buns - akin to the ubiquitous garlic bread of Italian cuisine. A good borscht should be so thick with vegetables that, according to an old rule, a wooden spoon will stand upright when stuck into the pot. Sometimes the borscht is served as one-course meal.

Beef Stroganoff. Finely chopped beef in a creamy sauce. The name of this dish comes from Russian Count Grigory Stroganoff (1770-1857) who was one of the richest noblemen and held the highest diplomatic posts. A great gourmet, he loved delicious dishes and always had the best cooks. One of them invented an original dish from scraped meat and it was very much to the Count's taste. The dish took the name Stroganoff, but perhaps unfairly, the cook's name was forgotten. Bad karma though - word got around that it was a dish made especially for the ageing, toothless Count who couldn't handle a beef steak anymore. Try the Rabbit stroganoff - very popular in Kamchatka. Perhaps order a fern salad as a side dish.

Pirozhky (pirozhki, pirohi, pirogui). These are small or large baked or fried cigar-shaped pies filled with meat, fish, vegetables or berries. Sold from roadside stalls and cafes. Tasty.

Pickled mushrooms. A northern delight. The Podgzhybek mushroom is the "birch tree mushroom", found near the much loved and ubiquitous birch tree - a symbol of the Russian countryside. Great to take a jar back home.

Pelmeni. A sort of ravioli this contribution to traditional Russian cuisine are delicious meat filled dumplings. As a delicious main course for lunch or dinner, they can be served drenched in butter or Siberian Style - sprinkled with vinegar and spiced with freshly ground pepper.

Can you tell me what kind of tents you use and how many people sleep in them?

For Grade B and C trips we provide VauDe Campo and Galaxy III 3-Person Backpacking Tent.

Although it is designed as a 3 person tent we accommodate 2 persons in each so you have more space and more comfort. The tents are mosquito proof and it takes just few minutes to set up a tent. Rent-a-tent is included in a trip price. But If you have a good tent and prefer to use your own then you should take your own!

Use Backpacking, camping
Range
4 season
Sleeps 3 persons
Average minimum weight 7 lbs 14 oz
Inner tent floor dimension 90x78 in or approximate. 49 sq. ft.
Peak height
45 in
Poles
2 plus ridge pole
Pole material
7001 T6 aluminum 11mm diameter
Flysheet material
Dark green PU coated polyester 1500mm water column
Inner tent canopy material Light beige nylon ripstop
Inner tent floor material Dark green PU coated nylon 1800mm water column
Doors 2
Vestibules 2
Seam sealing Factory seam taped

For groups in camps we use big Russian kitchen tents up to 20 people capacity:

Is there a way of getting information to and from groups while they are in the wilderness?

All of our trekking groups and the majority of all other groups carry with them a satellite telephone (Telite SAT550 through Global Star). With this telephone our guides keep regular contact with Lost World office and clients can make and receive calls from all points of the globe.

Is there anywhere I can leave a bag I don't need on my trip outside the city? Absolutely no problem: you can separate the things you don't need for a trip, put it in a bag, lock it and leave it with us, so we'll take care of it and make sure that you get the right bag when you need it.


SELECT ANOTHER TOUR:

Request form | Return to main page