In the Wilds of the Khamar-Daban – 2

In the Wilds of the Khamar-Daban – 2

Project dates: July 25 – August 7, 2019 (14 days in all)

Languages spoken on site: Russian and English

Project site: Russia, Republic of Buryatia, Baikalski National Nature Reserve, the Osinovka River Valley

The long-term goal of this project: To promote sustainable and socially responsible eco-tourism by building and maintaining an ecological trail along the Osinovka River Valley.

Project scope of work: Clearing of the trail corridor (fallen trees and dwarf pine removal). Soil removal for creating a new section of the trail, retaining  building walls, erosion control, and maintaining existing trail services.

There will be crew leader who helps manage all the volunteers at the work-site. She or he will be assisted by an interpreter, who will not only ensure smooth communication amongst all of the participants, but also will help run our after-hours cultural programs for the group.

The average time for working each day is 6 hours, with a break for lunch. Depending on weather and group conditions, the crew leader has the right to change the work schedule.

Volunteer Application Form

Accommodation and meals: Our volunteers will be setting up a stationary camp along the Osinovka River. The crew-leader will also help create a work schedule that gives participants various tasks related to camp-fire and meal preparation. Please see one of our sample menu of food.

The GBT will provide food and other supplies; it also will provide all the necessary work-equipment, cooking utensils, tools, as well as two-person tents.

Please note that each participant will be asked to carry their own belongings, along with a share of our tools, equipment, and food products, over to the project site – a distance of 2 km (~1,5 miles).

There will be no hot showers at the site, but it will be possible to heat up enough water to bathe camping-style. Or you might choose to leap into the refreshingly brisk waters of the Osinovka River.

This project cannot literally be called a Baikal shoreline project, since the permanent camp will be set up some 3 km (~2 miles) from the lake. Nevertheless, this should not be seen as a disadvantage for our volunteers since the camp will be set up in a charming glade, away from the predominant Baikal winds. Plus, much of the work that we will be doing will be set right along the Osinovka River.

Days off: In the middle of the project if weather is good we plan to take a hike to Khamar-Daban mountains. At the end of the project we will walk down to the local village of Tankhoi, and visit Baikalski Reserve Nature Museum and Reserve Visitor Centre. We will also have a chance to swim in Lake Baikal, as well as take a famous Russian sauna, or banya.

Physical challenges during the project: Every day we will be hiking a mile to the trail site, often carrying our trail-building tools along the way (mostly shovels and pickaxes). We will also need to move some heavy logs and rocks and take on other similarly laborious tasks. Please note that you will be expected to hike in and out of the site with your own backpacks, carrying your personal belongings along with all of our trail tools and food items. From Tankhoi you will walk 2 km (~1,5 miles) to your project site.

Please note that you should plan to bring a large backpack with you, one that can hold the equivalent of 70 litres in volume. You should also bring a jacket for the prevailing windy and damp weather, along with a warm sweater and durable pants. Please also bring some very sturdy shoes, ones that are mostly waterproof (many places along the trail can be muddy).

We suggest that you take the time to review our list of required equipment that we strongly recommend to bring.

Also please be sure to carefully read the FAQ and information concerning ticks.

Transportation: The gathering point at the beginning of the project will be the city of Irkutsk. We will be ready to meet you at 9AM on July 25th at the GBT hostel. Our advice for you is to arrive in the city no later than the evening of the 11th, so that you will be on time for our morning meeting the next day. From Irkutsk we have reserved bus to take the group down to village of Tankhoi. The distance from Irkutsk to Tankhot is about 230 km, or 143 miles (4 hours).

GBT provides:

Transfer Irkutsk – Tankhoy – Irkutsk
Accommodation in a hostel in Irkutsk on the last day of the project
Crew leader
Group first aid kit. (Attention! If you have chronic diseases or you need certain drugs, please take them with you.)
Products, as well as the necessary group inventory, tools, two-person tents

Project cost: The overall fee for joining this project – covering all costs for registration, food and local transportation, as well as for accommodation in hostel here in Irkutsk on the last day of the project – will be 12,500 rubles.

Please remember that there are a very limited number of places available for this project!

* Please take the time to fill out an application once you are 100% sure that you will want to participate in this fun project.

* Please also note that, if you do not receive an immediate reply from us within a week—or if you have any other questions about participating in this project—you can connect with us directly via the following e-mail address:

Volunteer Application Form

To confirm your participation please send us a scan of your travel tickets to Irkutsk to