Pearls of Russia
Museums and memorial estates
Camp Ai, Highlights of Tuva
If you have ever dreamt of being in one of the most fantastic places on our planet - with almost no signs of civilization - then you simply must visit Tuva. Here - the geographic center of Asia, the rugged and uniquely beautiful highland steppe - was the birthplace of shamanism and throat - singing.
You will have the opportunity of staying in comfortable Tuvan yurts at Camp Ai (in the Tuvan language, 'ai' means 'moon'), on the banks of the Be'g-Hem (Great Yenisei River). The traditional dwellings - yurts - are equipped with modern amenities, such as shower cabins, chemical toilets, electricity, and elegantly - styled furniture. The camp consists of 15 yurts, each designed for 2 persons. Their circular thick felt walls will insulate you from the elements, but will not prevent you from sensing the elemental spirit of traditional Tuvan life.
While at the camp, you will be able to enjoy free time in the bar, buy souvenirs, play volleyball, or ride on a camel. All meals are included in the cost of the accommodation. The team of local chefs will be happy to provide various European dishes, and also traditional cuisine.
The camp is situated 25 km from Kyzyl - the capital of Tuva - and while staying there you can choose excursions and activities to suit your interests:
You can opt for a sightseeing tour of Kyzyl, where you will learn about this ancient land through the remarkable collection of cultural and historical artifacts in the National Museum of Tuva. You will witness the modern practices of the religious traditions of shamanism and Buddhism, which co-exist here and which are still very strong. In a local restaurant you will sample the traditional cuisine. On the way back to camp you will visit a Tuvan nomad's camp, where people still lead very much the same lives as their ancestors once did.
A specialist excursion devoted to shamanism is available and includes the possibility of inviting shamans to the Camp where you can witness some of the rituals they perform. Moreover for those who are highly interested in shamanism, we can organize a shaman schooling term in the camp.
If you are interested in the secrets of throat - singing, take the opportunity to hear it - and to learn about the various styles of singing through a special lecture. We are able to organize a course of lectures based on theory and practice of throat - singing for those who are fond of this kind rare style of singing.