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Frequently Asked Questions

What can my out of pocket expenses be?
What is the best way to get Kamchatka?
Are there any other means of transport but plane?
Can I arrive earlier or depart later than the group?
What time is best to travel?
How can I make a booking?
How can I get a visa?
How fit do I need to be?
I am single, can I still join a trip?
Am I suited to group travel?
Can I do an individual program or organise my own group?
Who will lead our group?
Where do we overnight en route?
Do I need an insurance?
How often do you change an itinerary or cancel a trip?
How can I have someone contact me while I am travelling?
Is it safe in Kamchatka?
Will I see wildlife?
What is included in my trip? What is not included?
What can my out of pocket expenses be?
What about tips?
What about the food en route?
What should I do if I require a special diet/meals?
Are there any special vaccinations needed to enter Russia?
Do you supply a medical kit?
What would you recommend to take of clothes, equipment, etc?
How can I get more information?

What can my out of pocket expenses be?
You may need money (US$ cash) to cover your general needs, and small souvenir purchases. Please note that traveller's checks are not acceptable here. Some hotels accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, etc). It is better if you bring 50/100 US$ notes issued not earlier than in 1991. The current exchange rate is 25 ruble/1 US$.
The nowadays prices for food and drinks are as follows:
Bread -25 Rbs/1$;
Juice - 40Rbs/1.6$;
A bottle of Russian vodka - 150Rbs/6$;
A bottle of Kamchatka beer - 30Rbs/1$
Cigarettes - 30Rbs/1$;
Film for photo camera - 120Rbs/4.8$.
Please note that prices in a restaurant are higher, and a lunch or dinner without alcohol may cost you about 20-25$.
Optional excursions (if specified separately) are to be paid in cash on arrival to the Kamchatka Travel Group representative.

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What is the best way to get Kamchatka?
You can get Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city (PKC) flying to the local Elizovo airport from Moscow, St-Petersburg, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk (in Russia) or Anchorage (in the USA). For those who fly from Europe - Moscow transit will be the best variant, for people from Korea, Japan, Australia, etc. Vladivostok or Khabarovsk will suit best connecting from Seoul or Niigata.
There are every day flights from Moscow to PKC by Aeroflot International Airlines, Transaero Airlines,
3-4 times a week flights from Vladivostok to PKC by Vladivostok Avia Co. (depending on the time of the year), 5-6 flights a week from Khabarovsk by different air companies, one flight a week from Anchorage through Magadan to PKC by Magadan Avialines.
As the schedule is a subject to change please refer to us for the details at kam_tg@mail.ru.

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Are there any other means of transport but plane?
There are no railway trails on the Kamchatka peninsula.
There are no regular passenger vessels to get Kamchatka but cruise ships.

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Can I arrive earlier or depart later than the group?
We will be pleased to assist you with booking accommodation, individual transfer and interpreter service or additional program if you inform us in advance about your early start or late departure off the group schedule.

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What time is best to travel?
For summer kinds of tours (trekking, floating/rafting, mountaineering, etc) we recommend July - September. The most stable weather (and less mosquitoes) is from mid August to mid September. For fishing trips depending on the species of salmon to be caught the best time is June for King salmon, end of July - August for Pink salmon, and September for Silver salmon. Our spring tours (heli-skiing/heli-snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ski-tours, dog-sledding) are available from December to June (please see the tours description where the dates for particular tours are specified separately). Any month of the year can be suitable for ethno-cultural tours.

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How can I make a booking?
You complete a Booking Form, and send or fax it signed to the Kamchatka Travel Group office, together with you pre-tour deposit. We will confirm you're booking and provide all the further necessary information to ensure you are fully prepared for your adventure.

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How can I get a visa?
To get a Russian visa you require an invitation to accompany the application for a visa. That will be done after the confirmation of your booking a tour and receiving your pre-tour deposit. You should send the fully completed and signed application, with three photographs, and two photocopies of Photo/signature pages from your passport to the nearest Russian Consulate or Embassy. Note that your passport must be valid for 6 months after the end of the trip. If you are travelling on more than one passport, please use the same passport for the entire trip. It is also your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient blank pages for any visas required and for entry/departure stamps. Check with your consulate on the application fee. When you receive your visa please carefully check the passport number, the entry and exit dates.

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How fit do I need to be?
Most of our trips are action and adventure holidays, and they can be undertaken by anyone in a reasonable state of health and fitness, but the fitter you are the more easily you will enjoy it. Some of our trekking programs are easy to moderate, but there are also moderate to challenging ones, so your good level of trekking fitness is pretty useful in those. In that case we would recommend some aerobic exercises 2-3 times a week some months before departure. Please refer to the tours' description or to our managing staff at kam_tg@mail.ru for more details regarding physical requirements on any particular tour you have chosen.
By the way, your age is not a factor in determining how well you can enjoy our wilderness trips. We have successfully taken tourists from 18 till 65 (and even 70-75 sometimes), as well as families with children between the ages of 10 and 14 who had prior camping experience.

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I am single, can I still join a trip?
Yes. If the dates suit, you can book any trip you like, and we will pair you up with a same sex single (or you can book 'forced single' accommodation).

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Am I suited to group travel?
Most of our groups are maximum 10 to 15 people plus local staff, but please be assured that we always fully recognize your needs as an individual and you can do your own thing within the framework of the itinerary.

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Can I do an individual program or organise my own group?
If the given departure dates are not suitable for you or you do not want to travel in a group, we will be pleased to work out an individual itinerary to fulfil your travel plans and interests. This is also available for any group that are not able to follow the specified on this web-site itineraries due to the dates or any other reasons. We have a wide experience of organizing tailor-made holidays for families, friends, clubs and special interest groups.

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Who will lead our group?
Every group independently on the number of tourists involved is accompanied by the necessary quantity of experienced staff. In Petropavlovsk you will have a representative of Kamchatka Travel Group Co. who will meet you, assist with formalities, hotel check-in, interpreting where necessary. En route usually there is a guide (depending on the trip type he/she can be a mountain guide, floating guides, an anthropologist, a biologist, an ornithologist, etc), an interpreter and a cook. The porters can also be hired on certain trekking routes.
Your well being is always of importance, therefore our staff constantly reviews every aspect of your adventure and our guides are extensively knowledgeable and familiar with the demands of travelling in remote regions.

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Where do we overnight en route?
While in cities we stay over in the hotels where you can expect normal, clean and simple facilities. In the small villages there are basic hotels or we also often use the possibility to stay in a private house. On all our trekking trips we camp in comfortable two person tents.

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Do I need an insurance?
We strongly recommend you carry personal medical and travel insurance to cover against accident, sickness, loss of baggage, unexpected alterations to travel arrangements, cancellation, etc.

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How often do you change an itinerary or cancel a trip?
Please note that while every effort will be made to follow an itinerary, in the event of political problems or natural disturbances which are beyond our control, we reserve the right to make any changes. To get the most out of your adventure it is important that you are flexible, positive and eager to take on all the challenges that arise, which is all part of travelling in Russian Far East. Besides if anything is changed or modified in a tour it is primarily for your benefit and safe.
As we travel in small groups most of our trips operate - so you can be confident of going on the trip of your choice.

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How can I have someone contact me while I am travelling?
Please leave the contact details of Kamchatka Travel Group, so that our office staff could deliver a message for you, if you are available in a remote village or in a city hotel. Vice versa you can make an international phone call from the hotel or at the post office in PKC or send an e-mail to your friends or relatives. En route such services are unfortunately not available.

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Is it safe in Kamchatka?
Kamchatka is considered to be very safe. The level of criminality is very low in comparison with the other regions of Russia. Anyhow whilst travelling theft is always a possibility, so a money belt or pouch is a good idea.
The people you meet will be generally interested in you as a foreign guest, and will be very friendly and helpful.

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Will I see wildlife?
If it is specified in an itinerary you will likely see wildlife sightings, but wild animals are unpredictable, and this can vary from trip to trip. For instance, there are many places in Kamchatka where you can see a big brown bear, but the guarantee is not 100% yet as your luck depends on the time of the year, wind direction and some other factors. When working out a new destination we try to unforeseen all the chances as to maximize the wildlife viewing opportunities taking into consideration our previous experience and knowledge on timings and locations.

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What is included in my trip? What is not included?
Please refer to the trip description for the exact inclusions. We always try to include as many inclusions as possible (e. i. transportation, all meals, accommodation, most of the necessary equipment, guide, interpreter and cook services), so that once you leave home there is little to spend. Anyhow sometimes a group may not wish to book the whole package service, and we on request can reduce the number of items included to be paid on spot (for instance, meals in the city restaurants, or cook services en route, etc.; please note that guide and transport is a must, as our company having issued you an invitation for visa is fully responsible for you).
Not included: plane tickets (except some cases), airport taxes, excess baggage charges, cost of visa, travel insurance, any items of personal nature as laundry, alcoholic beverages, telephone/fax charges, tips, satellite phone.

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What can my out of pocket expenses be?
You may need money (US$ cash) to cover your general needs, and small souvenir purchases. Please note that traveller's checks are not acceptable here. Some hotels accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, etc). It is better if you bring 50/100 US$ notes issued not earlier than in 1991. The current exchange rate is 29.8 ruble/1 US$.
The nowadays prices for food and drinks are as follows:
Bread - 12 Rbs/40cent;
Juice - 40Rbs/1.3$;
A bottle of Russian vodka - 100Rbs/3.3$;
A bottle of Kamchatka beer - 30Rbs/1$
Cigarettes - 30Rbs/1$;
Film for photo camera - 90Rbs/3$.
Please note that prices in a restaurant are higher, and a lunch or dinner without alcohol may cost you about 15-20$.
Optional excursions (if specified separately) are to be paid in cash on arrival to the Kamchatka Travel Group representative.

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What about tips?
Guide gratuities are left entirely to your discretion, and are shared among the guide and trekking crew.

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What about the food en route?
While en route our cook will make tasty and varied meals partly from fresh, partly from dehydrated ingredients. Sometimes we have to use the last mentioned due to the remoteness and length of the treks. Water, used for cooking from the local steams, is crystal clean, but if you wish you can use puritabs as well. Lunch is usually picnic style, with soup with mushrooms, peas buckwheat, local breads, sausage, tea, coffee, chocolate. Dinner includes a combination of western and local cuisine (main course, soup, desert, hot drinks). Alcohol beverages are generally not included.

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What should I do if I require a special diet/meals?
If you have special dietary requirements (for vegetarians, or for medical reason) please let us know about it in advance, so that our cook could make every effort to accommodate your needs.

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Are there any special vaccinations needed to enter Russia?
For entry into Russia there are no compulsory vaccinations. Anyway it is usually recommended to have protection against Tetanus, Typhoid, Infectious Hepatitis and Polio. A gamaglobulin shot is good to boost your immune system.
Please check up your teeth before the departure. Consult your doctor for further details.

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Do you supply a medical kit?
Our guide always has a medical kit with him. But you may need specific medications you are used to in your country, so it is your responsibility to contact your doctor before departure and bring sufficient quantities of medications you may require. We suggest you to bring the following for your own use:
- Aspirin or equivalent headache remedy;
- Anti diarrhoeal tablets e.g. Imodium for gastrointestinal problems
- antihistamines for insect bites
- Sunburn cream/sunblock
- Lip-eze to cope with dry or cracked lips
- Moleskin for blisters
- Band-Aid strips
- Insect repellent
- Glucose sweets or throat lozenges
- "Staminade" or equivalent glucose salts to prevent dehydration
- wet-ones
- toilet paper

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What would you recommend to take of clothes, equipment, etc?
Our general recommendation is that you keep the weight and bulk down to a minimum as the baggage allowance is 20 kg on most flights. Don't bring a lot of clothing for cities.
First of all we recommend you to have rucksack (large enough to hold all your personal belongings, including sleeping bag and sleeping mat; waterproof; with an effective waist harness and comfortable shoulder straps for extended trekking; minimum 60-65 litre capacity), one holdall or kit bag to store luggage not needed on trek.

Clothing list:
- Walking boots must be well broken-in, of correct fit and comfortable to give the ankle support. Leather is the most suitable for, or for people who prefer a more lightweight boot, cordura/leather boots which have Gore-Tex or simpatex proofing;
- Proofing wax;
- Lightweight walking shoes - useful around camp or as a back up pair of walking shoes;
- Sandals - useful for river crossing, around camp and in town;
- Waterproofs (jacket and trousers) - Gore-Tex is best to protect you against rain and wind, and stop from overheating;
- Down jacket - may be of use after sunset as a most convenient way of keeping warm when the temperature drops;
- Thick sweater/fleece jacket - is necessary especially in June and September when nights are pretty cold at altitudes. Make sure that your waterproof jacket is loose enough to wear over your sweater or fleece;
- Lightweight wool jumper or polartec - 100 wt top - a good intermediary layer;
- Shirts - 2-3 T-shirts preferably with collar and one long-sleeved shirt. T-shirts in a wickable material, which are fast drying and keep moisture away from your skin can be also useful.
- Walking trousers and shorts - 2 prs - ensure you have both warmer and lightweight clothing for extremes of temperatures and weather conditions; jeans are not recommended;
- Gloves - useful in the morning and in the evening. 1 pr thermal gloves (polypropylene or chlorofibre) and 1 pr of wool or fleece gloves which fit over the thermal gloves. Gore-Tex mitts are also suitable;
- Scarf - lightweight cotton - for sun protection around your neck;
- Wool or polarfleece hat and sunhat/visor;
- Socks - it is best to wear a pair of liner socks under a pair of fairly thick loop stitch socks that helps to protect you against blisters. Avoid nylon and cotton socks as they can cause blisters;
- Underwear and thermal underwear - 3-4 changes. Thermal underwear (or track suit as well) is much more comfortable to sleep in than in pyjamas.;
- Gaiters - are of importance for mountaineering and for crossing the wet terrain;
- Duvet (downy coat with the hood) for winter.

Camping equipment:
- Sleeping bag - should be rated for 3 to 4 season use A cotton liner helps to keep your bag clean; silk innersheet is nice luxury; note: sleeping bags are available for hire from Kamchatka Travel Group Co.;
- Large rucksack;
- Sleeping mat - either a foam mat or a thermarest;
- Waterproof (plastic) bag for documents and things;
- Waterbottles - two 1 litre bottles and purifying tablets are OK for a trekking route;
- Sunglasses/sun protection/sunblock (big ski-glasses for winter);
- Basic First Aid Kit - blister protection, medication for stomach upset, unti-histamines, etc;
- Torch/headlamp - it is essential to have such things for finding things at nights, etc; Remember to bring some spare batteries;
- Insect repellent and a Mosquito Net;
- Toiletries - soap, toothbrush/paste, small towel, shampoo, comb.

Optional:
- Camera and film;
- Notebook and pen;
- Sewing kit;
- Penknife;
- Small binoculars;
- Small mirror.

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How can I get more information?

Our staff has a wide experience of the trips we offer and can provide first-hand advice and travel tips. Please send your questions by e-mail: kam_tg@mail.ru, Director - ktg_kate@mail.ru, Manager - ktg_zoya@mail.ru, give us a call or fax your request (+7 4152 46-14-00, +7 4152 41-68-74) and you will get a comprehensive answer within 48 hours.

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