Russia Kabardino - Balkaria
May to November
Kabardino Balkaria is located in the North Caucasus area in Russia. It is one of the 9 regions which composed the North Caucasus federal district of the Russian Federation. In those regions the diversity of ethnic groups is the most important in the world. Although all the people speak Russian, these communities still respect their traditions and communicate between them in their respective language. Nalchik, the capital of the region, is hung to the soviet time. The atmosphere, museum, life style, architecture, many details remind us this period. Kabardino Balkaria is also home of the famous Elbrus, the highest European peak at 5642m. While the relief on the southern slopes is abrupt, the northern slopes are gentle with some hills rising up progressively till higher plateau at around 3500m. This panorama opens on some huge depressions, tangle of gorges, waterfalls and caves. And everywhere in the background, the beautiful Elbrus is merging with its double and white summits. The Elbrus is very popular but some off beaten tracks lead to the well know mountain where some shepherds and horse breeders set up their camp during the summer time. They know by heart their region, the hidden track that lead to beautiful and impressive places.
Itinerary : Horse expedition with the Adyghes.
Duration : Around 16 days depending on the flight.
Place : Kabardino Balkaria (Russia), Great Caucasus chain
Glimpse on the horse expedition: We first discover from Tbilisi (Georgia) to Vladikavkaz (Russia) the famous military road built by the Russian between 1783 and 1820 as well as the Darial Gorge which for the ancients (roman period) was the end of the known world. Slowly we plunge in the North Caucasian side starting with the visit of Vladikavkaz, a very good transition between the chaotic southern atmosphere and « stiffness » of Russia. Even if Vladikavkaz was similar to Tbilisi in its 19th Century charm, it retains much more of the atmosphere of a Soviet city. We ride one week with the Adyghes, known also as Circassian people, on amazing Kabardin horses selected for their endurance capabilities. The first days we approach « off the beaten track » Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in the Caucasus, riding along ridges and summits and enjoying the immensity of the high plateaus (3100m). The second part of the trip we ride into incredible canyons, passing by waterfalls and visiting hidden caves. We stay with horsemen and a herd of 150 Kabardin horses living free around our tents. Finally we visit Nalchik which is definitely worth a day before ending in the effervescence of Tbilisi.
Time : May-November
Riding Competences: Average-Good Due to the remoteness of the region and the lack of phone connection, good physical conditions are required.
Practical details: Min: 6 riders Max: 8 riders Self sufficient horse expedition which takes place 1 to 2 times a year. Customised trip from 6 riders. Logistic : pack horses. Overnight during the expedition: camp. Tent provided. (There is no big tent in this expedition) Before/after : guesthouse in the mountain village, 3/4 * hotel located in the very center of Vladikavkaz and Tbilisi.
In the Great Caucasus chain, the highlanders are horsemen. The Kabardins have been bred since the 16th century by mountain tribesmen in the northern Caucasus and are the product of centuries of selective breeding for military purpose, agriculture and the ability to survive in harsh conditions. We ride some horses coming from a herd of 150 horses well known for their resistance. The breeding has focused on not only creating fast horses but also hardy, obedient, rustic and able to resist to mountainous area year round. They are living free all year round, in the high pasture during the sommer and lowlands in the winter.
KABARDINO BALKARIA, RUSSIA
Formalities : A visa is compulsory for European citizenship. Invitation is provided. Contact the Russian embassy in your country of residence. Main city : Naltchik
Language : Adyguee dialect, Russian and others Caucasian dialects.
Money : Russian Rouble. 70 Roubles = 1 euro (please check in internet the accurate rate) As we are finishing the trip in Tbilisi, find here the info about
Entry Formalities: No visa requested for European country citizens. Passport with a validity over 6 months when leaving the country is normally enough. For more and accurate information, check at the Georgian embassy in your country of residence.
Main City : Tbilisi
Language : Georgian, caucasian language, kartvelian group.
Money : Lari GEL. 1 euro=2,9 GEL
More info : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Géorgie_(pays)
ATTENTION : all products derived from Codeine molecules are strictly forbidden in Georgia. Please consult http://www.rs.ge/en/5982 as well as http://www.incb.org/ documents/Psychotropics/guidelines/travel-regulations/ 2013-travellers-update/ GEO_26_August_2014_Original_travellers_II_-_LTR_- _table.pdf MY TIPS : Do not even try to bring such drugs into Georgia. (codein/ tremadol)