Ticks in Altai: should you be afraid and how to protect yourself

Apr 9, 2023

As we travel mostly in wild nature, we always have to be careful about ticks. So, we decided to write about ticks as many people have questions about them or are scared for them. In Altai, there are many ticks during the period of end April till half of July. But as I am writing this on the 30th of March, there is already reported a tick-bite in Altai, so be careful any time of the year.

What are Ticks

Ticks are small parasites, approximately 3-5 mm, depending on age, gender, species and “fullness”. They live on the blood of their victims. Mostly mammals, birds and sometimes reptiles. They will find you in a few different ways: smelling you, feeling your body heat/moisture and/or vibrations near them. Ticks have 8 legs, and have an ovoid/pear shaped body. The kind you find in Altai has a hard shield, and a mouth (or something looking like that) at the front. It is possible the tick is carrying tick-borne encephalitis, tick-borne typhus, tick-borne borreliosis, ehrlichiosis and some other deseases.


As mentioned, you should be careful any time of the year although in winter you will hardly find them. But from end of March till end of October, they are active. From end of April till half of July, you have to be extra careful, it is really high season for the ticks. In Altai you will notice a lot of billboards along the Chuysky tract that will warn you.


Well, ticks have even been found in Antarctica, but we are only travelling in Altai, and that means look out when you are in nature, under trees, in long grass, and even on rocks.


It is possible to get vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis, you have to do this in time as it requires some time to get your immune-system activated. Usually 2 or 3 doses are recommended. It will take up to 4 weeks after the first doses to build up enough resistance. After one to three months you need to get the second dose, final dose should be in 9-12 months. To keep up to date and protected you should have an additional vaccination every 3 years.

Whether to vaccinate against encephalitis, if you plan only one trip a year to regions dangerous for tick-borne diseases, is up to you. What we always do for our guests is make a insurance that if unfortunately a guest is bitten by a tick, the treatment is free.

In addition, experts advise to drink only boiled milk. In the tick season, the milk of cows and goats that are bitten by ticks is dangerous to drink without sufficient heat treatment. In the Republic of Altai, there were more than ten cases of infection with tick-borne encephalitis in this way.

How to avoid tick bites if possible:

There are a few things you can do to prevent yourself from being bitten by a tick.

  • Use special sprays that protect you and your clothing. When you travel with us, we always have it in our cars available for you to use. You can read the instructions yourself or we will inform you how long it will protect. In any case, when you change clothes/trousers, use the spray again.
  • Put on clothes with long sleeves, preferably tight. Ideally, if there is an elastic band on the trousers-legs and sleeves or tight-fitting cuffs. Use some kind of hat (also recommend against the sun). If necessary put your trousers in your socks.

In addition, experts advise to drink only boiled milk. In the tick season, the milk of cows and goats that are bitten by ticks is dangerous to drink without sufficient heat treatment. In the Republic of Altai, there were more than ten cases of infection with tick-borne encephalitis in this way.

How to check

Check every 15-20 minutes your body. They can even be on your backpack or usual bag, and any other things you took with you from outside. When travelling in the Altai mountains, check every evening before you go to bed your whole body. They love warm places like armpits etc.

What to do when a tick has bitten you?

In case you are unlucky and the tick has bitten you, you can remove it the following way:

Use some ammonia or alcohol to clean the area where the bit is.

Use a fine-tipped tweezers to take the tick as close as possible to your skin

Pull slowly but steadily upwards to avoid breaking the tick, till the tick let the skin go.

You can have a tick checked if it is carrying diseases if it is still alive. Just put it in a small container and it is possible to bring them to the organization that can check it.

Do you have to visit a doctor?

It is better to visit a doctor when the tick has managed to bite you. After removing the tick, immunoglobulin must be administered to prevent encephalitis (free with an insurance). There are several points in Gorno-Altaisk and Altai republic where you can do this. In districts, you should contact the Central District Hospital or the district hospital. To prevent other tick-borne infections common in the Altai Mountains (tick-borne typhus, tick-borne borreliosis, ehrlichiosis), you need to undergo antibiotic therapy as prescribed by a doctor.

Thus, if all recommendations for protection against a bite are carefully followed, then the risk of contracting diseases transmitted by a tick is minimal.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




Kaichi Travel

Adventure travel, nature tours to Altai – one of the most beautiful places in Siberia.

© 2023 by Kaichi Travel 


tel.: +7 983 103 88 55 (WhatsApp)

e-mail: [email protected]