Ufa is the capital of the autonomous republic of Bashkortostan (Республика Башкортостан), home of the Bashkirs, a Muslim Turkic people who dominated most of the southern Ural Mountains before Russian colonisation. Although they’re only a third of the republic’s population, you can hear their lispy language spoken on the streets of Ufa, in rural areas and on the radio. Substantial hydrocarbon reserves have turned Bashkortostan into something of an oil khanate.
Ufa has a few interesting sights and you can spend a pleasant day walking through the streets exploring. Beyond Ufa, village life dances to a different beat. In districts such as Ishambai, Baimak, Abzilil, Kugarchinski and Zianchurinski, all accessible by road, locals welcome travellers into their homes and share their food and their stories. All you need is a sense of adventure...and perhaps some Russian or Bashkir language skills.