Expedition to Tsaatan reindeer herders, traditional yak breeders of Northern Mongolia and Lake Khuvsgul


July 1 - July 10, 2023
Tour Mongolia

tour to Mongolia expedition to Tsaatan Dukhan reindeer herders nomads Kazakh eagle hunters tour travel to Gobi desert Taiga trip

To find yourself in the very center of Asia, where Bactrian camels meet reindeer, where the harsh Siberian taiga adjoins 200-meters-long dunes of Gobi Desert, to learn the secrets of Kazakh eagle hunters and see the shamanic ceremony of the last forest reindeer herders Dukhan...

Our ethnographic expedition to Mongolia is a unique opportunity to discover an enigmatic country of nomads!

Tour to Mongolia. To find yourself in the very center of Asia, where Bactrian camels meet reindeers, where the harsh Siberian taiga adjoins 200-meters-long dunes of Gobi Desert, to learn the secrets of Kazakh eagle hunters and see the shamanic ceremony of the last forest reindeer herders Dukhan...

Our ethnographic expedition to Mongolia is a unique opportunity to discover an enigmatic country of nomads!


Dates: July 1 to 10, 2023

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Number of participants: 6 – 12

Cost per person:
  • USD 2 190 subject to 12 participants,
  • USD 2 290 subject to 9 – 11 participants,
  • USD 2 490 subject to 6 – 8 participants.
10% early booking discount (in case you book before March 1, 2023)

Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Ulaanbaatar roundtrip,
- international medical insurance,
- visa of Mongolia (if needed depending on the citizenship)

Estimated cost of international flight Moscow - Ulaanbaatar - Moscow: USD 700 – 900 (to be purchased by your own).

Single supplement: USD 310 (provided for all nights, but Days 3 – 6 in gers and chums)

Day 1. July 1, 2023 (Saturday). ARRIVAL IN ULAANBAATAR

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, by air by international flight. Meet the guide at the airport. Transfer to Ulaanbaatar and check-in at Chinggis hotel 4*. After breakfast, We will drive to Gandan monastery. Which is main temple in Mongolia. After that, We will drive to the national history museum. After museum, we will have lunch at MN tower. After lunch, we will go to take a rest for 3 hours. We will see a traditional concert in the evening. It's called Tumen ekh ensemble. The ensemble presents a rare selection of ancient Mongolian performing arts and culture to a local and international audience. The ensemble comprises artists who perform all types of Mongolian songs, music and dance. After that, we go back to Hotel.

* Recommended arrival:
- direct flight from Ulan Ude with Hunnu Air, departure from Ulan Ude on July 1 at 6:20 am, arrival in Ulaanbaatar on July 1 at 7:40 am,
- or by train from Irkutsk or Ulan Ude (Russia) (if available, according to the train schedule),

- or by any other flight with arrival in Ulaanbaatar any time on July 1 or in the night from July 1 to July 2.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Chinggis hotel 4*, DBL/TWIN rooms

Day 2. July 2, 2023 (Sunday). ULAANBAATAR – MURUN (750 km)

After early breakfast, no later than at 7 am, departure by 4x4 off-road SUVs Land Cruiser 200 for Murun city, Khuvsgul province centre (750 km driving).
On the way, from the road, we can see the volcanic mountain Uran Togoo.
Upon arrival in Murun, 50"100" hotel check-in and rest.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: 50"100" hotel

Day 3. July 3, 2023 (Monday). MURUN – ULAAN UUL – TAIGA TOURIST CAMP (250 km)

We will drive to Horse herder family, after having breakfast at the hotel. The distance between the village is 250 km and on our way, we have lunch in the wilderness. We will stay in a ger with the nomadic family of horse and yak breeders. Ger – traditional dwelling made of a wooden frame and felt layers. Here we meet our local horse wrangler who will be also our guide in the deep forest taiga. We will stay 2 nights here. In the evening discuss the route and the next day's plan.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Nomadic family ger


Staying with a Mongolian nomadic family is the best way to discover the knowledge of the centuries-old nomadic lifestyle culture. Mongol background is nomadic, we observe and follow their day-to-day activities, experience as much as possible about this distinctive lifestyle and Mongolian culture. We can experience and learn much, including several traditional Mongolian meal samples of different cattles, see and help daily chores of nomads, do animal-based outdoor activities, and help to milk animals (sheep, horses, yaks). You will build a traditional dwelling ger, learn to cook Mongolian meals, tend pastureland animals, and gain even more knowledge about the nomad's life and culture.
Stay in a local family traditional ger. Traditional Mongol food. We will make Mongolian BBQ.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Nomadic family ger


Today we start our horse trekking to the reindeer herders' tribe. We pack everything on the horses for the next few days.
The first part of our itinerary we cover by Russian UAZ Purgon (minibus) and then take the prepared horses and ride horseback. Depending on the location of the summer camping of reindeer people, the distance can be 1 to 2 hours driving by car and 4 to 6 hour horseback riding.
On a horseback, we ride through muddy and swampy wetland toward taiga, where Tsaatan (Dukhan) nomads live, to the reindeer people's summer camping.
Once we get Dukhan tribe, we install in the traditional chum (teepee) or rent a teepee from the masters. Visit to Tsaatan family.
Dinner: traditional food of Tsaatan people and the meals prepared by our cook.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
traditional chum (teepee)


We will stay with reindeer families in a teepee, observing and taking part in the reindeer people's daily life. We will explore their lifestyle. They will slaughter the reindeer and prepare traditional BBQ for us.
Tsaatan (Dukhan) reindeer people are a branch of the Turkic-speaking Tuvinian or Dukha ethnic group. This small group possesses a social and material culture which has remained unchanged since the Ice Age. Shamanistic or totemic rituals and symbolism are central to the social organization of the Tsaatan. Shamanistic rituals of healing rely on rare medicinal plants and animals unique to this landscape. The Tsaatan are an archaic and ethnographically interesting nomadic group to be found on the Eurasian continent, their lifestyles are both ancestral to all the nomadic herding cultures of Central Asia and are reminiscent of a way of life which was widespread across Europe, Asia and North America 10,000 years ago.
Originally from across the border in what is now Tuva Republic of Russia, the Dukhan are one of the last groups of nomadic reindeer herders in the world. But as the reindeer populations shrink, only about 40 families continue the tradition today. Their language, the Dukhan language, is an endangered Turkic variety spoken by approximately five hundred people in the Tsagaan-Nuur county of the Khövsgöl region of northern Mongolia.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: traditional chum (teepee)

After breakfast, farewell and departure by horseback from Tsaatan nomadic camp's area, heading back to the village, where we left our cars behind. At least 4 – 6 hour ride on a horseback, before we will be picked up by our car and lifted to Taiga tourist camp.
Shower, dinner and well-deserved rest.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Taigyn Juulchin tourist camp

Day 8. July 8, 2023 (Saturday). TAIGA TOURIST CAMP – LAKE KHUVSGUL (250 km)

After breakfast, in the morning we will move by our 4x4 off-road SUVs Land Cruiser 200 to the Lake Khuvsgul (some 250 km mostly off-road).
Lake Khuvsgul is the largest freshwater lake in Mongolia by volume. It is located only 200 km west of the southern end of Lake Baikal and is nicknamed the "Younger sister" of those two "sister lakes".
The name Khövsgöl is derived from Turkic words for "Khob Su Kol, means "Lake with great water". Indeed, Khuvsgul is one of seventeen ancient lakes in the world, being more than 2 million years old, and the most pristine. Its water is potable without any treatment. The Lake area is a National Park bigger than Yellowstone and strictly protected as a transition zone between the Central Asian Steppe and the Siberian Taiga.
Lake Khovsgol's is the fourteenth largest freshwater lake in the world and second largest in Central Asia by volume, with over 1% of the world's fresh water. At its deepest, the lake dives 262 meters. Ninety-six rivers and strearns empty into the lake, but only the Egiin River exits the lake.
Spend the evening on the lake and stay overnight at the Blue Pearl tourist camp.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Blue Pearl tourist camp or similar

Day 9. July 9, 2023 (Sunday). LAKE KHUVSGUL – ULAANBAATAR (850 km)

After breakfast, transfer by our cars to Ulaanbaatar (850 km). The road takes all day.
Arrival in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, late in the evening. Stay in a hotel Chinggis 4*. Dinner

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Chinggis 4*, DBL/TWIN rooms


After breakfast, transfer to the airport. International return flight.

* Recommended departures:
- direct flight to Ulan Ude (Russia) with Hunnu Air, departure from Ulaanbaatar on July 10 at 4:00 am, arrival in Ulan Ude on July 10 at 5:20 am,
- or by train to Irkutsk or Ulan Ude (Russia) (if available, according to the train schedule),

- or by any other flight with departure from Ulaanbaatar any time on July 10.

Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: no

Cost includes:

  • Accommodation in hotel in Ulaanbaatar in TWIN/DBL rooms
  • Accommodation in tourist camp, tent, ger, family chum (teepee), number of people in each ger
  • Full board meal (3 meals a day)
  • Drinking water on daily basis 2 liter per person per day
  • Transport: 4x4 off road SUV (Land Cruiser 200 or similar), UAZ Purgon in the valley
  • Airport transfers
  • Personal horse for the trek
  • Camping equipment and cutlery
  • Full time guiding service in English
  • Team leader, translation into Russian
  • Entrance fee to protected areas and national parks
  • Special Permission fee to state reservation
  • Nomad families' visits, all visits and entrance tickets as per the program

Cost excludes (additionally paid) :

  • International flight (or train) to Ulaanbaatar and back
  • Medical travel insurance
  • Optional activity cost
  • Meals that specified in the program as excluded
  • Personal expense and equipment
  • Alcohol and drinks
  • Tips for guide, drivers and cook
  • Single room supplement

To take with:

- wear sets fitting weather conditions (fleece jacket or wool jumper, cotton t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, lightweight trousers, shorts, warm hat)
- warm and wind stop clothes, thermal underwear
- forehead torch
- raincoat
- set of long sleeve clothes
- comfortable closed trekking footwear
- sun and wind protection means (cream, sunglasses, sun hat)
- insect repellents
- sleeping bag for 0 degrees (comfort temperature, not extreme temperature!)
- personal hygiene means: towel, soap, wet tissues
- personal medical kit (analgetics, antiseptic, antibiotic, your personal medications)
- backpack/ big tourist bag for the luggage
- small backpack for radial walks
- photo and video camera
- drone
- spare batteries
- insurance confirmation copy

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