I. Tsaatan reindeer herders, traditional yak breeders of Northern Mongolia and Lake Khuvsgul
: July 1 to 10, 2023 Duration
: 10 days / 9 nightsNumber of participants: 6 – 12 Cost per person
10% early booking discount (in case you book before March 1, 2023)
- USD 2 190 subject to 12 participants,
- USD 2 290 subject to 9 – 11 participants,
- USD 2 490 subject to 6 – 8 participants.
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 900 – 1200 (to be purchased by your own). Single supplement
: USD 310 (provided for all nights, but Days 3 – 6 in gers and chums) II. Gobi & Kazakh eagle hunters Dates
: July 10 to 22, 2023 Duration
: 13 days / 12 nightsNumber of participants
: 6 – 12 Cost per person
10% early booking discount (in case you book before March 10, 2023)
- USD 2 950 subject to 12 participants,
- USD 3 090 subject to 9 – 11 participants,
- USD 3 390 subject to 6 – 8 participants.
Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Ulaanbaatar roundtrip,
- domestic flight Ulaanbaatar – Ulgii – Ulaanbaatar
- international medical insurance, - visa of Mongolia (if needed depending on the citizenship) Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Ulaanbaatar – Moscow: USD 1500 (to be purchased by your own). Estimated cost of domestic flight Ulaanbaatar – Ulgii – Ulaanbaatar: USD 900 – 1200 (to be purchased by your own). Single supplement
: USD 490 (provided for all nights, but Days 3 and 4 in Ulgii) TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO MONGOLIAPART I. Tsaatan reindeer herders, traditional yak breeders of Northern Mongolia and Lake Khuvsgul
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, dinnerAccommodation: 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" hotelDay 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 Day 4. July 4, 2023 (Tuesday). NOMADIC FAMILY OF YAK AND HORSE BREEDERS
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 Days 5. July 5, 2023 (Wednesday). NOMADIC FAMILY CAMP – TSAATAN REINDEER HERDERS' CAMP
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
Accommodation: traditional chum (teepee)Day 6. July 6, 2023 (Thursday). TSAATAN REINDEER HERDERS' NOMADIC CAMP
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) Day 7. July 7, 2023 (Friday). TSAATAN REINDEER HERDERS' CAMP – TAIGA TOURIST CAMP
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 campDay 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, dinnerAccommodation: 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 Day 10. July 10, 2023 (Monday). ULAANBAATAR – INTERNATIONAL RETURN FLIGHT
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 PART II. Gobi & Kazakh eagle hunters
Day 1. July 10, 2023 (Monday). ARRIVAL IN ULAANBAATAR
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar – city, the capital of Mongolia, by air with international flight.
Meet the guide in 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 the 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 song, 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 10 at 6:20 am, arrival in Ulaanbaatar on July 10 at 7:40 am,
- or by train from Irkutsk or Ulan Ude (Russia) (if available, according to the train schedule), - or by any flight with arrival in Ulaanbaatar any time on July 10 or in the night from July 10 to July 11. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinnerAccommodation: Chinggis hotel 4*, DBL/TWIN rooms Day 2. July 11, 2023 (Tuesday). NAADAM FESTIVAL IN ULAANBAATAR
After the breakfast, drive to Naadam festival opening ceremony. It will take place from 09:30 am to 13:00 at the city stadium.
The Naadam festival is the biggest and most joyful holiday celebration for Mongolians. The festival comprises the "Three Manly Sports": wrestling; horse racing; archery. 1024 wrestlers compete on the green wrestling field-there is no weight division. Mongolian wrestlers wear traditional Mongolian boots and special clothes for wrestling, Zodog-small open-fronted vest and Shuudag-shorts. There are 6 different categories of horse racing depending on the age of the horses.
Lunch in the restaurant in Ulaanbaatar.
At 3 pm join to Horse racing of Naadam festival at Khui 7 Khudag, which lasts until 6 pm.
Dinner in the restaurant in Ulaanbaatar. After dinner, drive to Chinggis hotel 4* for rest. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinnerAccommodation: Chinggis hotel 4*, DBL/TWIN rooms Day 3 – 5. July 12 – 14, 2023 (Wednesday – Friday). ULAANBAATAR – ULGII – KAZAKH EAGLE HUNTERS FAMILIES
Depending on the domestic flights schedule, departure to the airport of Ulaanbaatar to catch the flight to the extreme west of Mongolia. Domestic flight to Ulgii, Bayan-Ulgii province.
The western province is elevated at least 2500 meters above sea level. Mountain range and landscape is picturesque even with its naked (no tree and wood) cliffs and mountains.
When we land in Ulgii city, we drive by Land Cruisers 100 or 105 to local open market to buy food supply for next few days.
We will join and spend 2 or 3 nights in 2 different Kazakh eagle hunter families (depending on the time schedule for the return flight, the night 5 or night 3 can be spent in the Makhsum hotel in Ulgii.
This area is famous and rich with its eagle hunters and history.
We explore the real way of living of regular nomadic families, personally experience their friendliness and hospitality. The eagle hunters will show us their training methods and you will be introduced to the art of eagle hunting and can talk with the hunters (through an interpreter) about how he trains and hunts with his eagle.
The tradition of hunting with eagles goes back thousands of years in central Asia. We watch hunters to train their eagle for hunting, ride horse, try eagle hunters' outfit, take photos, participate in meal with housewives, play children with their traditional games, walk and hike.
For photographers we will arrange sunrise and sunset photo sessions with hunters and their eagles, as well as photo sessions inside the ger.
Days and nights in traditional Kazakh ger, together with the locals, with basic conditions and no shower. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinnerAccommodation: traditional ger with Kazakhi family (night 5 or night 3 can be spent in Makhsum hotel in Ulgii, DBL/TWIN rooms )Day 6. July 15, 2023 (Saturday). KAZAKH EAGLE HUNTERS FAMILY – ULGII – ULAANBAATAR
Breakfast. Depending on the time of the return flight, first half of the day we spend with eagle hunters.
Lunch in the nomads camp or on the way in Ulgii, or in Ulaanbaatar. We may visit the local bazaar to where you can find traditional souvenirs and handcrafts. Or, if we have time, we will visit musuem.
Transfer to the airport. Flight back to Ulaanbaatar.
Transfer to the Chinggis hotel 4*.
If time permits (depending on the flight schedule), we visit to the Choijin Lama Museum, Bogd Khaan Palace and Gobi cashmere factory store.
Dinner together and overnight in UB at Chinggis hotel 4*.
Rest before wonderful journey to South Gobi.Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinnerAccommodation: Chinggis hotel 4*, DBL/TWIN rooms Day 7. July 16, 2023 (Sunday). ULAANBAATAR – TSAGAAN SUVARGA – MANDALGOBI – DALANZADGAD – SOUTH GOBI
Early in the morning by Land Cruisers 200 we start driving to South Gobi province center Dalanzadgad. It is located 580 km from Ulaanbaatar. It is long distance, but the road is good and paved, we can do it for some 7 hours.
Lunch in the restaurant in Mandalgobi en route.
We visit beautiful mountain Tsagaan Suvarga, which is a copper ore deposit. People can take amazing photos during sunset and enjoy the nature. People will amaze with quietness and wilderness very much. Some wild animals like white tailed gazelle or black tailed one too we can watch if we are lucky. We'll see the scarp of Tsagaan Suvarga which is located in Ulziit soum, Dundgobi province. It is interesting to see the sheer slope, facing east, which is 30 meters high and 100 meters wide. People feel like to be on Mars, when they get here.
Upon arrival in Dalanzadgad city, we head further to the steppe up to Khan Bogd tourist camp to check in.
Stay in the DBL/TWIN rooms. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner Accommodation: Khan Bogd tourist camp or Dungenee tourist camp, DBL/TWIN (common showers and toilets in the block) Days 8 – 9. July 17 – 18, 2023 (Monday – Tuesday). SOUTH GOBI – YOL VALLEY – KHONGOR SAND DUNES
We have a breakfast at the camp and drive to Yoliin Am in the middle of the Gobi desert National Park which is a strictly protected area, covering 70sq.kms. The mountains here are the highest in the Gobi Desert and the rocky scenery is quite interesting, especially the ice in a gorge remains till mid July. We'll walk 3kms through a narrow valley, then 3 kms back to the jeep. Some of you can try to ride a horse.
Back to the tourist camp and have a lunch. Then depart to next destination, to Khongor huge sand dunes (200 km). We accommodate nearby Khongor sand dunes and stay for two nights.
Lone gers and nomads on camelback hang suspended in the mirages, whilst the desert floor is strewn with a range of colorful rocks and unusual minerals. This is the Gobi at its stark best – there are many opportunities to stop and take photographs of the landscapes and people.
We climb up to the peak of sand dunes, which sings sometimes when people slide down to the base. Here we visit Gobi nomad families and try to ride camels (optional). Southern Gobi province we get experienced of hospitality of genuine nomad herdsmen's life such as meal, milking goat or camel, dairy products, watching people how to make rope around ger and string with camel wool etc.
We'll see beautiful views, huge sand dunes and a cold water spring with a creek that leads to two small ponds. Also, if you wish, you may walk alongside the creek for about 10 kms. We arrange a camel riding trip to the sand dunes for a couple of hours.
We can also optionally arrange traditional Gobi camel herders to bring the caravan on the dunes in the morning or in the evening, for taking photos and videos (optional).
Stay 2 nights at Gobi Erdene Camp in South Gobi. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner Accommodation: Gobi Erdene Camp, DBL/TWIN (common showers and toilets in the block) Day 10. July 19, 2023 (Wednesday). KHONGOR SAND DUNES – KHAVTSGAIT PETROGLYPHS – BAYANZAG (FLAMING CLIFFS)
After breakfast, we drive to Khavtsgait Petroglyphs place. We will stop and hunt the hills for this exceptional collection of petroglyphs dating from between 8000 BC and 3000 BC. From the parking area trail head, a rocky path gains 120 meters in elevation (up to1822 m) (it is not difficult if you take time and no rush) as it winds up a ridge littered with art. In under an hour you'll see petroglyphs aplenty.
Then reach to Gobi Mirage Lodge and have a lunch. After that we will take few minutes rest in private gers, we can play with anklebone (knucklebone) following nomad ethnic group people's way. Enjoy the wilderness and unique nature formations, walking and jogging is pleasant here to make.
Before sunset, driving to Flaming cliffs of Bayanzag, where first dinosaur egg set was ever found in human history. Explore around for dinosaur remains and walking in the rich saxaul forest. You can even find real dinosaur bones and eggs yourself, if you are lucky! People watch sunset or sunrise at Flaming Cliffs.
Back to Gobi Mirage lodge. Dinner at the lodge and stay overnight. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner Accommodation: Gobi Mirage lodge, DBL/TWIN (with private shower and toilet in the room) Day 11. July 20, 2023 (Thursday). BAYANZAG – BAGA GAZRIIN CHULUU
After breakfast, we depart from the camp heading to beautiful mountains Baga Gazriin Chuluu and check-in at Goviin Shine Khurkhree tourist camp.
The astonishing granitic formations of Baga Gazariin Chuluu ("stone of the little place")
, are located in the northwest of the province of Dundgovi, in the heart of the steppe, 250 km towards south of Ulaanbaatar. At a height of 1751 metres, they form a granite canyon erected in the heart of the steppe. The erosion polished the rock faces of the cliffs. Some of the lateral entries of the canyon are not very accessible, but most of them permit to enter and to make wonderful hikes in this rocky maze. You may manage to see on the rock the inscriptions written by two venerated monks who lived there in the 19th century. We can visit on the site the ruins of an old temple dating from the 17th century.
Visiting and hiking in canyon before sunset. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner Accommodation: Goviin Shine Khurkhree tourist camp, DBL/TWIN (common showers and toilets in the block) Day 12. July 21, 2023 (Friday). BAGA GAZRIIN CHULUU – CHINGGIS STATUE – NP GORKHI TERELJ – ULAANBAATAR
Today we say goodbye to Gobi and after breakfast we drive back towards UB city (320 km), also visiting highlights of the eastern part of the country. On our way, stopping for photography and to the big statue of Chingis Khan. Visiting of impressive monument, which with 40 meters height appears the world's highest equestrian statue.
Short transfer to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, beautiful place among the green alpine meadows on the hill slopes and bizarre cliff formations. We visit famous Turtle rock, discover some other beautiful places and hike to the Buddhist monastery.
Dinner in the vicinity of the park, among quirky cliffs.
In the evening we get back to the capital Ulaanbaatar to stay in a hotel Chinggis 4*. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner Accommodation: Hotel Chinggis 4*, DBL/TWIN rooms Day 13. July 22, 2023 (Saturday). ULAANBAATAR – INTERNATIONAL RETURN FLIGHT
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 22 at 4:00 am, arrival in Ulan Ude on July 22 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 22. Meals: breakfast Accommodation: no