In 2004 the first kite buggy expedition in Mongolia took place. With the logistical support of “Happy Camel”, Brian, Peter and Kerion buggied for 17 days over more than 1000 km across the Gobi, from Altai to Dalandzadgad. With winds blowing mostly from the West, the expedition was a real success. They reached maximum speeds of up to 55 km per hour. Buggies were specially designed by Kerion for the hard Gobi terrain conditions. Terrain was not always flat, but was sometimes dotted with larger stones or bushes.
The buggies were designed with a wide back axe and special suspensions were mounted on the back axe making the driving over hard terrain more easy. In addition to their 3 buggies, they had a large amount of spare wheels (which were not used) and 3 spare buggies. The spare buggies seemed to be a good idea as Kerion had his back axes pulled apart while driving in rough terrain.
The engine pulling the buggies was a wide range of kites. Each person of the team had his own set of kites going from the very small ones of 1,5 square meters up to the larger ones of 7 square meters. The larger ones seemed to be useless due to their slow motion. As Brian pointed out, “There is no better place on earth for buggying. Large open spaces, totally fence free, unpopulated, with a constant western wind blowing over the relatively flat, with gravel dotted Gobi area.”
Day 1: Upon arrival at the airport we will be welcomed by your guide. He will bring us to your comfortable, centrally located hotel. In the afternoon we will visit the Bogd Khan's Winter Palace, a series of beautiful traditional buildings in which the eighth Living Buddha and the last king lived. It is now a museum displaying fascinating artefacts and costumes associated with the last king as well as his collection of stuffed animals. (Hotel, L, D)
Day 2: After breakfast in our hotel restaurant, we will leave for the Mongolian countryside. Our first stop will be 250 km (6 hours driving) southward in the beautiful region of Bag Gazrin Chuluu. It is a huge granite formation in the middle of the Mongolian sandy plane. At the foot of the formation we will visit the remains of a small monastery named Delgeriin Chior. End of the afternoon we will drive and hike around in the area. We will visit the picturesque ruins of a small monastery that are hidden in a nice little protected valley.
As the place is far away from the usual tourist routes, there are no accommodation facilities. Therefore we will set up our tents in a beautiful natural scene of one of the valleys of the formation. Tents, pneumatic mattresses, etc. will be provided. You will have to bring your own sleeping bag. A barbecue accompanied with some fresh vegetables will wait for us at the camping spot. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Day 3: After a breakfast at the camp side, we will start driving towards the Gobi desert. Today we will see the landscape changing dramatically from the fertile grassland to the inhospitably rocky land. The number of families and cattle we will see along the road will gradually reduce. Camels will slowly replace cows. During this nearly 300 km trip (8 hours driving) we will stop at some interesting spots.
The first place we will visit is Sangiin Dalai Nuur. This tiny lake shelters on its island the mighty ruins of a castle that was build here some 300 years ago. Here we will also observe some remarkable bird life. Among others, the Mongolian lark, various species of prey birds, geese and swans come to this spring-fed lake. A little further on the road we will pass the ruins of Khukh Burd Monastery that was flattened during the Mongolian purge period. (1928 – 1939). From here we will head for Saigan Ovoo Sum. This little town is located along a small desert river (Ongiin Gol) at the entrance of a beautiful mountainous region. A little further southward along the river, next to Hoshuu Monastery we will set up our tented camp. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Day 4: Today the fun really starts. We will assemble the buggies, adjust the buggy of each member of the expedition team and do some test riding. Beginning of the afternoon we will start our kite buggy expedition and start buggying southwards, with winds expecting to blow from the west. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Days 5 - 6: The landscape will change drastically. We will leave the mountainous region and buggy through a totally flat landscape. Soil will not be covered with sand, as one would expect of a desert area, but it is a hard soil doted with small pebbles. If we are lucky we will be able to observe a mirage or see some wild desert gazelles. Despite the appearance of a totally inhospitable area, we will see sporadically a family living there with their animals. On the road we will most probably have the chance to taste the fermented camel milk also called "camel airag", or the local tasty yoghurt. Be aware, the tastes are strong.
Via the small desert town of Mandel Ovoo we will buggy southward to Bayanzag. Bayanzag also known as the "Flaming Cliffs" is the worldwide renowned place where palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur bones and eggs. The surrounding landscape is a beautiful combination of rocks, red sand and scrubs. Here we will spend some time exploring the cliffs. After having buggyed over more than 150 km of desert area in two days, we will set up our tented camp somewhere close to the Fleming Cliffs. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Day 7: After the two very intensive buggy days we’ll need a day to relax. We will take a ride through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain. We will pass through the Yoliin Am and the Dungenee Am both located in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Ancient rivers carved those green valleys. We may catch a glimpse of the wild Argali sheep, the Ibex, the desert gazelles or the Golden Eagles. Today can also be used as spare day in case the wind during the previous two days was a little week and we took delay. After our visit of Yoliin Am, we will sit again on our buggies and ride North-eastwards. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Days 8 - 9: From today on we will buggy for two days North-eastwards to reach Tsagaan Suvarag. Tsagaan Suvarag is an erodated landscape that was once beneath the sea level. It is rich in mineral fossils and clam shells. The terrain will evaluate slowly from the totally flat surface to a more sandy and bumpy landscape. We will cover a total distance of about 150 km during those two days. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Days 10 - 12: For 3 days we will buggy straight eastwards and cover a total distance of more than 50 km. After three days of intensive buggy, we will reach Khamariin Khiid Monastery. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Day 13: Today we will drive to Sainshand and take the train to Ulaanbaatar. (Hotel, B, D)
Day 14: Today we will have a full free day to stroll around in Ulaanbaatar and buy some souvenirs before heading back home. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in a good restaurant. (Hotel, B, D)
Day 15: After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.
- From 4 to 6 people: 4350 EURO per person
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Mongolia Outdoor: Land Rambler Desert Expeditions
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