The Gobi Desert and central Khangai Mountains form the main backdrop as you travel and meet and stay with local rural Mongolian families.
As well as some of the suggested guidebook highlights, you'll experience life from the perspective of a herder in Gorkhi-Terelj, the Gobi Desert as well as along the Orkhon River. You'll also visit a dedicated family operated conservation project in the Middle Gobi.
For each night of your trip you will stay with a rural Mongolian family - whether that be a retired herder or a family living in a small town.You’ll get to experience the traditional way of life but at the same time gain an overview as what it means to be Mongolian in 21st Century Mongolia.
Day 1: Ulaanbaatar - Free City Walking Tour. Final arrival day into Ulaan Baatar: UB maintains a strong Mongolian identity of its own and has a ‘frontier’ feel and vibrancy. It is a city well-worth exploring as it is home to 45% of Mongolia's population and provides a contrast to the lives of those in rural areas. For those interested, we include a free walking tour to help introduce you to the city.
Days 2-3: Gorkhi-Terelj National Park - Homestay. Spend two days with Naraa and Bujee - herders that live in the Terelj Valley. You will experience their way of life as well as the magnificent wild landscapes that form the backdrop to their rural home.
Day 4: Baga Gazriin Chuluu - Middle Gobi. Stunning granite rock formations. Explore these remarkable landscapes on a guided hike.
Day 5: Gobi Oasis Tree Planting Project - Middle Gobi. Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of our hosts Radnaa and Byamba as well as assisting them throughout their tree nursery project. You will have the opportunity to plant your own tree thereby making a positive contribution towards conservation practises in the Gobi.
Day 6: Tsagaan Suvraga - Middle Gobi. Named for the unique colour of the area, this open expanse consists of sun scorched rock, scrub, 30 m high limestone formations and emptiness. It is an eroded landscape rich in marine fossils.
Days 7-8: Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park - Southern Gobi. Explore the interior of this stunning mountainous terrain rising out of the extensive desert plains.
Days 9-10: Khongoryn Els (Singing Sands) - Southern Gobi. Based close to the banks of the small but essential Khongoryn Gol (the river that allows the families to survive in this area) it is a short walk to the base of the dramatic sand dunes with outstanding views over the majesty of the Zoloon and Sevrey Mountain Range. For those that wish, you will spend time exploring this stunning region by camel
Day 11: Arvaikheer - Central Heartland. An incredible journey taking you from the arid southern desert to the rich pastures of central Mongolia. Hot showers and a delicious dinner in a local restaurant.
Days 12-13: Ulaan Tsutgalan - Central Heartland. Spend two nights at the Orkhon Waterfall. Located deep within the Khangai Mountains, this is a haven of unspoilt rugged natural beauty. You will have one free day. For those that wish, why not join us on an exploratory horse or foot trek?
Day 14: Orkhon River Valley - Homestay. This region forms part of an UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will spend your day discovering this beautiful area through the eyes of Tumee and Jargaa - a nomadic family who live close to the banks of the river. This is a great way to witness the traditional nomadic way of life up close
Day 15: Khogno Khan Nature Reserve - Central Heartland. Spend the morning with Tumee and Jargaa. You'll arrive at Khogno Khan in the late afternoon. Granite mountains, sand dunes and open steppe. What a combination for your final night in wild Mongolia!
Day 16: Ulaanbaatar. Head back through the rolling steppe into the pace of city life. Tour ends.
Just so you know:
As a team (I am the only westerner, the rest of my small team are Mongolian) we research, design and operate all aspects of the holidays we offer - there are no outside agencies or suppliers apart from the rural families that provide accommodation or who provide services such as our pack-horses during any treks we offer. Why?
Supporting local is at the heart of what we do and at the centre of each itinerary we offer. I firmly believe that going directly to the local people not only helps to support the rural communities through which you travel but it also allows us to source local knowledge. This leads to a more personal style of trip where you experience a more local way of travel.
This trip is already guaranteed to depart. The maximum group size is six - providing you with a more individual style of trip. I work hard to make sure that our itineraries provide variety, are flexible and provide a genuine introduction that will enable you to get under the surface and experience the real local Mongolia.
This small group adventure ensures you will leave Mongolia feeling you have had a truly refreshing and individual experience. We can also offer it as a private tailor made holiday - adapted to your time frame, budget and and personal interests.
There are only four places remaining on this exciting seasonal trip.
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