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Family Adventure in Mongolia, Cultural and Wildlife Tour

offered by supplier M21600 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 11 - 13 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 6 people
Destination(s): Mongolia  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   National Parks  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1501 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2696 US Dollar (USD)

Mongolia is a country with a diverse and fragile environment traditionally preserved through long-standing environmental customs and beliefs. These are now being rediscovered and re-emphasised in the face of the challenges of 21st century modern life. The fight has been taken on at a local level and our Conservation and Research Expedition will allow you to come into contact with environmental safeguarding and protection at a grass-roots level in Mongolia - specifically in the connection with the Asian Wild Ass (Khulan in Mongolian). You will be trained to use several kinds of technology such as trail cameras and all data collected during this conservation expedition will be used as part of the conservation program - continuing to protect the endangered Mongolian Khulan/Mongolian Wild Ass and its habitat. 

Itinerary:
Day 1: Ulaan Baatar 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: Ikh Nart Nature Reserve.
Travel on a local train following the famous Trans-Mongolian train route through the Gobi. Travel south to Ikh Nart Nature Reserve - a grasslands and semi-desert steppe environment established in 1996. It represents one of the last strong-holds for the globally threatened Argali Sheep - the largest mountain sheep in the world (Ovis Ammon). The site is an ‘island’ of rocky terrain and canyons, rising up from the surrounding desert steppe. Willow and elm trees grow among the rocks and ravines.

You will tent camp in the ‘buffer’ zone of the protected area. Ikh Nart is a prime wildlife location - a natural habitat for Siberian Ibex as well as the Argali sheep. It is also a breeding site for one of the world's largest vultures, the Cinereous Vulture - also known as the European Black Vulture. You will spend the second day exploring Ikh Nart on foot with the Association Goviin Khulan researcher and the protected area ranger.

Day 4: Khamariin Khiid Monastery.
Khamaryn Khiid is considered  an energy centre known as Shambala created around the cult of a Mongolian monk - Danzan Ravjaa. The monastery was founded in 1820 and was an important cultural and education centre for the Red Hat Buddhist faith until its destruction in 1937 during the political purges. It has since been reconstructed and is a major pilgrimage site for Mongolians. 

Day 5: White Canyon - Research and Conservation Area.
Today you will travel further south into the immensity of the Gobi Desert. You will visit and stay as guests at an area of watermelon production. This is quite an amazing place where the local people are fighting to preserve their water source for their smallholdings as well as for the local environment including an area of ‘saxaul’ - an endangered Gobi shrub known in Mongolian as ‘zag’.

Day 6: Native Mountain - Research and Conservation Area.
Travel to ‘Native Mountain’ and its Buddhist monastery. On this drive we will be changing habitats between desert and semi-desert steppe and it is possible you could observe some species such as black-tailed gazelles, and the Mongolian khulan. In Mongolia, many mountains, rivers and other natural spaces are revered as sacred - either because they are the residing place of a deity or because they are viewed as a deity in themselves. Often, monasteries were built on such sites as is such as the one built at Native Mountain. At ‘Native Mountain’ you will meet with the community of monks and you will have the opportunity to discuss with the monks about their involvement in the Association Goviin Khulan conservation program and their actions and motivations towards the protection of the Gobi ecosystem. We also hope to have dinner with the monks or members of the local community.

Day 7: Queen’s Spring - Research and Conservation Area.
In the morning, set trail cameras in the surroundings of the monastery - you will return for these later. After lunch, continue further south again to an area called the Queen’s Spring, which is located roughly about 150 kms from the border with China. En-route, stop at a small village where you will meet with the protected area rangers who cooperate with the Association Goviin Khulan. Naturally, this depends on their availability. Tonight you will camp in the vicinity of the Queen's Spring and where you will be able to observe wildlife and birds in your surroundings.

Day 8: Golden Mountain - Research and Conservation Area.
Travel back to the Queen’s Spring for lunch and then on to Golden Mountain. Officially known as Ergeliin Zuu, this is a protected natural reserve where dinosaur fossils were discovered in the 1920’s by Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions. Gobi fossils tend to be well-preserved, revealing minute details of life during the Late Cretaceous Period – 80 million years ago. You may also observe black-tailed gazelles, Mongolian (white-tailed) gazelles, Mongolian khulan and birds of prey. Part of the day will be spend meeting a local family who work as ‘citizen conservationists for Association Goviin Khulan.

Day 9: Native Mountain - Research and Conservation Area.
In the morning, travel back to the Native Mountain where you will collect the trail cameras and other additional data. Tonight, you will have dinner in the monastery at Native Mountain. In the early morning, you may join the prayers and chanting of the Buddhist monks who live in this monastery. A unique way to finish in this beautiful and peaceful environment.

Day 10: Sainshand.
Travel to Sainshand - the provincial capital of Mongolia’s eastern Gobi and a major stop on the Trans Mongolian. The desert landscapes will again change and you could again observe wildlife native to the Gobi - especially during our picnic lunch. In the evening, enjoy a good hot shower and dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 11: Ulaanbaatar.
An early start for the transfer back to Ulaan Baatar (we aim to have you back in the city by early afternoon if not before). Having returned to the city, this is your own time but you will be having dinner with Anne-Camille or the research associate to talk about the photos and information collected during the expedition.

Days 12-13 - Optional Extension - Khustain Nuruu National Park.
A short transfer to Khustain Nuruu National Park - noted for its successful reintroduction of the endemic Przewalski horse (Equus przewalskii) – the only wild horse to survive in modern times and known as Takhi in Mongolian. You will return to UB the early evening of Day Thirteen.

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer. Request a free gift certificate.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Location: England
Joined InfoHub: Dec 2015

We’re a micro-business with the ethos of being a social travel entrepreneurship. We offer freedom and flexibility and bring a touch of individuality tour trips. We focus on promoting a greater travel approach to benefit everyone involved, leading to a more positive and personal style of experience for all concerned....

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