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Gobi Desert Camel Trek

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 12 people
Destination(s): Mongolia  
Specialty Categories: Camel Riding   Desert Expeditions  
Season: May - September
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1525 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1970 US Dollar (USD)

Overview:

Ride majestic Bactrian camels across wide open spaces of the Gobi desert under clear blue skies of Mongolia. Experience one of the least densely populated regions on the Earth and imagine yourself a legendary explorer. Camp out under myriad of stars and absorb the inexhaustible energy of nature. Visit Gobi’s iconic attractions – Flaming Red Cliffs, Khongoryn Sand dunes and Yolyn Am canyon. Befriend local camel herders and experience the authentic tradition of pastoral livestock breeding, learn of their life and mores.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar (UB).

Meet with your guide and transfer to a 4* hotel in city center. A guided city tour will introduce you the city’s highlights: the Gandan Temple - city's main Buddhist center, the central city square with a grand statue of Genghis Khan and the Zaisan Memorial, an elevated hill on the city's edge providing a panoramic view of UB. Then choose to visit any of the following museums: National Museum introducing Mongolia's history from early humans to modern era, Dinosaur Museum with a unique collection of dinosaur fossils, Choijin Lama or State Oracle Residence-museum displaying best samples of Buddhist artwork and religious masks. Winter palace of Bogd Khan showcasing rare statues of Buddhist deities and items of personal use of this last theocratic ruler of Mongolia is also worth considering. An evening folk show of music, throat singing and contortion will be followed by a welcome dinner. (Dinner, hotel)

Day 2: Fly to Gobi desert and visit Eagle Canyon.

This morning catch a short flight to the Gobi desert. Upon arrival drive to Eagle canyon where snow and ice remain frozen until late July. At the entrance there is a museum displaying stuffed images of local wildlife as well as some petrified wood and dinosaur eggs. Then take one and a half hour hike to the canyon heart and with a bit of luck spot Wild mountain goats scaling steep cliffs and Bearded vultures soaring above. After a picnic lunch drive to a cozy tourist camp (Gobi Mirage) comprised of traditional felt walled tents known as gers. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, ger camp)

Day 3: Travel to Khongoryn Els dunes.

Travel across vast arid plains to Khongoriin Els Sand dunes. They stretch for almost 100 km with the tallest dune reaching 200 m from its foothill. Locals sometimes refer to them as the singing dunes due to a weird humming sound often heard on windy days. Fine sand gradually builds up on dune crests and eventually collapses producing the strange sound. Upon arriving we settle down in a cozy ger camp and later when the heat subsides take an excursion to the dunes. You can climb the dunes or take your first camel ride on the tour. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, ger camp)

Days 4-7: Camel safari.

After breakfast we take a short transfer to a place called Adag Nuur from where our camel riding adventure starts. You will be met by a local guide who also owns the camels. He will accompany you during the next 4 days helping and advising. Certainly, you will learn a lot about the mores of local people whose lifestyle seemingly has not changed much in the last couple of hundreds of years. Possibly, there will be moments when you find camel riding tough and the weather harsh but it is rare chance to immerse yourself in this tranquil environment where nature rules. We aim to circle the northern half of the Khongoryn Els dunes each day covering about 20 km across spectacular landscapes dominated by rugged mountains, golden sand dunes and breathtaking expanses of this mysterious land. Each evening we establish a tented camp and enjoy quiet evenings in this secluded corner of the Earth. The fourth night we spend in a comfort of a tourist camp. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, 3 nights in tents, 1 in ger camp)

Day 8: Travel to Flaming Red Cliffs.

We today travel to Flaming Red Cliffs, a world renowned dinosaur fossil site where in 1920's, in a series of expeditions Americans unearthed the first nests of dinosaur eggs, new species of dinosaurs, and the fossils of early mammals that co-existed with the early reptiles. Upon reaching the cliffs that contrastingly stand out of the infinite arid plain, we explore them on foot. The eroded sandstone can still yield dinosaur fossils especially after a torrential rain so one can still hope for a discovery. We then take a short ride to see a tiny by yet interesting display of fossils unearthed at Flaming Red Cliffs. We continue to the Gobi Mirage camp for dinner and overnight. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, ger camp)

Day 9: Return flight to UB.

We say good-bye to the Gobi and catch a short flight back to UB. On arrival we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your own disposal. In the evening gather for a farewell dinner. (Breakfast, dinner, hotel)

Day 10: Departure transfer.

Transfer to airport for your return flight home. (Breakfast).

Notes:
Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- All accommodation
* hotel (2 nights)
* ger (4 nights)
* tent (3 nights)
- Indicated meals & drinking water
- All visits
* sightseeing
* national park
* permit fees
- Overland transport (Japanese 4WD)
- Domestic airfare and airport transfers
- Airport transfers
- English speaking guide
- Expedition cook
- Local guides
- Camel hire and riding tackle

Price Excludes:
- Travel insurance
- Excess baggage fee on domestic air travel
- Personal riding clothes
- Sleeping bags
- Optional activity fees
- Meals not indicated
- Drinks & Alcohol