Mongolia's Nomadic West
• Ulaanbaatar • Chigertei Valley National Park • Hokh Serkhiin Nuruu National Park • Khar Us Nuur National Park
Experience the truly nomadic life of Mongolia's wild west by exploring remote national parks, connecting with the communities, learning about their lifestyle, preparing local food and sighting unusual wildlife. An incomparable opportunity to immerse yourself in the real Mongolia.
Day 1: Ulaanbaatar Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Ulaanbaatar > Hovd/Olgii > Private Mobile Ger Camp Transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Hovd or Olgii. On arrival, drive approximately 4 hours to Deluun, located on the western side of Hokh Serkhiin Nuruu National Park. Admire the beautiful scenery at Dooroo Lake with the snow-capped Sair and Tsambagarav Mountains as a back-drop. Your private ger camp will be set up in the best location depending on the season.
Day 3: Hokh Serkhiin Nuruu National Park Take a morning excursion on foot up the Ikh Yamaat (Big Goat) Valley, where with luck you can see hundreds of Siberian ibex. The Altai Research Institute, and Dr Barry Rosenbaum, has conducted holistic wildlife research here for a decade. The Argali sheep, the largest wild sheep in the world and prey animals to the snow leopards, are less numerous but may also be seen. Today you will have the first chance to meet one of the many famous eagle hunters of the area.
Day 4: Chigertei Valley National Park Chigertei Valley is contiguous with the Koktogai (KekeTuoHai) National Park, across the border in Xinjiang, China. With border permits in hand, drive the short way across to visit the summer pastures of native Kazakh nomads. The Kazakh herding culture is more traditional in the west of Mongolia than it is in Kazakhstan proper, and includes hunting foxes from horseback using domesticated female Golden Eagles. Hunting takes place in winter, but you will make contact with the native eagle hunters in the Chigertei Valley. Along the way you will also have a chance to look at the village of Deluun.
Day 5: Private Mobile Ger Camp > Hovd Today the mobile ger camp is packed up and you make your way out of Altai proper, driving the 4 to 5 hours to Hovd Province. As Hovd is a small multi-ethnic town of Halkh Mongols, Myangad Mongols and Kazakhs, it has both Buddhist temples and a mosque as well as an interesting local museum and markets to explore. Hovd also has the only university in west Mongolia. Overnight in a hotel in Hovd.
Day 6: Hovd > Private Mobile Ger Camp After breakfast, continue to drive eastwards to the far side of Khar Us Nuur National Park. This is the Great Lakes basin - the lakes being the catchment for all rivers coming from the Altai Mountains carrying the snow and ice melt from the glaciers. There are both salt water and fresh water lakes in the West Gobi landscape. Head to Dorgon Lake and Mongol Sands, the longest sand dunes in Mongolia. Usually small herds of the rare Saiga Antelope are seen in the distance on the Dorgon Plains. Before reaching your camp, stop briefly at a large and unique lakeside ovoo (sacred cairn) called Janjin Ovoo and perhaps take a refreshing swim in the lake. Your private ger camp will be set up in the best location depending on the season.
Day 7: Khar Us Nuur National Park The day starts with a spectacular camel ride across the sand beaches of Dorgon Lake. The Mongol Sands stretch along the Zavkhan River and end on the beaches of Dorgon Lake. In the distance across the blue surface of the lake you can see the Jargalant Hairkhan Mountain, often snow-capped into July. The lakes also have fish such as Altai Osman - up to two thirds of the fish species here are endemic. Amongst the Mongolian Gulls, the rare Relict Gull may also make an appearance. Large congregations of Pallas's Sandgrouse, sometimes descend here to drink and enjoy the water, as well as large numbers of Ruddy Shelduck. The setting is also spectacular for non-birders.
Day 8: Private Mobile Ger Camp > Hovd After two lakeside overnights, return across the northern part of the Dorgon plains, again with the opportunity to spot small herds of Saiga Antelopes on the prairie. Pass Chandmani village, where locals claim throat singing originates. Continue around Jargalant Hairkhan to see the lake shore of Khar Us Lake, where the largest reedbeds of Central Asia are located. Water birds are plentiful here, and local herders will have their livestock and yurts on either side of the mountain. Overnight in a hotel in Hovd.
Day 9: Hovd > Ulaanbaatar Today transfer to the nearby airport and fly east to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of your time is at leisure.
Day 10: Ulaanbaatar Explore the capital city today, starting with the Gandan Lamasery, Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum and Zaisan Hill. After lunch at a centrally located local restaurant, visit the National Museum of Mongolia located on Sukhbaatar Square. This evening enjoy the Tumen Ekh Ensemble folk concert followed by dinner.
Day 11: Ulaanbaatar Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
NOTE: Depending on schedules, the domestic flights may be to either Hovd or Olgii. This is a private mobile camping programme in the National Parks. Surcharges apply over the Naadam Games (early/mid July) and peak dates in September.
• Tailor-made journey with English-speaking local guides • 5 nights' accommodation in hotels • 5 nights' accommodation in gers (yurt) at your private mobile camp • Toilet tents • Shower gers • Full bedding • Cook • Cooking equipment and all provisions provided for outside of Ulaanbaatar • All transfers and transport • Domestic flights • Sightseeing and entrance fees • 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners
Pricing (per person) $NZD
Departs Daily, May - Sep. Not available Oct - Apr.
Daily, May - Sep. Not available Oct - Apr.
Booking conditions • Depending on schedules, the domestic flights may be to either Hovd or Olgii
• This is a private mobile camping programme in the National Parks
• Surcharges apply over the Naadam Games (early/mid July) and peak dates in September
• Depending on schedules, the domestic flights may be to either Hovd or Olgii • This is a private mobile camping programme in the National Parks • Surcharges apply over the Naadam Games (early/mid July) and peak dates in September