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Mongolia

Gobi Adventures

Overview

Known by its greatest leader Genghis Khan, Mongolia has a rich and colorful history. Until the late 12th century, Mongolia was no more than a loose confederation of rival tribes. It wasn’t until Genghis Khan assembled his empire did Mongolia unite, and no before or after him as ever united the Mongol people so well. Once the largest empire in the world, this nation has now returned it its nomadic roots. Of the three million people in its population about one third still maintain the nomadic lifestyle of the following the cattle through the countryside. 

With dramatic landscapes and one of the most diverse terrains in the world, Mongolia is a stunning country that offers much to explore. With our thirteen day itinerary you will see and experience that best of Mongolia and get an authentic taste of the culture.

Itinerary

Day 1-2 Ulaanbaatar
Touring Mongolia begins in Ulaanbaatar with a visit to the Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Then it’s on to the National Museum for an excellent overview of Mongolia’s history and culture, the Choijin Lama Temple Museum and in the evening, drive to the Zaisan Memorial, built by the former Soviet Union to commemorate fallen soldiers of World War II.

Day 3 Gun Galuut Nature Reserve
Only two and a half hours from the capital, the recently established Gun Galuut Nature Reserve contains a very beautiful river valley and mountain range surrounded by rolling steppe. Among the special natural attractions, we will hope to find a small population of the endangered Argali sheep. In the evening, drive to Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1.5 hours). Comprised of the southern Khentii mountain range, this mountain, forest and steppe region provides habitat for a variety of bird and plant life.

Day 4 Gorkhi Terelj National Park | Ulaanbaatar
Embark on an adventurous hike towards the Aryabal Monastery. Along the way, the path is lined with numerous signboards displaying Buddha’s teachings. En route to Ulaanbaatar stop at the Chinggis Khan Equestrian Statue in Tsonjin Boldog. The massive statue, made of 250 tons of gleaming stainless steel, will take your breath away.

Day 5 Ulaanbaatar | Lake Hovsgol
In the morning, fly north to Murun, the capital of Hovsgol Province and continue overland to Lake Hovsgol. Stop at Uushgiin Deer Stones, one of the best-preserved monuments of its kind in Mongolia.

Day 6 Lake Hovsgol
Explore the lakeshore and surrounding mountains and meadows. Travellers can enjoy nature walks, kayak on the lake or sample Mongolian-style horseback-riding. Those who are interested will also have the opportunity to visit local nomads’ dwellings and experience the ancient nomadic culture first-hand.

Day 7 Ulaanbaatar
Return to Murun for a flight to Ulaanbaatar. Along the way, stop for a picnic lunch at Lake Irkh, a small, pristine lake in the midst of the steppe that is popular with a variety of birds.
Day 7 Ulaanbaatar
Enjoy the thrills and excitement of the local Naadam Festival’s wrestling, archery and horse-racing competitions.

Day 8 Fly to Gobi | Yol Valley
Set off in the morning across the vast steppe to the Gobi. For the next three days, explore the stunning landscape of the Gobi, habitat for Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep, goitered gazelles, Golden Eagles, Saker Falcons, jerboas (similar to kangaroo rats), and many endemic reptiles.

Day 9-11 Naadam Festival | Gegeet Valley | Hongoryn Els | Flaming Cliffs
Attend the Naadam Festival and enjoy the thrills and excitement of the local Naadam Festival’s wrestling, archery and horse-racing competitions. Explore the ‘singing’ sand dunes of Hongoryn Els; Tugrugiin Shiree – the site of the famed ‘Fighting Dinosaurs’ fossil find; and the Flaming Cliffs while staying at ger camps and the Three Camel Lodge, our premier luxury eco lodge in the heart of the desert.

Day 12 Ulaanbaatar
Fly to Ulaanbaatar and discover the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum – named for the first Buddhist leader of Mongolia and a renowned sculptor. Enjoy viewing some of Zanabazar’s original works, along with the museum’s impressive collection of historical art and then conclude your tour of Mongolia.

Day 13 Departure

Location

Mongolia has a unique and diverse terrain like no other country in the world with with seven different natural zones. In the high mountain zone above the treetops, you will find a harsh tundra and extremes temperatures. In North Mongolia, the Siberian taiga leaks onto Mongol land. The mountain forest steppe zone is a mixture of grasslands and forest where wildlife flourishes. A sea of grass makes up the steppe zone. This zone is crucial to the nomadic way of life as it provides the large grazing area that the cattle need. The desert steppe zone is the transition between the grasslands and the desert. The Gobi desert zone is a massive desert zone with bare rocky mountains, sand dunes, and water oases. And finally the wetlands. There are three drainage basins each supporting a diverse and different ecosystem. 

Highlights

In Mongolia you will find yourself lost in the rich culture, magical landscapes, and ancient traditions. Here in this age old civilization, you will find enduring monasteries,  diverse people, and centuries old ways of life.

The nomadic people live an organic life by surviving off the earth. They follow their herds of sheep, camel, goats, cows, yaks and horses to determine where to go and when. To the Mongolian people, their horses are their best friends. 

Explore the different natural zones of Mongolia where you will be amazed at the diversity, stunned by the beauty and fascinated by the wildlife.
 
Mongolia is not one single culture of one single people, but the amalgamation of many nations, tribes and cultures that have come together to form what we call today Mongolia. Embrace that diversity because in it you will find a wholesomeness and richness that you will never forget. 

Accommodations

The lodge offers 5 private cabins built using local timber and designed to maximise privacy.

Each cabin is uniquely appointed, with elegantly crafted furniture, stained-glass windows and plush leather furniture.

Each cabin has two bedrooms (one room boasting a king-size feather bed), a full bathroom and an amply furnished sitting room with amazing views of the surrounding countryside. There is also a cedar sauna/self-spa that makes a great place to relax after a full day of adventuring.

Dining is in the main lodge building and features gourmet meals prepared with fresh Alaskan ingredients. We have a large organic garden on site and grow most of our own veggies. Salmon and wild game are also harvested locally.

With a maximum of 12 guests at a time you will find the lodge is an oasis of relaxation and personal experience.

Useful Info

Mongolia is a landlocked country and because of this it experiences extreme and varied climates. There are four season in Mongolia. The spring is short from March to just mid-may. The unpredictable weather patterns at this time can lead to snowstorms, high winds, and hot sun. The summer lasts from mid-may to late August. In the early part of the season snowfall can still be seen, but the weather is usually good and dry throughout the central and southern regions. However, the mountains and northern areas can be cold. July is a great time to visit as that is during the Naadam festival, and makes this peak tourist season. In autumn, is generally September and October. These two months see cooler temperatures with rainfall it the northern and central regions. From November to February, it is winter and at this time of year the weather is most unpredictable.

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