Imagine camel trekking along golden sand dunes with the morning rays bouncing off the tips of the wind-blown dunes producing a shimmering golden screen off in the horizon. As you continue your desert journey (mainly by camel but sometimes by horse) you learn about the local historical sights (i.e. ancient statues) as well as the geography that includes sand dunes, desert plants, wildlife and of course the beautiful Shireet White Lake Oasis. During the days you spend time with your nomadic families learning their ways, sharing their lifestyle and experiencing their day to day routines before laying back in your own nomadic ger for the evening and absorbing the subtle and homely environment of the desert.
Difficulty of trip: Easy going
Method of travel: Horseback and camel riding, trekking opportunities, and staying in nomadic families's extra gers.
Community Fee: $186 USD for 4 days/ 3 nights
Additional In-Country Travel Expenses
Public bus to Rashaant Village (one way): $12.50 USD
Small car to first ger and pickup (2-3 persons): $84 USD
Mini bus to first ger and pickup (max 4 persons): $84 USD
Note: Vehicle cost can be divided by number of persons
Booking & travel orientation w/ handbook: $25 USD
Day 1 - Trekking to the Human Statue and Lake: You depart from UB city to Rashaant soum of Bulgan province by public bus for 5 hours. As soon as you get off from the bus, you will meet with your driver at bus station. He will take you to your first nomadic family for 38kms by car. Upon your arrival at Mr. Munkhbat's family, they will welcome you a nomadic lunch and tea. Afterwards, you will start your journey to the Human statue and White lake by foot for 10-12 km round trip. Then you will back to herder’s family. They will welcome you a dinner and to stay overnight at his Ger.
Day 2 - Camel trekking to a landscape of sand dunes: After breakfast, you will continue your journey to next herder family by foot for 11kms. Upon your arrival at Mr.Natsagdorj’s family, you will be served a nomadic lunch and tea. Then he will guide you a landscape of sand dunes for 11 km by camel or horse. In the evening time, you will have a dinner with a family.
Trekking to the beautiful Shireet White Lake: After breakfast you will continue your journey to next herder family by camel or horse for 9kms. When you arrive at Mr. Zagddorj’s family, his wife will serve you a nomadic lunch and tea. Then you will trek to the beautiful Shireet White Lake for 16kms round trip. In the evening time, you will have a farewell dinner with a family and play the traditional ankle bone game with family members.
Day 4 - Travel to Geographical center of Mongolia and depart to UB: After your breakfast, a local driver will pick you up from the herder family and take you to the center point of Mongolia named “Uvurkhushuutyn Bulag” for 38 km. In 1979, a geography professor Sharavyn Shagdar who traveled over the past 60 years through the territories, soums and provinces in Mongolia and wrote over 40 books about geography and history of Mongolia determined this point. Once you reach the heart place of Mongolia, you will be served a packed lunch from family. Then you will drive back to Rashaant Soum for 88kms. You will get on a bus to UB city at about 4-5pm.
Visiting nomadic families
All nomadic breakfast, lunch and dinner which are stated on itinerary
Home stay at all families’ extra Ger
Herder guide service on route
Horse riding according to itinerary
Camel riding according to itinerary
Pack animals on route
Cultural activities (play ankle bone game etc)
Boiled water on route
Two ways bus tickets reservation between UB and Rashaant village
Local jeep arrangement by facilitator
Mongolian Cultural Travel Tips & Information
Horseback Riding in Mongolia
Mongolia's Gobi Desert Camels
Mongolians and horses have historically co-exist since the early times and It’s impossible to imagine Mongolians without horses. There are many horse related folk legends, stories about horses, epic literature and songs written about horses. Mongolians prohibit the cursing of horses, beating horses and whipping of horses on their heads and chests. Mongolia’s horse culture according to their traditions teaches to show to respect to the horse during its life and honorifically place the horse’s head on an Ovoo or other sacred place to show their respect to the nobility of their horse’s life. The head of a horse is often decorated with white stones or horse dung. Heads of especially fast racing horses are usually wrapped in a blue scarf. The Mongolian traditional horse head fiddle further glorifies the station of the horse by its artistic design and traditional sounds. The culture of the Mongolian horse even spreads to embroidery, handicraft, wooden carving, metal and silver crafts – Mongolia’s respect of the horse can be found everywhere throughout the country.
The world’s rare two-humped Mongolian Bactrian Camel is considered to be the tolerant and noble animal among five animals (horse, cow, sheep, goat and camel) and is sand colored herbivores mainly found in the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia. Mongolia leads the number of Bactrian camels in the world and Mongolian camels were domesticated in olden days and are traditionally used as nomadic transport. When Mongolian camels are used for nomadic transportation their noses are pegged and they are outfitted with a leading rein, halter, saddle, saddle cloth and stairs. Mongolian camels weight is between 400-800kg and camel meat is low in fat and lean. Mongolian camel milk is a staple food for Gobi Desert nomads and is more rich in fat and protein than cow’s milk. A female camel produces about 3 to 4 liters of milk a day; camel milk can readily be made into airag (fermented beverage), hoormog (yogurt diluted with milk) and dried curds. Mongolian camel wool is produced as a natural insulation against the cold and easily sheds in the heat. Mongolian camel wool has unique characteristics of silky softness and strength.
Riding Mongolian Camels
Mongolian nomads say that it’s much closer to the sun from the top of the tallest animal of desert - so while you are riding a Mongolian camel you will always have a panoramic view of the Gobi Desert. Generally, Mongolia’s camel guides are Mongolian nomads that are born and live in the Gobi Desert. Mongolians often start to ride camels at a very early age and have plenty of experience to share with you about how to saddle, groom and command to lay down a camel to mount and dismount. During your camel trek, you can help the Mongolian nomad by looking after your camel; learn how to groom it, saddle and unsaddle it as well as bring water and feed it. Kind attention between the camel and the rider always contributes towards establishing a close. Almost any traveler can ride a camel (in reasonable physical condition) and learn how to control it quickly – though its highly recommended to review the camel riding tips that can be found in the Ger to Ger Travelers’ Handbook. Its good to apply your knowledge and practice on a camel with a Mongolian nomad around their Ger (traditional dwelling) before starting a long trek. A camel trek could cover between 5 to 25kms a day between nomadic families or even for a short roundtrip for sightseeing.