Difficulty of trip: Moderately challenging
Package Fee 2-4 Pax: $1171 USD for 9 days/ 8 nights
Package Fee 5-8 Pax: $978 USD for 9 days/ 8 nights
Minimal pax: 2 persons
Day One - Saihan-ovoo village tour: In the morning at 08am you will depart from UB by public bus for 260kms to Dundgovi province. Upon arrival at Mandalgovi bus station you will meet with a receptionist and a driver. After lunch you will start your journey by jeep for 200 kilometers to Saihanovoo village. Upon arrival at Zambagiin tal guest house Mr.Nyamdavaa’s family will welcome you a dinner and tea. Then his wife Mrs.Erdenechimeg will guide you through his village and sea-buckthorn garden. Back to Guesthouse.
Day Two - Horse ride to Ongi Monastery: After breakfast, you will start your journey to Mr. Undral’s ger by jeep for 9 kilometers. On your journey to his ger you will visit the locally famous pierced rock, named Senjit where Chinggis Khan used to tie his horses too. Arrive at Mr. Undral’s herder family. He will serve you by a nomadic lunch and tea. Then continue your journey by horseback for 10 kms to Ongiin Khiid Monastery ruins. On the way you will visit Zambaga Khairkhan local worshipped mountain and historical cave that once served as refuge to Mongolia’s “Robin Hoods” from local authorities. This evening you will stay at “Tsagaan ovoo” camp, dinner will be served, overnight.
Day Three - Visit Ongi Monastery known as the largest ruins in the Gobi Desert: After breakfast Mrs.Uranchimeg will show you ruin of Ongi monastery which was established 300 years ago. Ongi monastery was biggest monastery in Gobi region. During the repression of 1930 the monastery was completely destroyed and around 300 monks were killed by revolutionists. Then you will continue your journey to next family by horse for 10kms. Arrive at Mr. Jinhuu’s herder family. He will serve you a lunch and tea. After lunch, you will have opportunity to learn how to milk animals and make dairy products with his wife. Then continue by horse back for 7 kilometers to your overnight destination. Arrive at Mr.Shinebayar’s herder family. At his ger you will learn how to play a Mongolian game called ‘Dembee’, which involves the drinking of mare’s milk! If you survive, you will have dinner at his ger and will overnight here.
Day Four - Bayanzag (B, L, D): After breakfast we will drive to Bayan zag which is internationally famous for dinosaur remains complete dinosaur skeletons, eggs and hatchlings, of the Cretaceous Period. Bayan Zag is famed for its’ red sandstone cliffs which take on beautiful red and orange hues during sunset. Sculptural Saxaul trees grow in the arid rocky soil. In 1921, the American Roy Chapman Andrews discovered here some of the most important Paleontological findings of the last century. Since then, hundreds of archeological expeditions have come to this remote desert location. Dinosaur egg with a diameter of 10 to 15 centimeters was found here in Mongolia for the first time in the world. Upon arrival at tourist camp nearby Bayanzag you will have a lunch. Then you will start your excursion around Bayanzag. Overnight in a ger camp.
Day Five - Khongorin Els (B,L,D): In the morning you will drive to Khongor sand dune which has an extraordinary length of 180kms and 15-20 meters wide. The huge sand dune is part of the desert zone, which takes up 2.7% of the country’s territory. Upon arrival at camp, you will a late lunch. Then we will go explore the towering dunes on foot. If the breeze is blowing just right, we may hear the dunes singing to us. The rugged desert plants of the Gobi at the edges of the sands are beautiful in their own sculptural way. Overnight in ger camp.
Day Six - Yoliin am: After breakfast you will continue your driving to Dalanzadgad , center of South Gobi province. Transfer to the “Khanbogd “tourist camp. After lunch you will start an excursion to Yol Valley (Eagle Valley) National Park. In the evening back to camp and have a dinner and overnight in the gers.
Day Seven - Tsagaan suvraga cliffs sculptured by wind: After breakfast at ger camp you will drive to Tsagaan suvraga cliffs. It is interesting to see the sheer slope, facing east; from a distance it seems to be the ruins of the ancient city. The cliff is 30 meters high and 100 meters wide. Over thousands of years the wind has created this amazing structure. After lunch you will start an excursion to cliffs and cave. In the evening back to camp and have a dinner and overnight in the gers.
Day Eight - Local museum (B): After breakfast you will depart back to Mandalgovi by Russian jeep for 156km. Check in local hotel. Then our local facilitator will guide you to visit the local museum and then you will stay a night at the local hotel.
Day Nine - Ulaanbaatar: After breakfast you will take a public bus back to Ulaanbaatar city at 08am. You will arrive in UB around at 2pm.
Visiting nomadic families
All nomadic breakfast, lunch and dinner which are stated on itinerary
Herder guide service on route
Horse riding according to itinerary
Pack animals on route
Cultural activities (make a felt, play ankle bone game etc)
Boiled water on route
National park fees
Two ways bus ticket between UB and Mandalgovi
Local jeep service according to itinerary
1 night at local hotel /twin share/
5 nights at tourist camp
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.