Two yurt camps will be deployed in two different undisturbed places where nomads live with their livestock. The journey will start near Hustai National Park staying at the posh and luxurious large guest yurts of HS Khaan Ger Resort. The tour will end in the capital city of Mongolia, Ulan Bator. The focus of the journey, apart from seeing wildlife in Hustai at the beginning and at the end seeing the cityscape of Ulan Bator, is the authentic and genuine encounter with the largest nomadic remaining pastoral people left on Earth. Mongolian nomads live today a similar lifestyle as 2000 years back in time, a living heritage. A lifestyle from a time before the Great Wall of China which separated the sedentary Chinese from the nomadic Mongols. The latter still has more horses than people and still live on the steppes of Mongolia, under Arctic climate conditions.
After arrival, meet with your guide and driver at the airport. Transfer for one hour to Hui Doloon Hudag plains, grasslands to the west of the city. Day at leisure. Lunch and dinner will be served at our resort this evening as à la carte. Overnight in the rather posh big yurts at HS Khaan Ger Resort.
After breakfast, drive approximately ½ hour to the eastern side of Hustai National Park, also known as Hustain Nuruu ("the birch mountains"). Here we will meet with local nomads, and have a first-hand experience with the common lifestyle, and share a traditional meal such as buuz and hushuur. Hustai is one of three release sites for the once extinct species of wild horse, the takhi or Przewalski's Horse (Equus przewalskii ferus), as it is also commonly known in Mongolia. 25 years after becoming extinct in the wild, the takhi was reintroduced to the Mongolian steppe from zoo populations. Sixteen horses were flown from the Netherlands to Mongolia in 1994, and it was repeated every two years for a decade. Now there are several hundred at each of Hustai, and other remote sites in Mongolia and China. Learn about current conservation efforts and the status of the herds found within the reserve at the visitor's center, followed by a dinner at the park headquarters restaurant. Then venture out for a game drive, to see these beautiful horses – at fairly close range - in their natural habitat.
Drive to the Gobi. We will cross the Tuul River across the bridge at Altanbulag and drive towards the mountains of Hoyd Önjuul. After lunch explore the Höyd Önjuul Mountain area with the surrounding plains where it is normal to see a couple of hundred of Mongolian Gazelles (Procapra gutturosa). Goitred Gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa) are usually seen as we the drive through the landscape, so are Corsac Foxes (Vulpes corsac).
We drive across the steppe to the Zorgol Hairkhan Mountains, emerging almost vertically out of the middle of the steppe. En route we will find some secluded petroglyphs of extraordinary quality. We will explore the area and perhaps have a chance to spot the rare and elusive Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon), the largest wild mountain sheep in the world. There is also a chance to see Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica) on the ridges, though we need some luck to see them. Zorgol Hairkhan is a sacred mountain, mentioned in the Secret History of the Mongols, the oldest surviving literary work in Mongolian language. There are many traces of holy sites here, such as caves and springs, where local people make offerings.
Two full days to explore the immediate surroundings of Arburd Sands. We may hike or use camels or horses to ride through the middle of the sand dunes which extend for 20 km. Strangely enough, a good number of Wolves - being wary of man - have taken refuge in the sand dunes and can sometimes be seen. We will most likely meet some herdsmen and will no doubt be invited into their gers and learn about their ancient lifestyle.
Cessna Caravan will arrive from Ulaanbaatar to land at the secluded airstrip in the midst on the Steppe. Fly ½ hour to your next destination. We will pitch our camp by a lake in the now forested area of Black Heart Mountain, where Genghis Khan received his title. These forests are called the circumpolar boreal forests and are connected with Siberia and North America.
Today we turn east to visit Baldan Bereeven Monastery, which was founded in 1654 and soon became one of the most significant monasteries of eastern Mongolia with up to 8000 resident lamas. It was destroyed in the Stalinist purges of the late 1930s, but the main temple has undergone some renovation. The monastery grounds are surrounded by scenic and sacred mountains and the monastery itself is backed by the steep cliff of Mönkh Ölziit Mountain where many Buddhist petroglyphs can be found. We return to Hangal Lake to spend a second night here. Today, there is plenty of time to visit nomadic families. The rangelands here are quite rich, which is why there are lots of families around.
After breakfast spend the day hiking around the area. In the evening visit some nomadic families.
We drive back to Ulaanbaatar and enjoy a picnic lunch on the way. The total drive is 5 hours. En route we will encounter the Genghis Khan Monument, the world’s largest equestrian statue. Check in at the hotel in downtown Ulaanbaatar.
Full day city tour including Gandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square, National Museum of Mongolia and Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum. We will be able to see some of backstage Ulan Bator. Lunch and dinner will be at local restaurants.
Check out and transfer to Chinggis Khan International airport for outbound flight.
Duration: 12 days
Prices: $9,650 per person*
*Prices based on minimum 6 people (contact us for other options)
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Terms & Conditions Prices based on per person double/twin share. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offer is subject to availability. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. Bookings must be made direct with Concierge Traveller. Package cancellation fees apply. All savings and bonus nights (if applicable) are included in the advertised price. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. Local city taxes may apply.
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