Gobi,Hangai and Altai Drive
The Mongol ian Altai mountains of western Mongolian offer a beautiful landscape coupled with three unique cultures - Mongolians, Kazakhs, and Tuvans. The area is rich in wildlife and provides one of the last refuges for the Altai Argali, the world's largest sheep, as well as the endangered Snow Leopard. In addition, western Mongolia is rich in archeological sites that vary from ancient petroglyphs to stone carvings from early Turkish nomads. To travel in western Mongolia and visit this area's nomadic people between the snow covered peaks of the Altai Mountains means to experience something that cannot be repeated anywhere else in the world. On a trip though this region, one discovers new horizons, will feel the beauty of unexplored wilderness and experience the freedom of nomadic life.
Day 1: To Olgiy
Transfer to UB airport and fly 3hrs to Olgiy. (one hour time difference). Met by kazakh crew and transfer to Blue Wolf Restaurant. Visit the local museum of Ulgii town with comprenhensive information of flora and fauna of Bayan Ulgii aimag as well as it colourfull traditional costumes.Dinner with Kazakh Concert.Overnight in Kazakh felt gers.(L,D)
Day 2: To Altai Tavan Bogd Nat.Park (180km)
Drive the westernly route along Tsaagan Gol (White River) After (5-6hrs drive if not stopping) we will arrive at Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, in Altai Tavanbogd National Park, where numerous Tuvan nomads live. Shiveet Hairhan is holy for them, so there is no hunting, and usually possible to see a lot of Siberian Ibex in the early morning. Pitch camp. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Altai Tavan Bogd
With the support of camels, we will trek for 16km to the base camp area at the edge of the 20km long Potanina glacier, that runs down from the highest mountains in Mongolia. We will pitch our camp right here. Tavanbogd means “The Holy Five” referring to the peaks of Huiten (4374m and the highest), Naran, Ölgii, Burget and Nairamdal. It is a stunning setting with the awe inspiring massif of high snow capped peaks. Overnight in tent.(B,L,D)
Day 4: Altai Tavan Bogd
We will remain in the same camp and make a day hike up the non-technical heights of Malchin Uul, where we are likely to trek up through snow. There is also a smaller hill nearby allowing for excellent and stunning views of the mountains, mainly into Russian Altai, but in the distance also China. Overnight in tent.( (B,L,D)
Day 5: Altai Tavan Bogd
Trek back on the other side of the Tsaagan River (White River) to Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, where the Tuva people live. Here we will now be able to view the biggest petrolgyphs from the period of the Huns (approx 200 B.C.). The Huns were the reason for the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huangdi to build the Great Wall of China. Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
Day 6: To Big Lakes(150km)
Driving towards Big Lakes,we will stay on Snake Valley.There are many Turkic stones with face.
Afternoon, drive nearby western side of Hurgan Nuur and Hoton Nuur,where many Nomadic Kazakh families spend summer.Along the lakes,we see the beautifull waterfall,rockprintings and some ancient Turkic stones with face.On the right side we see the snowcapped mountains with forest,which make the wall between China and Mongolia. Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
Day 7: To Dayan Lake(100km)
A half day drive to Dayan Lake, near the frontier with China.Visit Kazakh Nomadic Families and feel their grade hospitalities.Overnight with family. (B,L,D)
Days 8-9: To Eaglehunter’s family(250km)
Drive back to Olgiy 3-4hrs. After lunch in Blue Wolf restaurant, continue our road to south. On the way you will go around Lake Doroo-one of most beautifull and crystal clear lakes of Mongolian Altai.Specially good for photos.After one hour drive, we come to Ongar’s family-Kazakh Eaglehunter.Overnight with Eaglehunter and his magnificient bird of pray.
Next day saty with Eaglehunter and learn some eaglehunting history and skills.Soft hiking. Overnight with family. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Meet Throat Singers(260km)
Today driving towards Hovd you cross the north-west side of Tsamba-Garav Uul(one of the highest snowcapped mountains in Mongolia 4208m). Have a lunch in Hovd town. After lunch,driving to will see the Khar Us Nuur National Park, where WWF Mongolia is very active. The largest of the lakes is Khar Us Nuur (Black Water Lake). We will try local hospitality at Jargalant Hairhan Mountain and hike into Rashantiin Am (Spring Valley), a sacred valley. Here is a sacred spring which is being said to have medicinal properties, including good for eye diseases Jargalant Hairhan (Sacred Happiness) is a snow-capped mountain, which is the back drop of Khar Us Lake. Rashantiin Am is an eerie valley with bolder and poplars. The great lakes basin has the largest reedbeds in all of Central Asia, with many bird species as well as Saiga Antelope, the rare Wild Boar (in the reeds!), Snow Leopards, Gazelle, Wolves etc.We will move from the desert steppes to Altai Mountians. We will reach Chandman soum , where they claim throat singing originates. and camp next to some nomads.The nomads live from livestock herding. Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
Northern and central parts of Mongolia is called as Hangai.Hangai has highlights as like Huvsugul lake and reindeer people (Tsaatan in Mongolian), Terkhiin Tsagaan lake Nat.park with Khorgo Volcano and famous KharKhorum.
Days 11-13: To Huvsugul Lake(850km)
Driving from Altai Mountians to Hangai Area, you can see many different wild areas,where mountains and steppe areas are combained.Meeting nomadic families ,you can see how they are used to live on these remote wild places.Last day,come to Moron,where you can stay in gercamp or hotel with hot shower. (B,L,D)
Days 14-15: Drive to UlaanUul viilage
After driving about 160kms /5-6hrs/ reach village UlaanUul.Visit local family-Shonhor’s family. Meet horserangers and first introduction to the horses and riding training. Next day you will ride horses to meet reindeer people. Overnights in tent. (B,L,D)
Days 16-17 : Reindeer and Tsaatan Life
One full day stay with Reindeer family to learn their life styles.Life is tough,but natural and authentic. Staying with these people, you will be out of civilization. Overnight with family. Next day ride back to meet our vehicle.Overnight with horseranger.Last day drive back to Moron. Overnights in gercamp. (B,L,D)
Day 18: To Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake and Khorgo Volcano(235km)
Khorgo Volcano is a dead volcano covered with basalt lying in the east of the Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan (National Park) in Arhangai aimag. Interesting bubbles of solidified lave named “Basalt ger'. Possible a visit to yak's herders. Arhangai aimag, the northeast slope of the Hangai chain, is called “the Switzerland of Mongolia” for its forests, rivers and wooded hills.Overnight in tent. (B,L,D)
Days 19-20: Explore KHARAKHORUM(290km+180km)
Today we reach KharKhorum. Overnight in gercamp. Next day after breakfast,we explore KharaKhorum.
Mongolian ancient capital, Kharakhorum, Chinggis Khaan's fabled city, was founded in 1220 in the Orkhon valley, at the crossroads of the Silk Road. It was from there that the Mongol Empire governed, until Khubilai Khaan moved it to Beijing. The symbolic ruins of Kharakhorum (Harhorin), monumental walls (400 m of length) with 108 stupas, surround the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia Erdene Zuu Monastery, built in 1586. In 1792, it housed 62 temples and 10,000 lamas; since 1990, it has become an active monastery again. Turtles carved from the stone marked the boundaries of the complex. Nearby, Turkish monuments and rock inscriptions erected in 8-9th centuries in memory of outstanding fighters for independence. Quite a surprise for the scentists was the discovery of a burial of a Mongolian woman which dates to approximately the 14-th century where also two Egiptian masks, a wooden comb and a bronze mirror in a silk case wre found.
After noon drive to south. Overnight in tent.(B,L,D)
The Gobi Desert is a vast zone of desert and desert steppe covering almost 30 percent of the Mongolian territory. The area is often imagined as a lifeless desert like in many other parts of the world. In reality, most part of the Gobi Desert is a land of steppes and it is the home for camel breeders rich with wildlife and vegetation. Wild asses, camels, snow leopards, mountain sheep and gazelles flourish here, as do different types of flora.Dinosaur skeletons and their petrified eggs have been preserved here to the present day. Mongolians consider that there are 33 different Gobi, where sandy desert occupies only 3 percent of the total territory. Climate is extreme with 40 degrees Celcius in summer and severe winter.
Day 21: To Hongoryn Els(260km)
Full day driving by open steppe areas and we reach Khongorin Dunes, the biggests sand dunes in all Asia.
The 800-meter high sand dunes in Sevrei soum, South aimag, are called Khonguryn Els. These dunes are 20 km wide and 180 km long. The Khongurun River flows along the stand dunes and gives birth to oases.Visit the dunes with camel riding. Visit a local camel breeding family and learn about their breeding programs. Overnight in tent.(B,L,D)
Day 22: To Yolyn Am(160km)
Driving to east about 150kms(4hrs), we come to The Valley in the Zuun Saikhan mountain located 45 km from Dalanzadgad, in the centre of South Gobi aimag, is called Yolyn Am. The narrow Valley between high rock walls has breathtaking dramatic scenery, and no doubt is one of the beautiful places in the country. In rainy summers
hundreds of small waterfalls appear in the rocky walls. Frekking camel and horse riding tours are available to the valley. Overnight in tent.(B,L,D)
Day 23: To Zagiin Us(250km)
Driving to east by open dry gobi area, reach Zagiin Us.Zagiin Us is Specially protected area since 1996 with Saxaul Forest . Saxaul(Haloxylon ammodendron) is a woody shrub that plays an important ecological role that helps protect fragile Gobi soils from damage and erosion. It regulates the water supply and serves as a barrier to sand movement. Overnight in tent.(B,L,D)
Day 24: To Baga Gazryn Chuluu(210km)
Drive to South about 200km and reach Middle Gobi and BAGAGAZRYN CHULUU. Visit the stones Valley walking and runes of the Sacred Monastery.The monastery is built on the small island in the middle of Lake Burd Nuur by local Mongolians in 16th century.Overnigth in tent.(B,L,D)
Day 25: To UB(250km)
Full day drive to north and reach UB.Overnight in hotel.
Summer months in Mongolia are from early June to mid September.Although the Mongolian summers are hot and dry with occasional rain, the temperature can fluctuate as much 20 degrees centigrade between day and night.So be prepared for all weather conditions.
What to bring:
Binoculars,sunscreen,a hat,gloves,long underware for travel in the high mountains,comfortable footware,lip balm,sanitary hand wipes,sunglasses,prescription medications,(if needed),rain gear,flashlight.
Mongolian families frequently move from one pasture to the other using camels,horses and yaks .The services of some herdsmen will be hired in some places, and they will provide us with their animals.
A local guide who speaks English,Kazakh and Mongolian will accompany the group at all times.A cook will follow, with an assistant.
Our cook will prepare the meals.We pride ourselves in having cooks adapt to both western and Mongolian cooking on our trips.There are always vegetables available, and we have no problem accommodating vegetarians on our trips.For breakfast we can usually buy fresh yogurt from the herdsmen in the local area.
from 3280 $ and cheaper per person (min 2 members)
Discounts available for groups
English speaking guide, cook and all meals outside of Ulaanbaatar, car with driver, all camping equipments (tent, mats, extra blanket). Overnights in gercamp(4nts) and all Border and national Park permits.
Alcohol drinks, hotel in UB and local flight UB-Olgiy.
Dates: from April untill late October,2013