Altai, Hangai and Gobi Drive Book now
ALTAI, HANGAI and GOBI DRIVE
The Mongolian 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.
Hangai Mountains bisects the Arhangai and Övörhangai provincens. Ar means “north”, and “övör means “south. Hangai Mountains have been established as a national park in recent times. The most well known area is the famous Orhon Valley, which is in the Mongol heartland, just west of the ancient capital of Karakorum (Harhorin). Orhon Valley has a small water fall – Ulaan Tsutsgalan – and nearby is also the remote Tövhön monastery, high up on its sides, founded by Zanabazar as a retreat. In the buffer zone of the Hangai Mountains to the north is Horgo National Park, with the Terhiin Tsagaan Lake and Horgo extinct volcano in Arhangai province. On the far western end is the eternally snow-capped sacred mountain of Otgontenger. The interior of the Hangai Mountains is uninhabited and locals use it for hunting only.
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 1: To Olgii
Transfer to UB airport and fly 3hrs to Olgii. (one hour time difference). Met by kazakh crew and transfer to Blue Wolf Restaurant. Visit the local museum of Olgii town with comprenhensive information of flora and fauna of Bayan-Olgii aimag as well as it colourfull traditional costumes. Dinner with Kazakh Concert. Overnight in Kazakh felt gers. (BLD)
Day 2: To Altai Tavan Bogd Nat.Park
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. Overnight in ger. (BLD)
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. (BLD)
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. (BLD)
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 ger. (BLD)
Day 6: To Snake Valley
Driving towards Big Lakes,we will stay on Snake Valley.There are many Turkic stones with face. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Day 7: To Baga Turgen Uul
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. (BLD)
Day 8: To Dayan Lake
A half day drive to Dayan Lake, near the frontier with China. Visit Kazakh Nomadic Families and feel their grade hospitalities. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Days 9-10: To Eaglehunter’s family
Driving by remote high mountain country, you will see many archeological sites and beautifull wild country. Second day, we come to Onei’s family-Kazakh Eaglehunter. Overnight with Eaglehunter and his magnificient bird of pray. Learn some eaglehunting history and skills. Overnights in ger near family. (BLD)
Day 11: To Olgii
Drive back to Olgii 5-6hrs. On the way you will go around lake Doroo-one of most beautifull and crystal clear lakes of Mongolian Altai. Specially good for photos.
Come to Olgii. Overnight in hotel. (BLD)
TO HANGAI and GOBI
Day 12: 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 move from the desert steppes to Altai Mountians. We will reach Chandman soum , where they claim throat singing originates. The nomads live from livestock herding. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Days 13-14: To Huvsugul Lake
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. (BLD)
Days 15-16: Drive to UlaanUul village
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. Trekking in Munkhsardig mountain. Next day you will ride horses to meet reindeer people. 2 overnights in tent. (BLD)
Days 17-19: 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. 2 overnights in tent with horseranger. Last day drive back to Moron. Overnight in gercamp. (BLD)
Day 20: To Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake and Horgo
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 northest slope of the Hangai chain, is called “the Switzerland of Mongolia” for its forests, rivers and wooded hills. Overnight in gercamp. (BLD)
Day 21: Explore KHARAKHORUM
Today we reach KharKhorum. Mongolia's 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. Overnight in gercamp. (BLD)
Day 22: To Hongoryn Els
Full day driving to south, we come out from mountain area into gobi area with small hills. 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 100 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 gercamp. (BLD)
Day 23: To Yolyn Am
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 gercamp. (BLD)
Day 24: To Baga Gazryn Chuluu
Drive to South about 360km 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. Overnight in gercamp. (BLD)
Day 25: To UB
Full day drive to north and reach UB. Overnight in 3*hotel. (BLD)
My price is: 2560$ per person, if your group size is 6 people.
Includes: English speaking guide, one 4x4 Russian van, 3 meals per day, cook with cooking gears, 13 overnights in ger/local hotel, 11 overnights in tent and 1 overnight in 3* hotel in UB, all camping equipment (tent, sleeping cot, mats and bag, and chair), land transport and all border and national park permits.
Excludes: Personal needs, laundry, horse/camel ride and alcohol drinks.
Dates: any time