Mongolia: Land of Chinggis Khaan

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Tour Description

From fossilized dinosaur bones to wild horses thundering across grassy steppes, you’ll soon understand why Mongolia adventure travel is a journey to the “Land of Blue Sky.” The recreational and anthropological pursuits are countless, from horseback and camelback treks to visits with local families to learn about their traditions and customs, and the fragility of their nomadic lifestyles. Our Mongolia expedition includes hiking to high camps in search of the Siberian ibex, fly-fishing in the Onon River, searching for treasures in the Gobi Desert, and more, so conjure up your sense of curiosity and adventurous spirit and join us!

Mongolia Adventure Travel Highlights:

  • Hustai National Park, where we search for the wild Przewalski’s horses that call the park home.
  • 4x4 vehicle excursion through the mystical Gobi Desert and Hongoriin Els (the “Singing Sands”), giant white sand dunes that rise like mountains from the desert.
  • Flaming Cliffs in the Gobi Desert, an area renowned for its concentration of dinosaur fossils, and one of the most intriguing stops on our Mongolia tour.
  • Private riverside ger camp (nomadic-style accommodations) on the famous Onon River.
  • Visit local families in their gers to learn about the traditions and customs of their nomadic lifestyles throughout our Mongolia expedition.

What to Expect:

Mongolia adventure travel requires a true spirit of adventure, flexibility, and a sense of humor. The region we will be visiting is primitive and little affected by modern trappings; while foreign in many ways to travelers, a Mongolia expedition also affords a wealth of opportunity for discovery and lifelong memories. Accommodations are comfortable and clean, ranging from well-appointed hotels to nomadic gers, known more widely as yurts. To best enjoy this Mongolia tour, you should be in good physical condition and able to participate on nature hikes of one or two miles over rough or uneven terrain. Temperatures will range from 35°F to 80°F depending on the area of the country, time of day, and altitude (between 3000 – 7000 ft.).

Itinerary

Day 1

USA

Depart the USA on your independent flight to South Korea.

Day 2

Seoul-Incheon, Korea

Arrive in Seoul and transfer to the Hyatt Regency Incheon Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 3

Seoul-Incheon / Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

After breakfast at the hotel depart for your flight to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival transfer to the Kempinski Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4

Ulaanbaatar / Hustai National Park

Today we visit the Mongolian Museum of Natural History with an excellent exhibit on dinosaur fossils, many of which were recovered from the areas we are about to explore. We then make our way to Hustai National Park where we search for the wild Przewalski’s horses that call the park home. This rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse was at one time extinct in the wild, but has been successfully reintroduced to its native habitat throughout Mongolia. Dinner and overnight at Hustai Ger Camp.

Day 5

Hustai National Park / Ulaanbaatar

We rise early this morning to seek out Mongolia’s abundant wildlife—including more Przewalski’s horses, Amur falcon, red deer, and wolves—on either a leisurely nature walk or half-day hike to Moilt Camp. We reconvene and drive to the southern steppes to see the Neolithic Ongut graves. Late this afternoon, we return to Ulaanbaatar for dinner and overnight at the Kempinski Hotel.

Day 6

Ulaanbaatar / Dalanzadgad / Gurvansaikhan National Park

After an early breakfast we fly to Dalanzadgad and travel in 4x4 vehicles through the mystical Gobi Desert. Upon arrival at the Dungenee Ger Camp, we spend an afternoon at leisure, followed by dinner and overnight.

Day 7

Gurvansaikhan National Park

Accompanied by naturalist guides, we hike through the stunning Yol Valley to learn more about the Gobi’s resident wildlife. After a picnic lunch, we take a guided tour of the Valley of Yol Museum. Dinner is followed by a performance from local Mongolian entertainers. Overnight at our ger camp.

Day 8

Gurvansaikhan National Park / Singing Sands

Our caravan of 4x4 vehicles trek farther west through the amazing Gobi landscape and concludes at Hongoriin Els or “the Singing Sands.” These giant white sand dunes rise like a mountain range from the desert floor, reaching hundreds of feet, and continuing for miles in every direction. A short climb to the top of the dunes rewards us with stunning views at sunset. Dinner and overnight at Singing Sands Ger Camp.

Day 9

Singing Sands / Flaming Cliffs

Rise early this morning to capture the spectacular sunrise above the waking desert. After breakfast we visit a traditional camel-herding family’s home and take an optional camel ride across the desert plains. We then drive to the Three Camel Lodge for check-in and lunch, and venture out to visit the Flaming Cliffs, famous for their concentration of dinosaur fossils. Dinner and overnight at our lodge.

Day 10

Dalanzadgad / Ulaanbaatar

Today we return to Ulaanbaatar, via Dalanzadgad, and spend the afternoon touring Mongolia’s capital and largest city. Dinner and overnight at the Kempinski Hotel.

Day 11

Ulaanbaatar

This morning we continue our tour of Ulaanbaatar with a visit to the Winter Palace Museum and the Gandan Monastery. After lunch, Mongolian athletes, clad in colorful costumes, treat us to a private outdoor display of two nationally-celebrated traditional sports—wrestling and archery. We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Ulaanbaatar, followed by an overnight at our hotel.

Day 12

Ulaanbaatar / Onon River

Today we fly to the Onon River region, most famous as the land where Chinggis Khaan was born and where the Mongolian empire was established. Upon arrival board rafts for a float down the calm, crystal clear waters of the Onon to our private river-side ger camp where we enjoy dinner and overnight for the next two nights.

Day 13

Onon River

Explore the Onon River’s incredible environs, choosing from a variety of activities: float, fly fish, ride horses, hike, or search for birds—this remote region offers chances to see the black-billed capercaillie, Baikal teal, whooper swan, and great bustard. This evening we visit the log homes of the Buryat people, a distinct Mongolian tribe, and join them around an evening campfire where we are enchanted by their unique costumes and songs.

Day 14

Onon River / Jalman Meadows

This morning we fly to Jalman Meadows. Here visit local herding families for a firsthand glimpse into the daily lives of Mongolian nomadic pastoralists. Dinner and overnight in a cozy ger camp for the next two nights.

Day 15

Jalman Meadows

We take full advantage of our last day in the Mongolian countryside with horseback riding, floating down the Tuul River, and hiking. Enjoy a lecture from a local guide on Chinggis Khaan, followed by a candlelit dinner and drinks under the stars.

Day 16

Jalman Meadows / Ulaanbaatar

We drive to Ulaanbaatar this morning and, after lunch, visit the monastery-museum of Choijin Lama. This magnificent five-temple complex houses the best tsam masks in the country, among other artifacts. Dinner and overnight at the Kempinski Hotel.

Day 17

Ulaanbaatar / Seoul-Incheon, Korea

After breakfast, board your flight to Seoul-Incheon. We spend the day at leisure, enjoy dinner together, and overnight at the Hyatt Regency Incheon Hotel.

Day 18

Seoul-Incheon / USA

Transfer this morning to the airport where you connect with your independent homeward flight.

Departures

Pricing Information

Land-based Accommodations

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights. As such, our air team is well-versed in planning complex routings for our travelers.