- Duration 12 or 14 days
- Difficulty 4/5
- Group Size 10
11 – 22 or 24 September, 2024
Mongolia, land of Genghis Khan, land of expansive vistas, land of gers (felt tents) a country of nomads where hospitality is unsurpassed. Buddhism and shamanism, eagle hunters, throat singers and contortionists, archers, camel herders and dinosaur fossils, wildlife, horses and exciting ethnic groups: we will immerse ourselves in it all.
We have been many times to Mongolia and know the country well, having travelled throughout its regions. At one stage we even had an apartment in Ulaanbaatar.
On the expedition we will explore the nature and wildlife of the Gobi Desert, climb the famous Moltsog Els sand dunes, trek in the mountains looking for elusive and rare animals, such as snow leopards and Przewalski’s wild horses, search for dinosaur fossils at the Flaming Cliffs and spend time with the locals learning the traditional ways of the herders. We will fully immerse with the Kazakhs, just one of the ethnic groups of semi-nomads, who are known for their relationship with trained golden eagles which they use for hunting. We will ride horses with them, learn their ways, laugh hard with them and fall in love with their eagles. It is a total sensory overload, one that we intend to completely indulge in.
The map is a visual representation of the locations included in this trip. Click over the image to zoom into the map. For more information, please refer to the itinerary for this expedition.
USD $8950.00 Per person sharing without Hustai Nuruu
Single Supplement: USD $850.00 Per person without Hustai Nuruu
USD $825.00 Per person sharing in Hustai Nuruu
Single Supplement: USD $170.00 in Hustai Nuruu
Arrival: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Departure: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Arrival: 11th September, 2024
Departure: 22nd or 24th September, 2024
- Land transportation as indicated in the itinerary.
- Accommodations in a standard room at hotels and gers, tents or family stays in the countryside based on double occupancy.
- Sleeping bags, expedition style tents and mats.
- Airport arrival & departure transfers.
- Meals throughout the expedition.
- All entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.
- One or two Pete Oxford Expeditions trip leaders (depending on group size).
- English-speaking guide throughout your stay.
- A bottle of water per day and an unlimited supply of boiled water.
- International airfare.
- Personal laundry and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Travel insurance.
- Medical evacuation costs.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Visa fees.
- Any other services not mentioned as included.
- Any COVID 19 related costs.
A Day 1, September 11th, 2024: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
Upon arrival at the airport, we transfer to our hotel, the perfectly located Best Western Tuushin in downtown Ulaanbaatar. In the evening we will do a pre-trip briefing and welcome dinner at one of the city’s fine restaurants and have our first real taste of Mongolian cuisine.
B Day 2, September 12th, 2024: Fly to Bayan Olgii
We fly to the westernmost province of Bayan-Olgii and to the city of Olgii. The province borders China and Russia. The majority of the population is Kazakh and famed for using golden eagles to hunt. Upon arrival we meet our local drivers and transfer to Altai Sum 125 km west of the capital. We meet the local families and their eagles and even assist in their daily chores of herding and looking after their yaks and sheep. The Kazak woman are skilled in embroidery and their homes are beautifully decorated with uniquely designed tapestries particular to each family. Here we will be staying in tents and using communal gers.
C Day 3, September 13th, 2024: Altai Sum & Riding with eagle hunters
Our day will be spent riding on horse-back with eagle hunters into the mountains. Surrounded by rocky landscapes and crisp mountain air, the Kazakh hunters will show us the different techniques and tools used in golden eagle hunting. Eagles are caught from the wild and used for hunting for about 10 years then released back into the wild. We will also learn how the Kazakhs train their birds and take care of them. We will eat local food and spend time with the nomadic families. Staying in tents and using communal gers.
D Days 4 & 5, September 14th & 15th, 2024 : Altai mini local Eagle Festival
For the next two days we will be the guests of honour at a mini golden eagle festival. Eagle hunters will compete between themselves on all aspects of the art of falconry. It is fascinating and we will become totally drawn in to their world. There will be more time to interact with the eagle hunters on a one-on-one basis and end up with stunning photos. We will no doubt be asked to help with some herding or milking of their yaks and sheep once again. Staying in tents and using communal gers.
A Day 6, September 16th, 2024 : Ulaanbaatar
After an early breakfast, we drive back to Olgii then fly to Ulaanbaatar. The afternoon will be at leisure for individual sight-seeing or shopping, with dinner at a fine local restaurant. Mongolian cuisine is a reflection of the climate of the region and is largely made up of dairy products and a variety of meats. One local dish you may enjoy is boodog, which is meat cooked using hot stones. When the meat is finished these warm stones are given to those eating the boodog to roll in their palms. It is believed that this process will help alleviate fatigue and increase stamina.
Overnight Best Western Tuushin Hotel.
A Day 7, September 17th, 2024: Ulaanbaatar
Today we will visit the impressive Gandan Monastery followed by a trip to the National Museum offering an excellent introduction to Mongolia’s history from pre-historic times through to the 13th century Mongolian Empire, and onto the democratic movement of the early 1990’s, which overthrew the Communist regime. In the evening we will attend a traditional Mongolian music and dance performance. Khoomii or ‘throat’ singing is fascinating to watch and always very popular with our guests. Dinner will be in a local restaurant and we will overnight in the Best Western Tuushin Hotel.
E Day 8, September 18th, 2024: South Gobi
In the morning we will either drive or fly (flight schedules are not yet available) to the Dalanzadgad in the south of the Gobi Desert for wildlife viewing opportunities. We will meet our local drivers and drive on to the Gobigurvansaikhan National Park where we may spot the massive lammergeiers, wild argali sheep or Siberian ibex. Time allowing we will have our first attempt at finding a snow leopard. We will be staying in Gobi Mirage Ger camp.
F Day 9, September 19th, 2024: Moltsog Els Dunes
We wake up early in the morning to visit one of the potential sites for spotting an elusive Snow Leopard in the mountains of Baruun Saikhan. Stories of Snow Leopard encounters in these mountains are told by young and old. There are many eyewitnesses who have seen them and there is no household that has not lost an animal or two to these big cats every year. Following a local ranger, we will be visiting some of the sites, including water holes, where all the creatures of these mountains come for water. With help of motion sensor cameras some amazing footages of Snow Leopards were taken at this spot. After lunch visit Moltsog Els dunes, one of the few areas covered with sand. We will look for an opportunity to visit a camel herder family. Returning to the camp in time for dinner we overnight at Gobi Mirage Ger camp.
G Day 10, September 20th, 2024: Flaming Cliffs
After breakfast, we go back to the Baruun Saikhan to try our luck again for the Snow Leopard. In the evening, we will drive to the legendary Flaming Cliffs. The cliffs are a red sandstone escarpment stretching above the desert where the first fossilized dinosaur eggs were found in the early 20th century. Each year rain and wind expose more of the underlying earth and reveal more fossils. New and exciting discoveries are frequently made. We will visit one of the lesser-visited areas and spend the evening looking for dinosaur fossils. After a picnic dinner at the cliffs we return to Gobi Mirage Ger camp.
A Day 11, September 21st, 2024 : Ulaanbaatar
This morning we will either drive or fly (if flight schedule works) back to Ulaanbaatar for individual sightseeing, souvenir shopping and exploration of the city before our farewell dinner for those ending the trip here. Overnight in the Best Western Tuushin Hotel.
A Day 12, September 22nd, 2024: Departure from Ulaanbaatar for those leaving Mongolia today.
After one last taste of Mongolia this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flights home. Here the trip ends.
H Day 12, September 22nd, 2024 : Ulaanbaatar / Hustai Nuruu National Park Extension
We drive to Hustai Nuruu National Park where the once critically endangered Przewalski’s horse now thrives. After the last individuals disappeared from the wild in Mongolia in the late 1960s, genetically pure animals were bred in captivity and have been reintroduced into three distinctive habitats across Mongolia. Overnight in Hustai Nuruu Ger Camp.
A Day 13, September 23rd, 2024: Hustai Nuruu / Gengis Khan statue
Morning at the park. After lunch return to Ulaanbaatar for individual sightseeing and exploration of the city before dinner. For those who do not want to shop, we can visit the biggest equestrian statue of Genghis Khan located about an hour drive east of Ulaanbaatar and return to the city in early evening for dinner. Overnight in the Best Western Tuushin Hotel
A Day 14, September 24th, 2024: Departure from Ulaanbaatar
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Here the trip ends.
Discover the world with experienced travelers
Photographer | Owner | Trip Leader
Pete and Reneé have spent a lot of time in Mongolia they were even at the first ever Kazakh Eagle Festival. They have travelled extensively across the country with special government permissions, where necessary, to photograph sensitive subjects. They have stayed (often) with locals in the middle of the Gobi desert in their felt gers, been ice-fishing in the depths of winter in the Darkhad Depression, been caught in a tremendous sandstorm, come within meters, on foot, of a wild wolf and trekked with camels to the Flaming Cliffs. Pete’s most frustrating moment was driving alongside running wolves being mobbed by ravens but, at forty degrees below zero in the harsh winter the jeeps windows were frozen shut and he was unable to photograph!
Logistics | Owner | Trip Leader
Traveling with Pete, Reneé’s experiences were also like nothing she had ever been through. From sleeping (in a double sleeping bag) on the permafrost inside a Tsaatan reindeer herder’s wigwam in winter to milking camels for afternoon tea and taking lessons from Mongolian contortionists and throat singers! Some of Reneé’s most rewarding memories are tied to her interactions with the fabulous nomadic herders, far from the city. They are wonderful people to be around. Both Pete and Reneé are very excited about the prospect of this upcoming trip full of new realities, adventure and fun.