Discovering Zavkhan Province

Experience the life of nomadic horse and camel herders, the life of the descendants of Chinggis in the pristine beauty of the country. Visit places where desert borders lush green forests and where sand-dunes embrace clear streams and lakes.

Riding across majestic sand-dunes you will imagine yourself as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, and riding horses in the foothills of the sacred Mount Otgontenger you can feel the excitement of galloping across wide valleys, and through green hills.

Day 1 

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and transfer to a 4 star hotel. In the afternoon you will go sightseeing including visits to the Winter Palace of the last Mongolian living Buddha, the National History Museum and the Fine Arts Museum. Welcome dinner we will have in a local restaurant, overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Early in the morning you will be collected at your hotel by your guide and driver and you will head out to the west of Ulaanbaatar. The scenery is wide open steppe with rolling hills in the background. You will stop at a place called “Sand Stripe” and have a packed lunch. You will reach Karakorum in the afternoon. Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, is now a small township. On arrival the first and most obvious landmarks are the massive walls of the Erdenezuu Monastery. This Monastery was built in the 1586 and is surrounded by a massive 400m x 400m wall. Only a few temples remain standing after the communist purges. In previous times the grounds held over 60 temples with 10,000 monks using them for their daily worship. You will visit this Monastery and then head onto the Karakorum ger camp. Dinner and overnight will be at the ger camp.

Day 3

In the morning we will visit the Erdenezuu Monastery built on the site of the ancient Karakorum. Then we will head back and after 4 hours of driving, we will reach Mount Khogno Khan. On arrival you will make your way to the ger camp at the base of Mount Khogno Khan. This mountain is perfect for some afternoon hiking and there are some remains of an ancient monastery that should be explored. Dinner and overnight will be at the ger camp.

Day 4

We will drive back to Ulaanbaatar and get transferred to the hotel upon arrival.

Day 5

After a relaxed morning at the hotel you will be transferred to the airport for a flight to Tosontsengel. Your guide will accompany you on board and after an hour and half you will arrive in the jewel of the Khangai Mountains. On arrival we will meet the rest of our staff and drive to the Ider river via Mergen Pass. The Ider river is fed by the Khangai Mountain Range. We will set our tented camp on the banks of the Ider river.

Day 6

We hit the road again and now head to Lake Bayan via Lake Telmen, Songino, and Santmargats villages. Our destination, Lake Bayan, is surrounded by sand- dunes and is like a blue gem set in a golden ring. We will reach the lake in the late afternoon and set up base camp at its shore. Dinner and overnight will be in the camp.

Day 7

Our camel men will come after breakfast and they will help you to choose a camel and give you a short briefing. Then we will mount our camels and ride for a while to get used to the tack and the camels. In the afternoon we will ride along the shore of the lake. Lake Bayan is a small salt lake laying close to Bor Khyar sand-dunes. Overnight in the same camp.

Day 8

In the morning we will start our linear ride across the sand-dunes heading due south. We will take a packed lunch and cross the sand-dune until we reach the Khungiin River. Our support vehicles will drive around the sand-dunes and will meet us with the tents having been set up and warm showers waiting for you. The total riding distance is 25km.

Day 9

Today we will continue our ride along the sand-dunes and the river. The ride is about 20km. The vehicles will drive ahead and have our camp set up by the time you arrive. Dinner and overnight in the camp.

Day 10

We will continue further south into Gobi and drive via Uliastai, the central town of Zavkhan Province, until we reach Lake Nart at the lower reaches of Mount Otgontenger. The lake lays at the northern edge of the Dayan Mountain Range, and is a pretty spot surrounded by larch forest. From here we can see the majestic and snow-capped dome of Mount Otgontenger. We stay overnight next to the lake. This evening we will meet our horsemen.

Day 11

After many days of camel riding and driving we will have a short ride out to Khokh nuur or Blue Lake, a favorite summer camp of local families. We will visit a nomadic family there and learn about there lifestyle, and tast ‘fermented mare's milk, the adorned drink of the Mongols. We will have our packed lunch in that area. The total riding distance is about 20-25km. We return to our base camp at Lake Nart and have dinner and overnight.

Day 12

We start our linear horse journey, beginning along the valley floor of Lake Tsagaan. By lunch time we will reach Doloogiin Pass where our cook will be waiting to spoil you. We will reach Shireegiin River by late afternoon and rest in our tented camp.

Day 13

A day of rest with some gentle riding through the forested hills surrounding the Shireegiin river. From the top of the hills you will be able to observe the beautiful vista of Myangan and Mount Otgontenger. Lunch will be served in the camp. In the afternoon you can ride, hike or rest. This is our last day with the horses.

Day 14

Today we will drive towards the town of Altai. The landscape changes rapidly into a flat, barren highland. We will pass Taishir village and have lunch on the banks of the Zavkhan river. We will later continue our journey until we reach the outskirts of Altai, in the foothills of the Khaan Taishir Mountain Range.

Day 15

We will drive into the town of Altai and catch a morning flight to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival you will be taken to your hotel. Lunch will be in the Ankara restaurant, and dinner at the Seoul restaurant.

Day 16

After the long trek in the remote country you will have a day of shopping and sightseeing. We will have lunch in Pizza de la Cassa, and dinner at the Hazara restaurant, overnight in the hotel.

Day 17

You will be transferred for your international departure.

This tour can be organized as an individual request.
Prices include the following:

2 domestic flights, transportation within Mongolia. Single accommodation can be arranged at an additional cost. Tented accommodation while on trek, three meals a day, English-speaking guide,  transfers, camel or horse hire where specified, support staff including drivers, horse/camel men and camp assistants.

Prices do not include:

International transportation, travel insurance, visas, departure tax, alcoholic drinks, gratuities, items of a personal nature.

It is the responsibility of the client to be fully covered with travel and medical insurance while traveling in Mongolia.

Please note:

Upon request, single supplement in the countryside can be provided at the additional cost. In case single accommodation in ger camps was not provided the amount would be calculated based on the missing nights and reimbursed.

Nomads cannot be held responsible for over bookings, as long as the company can prove with sufficient documentation that overbooking has been the error of the third party.

Should circumstances beyond our control, such as the imposition of quarantine restrictions, any changes of domestic flight or train schedules, require a change of itinerary, we will inform your agent and propose an equivalent itinerary. Again, Nomads cannot take over the responsibility for the Airlines or the National Train Company. The traveler is responsible for having proper travel documents, such as a valid passport, proper visa and the necessary passport pictures.

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