Shape, Shades and Colors of the Gobi

This expedition takes you through the Gobi desert, exploring some of the most remarkable and untouched parts of the country. The journey gives you an experience of the immensity, richness and intensity of colours and shapes of one of the driest deserts in the world. From South Gobi province we visit Eagle Valley in the Altai Mountains and the enormous ‘Singing’ sand dunes. We then continue our trip to Bayankhongor Province.

While driving across the desert we will explore both historical and natural sites, which are enthralling but rarely visited such as the rock paintings at Mount Ikh Bayan, the oasis at Zuun Mod, and the fossilized remains of dinosaurs and other fresh-water inhabitants at Bugiin Tsav.

We then make our way to our welcoming hosts in the Gobi. The people of the Gobi are famous for their memorable hospitality and warmth. With them we will observe some of the survival methods that the nomads have refined over thousands of years in order to live and prosper in this harsh environment.

Atop the gently rocking comfort of the camel’s back we leave the succor of family life and venture back into the wilderness, far from any signs of life or human habitation. While our camels take us on safari we will experience “how time goes by” in the heart of the desert. There is no rush or hurry, only the endless singing of the wind.

Before returning to Ulaanbaatar we drive through Ikh Bogd Mountain, which is a massive mountain in the Gobi with the tranquil Lake Orog at its foothills.

Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

On arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you will be met at the airport and transferred to a three star hotel. After Lunch you will have some sightseeing program including the Dinosaurs Museum, the highlight of this museum is the huge skeleton of a dinosaur that was found in the Mongolian Gobi and the National History Museum. In the evening you will have folklore performance followed by welcome dinner at a recommended restaurant.


Day 2 Flight to Dalanzadgad, South Gobi – Yolyn Am

Today you will take a flight to the capital of the South Gobi Province, Dalanzadgad either in the morning or afternoon depending on the domestic schedule. The flight takes one and a half-hours. On arrival at the local airport we will be met by our local drivers who take you to Yolyn Am, the ‘Eagle Valley.’ The drive is roughly 40km. Yolyn Am is a long valley with high cliff walls, which shade some areas of the valley floor from the sun for the entire year, creating an ice gorge. Walk through the valley, see the Ibex grazing on the cliff faces and visit the Natural History Museum. The areas we will be visiting are situated in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park that encompasses the ‘Three Beauties’ peaks and the most easterly points of the Altai Mountains. We will return to the ger camp for dinner and the night.

Days 3-4 Altai Mountains – Bayanzag - Sand-Dunes – Camel ride

Today we drive west along the Altai Mountain range until we reach Khongoriin Els – the Singing Sand-Dunes. On the way we will visit Bayanzag, the famous site of dinosaur fossil finds, where even now there is an abundance of precious findings. We will have our lunch at Khongoriin Els. These are Mongolia’s largest sand- dunes, reaching a height of 800 meters in some areas. The contours of the dunes give the impression of a beautiful silk scarf dropped in the middle of nowhere. Mount Sevrei lies to the south of the dunes and the Khongoriin Gol (River) runs along the northern edges enabling lush green grass to grow, contrasting beautifully with the yellows of the dunes. We will stay for two nights in our tented camp near the sand dunes. The colour of the sand-dunes changes with each hour of the day, from yellow to silver to rose-coloured at dawn. On our second day we will enjoy this impressive scenery by hiking, taking pictures or just relaxing. There will be an opportunity to explore the surroundings on camels, with our guide.

Days 5-6 Bugiin Tsav, Naran Daats & Zuun Mod – dinosaur excavation site & more colours and camels of the Gobi

Today we will drive to Bugiin Tsav, where fossilized remains of dinosaurs and other fresh-water inhabitants have been found. These findings are a clear indication that this part of the Mongolian Gobi was a depository or fresh-water riverbed some 100-200 million years ago. Some scholars believe that further dinosaur remains may be found here. The second we will drive in the direction of Zuun Mod, the beautiful oasis in the desert with low sand dunes and with trees and bushes. We have a very good chance of meeting a nomadic family that breeds camels and other domestic animals. We will spend a day riding camels and sharing their nomadic lifestyle. Nomadic people are very hospitable and always pleased and excited to see guests. After the camels are arranged, we start our “camel safari.” On the camel’s back we will experience a different quality of time. In the evening we will return to the family, and we will share a traditional Mongolian meal of ‘buuz’ with them, having a good time at the fire place…

Day 7 Mount Burkhad

Some people would recommend this place for rock climbing, but you do not need to be so sporty to enjoy this camping spot. the black of the mountain goes beautifully with the reddish colours of the cliff and within you find greenish trees (Tooroi). It's a great place to stroll around or to relax.

Day 8 Mount Ikh Bayan – Bronze Age cave painting

Today we will drive to Mount Ikh Bayan. During the Bronze Age this area was full of life. The ecological environment allowed the growth of rich vegetation. Huge forests, meadows and lakes covered the landscape. Consequently the wildlife was varied and humans have benefited from it for thousands of years. Their vibrant lifestyle is reflected in the gallery of ancient stone paintings. We will stay here overnight and have enough time to track down the remains of that period the next morning.

Day 9 Ancient Stone paintings - Ikh Bogd Mountain range & Tsagaan Bulag

Spend the morning with discovering the ancient stone paintings before heading to Tsagaan Bulag, via Bayangobi. Ikh Bogd Mountain range dominates the valley in which this small town is located. The landscape is of vast open space stretching to the horizon, with colorful low hills in the distance and the massive Mount Ikh Bogd lying behind. We will then continue to a place called Tsagaan Bulag, which some locals believe that aliens left some traces behind having once visited Mongolia. Looking at the shape you may imagine a head and a handprint! Mongolians would visit this place not only for this curiosity but to heal their kidney problems. Tented overnight

Day 10 Tsagaan Cave

Today we will make an early start and continue driving towards Bayankhongor Province, and onto Tsagaan Agui, or the ‘White Cave.’ Results of archeological research have proven that man lived in these caves some 700 thousand years ago. While exploring the caves the tented camp will be pitched, to await your arrival, so you can recover from the long day of driving. The cook is waiting to spoiling you!

Day 11 Lake Orog, Mount Ikh Bogd

After breakfast we will drive around Mount Ikh Bogd and onto Lake Orog. This lake rests at the foothills of Ikh Bogd Mountain. It is a picturesque spot with grazing camels on its shore and a rich bird habitation. You might spot swans, whose white bodies contrast beautifully with the blue-greenish colours of the lake. Here we will set up camp for the night. There will be time for a walk and if a nomadic family is around you are welcome to try riding a Mongolian horse.

Day 12 Bayankhongor

Today we will drive towards the township of Bayankhongor. The previous night’s camp will be close to the city so we will have time the next day to discover the city that is named after the colour of a horse. Starting with Erdenemandal, a hill situated in the city, we will have a good overview of the layout of Bayankhongor. We will visit the local museum while your cook will ‘hunt’ fresh meat for the traditional meal, which is called ‘Khorkhog’. The meal is mutton cooked slowly in a huge metal urn with vegetables, water and hot rocks taken from the flaming fire. The meat becomes soft and tasty and the water turns into a thick meaty broth. It is a delight for Mongolians and visitors alike. Tented overnight.

Days 13-14 Driving towards the old capital of Monglia - Karakorum

Today we will start to drive towards Karakorum. This is your last tented overnight! We will reach the ancient capital on the afternoon of the second day. There is a small township there now. On arrival, the first and most obvious landmark is the massive wall of the Erdenezuu Monastery. This Monastery was built in 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 10000 monks using them for their daily worship. Overnight at Anar ger camp.

Day 15 Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast you will drive back to Ulaanbaatar, which is a full day drive. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel – happy to take a long and well-deserved shower! The farewell dinner will be at a recommended restaurant.


Day 16 Departure

You will be transferred to the airport for your international departure after breakfast.

Departure code and date:
NSA-008  10-25 Sep, 2018

Price per person for a group more than 9 people: USD3.124

Single supplement: USD230

Prices include the following

A domestic flight, transportation within Mongolia, twin accommodation in a 4 star hotel. Single accommodation can be arranged at an additional cost. Tented accommodation while on trek, three meals a day, English-speaking guide, all sightseeing costs, 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, sleeping bag.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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