Sounds of Silence (Camels)

Trek through the rich, varied, landscape of the Gobi desert on camelback, camping in tents under the vast Mongolian skies, visiting local nomadic herding families in their gers, exploring ancient ruins and sites of dinosaur fossil finds, and submerging yourself entirely into the peaceful silence of this immense desert, before returning to Ulaanbaatar to experience the unique contrast of the traditional and modern in Mongolia’s capital city.

Although now rare throughout the rest of the world, the two-humped Bactrian camel is common in Mongolia. This huge, yet gentle animal is the main source of milk and transport in the Gobi desert. The Mongolian Gobi consists of 33 different desert landscapes. On our camel trek in the lost country we will ride through colourful valleys to the picturesque range of the vast Khongor sand dunes, through rough but green saxaul forests to the ancient sea beds where dinosaur fossils are found by both locals nomads and professional archeologists. On the back of this gentle and comfortable animal we will reach the oases of Naran Daats and Zulganai, and follow in the footsteps of the original dinosaur hunters at Khermen Tsav flaming cliffs. We will leave the sounds and stresses of modern life far behind us as we immerse ourselves in the peace of the desert, where deep silence surrounds you. Throughout this exciting and fun trek we will have wonderful opportunities to enjoy the varied wildlife of the Gobi: Ibex; Argali; wild asses; gazelles; different species of vultures; gophers; northern pikas; various lizards; and even snow leopards are all to be found and with luck you may get to see some of them. We will also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit and experience the life of nomadic families

Day 1             

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to a 4 star hotel. After lunch you will have a sightseeing program in Ulaanbaatar including the Bogd Khan’s Winter Palace, and the Fine Arts Museum. There will be time for shopping. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

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Day 2

South Gobi – Khongoriin Els Sand-Dunes – 235km drive

We will take the early morning flight to Dalanzadgad. Here we will be met by our supporting vans, and after freshening up we will begin the drive to Khongoriin Els sand-dunes. Our route takes us through the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range, where there is ample opportunity to see the wildlife of the Gobi, including: Ibex; Argali (big horned wild sheep); various small birds; and gophers. We arrive at the Khongoriin Els sand-dunes in the early evening and will establish camp near the Tsonjiin Khotgor, 25 km from the Khongor sand-dunes. We will meet herders and their camels here.


Day 3

Camel trek – Zuun Shurguul – 20km

Our trek starts early in the morning after a sumptuous breakfast in the middle of the Gobi desert. Today will be a full day of camel riding, to the Zuun Shurguul. Zuun Shurguul is a dense Gobi forest of saxsaul and tooroi trees, and tall grasses. Riding camels is relatively easy, due to their gentle gait and soft, comfortable backs. Mongolians use bright, colourful, hand-made saddles for riding, which sit between the two humps of the camels. We will camp in the area of Zuun shurguul in the early evening. Dinner and camp for the night.


Day 4

Camel trek - Chono Kharaikh – Gilbent

Today, we continue our exotic trek to the Gilbent mountain range. This range, though low, is nonetheless impressive, rising from the desert plain. We will reach Gilbent and camp at the foot of this small hill. Dinner and camp for the night.


Days 5-6

Camel trek - Ukhaa Tolgod

Today we continue our ride to Ukhaa Tolgod which are are the flaming cliffs where a number of dinosaur fossils have been found. We will have dinner and camp for the night.


Days 7-8

Camel trek - Daatsiin Khooloi- Oyodoliin Khudag – 25km

Our trek continues today with a ride through the Gurvan Tesiin Valley. By now, we will be professional camel riders! We will pass the beautiful Nemegt Mountain range to the north and the Khuren Khanan Mountain range to the south. Our destination for the night is Oyodoliin Khudag, where we will have dinner and set up camp.


Day 9

Oyodolyn khudag – Zulganai

Today we drive to another oasis called Zulganai, where tall grasses grow almost to the sky, and many plants endemic to the Gobi grow. Here, you can expect to see ducks in the Zulganai River, which is an atypical Gobi habitat. However, Zulganai still reminds you of the mountain steppe area, and you’ll still feel sand under your feet. We will camp here for the night.


Day 10

Day trip to Khermen tsav

We head to Khermen Tsav today. Kherem means ‘wall,’ and tsav means ‘cracked’ or ‘broken.’ This cracked wall of mud rock stretches from the northwest to the southwest. The formation of Khermen Tsav resembles unfinished artistic architecture and well-designed red brick buildings of ancient cities. Many dinosaur fossils were found here among the saxaul forest and desert plants. We will camp here for two nights.


Day 11

Tsagaan Cave – 280km drive

After a relaxing morning at the camp we will drive to Bayan Gobi soum. Here we will visit Tsagaan cave, located in Tsakhir Mountain. This cave housed Stone Age man some 700,000 years ago, and has been the site of numerous archeological digs. We will have dinner and camp overnight at Tsakhir Mountain.


Day 12

Lake Orog – 150 km drive

After a relaxing morning at the camp we will drive towards Lake Orog which lies on the north side of the Ikh Bogd Mountain range. The Lake’s shore is a bird paradise. We will camp overnight on the bank of the Tuin River.


Day 13

Bayankhongor town

Today we continue the drive to Bayankhongor. On the way we will see the Ikh Bogd Mountain range, revealing such natural beauties as Bituut rock, formed after a large chunk of rock was dislodged in the 1957 earthquake.


Day 14

Karakorum

Today we will drive towards Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia. There is a small local township there now. On arrival the first and most obvious landmark is 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. Overnight at Anar ger camp.


Day 15

Return to Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast you will drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Though the driving distance is bit long, we will have several stops for lunch and some refreshment. One of the stops will be at Elsen Tasarhai or the “sand strips” where you can see mighty Khugnu Khan Mountain together with the beautiful sand dune. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.

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Day 16                       

Departure

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure.

Departure code and date:
NCA-012, 28 Aug-12 Sep, 2017

Price per person for a group more than 9 people: USD3.186

Single supplement: USD220
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.

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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