This trip encompasses the many stunning highlights of the world famous Gobi desert, as well as the lush, green surroundings of Central and Northern Mongolia. Driving south from Ulaanbaatar, you will pass through the Middle and Southern regions of the desert, allowing you to experience the vastness of this special landscape. Among the rolling sand dunes and hills, activities include riding the two humped Bactrian camels through the desert, visiting a Nomadic family, as well as enjoying the spectacular sunrises and sunsets that are on offer each day. Included is a trip to the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, known for its iconic sand dunes, ice canyon, flaming cliffs, lime stone formations, as well as many geological and archeological sites.
After wandering around the Gobi, we will then head north to Central Mongolia. Here you will enjoy spectacular and lush greenery, swimming in freshwater lakes and waterfalls, as well as many famous cultural sites. Highlights include the ancient capital Khar Khorin, the Erdenezuu monastery, as well as visiting Khustai National Park to catch a glimpse of the Mongolian wild horses.
Northern Mongolia is the perfect destination for those who enjoy outdoor activities and wildlife. Lake Khuvsgul, which contains 65 percent of all the fresh water in Mongolia, is ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The surrounding mountains and forests are perfectly suited for wildlife observation, as they provide a habitat for more than sixty species. The Uran-Togoo Tulga Natural Reserve is also a great place to observe the variety of bird life and mammals, as well as explore the various hiking trails. Northern Mongolia is also home to the famous Tsaatan Reindeer people, an ethnic group that has remained virtually unchanged since the Ice Age.
| Baga Gazriin Chuluu – a rock formation
|| Horse riding at Lake Khuvsgul
|Tsagaan Suvarga- an ancient limestone|| Camel riding by the sand dunes
| Yoliin Am Valley
||Swimming in the great lakes|
| Khongor Els- Sand Dunes
|| Historical sites
| Ongiin Khiid-Temple
|| Cultural Experiences
|Orkhon Waterfall|| Geological & Archaeological sites
|Kharkhorin – Ancient Capital City||Ger Nomadic family ger stay|
|Erdene Zuu, Monastery||Hiking|
|Tsenher Hot Springs||Boating|
|Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur-Great White Lake|
As a Mongolian company we prefer to support Nomadic families financially and help support their livelihoods. We are sure this resonates with our travellers who enjoy engaging with their culture on The Steppe. It is therefore our preference to stay with these families if they have an extra Ger. As well as directly supporting local herders, you can experience this rich traditional way of life first hand.
Tour departure times can be flexible, however, 8 am on the morning of departure is recommended. The driver and guide can pick you up from the airport, train station, or your accommodation to suit your requirements.
20% discount: 4-15 year old children
|Total people in Group||Cost per Person|
|1 person||US$ 4370|
|2 people||US$ 2660|
|3 people||US$ 1710|
|4 people||US$ 1425|
|5 people||US$ 1140|
|6 people||US$ 1045|
You are welcome to choose your own dates to travel. If you want to join a tour with other travellers, please see below Dates & Availability!
|wdt_ID||Start Date||End Date||Availability||Tour Price p/p|
|1||04 Jun 2019||22 Jun 2019||3 Seats||From US$941|
|2||15 Jun 2019||03 Jul 2019||6 Seats||From US$941|
|6||13 Jul 2019||31 Jul 2019||2 Seats||From US$941|
After an early 7:30am breakfast, the tour begins at 8am with the drive to first destination in the Middle Gobi province. Baga Gazriin Chuluu is a range of granite hills surrounded by the desert. It is believed Chinggis Khaan grazed his horses here. These hills are a good place for scrambling and hiking. On the way to Baga Gazriin Chuluu, we will have picnic lunch at Zorgol Khairkhan Mountain. The mountain is venerated and revered by the locals, who believe it is the home of a great, benevolent spirit. First will be camping, but depending on the weather we may stay in a nomadic family ger camp.
Today’s drive will be on the paved road. After packing up the camp site, will be driving to Tsagaan Suvarga – a formation about 30 meters tall and 100 meters long and shaped very strangely, as a result of wind and water erosion over thousands of years. From a distance, it can be mistaken for the ruins of an ancient city. Lunch will be in the town of Mandalgovi (the capital of Dund-govi province)
Today we will be entering South Gobi Desert – Umnugovi province. After having breakfast, we will start the drive to Dalanzadgad city where you can have a shower, and guide will restock supplies with some fresh food. Lunch will be in a local restaurant, and we then continue to Yoliin Am (“vultures mouth”), which is a deep and narrow gorge in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park in Southern Mongolia. Yoliin Am is notable for a deep ice field. This ice field reaches several meters thick by the end of winter, and is several kilometers long and can sometimes remain frozen throughout the summer. Camping and supper will in the Valley.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Driving on this day can be adventurous, because the road is unpaved. We will start driving at 8am after breakfast.. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the gorgeous canyon, and then continue on to the last destination of the day. Khongoryn Els.
These dunes are the largest accumulation of sand in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. The spectacular dunes are bordered by lush green vegetation supported by the Khongoryn Gol river, which is fed by underground sources from surrounding mountains.
Stay in a ger camp run by the local community, including a shower.
Take the opportunity to relax and truly appreciate the surrounding landscape. You will spend the day camel riding for the day, hiking, sand sliding or hanging out with a local nomadic family. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy a shower and cold drinks from the bar/restaurant as well as a night safari tour, where we will see some of the local wildlife
Your destination on this day will be the aptly named “Flaming Cliffs”. The adventure across the vast desert landscape will continue, this time across what was a prehistoric sea bed. The flaming cliffs are a dream for fossil hunters. They were named by American adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews who found the first fossils here in 1920. The Bayanzag area is great for hiking and hunting for fossils. Stay in a family ger camp.
Early morning start at 7am after breakfast. A day to take stock in this unique city, with free time to explore the market, museum, as well as enjoy a beer while reflecting on the desert experiences. Lunch and dinner will be in a restaurant in the town, while accommodation will be in a local guesthouse.
Be ready for a refreshing swim in the waterfalls. ‘Red Flows’ is the English translation for this river. The area was formed by volcanic activity that dates back 20,000 years. This location is amazing for trekking, fishing, relaxing, and indulging your inner photographer if the weather is right for the day. Accomodation will be in a family guesthouse.
After breakfast, we begin the 130km drive to the next destination of Khar Khorin, the local town that was once the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire built by Chinggis Khan in the 13th century. Visit the magnificent Erdene Zuu monastery, Khar Khorin museum, as well as some of the rock monuments in the town. Lunch in a local café. After big day of exploring the town and its incredible history, enjoy dinner at a local family home.
This easy day starts at 9am. Start driving to Arkhangai province to relax in the hot springs. There are a mixture of outdoor and indoor pools, with men and women bathing separately. Warning: during rainy season access to the hot springs may not be possible if the river is flooded. Instead of the hot springs, you may just stay in the mountains or with a family camping near the river. Entrance to the Hot Spring is included but additional service such as pools and spa are extra.
The day starts with the drive to Tsetserleg town, where the guide will buy fresh food for the upcoming days. Visit Arkhangai Museum, and have lunch in the Fairfield Cafe run by the local community. Then continue to Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur, a volcanic lake ringed by stark rocky mountains. On the way we will take you to Chuluut River and the Khorgo Volcano. There are many natural highlights to explore in this area. Accomodation will be at a family ger camp.
You can wander along the shoreline or hike up into the volcanic mountains for amazing views. Have a relaxing day to yourself. Washing and laundry services might be available at one of the camps – please ask your guide for the details of extra services. Stay at a family ger camp.
After early morning breakfast, start driving towards Khuvsgul province and camp on the way (there is also the option to stay with a local family if it is raining).
First stop of the day will be Murun town, capital of Khuvsgul. Stock up on food from the local market, then continue to the lake. Arrive at Lake Khuvsgul which is known as the Dark Blue Pearl among beautiful mountains. There are 96 rivers and streams that flow into the lake, including the Egiin River, which then joins the Selenge along its eventual path to Lake Baikal. Lake Khuvsgul is 136 km long and 36 km wide, 262 meters deep, and located at an altitude of 1645m above sea level. Taiga fauna and flora, as well as the Tsaatan people, who practice reindeer breeding, are among the main attractions. The lake is on an important migration route for birds from Siberia, thus facilitating marvelous opportunities for bird watching. Accomodation will be at a local ger camp.
Take the opportunity to relax and truly appreciate the surrounding landscape. We will take you boat riding on the Sukhbaatar boat for about an hour before lunch. After lunch you will start the 5km hike in the mountain range. If you feel tired, you are welcome stay and relax in the peaceful surroundings. Dinner will be made by a local family local.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
After breakfast, the horse trek will start, and continue for 5 hours, with a picnic lunch, and a visit to the Tsaatan people camp. Horse riding will be along the lake and on certain trails. Accommodation will be at a family ger camp
After a hearty breakfast, the trip will begin at 7am. We have long drive to our Selenge river camping spot. Picnic lunch will be prepared by the guide. The final destination, the Selenge River is one of the most lush and beautiful parts of Mongolia. The Selenge River is a major river in Mongolia, which flows into Lake Baikal and has a length of 992 km. Camping will be by the river.
Another early morning starts at 7am after breakfast. Drive through the town of Erdenet, the third largest city for a lunch break, and then continue to Amarbayasgalant Monastery which is one of the three largest Buddhist monastic centers in Mongolia. The monastery was established and founded by the order of the Manchu emperor Enkh-Amgalan Khan to serve as a final resting place for Zanabazar. Today, 28 temples remain. The monastery and the beautiful scenery of the mountain range, just north of Amarbayasgalant, is always a favourite with travellers. Stay in a local ger camp.
Return to Ulaanbaatar with nothing but fond memories, enjoying a Mongolian lunch on the way and one last day in the wild! (380km drive) The driver will take you to your accommodation. Enjoy rest of your travels!
“I first contacted Meg to help with the logistics of photographing for a book about Mongolian nomads that would take me all over the country. I wanted to find a guide who had experience and connections within herding communities and could put together custom itineraries. Meg did a fantastic job putting together a number of excursions into the countryside that summer, and I’ve continued to work with her on a number of subsequent trips since.”
Nina Wegner & Taylor Weidman