-in the near Gobi-
Surprisingly near the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, the Gobi gradually begins to appear. We will travel south over vast steppe land before meeting our camel herdsmen, who will go with us on this exciting journey. Westerners perceive the Gobi as a desert but actually most of it is a semi-desert steppe. We will trek in an area where the steppe gives way to sandy subsoil and there is a 20 km long sand dune. All herdsmen lead a traditional way of life here.
Brief Outline Itinerary
On this journey we use low impact traditional modes of transport. Our equipment will be carried on camel carts in the same way nomadic herders transport their belongings, moving from one pasture to another. In this area camels are used for this purpose. We will also carry a ger, which is the traditional felt tent that Mongols live in today. Essentially, it means that we can use the services of the local people living in the area where we travel. This kind of a trip is what we have labeled A Nomadic Journey. The herdsmen are the experts and we will be able to get a first hand experience of how to move a camp the traditional Mongolian way.
Day 1: Ulaanbaatar
Evening get-together in a Ulaanbaatar restaurant. Dinner. Ulaanbaatar accommodation and transfers available at discounted prices.
Day 2: Drive south
A.m. Drive to the south over the treeless steppe. In the afternoon we reach Semjit Hairhan, giant rock formations coming almost straight up from the surrounding steppe. Here we meet with the camel herdsmen and pitch our camp on the steppe. Scan the ridges of the surrounding hills and rocks for Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon), the largest wild mountain sheep in the world. All wildlife viewing requires a great portion of luck. Overnight in tents.
Day 3-5: Camel trek
We will trek for a three full days across the treeless steppe meeting nomadic herdsmen families on the way. Our hosts in the area are the related to one third of the local population. During the last day we will trek through Arburd Sands, a 20km long sand dune. Strange enough, a good number wolves - being wary of man - have taken refuge in these dunes and can sometimes be seen. We have brought one ger (yurt) which will be our mobile restaurant. Tents, all provisions and a cook are provided. All equipment will be loaded onto camel carts. There will be one or two riding camels so that we can try some riding as well. Herdsmen will follow the carts. We will make contact with other herdsmen. We will no doubt be invited into the gers and learn about their ancient lifestyle. Overnight in tents.
Day 6: Bogd Khan Mountain
A.m. drive back to Ulaanbaatar. On the way we will visit the Bogd Uul Biosphere Reserve and the site of the ruins of Manzushir monastery.
This is the southernmost point of the taiga in the area and we will get up into the hills and some nice forests. Red deer (Cervus elaphus) can usually be seen here. Back in Ulaanbaatar check into the hotel. Additional treks: You have the choice to stay another day or two in Ulaanbaatar or transfer out to your next destination via Beijing. We, however, recommend that you join our Yak Trek for one more week of exciting adventure in a contrasting environment of rivers, steppe valleys, meadows and deep forests. Check our dates!
Nomadic Style Journey:
Transport: Mongolian families frequently move from one pasture to other using traditional wooden carts. These are pulled by the kind of animals available in the region. Here we will use camels and horses. The services of some herdsmen will be hired by the expedition and they will provide us with their animals.
Staff: A Mongolian leader will accompany the group at all times. The service will be in English. Other language interpreters are available upon request. There will also be an assistant and a cook. In addition, the services of the local herdsmen will be hired along with their animals.
Meals: Our cook will prepare the meals. We pride ourselves in having cooks adept at both western and Mongolian cooking on our trips. There are always vegetables available and we have no problem accommodating vegetarians
on our trips. For breakfast we can usually buy fresh yogurt from the herdsmen
in the local area.
Camel riding: If you would like to have your own camel to ride during the trek, this can be arranged at the time of booking for an additional cost. This cost is payable in Mongolia only. Mongolian camels are Bactrian (two humped) and easy to ride even without previous experience.
Riding horses: There will be an opportunity for experienced riders at the time of booking to order a riding horse. This cost is payable in Mongolia only. Mongolian horses are peculiar and horsemanship is somewhat different among the Mongols as compared to home. We suggest you bring your own riding hat with you.
PRICE ex Ulaanbaatar: USD 590 per person
Single ger/tent supplement: USD 120 per person
Rent of riding horse or camel: USD 35 per day
Private trip supplement: USD 200 per person
Transfer and hotel nights in Ulan Bator are excluded and may be added at a discounted rate USD 100 per person in shared double (2 overnights, 2 breakfasts, 2 transfers) if adjacent to the trek dates.
Pls. note that groups having less than 5 people will carry no ger (yurt). Just tents.
Includes: Guide and all meals outside Ulaanbaatar. Tents, ger camp (4n.), camping equipment and all local transport.
Excludes: Imported drinks, laundry, rent of riding horse.
DATES ex. Ulaanbaatar: 2011
CML 01: 11-15May (We-Su)
CML 02: 21-25May (Sa-We)
CML 03: 31May-04Jun (Tu-Sa)
CML 04: 10-14Jun (Fr-Tu)
CML 05: 20-24Jun (Mo-Fr)
CML 06: 30Jun-04Jul (Th-Mo)
CML 07: 12-16Jul (Tu-Sa)
CML 08: 22-26Jul (Fr-Tu)
CML 09: 01-05Aug (Mo-Fr)
CML 10: 11-15Aug (Th-Mo)
CML 11: 21-25Aug (Su-Th)
CML 12: 31Aug-04Sep (We-Su)
CML 13: 10-14Sep (Sa-We)
Private departures: On request, and if available, the Camel Trek may operate on any day. Before or after the season an additional ger (instead of tent) is added, in order to provide warmth on the cold nights.
Family Treks: If you are a family with children, book early, but we are happy to set aside any date – except CML06 - as a specific family departure.