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On this 9-day adventure tour, you will experience and visit the most authentic sites. 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.
Northern Mongolia is also home to the famous Tsaatan Reindeer Herdsmen, an ethnic group that has remained virtually unchanged since the Ice Age. The Tsaatan are reindeer herders who seemingly live on the edge of civilization. With snow-capped mountains on every side, it truly seems possible that no person has ever stepped foot in some areas of the Taiga region. The isolation is consuming and beautiful – no wonder the Tsaatan refuse to leave their home
As a Mongolian company we prefer to support Nomadic families financially, and help support their livelihoods. We are sure this resonates with our travelers 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 time is depending on your domestic flight time. The driver can pick you up from the airport, train station, or your accommodation to suit your requirements.
Most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for food will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en-route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads or local restaurants. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes. Our GUIDE will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here. Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements can be catered for but need to be specified prior to arrival.
Summer months in Mongolia are from early June to mid September. Although the Mongolian summers are hot and dry with occasional rain, the temperature can fluctuate as much 14-20 degrees centigrade between day and night. So be prepared for all weather conditions.
Sleeping bag (we can provide sleeping bag, if your luggage is full), sleeping bag liner, sunscreen, a hat, long underwear, shorts, comfortable footwear, lip balm, sanitary hand wipes, sunglasses, prescription medications (if needed), rain gear, flashlight.
We will organize a driver to take you to the airport. The domestic flight departs at 10:40 am, and arrives in Murun at 12:20pm, where you will be met by our guide and driver. The guide will take you to a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch we will drive to see Deer Stones in a Bronze Age site, created 1000-3000 years ago on the Ider River, with over 30 deer-decorated stones and carved rocks. We will then head to Ulaan Uul town, staying in a family guesthouse
After breakfast at 7am, start driving to towards taiga, where you will stay with a Darkhad ethnic nomadic family. Darkhad is a one of the nomadic ethnic groups of Mongolia, living in the Darkhad Valley. The regional variant of the Mongolian language is the Darkhad dialect. Most Darkhan practice Shamanism. After meeting our family, they will show you the horses, which you will trek to East Taiga next day. Experience the lives of nomads, herd livestock and enjoy a local dish made together with the family.
Horse trekking starts after an early morning breakfast. Today’s ride is about 5-6 hours, with a picnic lunch in the beautiful nature. Witness Taiga fauna and flora and the Tsaatan people who practice reindeer herding, and shamanistic people. F from the Russian region now known as the Republic of Tuva.
Today, for thousands of years, the Tsaatan, (or Dukha) people have lived with their reindeer on the remote steppes of central Asia. Originally from further west, in 1944 the Tsaatan fled reindeer populations are shrinking, and there are maybe only 40 families who continue to live by their ancestors’ traditional way of life. You will be staying at one of the family’s Tipis tonight.
We will spend two full days here in East Taiga. After a hearty breakfast with the family, start your cultural experience in taiga. Ride reindeer through the colourful taiga forest, and even help graze the reindeer. Learn to make local dishes with the family. Visit one of the families to experience traditional shaman practices. The Shamans are very spiritually people, chosen by their spirits at birth, when an extra soul called an udha enters them. This soul helps them gather and help with other spirits. Without this protection, rituals and other world journeys are dangerous. The shamans are also caretakers of traditional culture. Nights here offer a tremendous opportunity to gaze at the stars. Spend the night in the tipi.
After an early morning breakfast, horse trekking starts. Return to the family camp to return the horses. Stay overnight in the family ger camp.
Stare in awe at the breathtaking scenery enroute to Lake Khuvsgul. Lake Khuvsgul is known as the Dark Blue Pearl among beautiful mountains. There are 96 rivers and streams that flow into the lake, including the Ugiin 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 is located at an altitude of 1645m above sea level. The lake is on an important migration route for birds from Siberia, facilitating marvelous opportunities for birds watching. Stay in the family guest house (shower is available).
Take the opportunity to relax and truly appreciate the surrounding landscape. Breakfast time can be arranged depending on how long you want to relax in the morning. Sometime after breakfast, the guide will take you to the ship. Sukhbaatar ship was constructed in the 1930’s for the Mongolian Navy under the auspices of the Soviet Union. It received one boat, the Sukhbaatar, to patrol the lake. The Soviet-made vessel was dragged overland to the lake. The ship was named after national hero Damdin Sukhbaatar.
After boating for a couple of hours, hike through the stunning mountain for 4km. Feel free to even stay on the lake to chill. Your last day in the amazing northern Mongolia, with an overnight stay at the family run guesthouse.
Your flight today is at 12:40 in the afternoon. After breakfast at 8:00, take the last adventurous ride to Murun airport. With nothing but fond memories of your Khuvsgul travel, you will take the flight to Ulaanbaatar. We will arrange a driver to collect you from the Ulaanbaatar airport at 14:10, who will take you back to your accommodation.