Achieving New Heights With Our Team Of Mongolian Female Guides
February 6, 2024
Unveiling Mongolia: Insights from our guests
February 22, 2024

Expeditions In Mongolia

Mongolia has captured the imagination of explorers and adventurers for centuries. From the iconic figures who inspired legends to modern-day trailblazers pushing the boundaries of exploration, Mongolia continues to beckon those with a thirst for discovery. We are privileged to have been able to provide assistance and logistics support for remarkable expeditions in Mongolia like those of Jack Toulson who crossed Mongolia on horseback and whose expedition resulted in him becoming a member of the Long Rider’s Guild. 

“With the world in a seemingly endless rush to get its hands on a Black Friday Asda telly, what better time to embark on a nostalgic adventure harking back to the good old days of equine exploration. Forget doing it fast or furthest. Just enjoy doing it. Ever since I could speak, I spoke of horses. Now I have the time and energy to do something few people would think of, or it turns out, care to do. Ride across Mongolia and visit one of the last nomadic horse cultures left. Really visit. Learn what it means to live or die by your horsemanship.” Jack Tolson

The success of Jack’s expedition, like many others, hinged on the generosity, assistance, and time of Mongolia’s nomadic herding communities. He relied on their invaluable local knowledge to access water and fodder for his horses, and they provided crucial warnings about impending bad weather and offered shelter when needed.

During the expedition, Jack also fundraised for CAMDA (Cambridge Mongolia Development Appeal), a now-closed charity dedicated to supporting Mongolia’s herders. CAMDA focused on providing practical assistance beyond financial aid, such as restoring and replacing freshwater wells and supplying machinery to aid in crop harvesting during the brief harvest period. Our involvement in supporting CAMDA underscores our commitment to making a tangible, long-term difference in the lives of Mongolia’s herding communities.

As Jack aptly put it:

‘The money raised continued to do good work long after I returned, and perhaps will go someway to repaying the kindness of people that have very little to give, but give it freely and without expectation. People who live in a harmonious battle with nature.’

For those considering a similar expedition, we encourage responsible visitation of Mongolian herding families. Use our guide to ensure your interactions with these communities are respectful, sustainable, and mutually beneficial –


We also provided logistical support for Renaud Fulconis and Aliénor Scrizzi’s expedition, On Va Marcher Sur Le Lac, which was a daring endeavour to cross the frozen expanse of Khövsgöl Nuur from south to north and back again. Their poetic description of Khövsgöl as an invitation to travel encapsulates the allure of Mongolia’s legendary landscapes.

“Khövsgöl, a name that already rings in our ears like an invitation to travel. That of an immense expanse of water taken in winter by the ice, in an equally mythical region of the world, Mongolia.”

Khovsgol Winter Ice Expedition - On va marcher sur le lac

These expeditions serve as powerful reminders of the enduring spirit of exploration that has shaped our world. We feel privileged to have played a role, however small, in supporting these journeys and contributing to the remarkable stories of adventure and discovery they have inspired.

As we reflect on modern-day adventures, it’s important to acknowledge the iconic historical expeditions that traversed Mongolia, laying the foundation for future exploration and discovery.

In an era before air travel, trains, Wi-Fi, and before when Mongolia became essentially inaccessible to foreigners due to the communist government’s restrictions from 1921, the country held an aura of remoteness and mystery. Indeed, the phrase “Outer Mongolia” became synonymous with the farthest reaches of the earth. Despite these challenges, intrepid explorers embarked on daring expeditions, defying the odds and venturing into the unknown. Here are a few standout examples:

Expeditions In Mongolia: Roy Chapman Andrews

Roy Chapman Andrews - books on expeditions to Mongolia

While many of you may be familiar with the iconic adventurer Indiana Jones, did you know that Steven Spielberg purportedly (!) based his character on the 20th-century explorer-scientist Roy Chapman Andrews? Andrews led the groundbreaking Central Asiatic Expeditions to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert in the 1920s. As an American explorer, adventurer, and naturalist, he made significant contributions to science and exploration. Notably, Andrews served as the director of the American Museum of Natural History.

During the Central Asiatic Expeditions, Andrews and his team made groundbreaking discoveries, including the first-known fossil dinosaur eggs. Their remarkable achievements not only expanded our understanding of prehistoric life but also inspired generations of explorers and adventurers to follow in their footsteps.

“Roy Chapman Andrews: famous explorer, dinosaur hunter, exemplar of Anglo-Saxon virtues, crack shot, fighter of Mongolian brigands, the man who created the metaphor of ‘Outer Mongolia’ as denoting any exceedingly remote place.”

Expeditions In Mongolia: Mildred Cable

Mildred Cable, a dedicated missionary, embarked on extensive travels throughout western and northwestern China during the 1920s. Her prolific writings, often co-authored with her colleague Fransesca French, offer vivid accounts not only of their missionary work but also of the diverse cultures and landscapes they encountered. Regarded as ‘classics’, these books provide invaluable insights into life in western and northwestern China during the first half of the twentieth century, making them essential reading for anyone interested in the region’s history and culture.

“With the rising of the moon the desert takes on its most captivating appearance, and though the long hours while she travels from one side of the horizon to the other she has her own way with human imagination, softening the austere outlines and investing the barest formations with subtle charm. She is mistress of magic and with one touch can turn the wilderness into a dream world.” Mildred Cable and Francesca French, The Gobi Desert

Expeditions In Mongolia: Henning Haslund 

Born in Denmark, Henning Haslund embarked on a journey to Mongolia in 1923, initially to assist with an experimental agricultural project. Despite the project’s eventual failure, Henning’s thirst for adventure and exploration grew stronger and he embarked on expeditions that spanned several years. Together with Sven Hedin, whose path he crossed, their expeditions through the Gobi Desert laid the groundwork for groundbreaking scientific research.

Henning’s experiences alongside Sven Hedin not only shaped his understanding of the Gobi Desert but also enriched his knowledge of scientific exploration. Their collaboration contributed to the legacy of exploration in Central Asia, leaving an indelible mark on the history of Mongolian exploration.

‘We rolled ourselves in our blankets and slept for the first time on Asiatic ground and under the clear sky of Asia…We stood on the threshold of the wide plateau at the entrance of the land of the nomads. We could not have  dreamed of a more captivating entrance to a new country, and when the sun sank upon that day, we felt as though born into a new life – a life which had the strength of the hills, the depth of the heavens and the beauty of the sunrise.’ Henning Haslund-Christensen

Expeditions In Mongolia: William Of Rubrick

William of Rubrick was a Flemish Franciscan monk, (1210-ca. – 1270) who wrote the most detailed and valuable of the early Western accounts of the Mongols. In 1253 he set out through the lands of the western part of their empire (what we know as the Golden Horde) – his roundtrip journey lasted the better part of three years. He was the first European to visit the Mongol capital of Karakorum (now Kharkhorin) and return to write about it.

Expeditions In Mongolia: James Gilmour

James Gilmour (1843-1891) was a Scottish Protestant Christian missionary in China and Mongolia. He served with the London Missionary Society and was ordained as a missionary to Mongolia in 1871. He spent his summers with nomadic Mongols on the plains of Mongolia and winters with Mongols in Peking (Beijing).

Expeditions In Mongolia: Beatrix Bulstrode

Beatrice Bulstrode - books on expeditions to Mongolia

An intrepid British woman, Beatrix Bulstrode, embarked on two remarkable journeys through Mongolia in 1911 and again in 1912. The culmination of her adventures is immortalised in ‘A Tour in Mongolia’, offering readers a glimpse into Mongolia at the turn of the 20th century.

Expeditions In Mongolia: Baigalmaa Norjmaa

Baigalmaa Norjmaa - Inspiring Mongolian female adventurer

As I reflect on these remarkable journeys and the adventurers who have explored Mongolia’s vast and rugged landscapes, I’ll conclude with a quote by Sir Francis Richard Burton, as shared by Jack Toulson on his expedition website:

’Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks is the departure upon a distant journey to unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the Slavery of Home, man feels once more happy. The blood flows with the fast circulation of childhood….afresh dawns the morn of life…’

These words encapsulate the essence of adventure and the exhilarating thrill of embarking on a journey into the unknown. May they inspire you to embrace the spirit of exploration and embark on your own odyssey of discovery!

Jess @ Eternal Landscapes

Jessica Brooks
Jessica Brooks
I'm Jess Brooks, the founder of Eternal Landscapes Mongolia and the voice behind EL's blog posts. For more than a decade, since 2006, I've been based in Mongolia, working closely with my beloved Mongolian team to advocate for a tourism approach that brings about positive change.. What sets our blog apart is our deep understanding of Mongolia—our home. Unlike content from influencers or creators, our posts prioritise authenticity and firsthand knowledge as guiding principles.
Sign up to our Newsletter

Written by Jess - the founder of Eternal Landscapes - there's no spam, no sharing your details and no random offers. It goes out once or twice a month. Hopefully enough to be of interest but not too much to annoy.

We respect your privacy.