Khovsgol Nuur – Tuesday’s Snapshot

It’s the year of the horse!
February 1, 2014
Mongolia’s Ger – Tuesday’s Snapshot
February 11, 2014

Tuesday’s Snapshots – highlighting images from the EL team and our guests based on a Mongolia theme. This week…Khovsgol Nuur National Park in northern Mongolia – including images from one of our trekking routes.

Biologists use the word ecotone for places where different habitats meet – where a forest meets a meadow or a lake meets a shore. Khovsgol is an ecotone on a very large scale. The result is a wide range of habitats – wet meadows, shallow ponds, coniferous forest, steppe woodland, open steppe, alpine meadow, high mountains and the lake and lake shore. 

Bambakh and Gerelt crossing the medicinal Khar Us – Black Water located on the western-forested shore of Lake Khovsgol prior to crossing Jigleg Pass one of the few routes into the interior mountains and the small town of Renchinlumbe located within the Darkhad Depression. 
Bambakh overlooking the Darkhad Depression – a region of incredible natural diversity – an intricate system of wetlands, ponds and lakes surrounded by a broad expanse of open steppe along with deep coniferous taiga forest. This area is considered a sacred landscape where every hill, river, tree and stone is the dwelling place of a natural spirit. The Mongols practised ancestral shamanism (the worshipping of the Eternal Blue Sky and the spiritual forces of nature) and shamanism remains a strong element in the culture of this area.
Lokh! For our Khovsgol treks, we use a young family who still make their living as ‘malchin’ or herders (this is the third year we have worked with them acting as our local guides and horse wranglers). Our aim is at the end of the trek, to spend the last night at the family ger of Bambakh, Lokh and Gerel – allowing for a more genuine introduction into the nomadic traditions of the area. For most, this proves to be one of the major highlights of the whole itinerary.
Lake Khovsgol is a spiritual place for Mongolians and its natural beauty makes it a stunning location for getting a little more off the beaten track and to capture the hidden areas of this alpine lake. Walking through the cool shadows of the forest and alongside the lagoons – a unique feature of Khovsgol Lake come highly recommended – as does taking an invigorating dip in the lake!

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