Mongolia's 4x4 Furgon van
Mongolia’s 4×4 Furgon Van
October 27, 2021
A guest of Eternal Landscapes enjoying the freedom to explore on one of our Mongolia trips

Low Season Travel Mongolia

We promote low-season travel in Mongolia. Why? It is something we have always done – since we founded the business. 

As a social travel enterprise, we look at the bigger picture rather than just focusing on achieving maximum profit. And, as a Mongolian business working in tourism in Mongolia, we believe that we should use tourism to help provide extended support as well as to create positive social change in Mongolia. 

We promote low season travel in Mongolia as we are keen to make tourism less concentrated around peak season (summer) and to help the income of the people we work with – both our immediate Mongolian team and the network of Mongolians we work in long-term local community partnership with – be more evenly distributed.

Mongolian herder during low season travel in Mongolia

Bujee and Naraa of Gorkhi Terelj National Park are a great illustration into how Mongolian horse herders are adapting  – setting up micro businesses as a way of substituting their income. Image: EL guest Nick Fletcher

Along with mining and agriculture, tourism is one of the main sources of income for the country but with a short peak tourist many Mongolians involved in tourism struggle to make ends meet outside of peak season. Low season in Mongolia is brutally long – from the end of October almost up until the beginning of May. As part of our long-term support, we look at ways in which we can continue to provide support to the families and communities we work with even during this low period and thus created our low season experiences.

In addition, we focus solely on Mongolia and over the past 15 years we have seen the impact of the climate emergency on this vast country. Annual precipitation has decreased (the (previously reliable) seasonal rainfall pattern has become erratic) but localised severe weather events have increased. There’s also an increase in desertification and a loss of biodiversity. This is combined with Mongolia’s annual mean air temperature increasing by 2.24°C from 1940 to 2015 – triple the global average.  Herding households – including herding families that we work in long-term partnership with – are vulnerable to the impact of this climate change. We have various ways in which we support herding families but by focusing on low season travel, we help to provide them with a secure secondary income which they can use to purchase fodder for their livestock through the winter.

‘The impact of climate change has exacerbated a periodic weather phenomenon known in Mongolia as the dzud, which creates summers that are unusually dry, followed by spells during the winter that are unusually cold.  The dry summers make it harder to grow and harvest grass, while the harsher winters require an even bigger supply of fodder.’  National Geographic

Mongolian camel herder during low season travel in Mongolia

Image: EL guest Cristian Flueraru

We offer experiences that provide what we consider a celebration of Mongolian culture and tradition. We look at what Mongolians do in the low season – either now or as part of their cultural history – or their traditions and festivals.  Fewer travellers allows you a more intimate experience and exclusive access to the lives and culture of these places. Yes, it might require a change of attitude or perception on your behalf but low season offers what we consider more ‘real-life‘ experiences –  those unexpected moments when you know something special is happening.  

Khovsgol Nuur National Park Winter - Be Part Of A Bigger Travel Philosophy

Image: EL guest Kairi Aun

As much as possible we do not focus on experiences that require multiple domestic flights. The reason is that emissions per kilometer for domestic flights are always much higher because such a large proportion of the flight is spent taking off and landing. We believe that flying from place to place gives you no context of location,  no real experience of the country or the lives of the people in-between. Travelling across the country slows you down and gives you time to experience the ‘places in-between’, the places and communities not actually mentioned in the guidebooks. The landscapes take on an extraordinary beauty in the winter, and being part of them is the only way to experience them. It also allows for a  slower-paced more immersive experience. It also helps us to provide employment options to our Mongolian team.

Travelling off-peak in Mongolia may seem like a brave prospect but come in the low season and you’ll be doing a good thing. Not only will you be rewarded with cheaper airfares, but you’ll be helping to sustain the local economy and as the sun dips ever lower, the immense Mongolian landscapes seem to stretch further than ever. So that’s why we not only offer low seasons experiences but offer each guest that books a 15% discount as a thank you for supporting us in our philosophy. And for those of you that do travel in the low season, we’ll take care of you – providing our hand made goatskin blankets, Mongolian felt boots and Mongolian deel … as well as a detailed packing list.

For ideas and inspiration, about our low season experiences in Mongolia, look at the Winter Tours Mongolia page of our website. Ideas include our  Khovsgol horse sleigh expedition, experiencing Tsagaan Sar – Mongolian Lunar New Year with some of the rural families we work in partnership with or meeting the Kazakh eagle hunters of western Mongolia.

Alternatively, get in touch for further details. We look forward to welcoming you. Just bring thermals!

Jess @ Eternal Landscapes

Jessica Brooks
Jessica Brooks
I’m Jess Brooks. I am the founder of Eternal Landscapes Mongolia - a registered Mongolian business and social travel enterprise that focuses on providing travellers with a real 21st Century insight into Mongolia. I have been based in Mongolia since 2006 and together with my beloved Mongolian team, we focus on tourism that makes a positive difference. I'm also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society - awarded for my work in Mongolia and a published guidebook author - having worked together with World Adventure Guides to produce a digital interactive guide to Mongolia. http://www.jessbrooks.co.uk/
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