Mongolia's 4x4 Furgon van
Mongolia’s 4×4 Furgon Van
October 27, 2021
Night sky Mongolia
Star Gazing In Mongolia
December 3, 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 and it is something we have always done since we founded the business. 

As a social travel venture and as a Mongolian business working in tourism in Mongolia, we look at the bigger picture rather than just focusing on achieving maximum profit. It’s one reason we promote low-season travel in Mongolia. 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 help those we work with and support – including our immediate team as well as the families and communities we work in long-term local community partnership with – overcome the financial challenge of seasonality.

Winter Homestay

Mongolian herder during low season travel in Mongolia

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

The low-season experiences we offer help contribute to a year-round economy and help the income of those we work with be more evenly distributed. Both are essential in a country where the current rate of inflation is 14% (Sept 2022) and in which the prices of food and consumer goods – both primarily imported  – have risen significantly since the pandemic.

Winter Camel Trek

Mongolian camel herder during low season travel in Mongolia

A winter camel trek through the Gobi Desert is an adventure true to local traditions. For centuries, up until the 1920s, the Gobi was traversed by camel trains – typically travelling in the winter months – allowing the camels the summer months to recuperate when grazing is best.
On our winter camel treks you will travel on Bactrian (two-hump) camels with their traditional camel saddle of just a woollen carpet but their fantastic winter wool coat will also provide you with insulation as well. It’s a slow and steady pace of travel where you explore the diverse landscapes of Asia’s largest desert – consider it experiential travel where you’ll be hosted each evening of the trek by local herding families. Find out more here – Image: EL guest Cristian Flueraru

In addition, we focus solely on Mongolia, and over the past almost two decades 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 the herding families we work in partnership with but by focusing on low-season travel, we help to provide them with a secure secondary income during what is a very challenging time of year with which they can use to purchase fodder or veterinary medicine for their livestock to get them through the brutal 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

Explore Khovsgol Nuur By Traditional Horse Sleigh

Horse sleigh Khovsgol Lake Mongolia

Horse sleighs are a common form of transport for the Darkhad ethnic group in Khovsgol including the Darkhad families we work in long-term local community partnership with.  It is their local knowledge that guides and leads our winter Khovsgol Ice Festival trip – Image: EL guest Kairi Aun

We design our low-season experiences to provide what we consider a celebration of Mongolian culture and tradition. We base our low-season experiences around what Mongolians do in the low season – either now or as part of their cultural history – or their traditions and festivals.

Although there are domestic flights in the low-season, the weather often causes delays and cancellations. So we slow down the pace of the trips and encourage you to travel against the grain by not following a tick-list of must-see places but instead to embrace a slower-paced more immersive experience. Fewer other international travellers allows you a more intimate experience and exclusive access to the lives and culture of the places you visit. Low season in Mongolia offers what we consider more ‘real-life‘ experiences. One example is that a majority of tourism accommodation shuts down for the low season so our winter experiences typically include homestays – hosted by the families we work in partnership with – which might require a change of attitude or perception on your behalf but leads to a very genuine and shared experience. Travelling across the country slows you down and gives you time to experience the ‘places in-between.’ The landscapes take on an extraordinary beauty in the winter, and being part of them is the best way to experience them.

The Tsaatan Reindeer Herders

Reindeer belonging to the Tsaatan reindeer herders of Mongolia

Located in the far north of Mongolia, the Darkhad Depression is a broad expanse of open steppe and low forested hills and home to several thousand square kilometers of natural habitat classified as taiga (also known as the boreal forest). This vast region is Tsagaannuur, and as well as forming the northernmost tip of Mongolia, it provides the home range for the world’s southern-most indigenous reindeer population. Our winter horse trek allows you to live alongside the Tsaatan at a time of year when they receive very few international visitors. Learn more here – Image by EL guest Kairi Aun

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 international 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-season experiences but offer each guest who 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 handmade goatskin blankets, Mongolian felt boots, and Mongolian winter deel … as well as a detailed packing list.

Mongolia’s Eagle Hunters

Kazakh eagle hunter - Mongolia small group tours 2021

Western Mongolia is dominated by the Altai Mountains physically and culturally and the Altai Mountains have functioned for thousands of years as a homeland for the nomadic cultures of Eurasia including the Kazakhs – Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority group representing 3-4% of Mongolia’s population. It is only in the low season months that the Mongol Kazakhs of western Mongolia hunt with their magnificent female golden eagles. Learn more here – 

For further ideas and inspiration, about our low-season experiences in Mongolia, look at the Winter Tours Mongolia page on our website. 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, 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 For Our Newsletter!

Penned by Jess, the founder of Eternal Landscapes, our newsletter is all about quality, not clutter. We respect your privacy—no spam, no sharing of your details, and no irrelevant offers. Expect updates once or twice a month, just enough to keep you intrigued without overwhelming your inbox.

We respect your privacy.