Trip Details – Modern Mongolian Nomads – Small Group Trip

‘It won’t always be easy and comfortable but It felt like our interactions with local families were authentic and respectful so embrace it anyway and you will have a truly memorable trip.’ Catherine Challies, Modern Mongolian Nomads

  • Start Date – July 7 2022
  • Duration – 13 Days
  • Maximum Group Size 6
  • Accommodation – Homestays, family ger camps, local hotels, wild camping
  • No single supplements for solo travellers
  • This is a small group trip. However, our maximum is group size is six – which is refreshingly small for the travel industry. Our small group sizes mean that our trips are more respectful for your host families that we work in long-term local community partnerships with. It also means you’ll be one of few rather than one of many and this leads to a more genuine experience as well as a more personal and real insight for you as our guest. It also means that no two trips are ever the same as we can keep things flexible. All images used throughout our website were taken either by EL guests or members of the EL team. This is the Mongolia that you will also experience.

The wild landscapes of northern Mongolia and the central Khangai Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop on this adventure where the focus is how rural Mongolians are embracing the 21st Century whilst maintaining Mongolia’s rich cultural traditions. Small scale vegetable nursery growers, cooperative members, small business owners and herding families – they’ll all be your hosts on this trip. We form long-term local community partnerships throughout the country and work side by side with each family. Our experiences are put together in a way that benefits the families, rather than disrupting their lives, and provide you with a more genuine experience.

Landscapes play an important part in the way of life of rural Mongolians and as you discover and explore the different regions of Mongolia, you’ll experience the diversity of the way of life of the people that make their home in these landscapes including celebrating the Naadam Festival – one of the most important celebrations of the year in 21st Century Mongolia.

Trip Breakdown

July 7 – Final Arrival Day | Discover Ulaanbaatar | City Walking Tour

Image: EL guest Tammy McCorkle

Ulaanbaatar (UB) is home to roughly 45% of Mongolia’s population and our free city walking tour will give you a more local introduction to this vibrant frontier style city with a strong Mongolian identity of its own. It is the beating heart of Mongolia and the hub of contemporary Mongolian urban life. The reality for many Mongolians takes place in this urban context, in a city they are striving to develop and improve. Ulaanbaatar deserves to be appreciated and explored as the urban centre that it is. 

Our informal and relaxed city walking tour will give you a contrasting insight into a way of life, compared to that of the rural population as you spend the day in the company of one of our female Mongolian trip assistants exploring the city through the eyes of a local.

  • Accommodation: Your own choice
  • Meals: Local lunch and welcome drink
  • Travel: Free transfer

July 8 – Trans Mongolian | Amarbayasgalant Khiid | Northern Landscapes

Amarbayasgalant Monastery - Selenge Province, Mongolia

Today is very much about the journey not just the destination. You’ll transfer to the Ulaanbaatar train station for your train ride to the north. You’ll travel second class in a compartment with four beds and your EL trip assistant will accompany you. The journey is approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes and is a delightful way to leave the city – as the rolling steppe slowly unfolds you’ll be passing through some of Mongolia’s most important agricultural land.

A local Trans Mongolian train in Ulaanbaatar

Image: EL guest Severine.B

On arrival in Darkhan, your EL driver will be there to meet you and you’ll continue the drive to Amarabyasgalant Khiid – it will be a late evening arrival.

The monastery – where the remains of Zanabazar – Mongolia’s first Living Buddha (spiritual head of state) – are interred – was constructed between 1726 – 1736, when Mongolia was under heavy Manchu influence and this influence can be seen today. By the early 1890s Amarbayasgalant was one of the greatest pilgrimage destinations in Mongolia.

The monastery is situated in a haven of rugged beauty in the cul-de-sac of a long, deep valley backed by Mount Buren-Khaan against which the monastery is built. The valley is well-watered by the Iver River and has long provided an essential water source for nomadic herders and their livestock.

Young resident monks taking a break from studies at Amarbayasgalant Monastery in Selenge Province, Mongolia

Image: By El guest Mick Egan

Staying With Davisuren

Family member Amarbayasgalant Monastery Mongolia

At Amarbaysagalant we work with Davisuren. She is a grandmother whose son is a herder out in the Iver Valley. She lives in a small house located close to the monastery and has a small shop that the young monks and local community members use.  Davaasuren offers two gers for visitors to stay in. Her way of life is basic and so is the ger accommodation she offers. But the location is fantastic – next to the monastery which means you are free to explore the monastery and its stunning surroundings independently without any need for a vehicle.

  • Accommodation: Basic ger at small family operated ger camp (3 gers). You will have to share a ger with 2-4 other members of the group. Asian style outside long drop toilet. No showers
  • Meals: L/D
  • Travel: Roughly 1045 -1730 on the local train and then 2.5 – 3 hours driving time  on dirt and asphalt road. Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.Expect a late evening arrival into Amarbayasgalant

July 9 –11 – Amarbayasgalant Khiid | Bulgan | Bulgan Naadam | Northern Landscapes

Mongolian children on their horses at the start line of a Naadam Festival horse race

On July 9th, you’ll have complete flexibility in the morning to explore the monastery and its surroundings. We highly recommend climbing the steps up to the stupa for immense views. You’ll depart for Bulgan after lunch.

Although Bulgan is the capital of Bulgan Province life is quiet in this small town but this all changes for Naadam.

Naadam events draw a large number of Mongolian families creating a vibrant holiday atmosphere. You’ll mix with the locals from the small town centre as well as with traditional Mongolian herders from outside the area. Don’t expect anything to operate on time and be prepared for plenty of waiting around as well – although there are always plenty of side stalls to explore and enjoy. The most important thing to remember is to experience Naadam from a Mongolian perspective.

Naadam is celebrated countrywide. Apart from Naadam in Ulaanbaatar, the dates are not fixed. However, Bulgan typically celebrates its Naadam on July 10 & 11. If the dates are changed then we can adjust the experience accordingly.

  • Accommodation: Local Hotel
  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: July 9 – Roughly 180km on dirt and asphalt road. Approx 4-5 hours driving time not including stops). Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

July 12 – Khogno Khan Nature Reserve | Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes – Central Heartland

Image: EL guest Lynn McCaw

Drive to explore this sacred granite mountain.  within an area of secluded valleys, fresh water springs, open steppe and the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes. Khogno Khan Nature Reserve was taken under state protection partly due to the specialised taiga and steppe plants that grow in this area. The small but vital Tarna River provides an essential water source for the herders in the region.

Explore the hidden interiors of the mountain on an easy  3-hour hike to the small working temple of Erdene Khambiin Khid and the ruined Ovgon Khiid Monastery. A birch bordered path leads to this location and offers one of the most beautiful panoramas of the region.

Bulgan to Khogno Khan – The Road Less Travelled

Mongolian Steppe

    Image: EL guest Mick Egan

When travelling in Mongolia there has to be an element of ‘road trip’ as there are few domestic airline routes and it is the 19th largest country in the world. During the road transfers don’t spend all your time in the vehicle thinking ‘when will we get there?’ You’re already there – surrounded by the beauty that is Mongolia. For the driving times, we recommend removing your watch and let the day, the landscapes and the journey unfold – its basically travelling the Mongolian way.

Travelling through the vast landscapes allows you to witness and connect with the local way of life as well as gaining an understanding how the landscapes and the challenges that the locals face within them have helped to form the Mongolian personality – the individualism, hardiness, endurance, self-sufficiency, tolerance and their spirit of freedom.

  • Accommodation: Tent camp. UK VANGO tents. We also provide a kitchen tent  and a toilet tent (well, a tent to cover the hole in the ground. I call it a ‘loo with a view!”). Solo travellers receive their own tent – no single supplement required. Alternative of simple private ger next to Davaasuren herding family during bad weather. Outside Asian style squat toilet. No showers.
  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: Roughly 200km on dirt and asphalt road (approx 5-6 hours driving time not including stops). Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

July 13 & 14 – Tsenkher Homestay | Central Heartland

 

A Mongolian herding family

Image: EL guest Myriam Gonzalez-Schulze

The Galbadrakh family are a young family – yak herders – that make their home in the district of Tsenkher in the Khangai Mountains. We form long-term local community partnerships throughout the country and work side by side with each family looking at ways we can provide long-term support. Our experiences are put together in a way that benefits the families, rather than disrupting their lives.

Galdbadrakh and his family are members of the Cooperative Ar Arvijin Delgerekh  – an NGO that works solely with yak herders in Arkhangai Province helping them to produce spun yak down thus helping to sustain and improve the livelihoods of the member herders as it allows them to diversify and increase their income (the herders being paid the full value of their harvest for a higher price than the local market).

  • Accommodation: The Galbadrakh family live as part of a ‘khot ail’ – an extended family – and make one of the family gers available for guests to sleep in. You will have to share a ger with 2-4 other members of the group. Hot shower available at the local town shower house – your own private cubicle with plenty of hot water. Queue with the locals and enjoy experiencing a little of their daily way of life
  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: July 13 – Roughly 215km on dirt and asphalt road (approx 6 hours driving time not including stops). Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

July 15 & 16 – Suman Gol | Central Heartland

 

Suman Gol Mongolia

Image: EL guest Myriam Shulze

Continue on to Suman Gol where you will stay with Dondov – another member of the Cooperative Ar Arvijin Delgerekh. He is also a small market gardener and a local historian.

Don’t try to find this location in a guidebook – you won’t. But, although basic, the location of Dondov’s small camp comes as a good surprise – next to the river and part of the Tariat volcanic field. There are petroglyphs to explore as well as the lava terraces.  For those interested, only 1% of Mongolia’s landmass is dedicated to crops and here you can learn from Dondov more about the challenges of growing vegetables in the harsh terrain of Mongolia.

Dondov - a Mongolian herder

  • Accommodation: Dondov provides 2-4 guest gers (and some basic wooden houses). You will have to share a ger with 2-4 other members of the group. Asian style outside long drop toilet. An option for a (brilliantly engineered) cold shower.
  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: July 15 – Roughly 200km on asphalt and dirt road (approx 5-6 hours driving time not including stops). Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

July 17 & 18 – Orkhon River Valley Homestay | Kharkhorin | Central Heartland

Mongolia's Orkhon River Valley

Continue to the home of Tumee and Jargaa – a herding family we work with as part of one of our long-term local community partnerships. They are modern-day herders, a strong part of the local community and move up to six times a year – always located close to the Orkhon River.

The Orkhon River Valley is one of Mongolia’s four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s a cultural WHS and represents the evolution of nomadic pastoral traditions in Mongolia – this region is considered the cradle of Mongolian civilisation and an area rich in nomadic life as the Orkhon River provides as essential lifeline for nomads and their livestock.

On the second day, there is nothing pre-planned as everyone is different in what they like to do and leaving the plan flexible leads to a more respectful and more naturally Mongolian experience. But there’s plenty of flexibility and options. Ideas include visiting Kharkhorin, exploring the area on a horse trek, experiencing the way of life of the family or a mix of all three!

 

Kharkhorin is the ancient capital of Ogodei Khan and the Mongol Empire in the 13th Century. Visit Erdene Zuu – Mongolia’s oldest monastery and visit the excellent Kharkhorin Museum with its clear and updated exhibits based on the history surrounding the Orkhon River Valley and the Turkish and Mongol Empire. Even if history doesn’t really ‘grab’ you, we recommend a visit as it helps to bring the history of the area alive.

  • Accommodation:  Basic ger (shared with 2-4 other members of the group) next to family ger. Or tent camp next to family ger (depending on availability / preference).  Basic long drop outside toilet and no showers. Hot shower available at the local town shower house – your own private cubicle with plenty of hot water. Queue with the locals and enjoy experiencing a little of their daily way of life

Staying With The Tumee Family 

This is Tumee - an expert horseman and head of one of the herding families we work with in Mongolia's central Orkhon River Valley

As with all the families we work with, we work in long-term local community partnership with Tumee and Jargal. Local to the area – they both went to school in the region – one of their adult sons is a member of the Genghis Khan Polo Club. They are considered integral members of their local community. Although they agree their way of life has challenges, they love it for the sense of freedom it provides.

  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: July 17 – Roughly 270km on dirt and asphalt road. Approx 7 hours driving time not including stops. Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions

July 19 – Return Ulaanbaatar

Return back to UB where we’ll transfer you to your accommodation and the rest of the day will be yours to create your own experience. Remember you could use our UB guide to help you to explore the urban side of Mongolian life in downtown Ulaanbaatar. Alternatively, one of our trip assistants could be made available but please let me know in advance.

We will transfer you to the airport or train station on your departure date.

  • Accommodation:  Of your own choice
  • Meals: B/L
  • Travel: Roughly 355km on asphalt and dirt road (approx 7-8 hours driving time depending on city traffic).  Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

The Small Details

For all of our small group trips we offer a sliding price scale. We appreciate your holiday funds are precious and so the more people that book so the price comes down and everyone benefits.

Group Size – Maximum of six. Minimum of two required for a guaranteed departure 

  • 2 Guests        US$ 2480 pp
  • 3-4 Guests     US$ 2355 pp
  • 5 Guests        US$ 2345 pp
  • 6 Guests        US$ 2100 pp

Where Does Your Payment Go?

  • In our experience, how people choose who to book with usually comes down to the cost. Budget is a very personal thing and everyone is different in what they want to pay.
  • We’re a registered Mongolian business and registered social entrepreneurship. We are not a luxury tour operator. We’re a small business that receives around 150-200 bookings per year. We can’t compete on price with our budget competition that don’t pay sustainable wages, or with the international companies that use agencies to run their trips and receive 1000s of bookings per year. We also can’t compete with individual guides or drivers that offer cut-price trips.
  • To help you see where your payment goes, we’re very much driven by our philosophy of making a positive difference in Mongolia through tourism.
  • We focus on community-based tourism – working directly with local people, communities and projects – slowly building up relationships and what we call long-term local community partnerships with them. We work side by side with each and our experiences are put together in a way that benefits and support each family or project, rather than disrupting their lives or work. We also run our free long-term training school for Mongolian women that want to work in tourism – providing training and then creating long-term flexible employment opportunities for them. 
  • Your payment remains in Mongolia and goes back into the communities through which you travel. We are committed to providing honest and ethical business opportunities for the local people we work with, at fair rates, as well as providing long term support.  We also focus on making sure our impact is as positive as it can be. I am the only westerner (the rest of my small team are Mongolian) and we don’t work with any outside agencies or ‘buy’ services from other in-country operators.
  • We are also a member of Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency – a collective of travel organisations who have declared a climate emergency and are coming together to find solutions. We accept our responsibility to tell the truth, work together, and help build a new, regenerative tourism.
  • All meals outside of the city of Ulaanbaatar. Mainly prepared and cooked by your local team so they are fresh and it means we offer more flexibility for any dietary requirements. We also provide filtered drinking water (not bottled), tea and coffee. 
  • In Ulaanbaatar: local lunch and welcome drink on city walking tour
  • Local team of English speaking female Mongolian trip assistant and Mongolian male driver
  • All overland transportation throughout the trip (4×4 Russian Furgon van + fuel)
  • Each vehicle has a charger for cameras and phones
  • Free (informal and relaxed) city walking tour of Ulaanbaatar
  • Transportation to and from the airport on arrival and departure days
  • All activities mentioned PLUS any activities offered including
  1. Camel or horseback rides
  2. Entrance fees to monasteries, temples and museums (when with local team) – excludes camera tickets
  3. Festival tickets if festival is highlighted in itinerary
  • International airfare to and from Mongolia
  • Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar

* Our trip pricing excludes the price of accommodation in UB though. Why?  Everyone is different is the standard of accommodation they prefer at the start and end of a trip. As there is now such a variety of hotels in UB it is easier to exclude this cost. I provide a list of ideas covering varying standards and budgets and I can also help with booking. There’s everything from a homestay through to Airbnb, US$10 guesthouses and the Shangri-La!

  • Domestic flight where/if applicable

*If you are travelling by domestic flight, the schedule and cost of the domestic flights have not yet been determined by the Mongolian airlines. Once you have booked this trip, you will be notified directly by us as soon as that info becomes available. Reservations and payment arrangements for any domestic flight will be coordinated by us.

  • Passport and visa fees

Let us know your nationality at the time of booking and we’ll confirm whether you need to apply for a Mongolian visa. It is a relatively easy process depending on your nationality and we can help with some of the formalities.

  • Travel insurance (mandatory) 
  • Gratuities

*Each member of the local team receives a responsible but fair salary and none have to rely on receiving gratuities to supplement their income.  In addition, we make sure that everyone who works with us or helps us is fairly rewarded for their work and the service they provide. At the end of the tour, if you wish to make a gratuity to the local team then thank you – it is not compulsory but it is appreciated when given. If you would like to provide a tip,  a tip for the drivers would be roughly equal to what you would give to the tour guides – anything from $20 (USD) per member of staff (driver & tour guide) is a good minimum guide.

What Will It Be Like?

Although there is a structure in place – we don’t provide a tight schedule or overly detailed itinerary – that sort of rigidity just seems incongruous in a land of such freedom among a country of herders.

Yes, there may well be irritations and difficulties – this is Mongolia, one of the largest, most remote countries in the world, with limited infrastructure. Mongolian people are tough and resilient and make their way of life in both the city and countryside seem easier than it actually is. Mongolia will challenge you at times. We’re on hand  to iron out any niggles and make the experience as smooth as possible but you need to be sure you’re able to demonstrate flexibility,  patience, and both a sense of humour and a sense of adventure. 

Are you up for a road trip? It’s something to consider since there are always several long travel days on any Mongolian journey.  Mongolia can be a challenging destination, road conditions can change dramatically with the weather and some drives may be prolonged as a result. It simply comes with the territory. Traveling long distances is an integral part of Mongolian culture and it is considered bad form to complain or ask about the length of time of any road journey. If you can accept the journey as part of the overall Mongolian experience, you’ll do fine.

What About The Weather?

Mongolia’s weather system has a reputation for a reason. We’ll prepare you for what weather to expect during your trip (including links to the long-range weather forecast for the regions you will be visiting) and also provide a detailed packing list on booking.

Who Is The Local Team?

You will travel with a team of male Mongolian driver and female Mongolian trip assistant. We do not outsource the logistics of our trips to drivers and guides working the tourism circuit. Instead, we have worked on nurturing our own local operations and provide long-term training, support and employment opportunities to those that want the opportunity to aim to be the best they can be thus supporting them in their aim. This has led to the formation of our small but great team. 

**Our female Mongolian Tour Guides are dynamic women who are searching for an opportunity to train for the long-term career opportunities that we provide. You’ll travel with someone who sincerely loves their home country, loves their job and genuinely cares about you as our guests. We are proud to be able to provide a starting block to women in Mongolia. We invite you as our guests to become a part of this philosophy.

   **We employ ten male drivers and knows each one personally. Their English may be limited and they are not necessarily modern urban types – more the traditional strong and silent type – but they are superb at navigating the Mongolian roads. (Often older or more traditional men are now overlooked by other tour companies who prefer younger more international Mongolians who speak English.  We wanted to provide equal opportunities and so as our trip assistants are female and typically younger with a more modern outlook, so our drivers are all male, older and from more traditional backgrounds. We find it is a partnership that works well.) If you take the time to get to know them, you’ll see why we employ them. As well as handling the challenges of the roads, they are supremely talented at the Mongolian skill of ‘mongolchlokh’ – improvising the Mongol way. It’s a joy to watch, so if your vehicle does break down, don’t get angry. Instead, watch the drivers do what they do best – improvise!

Meet Our Team
Our Local Long Term Community Partnerships

We work with a network of local families throughout the country. These are long-term local community partnerships we have built up over the 15 years+  we have been based here. These are also our own personal friendships.

We never ask a family to change their daily living for us.  We do not try to change Mongolians or their way of life for our/your own benefit or comfort. We don’t ask them to change their daily schedule or to put on an ‘act’ as this would lead to a contrived experience. Nothing is planned in any program, because we do not disturb the rhythm of life of the working families visited. We are just trying to share / experience  a portion of their life (also rarely wear a watch let alone work to an agenda!).

Our Community Partnerships
What Is The Tour Vehicle?
  • The 4×4 Russian Furgon / UAZ van (not jeep). Our Furgons are driver-owned but we support the drivers with maintenance fees.
  • Each vehicle has its own simple mobile kitchen, its own sunshade, a small library as well as a 220v inverter/charger. We only put a maximum of three to four guests per vehicle.
  • Each Furgon has a high wheel-base, ample luggage space, a sociable layout with forward and backward facing seats, surround side windows and most importantly, impressive off-road capability.
  • As is typical with all Furgons, due to the design of the vehicle, seat-belts are not available (2021 although we’re working on it for 2022. Get in touch for details if you’re concerned) but our Furgons are fitted with grab handles in the passenger area.
What Are The Meals Like?
  • Included meals will be provided mainly by the local team team. Since each of our vehicles contains a kitchen, it offers considerable freedom and flexibility. It also allows for picnic lunches en-route (and gives you lots of time to stretch their legs and do a little exploring). 
  • The majority of Mongolians eat meat and for Mongolia’s herders it is an essential part of their diet. Due to the remote locations and the lack of facilities, there will naturally, but occasionally, be limitations in place. (If you’re the type of person that must have five pieces of fruit a day then you may struggle.) But you can count on meals that will be tasty and filling. The team is encouraged to purchase local seasonal produce to help support each community we pass en-route. Also, we take food miles into consideration so do not expect kale smoothies or Thai curries or paella or Chinese stir fry. We just provide honest, heartening grub. You may see a pineapple in one of the markets but, no! We won’t necessarily buy it! 
  • We make every effort to cater to those with dietary requirements. However, you are personally responsible for providing clear information regarding dietary needs so we can help you to understand well in advance what you might realistically expect. There will be ample room on the booking form for you to convey these details. 
  • In Ulaanbaatar, there is a wide range of local Mongolian restaurants and international options. There are Japanese, Italian, Indian, Ukrainian, French, Mexican, American and even North Korean restaurants to name a few. Vegetarians are well represented, too, with a surprising number of meat-free, vegan restaurants. Most pubs and bars also serve food.
Being Vegetarian in Mongolia
What About Drinking Water?

In rural areas in Mongolia, there is no running water. Since recycling is extremely limited in Mongolia, we do not buy bottled water. Instead, the local team travels with two 20l containers per vehicle and collect drinking water from the small town drinking water stations and filter it for your consumption. You will need to bring a resusable water bottle with you. We provide a detailed packing list on booking.

Our Partnership With Water-To-Go
Toilet Breaks When Driving

Regular toilet breaks are taken during road transfers. There are limited public facilities available (none) so we provide a small trowel and plastic bags. You can either take the trowel and dig a small hole (in which you can leave the toilet paper and then re-cover with the soil) or place your toilet paper into the small bag and place the bag into the main rubbish. We do not burn the paper – arid conditions, a strong breeze and grassland do not make for a good mix!

Providing Toilets In Tourism
Accommodation - Family Operated Ger Accommodation & Homestays
  • As much as possible we use rural family operated ger accommodation. We prefer to support this local form of accommodation as it helps provide a supplementary income and extra financial security for them meaning they are one step further away from having to consider urban migration.
  • These are all families we work in long-term local community partnership with – we NEVER turn up unannounced and we never just turn up to a herding family demanding accommodation.
  • The circumstances and type of ger accommodation provided will change from family to family. Consider them as small rural businesses NOT rustic luxury homestays. Be prepared for a variety of standards. Please remember that this is someone’s way of life and home and that they provide what they can in relation to their circumstances.
  • Beds will vary in comfort – most rural family members still traditionally sleep on the floor so don’t really understand the concept of double memory foam mattresses!
  • You should have your own private ger either to share as a group but we don’t offer exclusivity as this limits the income of the families so do expect other westerners during peak times.We try to get the right balance but during peak season please accept that you might see other westerners
  • Toilets (Familes & Homestays) – Some will be better than expected. Some will be worse than expected. Most will outside long (or short) drop Asian style and if it is at a family home then the toilet will be shared by you and the family. The toilets are not there to disgust you – this is the reality of life on the ground.
  • Showers (Familes & Homestays) – Most Mongolians visit the local town shower house. So this is what you do as well. It gives you an introduction to real daily life for a majority of Mongolians in both urban and rural areas as well as a hot shower. You get your own private cubicle with plenty of hot water. Queue with the locals and enjoy experiencing a little of their daily way of life- Most Mongolians visit the local town shower house. So this is what you do as well. It gives you an introduction to real daily life for a majority of Mongolians in both urban and rural areas as well as a hot shower. You get your own private cubicle with plenty of hot water. Queue with the locals and enjoy experiencing a little of their daily way of life
Accommodation - Tent Camps
  • Not all itineraries include tent camping. Please check your itinerary.
  • We use VANGO Hurricane or Nemesis tents. There is also always a kitchen tent and also a toilet tent.  However, this is not the same as a 5* safari in Africa!
  • When camping, we do not camp too close to family gers as this intrudes on their privacy. However, local life is only a short walk away. If you like landscapes then you will love our campsites.
Accommodation - Tourist Ger Camps
  • If requested and in some locations (such as Khovsgol), we do offer accommodation at ger camps. We don’t book the most luxurious or the most exclusive. Instead, we choose the ones that we think work best for you and your style of trip as well as the locations you are visiting.
  • There WILL be times during your journey when the availability of certain amenities at these ger camps may be lacking. The reasons for this can be varied – low season; high season; electricity/generator problems; remote locations; the simple fact that some amenities are only catered for between certain times of the day. Examples of this could be a ger camp having a lack of hot water, or only having hot water at certain times.
  • Lighting in the evening at some places may be by candle-light, and electricity may not be available.
Accommodation - Local Hotels
  • We don’t use hotels in all itineraries.
  • Where we do use a hotel, it is locally owned – built for the passing Mongolian trade rather than for western visitors so they have been built with the local population in mind so they are not corporate chains. However, one or two will pleasantly surprise you.
  • Why do we do this? It brings money and support into the local communities.  As well as staying at the hotel we eat in local restaurants and buy our tour produce from the local market so you get a more real insight into the way of life for the locality.

We are members of Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency which requires us to publish an annual Climate Action Plan. As part of our plan we carbon offset all domestic flights.

Although carbon offsets are far from imperfect and not the whole answer, they make a difference. Emissions per kilometer for domestic flights are always much higher because such a large proportion of the flight is spent taking off and landing. With this in mind, as a company, we will be calculating the offset for all domestic flights used by our guests and paying the offset to buy Plan Vivo Foundation carbon certificates which are used to support the Plan Vivo Mongolian Nomad Project – working in partnership with the Mongolian Society of Range Management. 

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