Trip Details – Modern Nomads – Mongolia Winter Trip

‘‘Your ethics, the people, and the experience. All fantastic.’  Richard Maxwell, tailor made option

  • Duration: 9 Days – Adaptable
  • Accommodation – Homestays, Family operated ger camp
  • This is a customisable trip. It is adaptable, giving you the freedom to build a unique and personal trip for your chosen date. Upgrade your accommodation for all – or just part – of your trip, slow down the pace with few extra nights here and there or add a few more active adventures along the way. All images used throughout this document were taken either by EL guests or members of the EL team. This is the Mongolia that you will also experience.
  • Winter is a quintessential Mongolian season. It is cold, very cold, but the cold is an important part of what makes Mongolia and its landscapes extraordinary at this time of year.  For all of our winter trips, we provide traditional felt boots, hand-made goat skin blankets and can provide winter deels as well.

Mongolian Ger Winter

Explore, discover and trek three of Mongolia’s iconic landscapes  – open steppe, sand dunes and a river valley – being hosted by the rural families we work in long-term local community partnerships with. Mongolia is firmly in the 21st century but this does not mean the traditional rural way of life is dying out. It just means it is adapting and progressing. This experience focuses on the rural way of life in winter for different families that we work in long-term local community partnrship with within the central heartland – whether it be of a nomadic family that move 6 to 8 times a year or a couple with just a small number of livestock.

Trip Breakdown

Day One – Final Arrival Day | Discover Ulaanbaatar | City Walking Tour

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

Day Two – Khogno Khan Nature Reserve | Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes | Central Heartland

Mongolian herding family Lunar New Year

Image: EL guest Ben Kidron

Khogno Khan is a 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.

One option is to explore the hidden interiors of the mountain on a 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.

  • Accommodation: Basic ger at small family operated ger camp (4-6 guest gers). Asian style outside long drop toilet. No showers

Staying With The Davaasuren Family

At Khogno Khan, we work in long-term local community partnership with the Davaasuren family who have lived in the region their whole life. Using the guest ger accommodation that Davaasuren and his family provide allows you to experience their daily life side by side with them. The family keep a small number of livestock – including horses & camels. They are a quiet couple who are always happy to welcome guests. They are located in an idyllic spot at the foot of the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes where they live all year round. This really is location, location, location.

  • Herding family Mongolia

    Image: EL gues Ben Kidron

  • Meals: L/D
  • Travel: 280km on dirt and asphalt road  (roughly 6 hours driving time approx not including stops). Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual but depend on road and weather conditions.

Day Three & Four – Camel Trek

Thousand Camel Festival winter camel trek

Image: El guest Cristian Flueraru

Enjoy a two-day camel trek along the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes. Your host Davaasuren is at his happiest on showing off his home landscapes of Khogno Khan. He’s a bit of an entertainer as well and his camel treks can include sand sculpting, impromptu wrestling matches, and singing.

A winter camel trek is an adventure true to local traditions as 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.

You’ll travel on Bactrian (two-hump) camels with their traditional camel saddle of just a woolen 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 the sand dunes, sacred granite mountains, rolling hills, and wide-open steppe. The camel trek will be vehicle-supported.

  • Accommodation:
  • Day Three – With herding family
  • Day Four – Basic ger at small family operated ger camp (4-6 guest gers). Asian style outside long drop toilet. No showers
  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: –

Day Five – Ulaantsutgalan | Orkhon Waterfall | Central Heartland 

Image: EL team

The area surrounding Ulaan Tsutgalan was created by a series of volcanic eruptions (there are often different types of igneous rock lying on the surface – such as basalt and pumice stone which solidified from molten Magma after reaching the surface). The 20-meter high waterfall is formed by a series of small streams and rivers including the Ulaan Gol.

For your stay at Ulaan Tsutgalan, you will stay at the small tourist ger camp of owned by Tomorbat and his family. They are retired herders but their son and son-in-law  are still herders and they milk their yak herds in the early morning which you can partake in.  Tomorbat and his wife have lived in the region all their lives and continue to live here all year round. Their knowledge of the area is vast and we love them for this.

This region is famous in Mongolia for the hand production and traditional decoration of gers. Although the family do not speak English and keep to themselves, they are very kindly hosts.  At some point you should ask to visit their home ger – hand made, carved, decorated and painted by Tomorbat.

Going Ger To Ger With Tomorbat

Herder at Orkhon Waterfall Mongolia

Tomorbat used to lead our longer adventurous style treks that we offer in the region but was getting too old to lead them. But, as Tomorbat and Namjilmaa get older, we wanted to continue working with them … as part of our philosophy of providing long-term support to the rural families we work with.

So together with Tomorbat we created our ‘ger to ger’ walk. Led by by Tomorbat himself, this simple concept just takes up a morning or an afternoon where our guests spend time with Tomorbat meeting local herding families in the area.  We allow Tomorbat to decide the route and what families our guests visit and although it is a relaxed walk it provides a different more local perspective on Mongolia. It’s a simple enough concept but as well as providing our guests with a local travel experience in Mongolia it means we can continue to work with Tomorbat and support him as well as tapping into his wealth of local knowledge.

  • Accommodation:  Basic ger at small family operated ger camp (5-6 guest gers). Asian style outside long drop toilet. No showers
  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: 180km on dirt and asphalt road (approximately 5-6 hours driving time not including stops) . Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual  but depend on road and weather conditions.

Day Six & Seven – Horse Trek

A winter horse trek Ulaankhuus district of Bayan Ulgii Province in the wild landscapes of western Mongolia

One of our winter horse treks in the Ulaankhuus district of Bayan Ulgii Province in the wild landscapes of western Mongolia. Note the traditional hand made goat skin coats and the felt boots. Insulation Mongolian style!

In the company of a modern day herder, get off the beaten track with a two-day wilderness winter horse trek guided by Maam – Tomobat’s son. Enjoy the wilderness spaces of this glorious region including meeting other families that make their home in the region.

Our treks are different in that we leave the route entirely flexible and in the hands of Ma’am – our herder guide / horse wrangler in the Orkhon –  as this leads to a more organic type of exploration. So many trekking experiences offered in Mongolia have rigid routes and itineraries and that just seems wrong in a country of such freedom. Instead, the focus becomes getting to meet and know Ma’am in the areas where they consider home. 

If you need a rough guide, during these two days you will discover the diversity of the Orkhon Valley including its long flat valleys, lava stone fields, barren mountain tops and high open Mongolian steppe, coniferous forests of Siberian Pine and Siberian Larch and sub-alpine meadows.

The precise itinerary depends on the weather as the climate can be very challenging in winter and your safety is our number one consideration. If it is very cold then the days may be divided into sections – returning to the ger for a warming lunch.

Meet Ma’am – Your Trek Guide

Ma'am - Our Orkhon Waterfall herder trekking guide

Our treks are led by your host family – at the Orkhon that is typically Ma’am – Tomorbat’s son. You may wonder why a young man is joining you..

One of our way of supporting the local families we work with is by allowing them to bring their younger siblings or older children as helpers on the treks.  Or, if experienced enough, they run the treks. It helps to create a space where traditional Mongolian knowledge can be passed from older to younger generations, as it always has been. This helps keep the routes, water sources, place names and the stories of the land alive, in a real, breathing way for the future.

Day Eight – Orkhon River Valley Homestay | Kharkhorin | Central Heartland

Mongolian Ger Orkhon River Winter

Image: By EL team

Travel to Kharkhorin – 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.

Here you’ll stay with Tumee and Jargaa. Living in the Orkhon River Valley they are modern-day herders, a strong part of the local community and move up to six times a year.

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.

Erdene Zuu Monastery - Winter

 

  • Accommodation: Basic ger next to family ger.  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: Roughly 130km on dirt and asphalt road. Approx 4 hours driving time not including stops. Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual but depend on road and weather conditions.

Day Nine – Return Ulaanbaatar

Drive 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 dirt and asphalt road. Approx 7-8 hours driving time not including stops. Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual but depend on road and weather conditions.

The Small Details

  • For all of our low season experiences 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.
  • 2 Guests        US$ 1535 pp
  • 3-4 Guests     US$ 1215 pp
  • 5 Guests        US$ 1135 pp
  • 6 Guests        US$ 1020 pp

The above prices include a 15% discount pp as a thank you for choosing to travel with EL outside of the main season. We are keen to extend the season for the benefit of our Mongolian team and the rural families and Mongolian businesses we work with – to make tourism less concentrated around peak season (July) and to help the income of the people we work with be more evenly distributed. Thank you for being part of that 🙂

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
  • For winter trips, we also provide each traveller with one of our traditional hand made goatskin blankets. These are used by most rural Mongolians and go on top of the sleeping bag. They are fantastic insulation. Also, you get a pair of Mongolian felt boots to wear during your time in Mongolia. These are commonly used by herders and insulate the feet much better than western-style hiking boots and socks can do. They are waterproof. About the cold, predicted winter temperatures could scare at first sight, but it is a very dry cold and with good preparation (as in the right clothing including thermals)  minus 25 ° C could be compared with – 5 ° C in Europe. We look after you!
  • 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.

Travelling In Winter
  • Winter trips can sometimes be susceptible to unforeseen problems which might result in last-minute itinerary changes.  Things will not happen on a perfect schedule and conditions will be very rugged – you will be required to step outside your circle of comfort. Please base your expectations on this important point.
  • Facilities will be more limited than you have maybe experienced on previous winter trips elsewhere.
  • In towns, accommodation is heated through a central piping system which gets turned on in late September and turned off in May. You may find the rooms overly warm and stuffy but there is typically no thermostat so the only option is to open a window.
  • Apart from in the towns, your accommodation will be in family provided accommodation where there won’t be hot showers and the toilets will be OUTSIDE Asian style long drops. All family accommodation will be prepared for winter and heated by a stove but you’re probably used to an insulated house with central heating. There is a substantial difference.
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 - 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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