Our Mongolia Research Trips – Take A Walk On The Wild Side!

Mongolia Adventure Travel
July 7, 2015
Mongolia’s #Хог Bucket Challenge Campaign
September 3, 2015

An EL research trip is our way of getting to explore and discover parts of the country that we know and want to get to know better with the possibility of putting this knowledge into our small group and tailor made tours. It’s also a chance for the local Mongolian people we work with to show us the hidden side to their home. Sometimes we open them up for others to join.

Here’s an introduction!
Khermen Tsav – Southern Gobi –  Wild Gobi Research 2014
Khar Nuur – Zavkhan Aimag – Wild Treks Research 2013

Meeting the locals in Byan Ulgii – Wild Treks Research 2013

‘Our reward is another spectacularly broad river valley flanked by peaks sporting some amazingly sculpted granite outcrops. Camp is set up on the bank of the Buyant Gol River. We soon discover that, from just a short distance downstream of the camp, we can catch a tantalising glimpse of our objective, Otgon Tenger, the most sacred mountain in Mongolia standing proudly at the head of an adjoining valley. While at 4021 metres it is not the tallest mountain in Mongolia it has a permanent mantle of snow and gives rise to the only glacier in this range. 

Next morning we are reminded, not only that winter is on the way but that camp is located at about 2500 metres for there is a generous layer of ice on the tents and even the edges of the fast flowing are sporting mantles of ice. The sun and the eternal blue sky soon brighten the day, however.’

John Holman, Wild Treks Research

Otgon Tenger Uul would have to be my most memorable cultural experience.  Seeing the reverence Turuu  showed to the mountain and lake, taking part in the lake water ritual, knowing, seeing and experiencing the significance of the area made it a very special day.

Ross Briggs, Wild Treks Research
Otgon Tenger – Zavkhan Mountain – Wild Treks Research 2013
Wolf prints outside our tents – Wild Gobi Research

‘The Gobi will make you question everything you thought you knew about the desert. It will strip the layers of expectation, familiarity and ‘seen it all before’ mentality from the harshest of critics. No longer will you compartmentalise landscapes into preconceived boxes. 

Barren rocky outcrops, glistening natural springs bordered by lush green trees, wind swept dunes and blazing sunsets amongst the ghosts of prehistoric creatures. From the furgon, the back of a camel and on foot I moved through these changing scenes like the sole actress on a deserted film set. 

Hours spent with eyes squinted, brow furrowed in concentration. How could I possibly describe in words the immense space that was in front of me? 

The remoteness lends itself to a sense of freedom and unconscious ownership. Just when you feel an element of power over the landscape, mother earth will remind you of your perilous position in the world.’ 

Megan Greentree, Wild Gobi Research
Sunrise Khar Nuur – Zavkhan Aimag – Wild Treks Research

There are a few rules….by joining us on our research trip we consider that you are prepared to be completely flexible – the route is not preplanned in advance in the minutest detail. It means we can adapt and tweak depending on what we learn from the locals we come into contact with and the places they want so show us and share with us.

For a majority of visitors, making contact with the local people is an important element of their trip to Mongolia – for a moment or two, crossing the cultural divide. This is completely understandable but, for us, the power of the landscapes is also an integral part of any journey especially our research trips. It is time spent exploring and ‘just being’ in the landscapes which I also find the most uplifting and enlightening and this is an essential element of our research trips.

‘Six Mongolian Bactrian camels took us across the foot hills of the mighty sand dunes of Khongoryn Els, led by Bagi, a local herder and, our guide.  

The dunes of Khongoryn Els sweep up against Zöölön Uul, a mountain range that is at the easterly reach of the Gobi Altai. You could say the dunes were a mountain range themselves. They are mammoth, the highest peak of sand being approximately 300m. They present the stereotypical beauty I think of in relation to a desert; sweeping lines and sharp contrasting forms lit by an unforgiving sun. There is certainly a beauty here, however, it is the gravel plains of the Gobi that stop my heart and leave my mind gaping in painful awe.

Sovay Berriman, Wild Gobi Research

The intrepid ladies! Still smiling after five days camel trekking through and around the immense Khongoryn Els

Wild Gobi Research

Our research trips are not tests of endurance or competitive races. Naturally, there will be some challenges but they’re mainly about seeing the world from a different perspective, new horizons and the joy of the great outdoors. 

If you’re looking for the style of trip where you want to tick off the sights  in a ‘tick-it-off-the-list-job-done’  kind of way then this trip won’t suit you. Also, if you’re looking to scale the highest peaks, ford the deepest waters, experience the life of the most remotest ethnic group on a trip where you can boast about the challenges you faced then this trip isn’t for you. But, if you’re looking for a slower paced more immersive experience and are open and flexible as to what you do experience  then welcome on board!!

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