We were joined by Swiss guest Deborah Furrer on a three week trip to northerm Mongolia – trekking at Khovsgol and the Darkhad Depression.
Khovsgol Nuur National Park in northern Mongolia is justifiably considered a highlight of Mongolia. But, there is so much more to it than just the lake. Biologists use the word ecotone for places where different habitats meet – where a forest meets a meadow or a lake meets a shore. Khovsgol is an ecotone on a very large scale. The result is a wide range of habitats – wet meadows, shallow ponds, coniferous forest, steppe woodland, open steppe, alpine meadow, high mountains and the lake and lakeshore.
Khovsgol is one of three parallel rift valleys created by the Baikal Rift System and occupies the same geological structure as Lake Baikal in Siberia. The Darkhad Depression is the third parallel rift valley and home to Mongolia’s Tsaatan reindeer herders.
That’s why we combine two trekking options on one trip – combining a five-day trek of Khovsgol and the Khoridol Saridag Mountains before a five-day trek into the Darkad Depression – as it allows our guests an extended time to experience one of Mongolia’s most sacred and unique landscapes and the way of life of the people that make their home within the region.
‘The tour gave me very deep and authentic insight to the country and I loved every part of it.’‘A wonderful and incredible trip. I’ve had the most amazing time, and I want to thank you and the team at Eternal Landscapes … for making this trip a time of my life I’ll never forget.’
Our treks are different in that we leave the route entirely flexible and in the hands of the herder guide/horse wrangler as this leads to a more organic and Mongolian type of exploration. Rather than a rigid structure, the focus becomes getting to meet and know the Mongolian herder guide/horse wrangler riding alongside them in the areas where they consider home. By not pre-planning the route, it means there is the flexibility to explore the hidden valley you just came across or even to spend half the day at the local kindergarten that you pass en-route. There was even time for participation at the local Renchinlumbe Naadam. Our guests stayed for the two-day celebration – staying overnight in the local community. Deborah took third place in the archery competition. Yep, that’s right. Third place.
If you’re interested in joining us on one of our trekking experiences, why not look through the Mongolia tours we offer. Alternatively, get in touch with Jess.
Jess @ Eternal Landscapes