Who We Work With
We’re more than just a standard tour company focusing on profit. As a registered social travel enterprise, we look to make sure our work benefits local projects, people and communities as much as it benefits our guests and us as a business. We’re a little different in we believe everyone is equal. That means our guests are equal to our EL team who are equal to the Mongolians we work with on a more general scale. Respect is at the core of what we believe in.
We go out and meet people. We get to know them – to learn about their lives and their needs – without being invasive. These are real people with real lives to lead. We then form long-term local community partnerships with each project, person, or community and work side by side with them – looking look at ways we can incorporate their skills and knowledge into our experiences … encouraging their own sense of enterprise, as well as local Mongolian customs and culture.
We look at how we can continue to break down the typical tourism preconceptions of Mongolia by introducing our guests to the wide spectrum of people that call Mongolia home – whether they are herders, musicians, teachers, philanthropists or Kazakh eagle hunters. We also look at how those we work with can help us to showcase the diversity of skills and knowledge of Mongolian’s in the 21st Century.
We work side by side with each project, family or community and our support goes further than just paying for accommodation. Our experiences are put together in a way which benefits and support, rather than disrupts lives – for each visit we give what we call a sustainable payment for their time as well as services.
Our partnerships turn into genuine personal friendships – forged over time, mainly with tea and sometimes with vodka. But, we don’t ask those we work in partnership with to change their daily schedule or to put on an ‘act’. We know the stresses and the strains they face. We know their strengths and weakness. We know their likes and dislikes. As part of this, we don’t stop working with families just because their circumstances change … instead, we look at alternative ways in which we can work with them.
This is a brief introduction to just a few of our long-term local community partnerships.
Byamba – Gobi Oasis Tree Planting Project. If you’ve planted a tree, she’ll remember exactly where it is planted. Gobi Oasis is her lifelong passion. Learn more here – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/tree-planting-project-in-mongolia/
The supremely talented Erdeneochir – khoomi singer and horse head fiddle player. His talent reminds you that Mongolia is not just about nomads.
The extended Galbadrakh family – yak herders and members of the Cooperative Ar Arvijin Delgerekh. They’re young, focused and yet the traditions of Mongolia run deep. Learn more – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/ar-arvidjin-delgerekh-cooperative-mongolia/
Gaya – one of the hardest working people we know. She’s a widower and an inspiration as a self-taught owner of a guesthouse micro-business in Kharkhorin.
Bashakhan – one of Bayan Ulgii’s most experienced Kazakh eagle hunters. He’s our ‘go-to’ man for all things related to eagle hunting. He is equally as devoted to his eagle and grandchildren!
Dakhar – a Kazakh herder. His local knowledge is as vast as his home – the Tsambagarav Uul National Park. Ask him about the yearly Communist wolf hunt, the 1988 earthquake or where to find Ibex. He knows the answers! Learn more – http://www.jessbrooks.co.uk/blog/slow-lane-tourism
Batbold and Jargaa – at the centre of the Tariat rural community and owners of the Sultin Tulga Eco Ger Camp. We arrange our annual two-day rubbish collection with them and the community of Tariat. Learn more – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/annual-community-national-park-clean-up/
Batsaikhan – local protected area ranger of Baga Gazriin Chuluu. He can show you everything from Hunnu burial mounds to hidden medicinal springs. He is extremely proud of the area he protects. And he loves to join us for dinner at our campsite.
Introducting Ulziitogtokh Sodnomsenge – philanthropist and the inspiration behind the Nogoon Nuur Community Project in Ulaanbaatar. There are few safe community spaces within the ger districts but Nogoon Nuur is bucking this trend. Learn more – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/nogoon-nuur-community-project-ulaanbaatar/
Ma’am of Ulaan Tsutgalan – gentle, kind and watchful. You can tell he has spent most of his life out in the wilderness. He even has a Facebook account – follow it for updates into the way of life for a modern herder. Learn more – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/local-travel-experiences-in-mongolia/
Bujee of Gorkhi Terelj National Park. A great illustration into how herders are adapting – setting up micro businesses as a way of substituting their income. Learn more – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/modern-mongolian-nomads-meet-naraa-and-bujee/
Arildirpurev of Erdenedalai- facing 21st Century challenges but keeping the Buddhist traditions alive. Erdenedalai is the location of EL’s own ger homestay – a percentage of the income raised goes towards community projects within Erdenedalai town – decided by town members themselves.