Join us on an epic journey through the far east and western part of Mongolia together with local experts, visiting some of the most obscure—and most scenic—sites not visited by regular travelers. Meet Kazakh hunters with their trained Golden Eagles, as well as look for herds of the largest population of hoofed mammals outside of Africa. Close to a million Mongolian white-tailed gazelles roam in the eastern steppes who have no apparent migratory patterns and are true nomadic animals similar to the people sharing the same land. Not many adventurers know that Mongolia’s vast grasslands are seven times the size of Serengeti and the human population density in this region is the lowest in the country. The trip is perfect for adventurers with cameras who love natural landscapes as well as local culture and cuisine.

Brief Daily Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival

Upon arrival at the airport, transfer to a centrally located hotel in downtown Ulaanbaatar. In the evening, we will provide your pre-trip briefing and host a welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; D)

Day 2. Ulaanbaatar

Spend this day exploring sights and sounds of Mongolia’s capital. Begin this morning with a private blessing with a Buddhist monk at Gandan, the country’s largest monastery. An imposing 90-foot-tall statue of Megjid Janraisag ( Avalokites – vara in Sanskrit) stands in the largest temple in the monastery. This statue is considered the religious symbol of Mongolia’s independence and democracy after the country’s democratic transition in 1990. When a Mongolian student in the mid 1990s discovered fragments of the original statue (which was destroyed by Soviet authorities in the 1930s) in St. Petersburg, a nationwide campaign began to collect money for rebuilding the Buddha. After years of hard work, this magnificent Buddha was resurrected and is now standing proud, as a symbol of Mongolian Buddhism.
Next, visit the National History Museum located in downtown Ulaanbaatar. This museum offers an excellent introduction to Mongolia’s history from pre-historic times through the 13th century Mongolian Empire, and on to the democratic movement of the early 1990s, which overthrew the Communist regime.
Statue of Avalokiteśvara at Gandan Monastery Photo by Mongolia Quest
After lunch, visit the Zanabazar’s Fine Arts Museum with its excellent collection of Mongolia’s arts, including golden Buddha statues of the 17th century and some of the best preserved tankas in the world.
In the evening, enjoy a wonderful performance of traditional Mongolian music and dance, featuring Khoomii or “throat” singing, followed by dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; B, L, D)

Day 3. Dornod province, Choibalsan city

In the morning, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to the eastern steppe capital of Choibalsan. Eastern Mongolia is now home to world’s last remaining wilderness steppe ecosystem and such animals as the Mongolian white-tailed gazelle and a host of rare birds are found in the area. Upon arrival, begin driving eastward to Lake Buir via the famous Menengiin Steppe (approx. 350 km). Overnight in tents. (Approx. 3-4 hours driving; Tent camp; L, D)

Day 4. Buir Lake

In the morning, continue driving towards Buir Lake. We will stop at a border checkpoint to get our pass to travel in the special border zone of Mongolia and Russian. Eastern steppes are known for their lush grasslands throughout the region and probably this is why biggest concentration of the Mongolian gazelle one can өшиб here. Enter one of the biggest stretches of unfenced land in the country known as the famous steppes of Minen stretching for about 100 km west of Buir lake. Enjoy a pack lunch along the way.
In the late afternoon, arrive at Buir Lake and overnight in tents on the bank of Khalkhiin River, one of eastern Mongolia’s largest rivers. Overnight in tents. (Approx. 4-5 hours driving; Tent camp; B, L, D).

Day 5. Ikh Burkhand / Khalkh gol

We will pack in the morning and continue driving southeast, passing by the Ikh Burkhant, considered as one of the largest Buddhist heritage sites in the country. A large figure of Buddha has been made on a hillside facing towards the sky, the only Buddhist architecture of its kind in the country. We’ll continue driving south until we arrive at our next camp site on the beautiful valley of the Khalkh River, near Sumber village. Overnight in tents. (Approx. 7 hours driving; Tent camp; B, L, D)

Day 6. Matad soum

Our journey will continue today on the eye-stretching eastern Mongolian steppe; here, there will be opportunities to spot herds of the famous Mongolian gazelles. We will make frequent stops to inspect local flora and fauna and at a military outpost on the Mongolian-Chinese border for travel permission. In the afternoon, arrive at the group of lakes known as Tashkhai Lakes, some of which appear or dry out, depending on the year’s rainfall.
Continue onto Matad and overnight in tents at one of the lakes. (Approx. 6 hours driving; Tent Camp; B, L, D)

Day 7. Choibalsan city

We will turn westward towards Choibalsan where on the outskirts we will spend our last evening in tents. Time permitting, visit Toson Hulstai Park. Administered by The Nature Conservancy, this is a kidney-shaped chunk of the Eastern Steppe that sprawls across two of Mongolia’s eastern provinces and five different counties, or soums. Altogether, Toson Hulstai covers nearly 1.2 million acres — an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. Great migratory herds of Mongolian gazelle roam here Mongolia Gazelle Photo by Badral Yondon
Ikh Burkhant Photo by Badral Yondon with grey wolves, Siberian marmots, eastern moose, red deer, roe deer, corsac foxes, Pallas’ cats, and Daurian hedgehogs, alongside six of the world’s 13 crane species, and nesting populations of golden eagle, steppe eagle, saker falcon, Amur falcon, red-footed falcon, lesser kestrel, and black vulture. Overnight in tents with a farewell dinner for this phase of our trip, arranged by our chef. (Approx. 6 hours driving; Tent Camp; B, L, D)

Day 8. Ulaanbaatar

Fly back to Ulaanbaatar. Rest during the remainder of the day. Enjoy dinner at one of the centrally located restaurants. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; B, L, D)

Day 9. Hovd province / Mt. Tsambagarav

Today, fly west to the Hovd, one of the western provinces of Mongolia which is home to the largest number of ethnic groups within Mongolia. We will have entered the western-most lands of the Mongolia proper and plan to reach the breathtaking Tsambagarav Mountain tonight, one of Mongolia’s landmark peaks. The Altai mountain ecoregion is located in the territories of Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China. It encompasses mountain pristine forest ecosystems, surrounded by steppes in the north and east, and by deserts and semi-deserts in the south and west. The region includes the Altai and Sayan mountain systems and vast intermountain depressions. This region is one of the world centers of plant diversity. Its green valley is a popular summer campground for local nomads whom we will meet and with whom we will spend the night, hearing their singing and centuries-old stories. Overnight in tents. (Tent Camp; B, L, D)

Day 10.  Tsengel Khairhan Mountain

Today, we will drive into the ethnic Kazakhs’ land of Bayan Olgii, stopping for lunch at the city of Olgii. In the afternoon we head towards magnificent Tsengel Khairkhan mountain – a popular summer camp for local kazakh nomads. We will visit an eagle hunter family and learn how eagles are trained for hunting. (Tent Camp; B, L, D)

Day 11. Dayan and Hurgan Lakes

Today, drive to Syrgal and the valleys of the Dayan and Hurgan Lakes, some of western Mongolia’s most secluded and beautifully preserved waters. Near the Mongolia-China border, a dramatic valley includes three lakes crisscrossed by small streams, creating unforgettable scenery and myriad wildlife viewing opportunities. Overnight in tents. (Tent Camp; B, L, D

Day 12. Dayan Hurgan Lakes

We will spend one full day at our leisure exploring the local sights, sounds, and scenery. Visit some ancient Turkik
Tolbo lake, Photo by Badral Yondon stones and petroglyphs of life-size horses dating back to the 6-7th century AD. Overnight in tents. (Tent Camp; B, L, D)

Day 13. Ulgii

Drive back to the town of Ulgii for our final night in western Mongolia. We will visit a local mosque and town market. Overnight in a local hotel. (Local Hotel; B, L, D)

Day 14. Ulgii / Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, transfer to the airport for our flight (3 hours) back to Ulaanbaatar. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Bayangol or similar; B, L, D)

Day 15. Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.

Trip Highlights:

  • Travel through Mongolia’s vast grassland, mountain systems and the steppe, which conjure up the image of wild open landscape and endless skyline.
  • Enjoy hiking in some of the most scenic trails in Mongolia while learning about birds, flowers and geology
  • Visit the eastern Dornod steppes, central grassland and the western Altai mountain region
  • Visit the habitat areas of Mongolian gazelles and world’s rarest crane species
  • Meet local kazakh hunters who train Golden Eagles for hunting
  • Enjoy camping  under Mongolia’s blue skies and enjoying tasty field meals
  • Enjoy meeting with nomads and exploring the nomadic culture of Mongolia


Trip Date:

Aug 14 – 28, 2024

2 travelers:

$3,850 per person, twin occupancy

3-5 travelers:

$3,670 per person, twin occupancy

6-9 travelers:

$3,400 per person, twin occupancy

10 and more travelers:

$3,200 per person, twin occupancy

Optional single supplement:

$480 per person

Domestic flight:

$530 per person



Hotel Ulaanbaatar

Hotel Ulaanbaatar is conveniently located in downtown Ulaanbaatar and is a very well established hotel with a friendly staff. All major atractions of UB are located with a walking distance of the hotel.

camping night view mongolia

Field camps

In the countryside, most of our accommodation will be arranged in expedition style tents. These are some of the best camping grounds in the entire country and be sure to watch for the northern stars and the entire Milkyway spanning over us!


Ger camps

Through some portion of the program, we might have an opportunity to stay at cozy and authentic ger camps with western bathroom and restaurant facilities. Most visitors find staying in gers as one of the highlights of their trip to Mongolia.

Land Transportation:

Land transportation is provided by Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps seating  3 passangers per vehicle. Some roads can be bumby and hard but our drivers are some of the most experienced and reliable in the country.