A Horse Song
Every summer, Mongolians celebrate their age-old festival known as the Naadam. One of the chief events of Naadam is horse racing. For the competition, nomads begin training their fastest horses several weeks in advance, daily ridden by their jockeys so that the horses get rid of the unnecessary weight. These jockeys are children aged between 8-16. During the training rides and the race itself, they shout a special war like song called Giingoo, and we call it the horse song. When Mongolians hear this song over the grassland, everyone is excited and humbled.
The journey begins at the Lake Hovsgol where you will have an opportunity to ride and camp under the stars. Then visit Central Mongolia to have an exclusive access to the horse trainers’ camps and learn how horses are trained for the Naadam Festival. The journey in the Gobi Desert, where the children can enjoy a camel riding experience and dinosaur fossil hunting at the legendary Flaming Cliffs.
Brief Daily Itinerary
Day 1. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
Enjoy a short city tour followed by a welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2. Ulaanbaatar / Lake Hovsgol
In the morning, we will transfer to the airport for our morning flight to Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia’s largest fresh water lake and the headwaters of Lake Baikal in Russia. Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to the lake. Overnight in gers.
Day 3. Horseback Riding
After breakfast, enjoy a full day of horseback riding along the lake shore. We will start riding south and return to the camp from its northern direction by making a large loop. Overnight in gers.
Day 4. Bulgan province/ Saikhan soum
In the morning, we will drive south to Bulgan province, known for its horses, an Olympic judo champion hero, and beautiful forested mountain scenery. Overnight in tents.
Day 5. Horse breeder family
We will spend this day with a horse breeder family and learn about their life and culture. Overnight in tents.
Day 6. Kharakhorum
In the morning, drive south to the Kharakhorum, the 13th century capital of Mongolia, We will visit the Erdenezuu Monastery and nearby archeological sites, Overnight in gers.
Day 7 – 9. Delgerkhangai soum
This morning, we will drive south east to the Delgerkhangai soum and camp next to our host herder family for the following several days. Everyday, we will observe how their train their race horses and will have an opportunity to ride them. Overnight in tents.
Day 10. Dalanzadgad
This morning, we will bid farewell to our host family and drive further south to Dalanzadgad, the provincial capital of South Gobi province. In the afternoon, drive to the Yol valley located in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. Overnight in gers.
Day 11. Havtsgait Petroglyphs / Flaming Cliffs
In the morning, explore the Havtsgait Petroglyphs, an amazing collection of early Bronze Age rock paintings located on the top of a mountain. Next, transfer to our ger camp near the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. In the evening, we will drive to the Flaming Cliffs, a red cliff formation stretching about 3 km, in width, where hundreds of dinosaurs fossils have been found. Overnight in gers.
Day 12. Ulaanbaatar
In the morning, we will transfer to the airport for our return flight back to Ulaanbaatar for our last day of exploration. Spend the remainder of the day for last-minute shopping and sightseeing. In the evening, enjoy a cultural performance featuring the khoomii or “throat” singing followed by a hearty farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant.
Day 13. Departure
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.
- Experience Mongolia amidst of its most popular festival, the Naadam games;
- Enjoy riding horses and camels along with young Mongolian nomads;
- Visit horse trainers’ camps and explore how horses are trained;
- Explore some of Mongolia’s most beautiful countries including the magnificent; Lake Hovsgol and the legendary Gobi Desert;
- Make a life-long friend and expand your horizons!
Post-Trip Altai Mountains Extension
Why not extend your journey and visit Altai Tavan Bogd National Park? On this western Mongolian journey, we will visit Mongolia’s highest peaks and trek amidst stunningly beautiful peaks. We will visit local Kazakh hunters’ camps to learn how golden eagles are trained and meet talented Kazakh women who are renowned for their skill of making colorful embroideries.
DATES & PRICING
July 2 – 14, 2023
$3,840 per person, standard twin occupancy
$3,650 per person, standard twin occupancy
$3,250 per person, standard twin occupancy
$230 per person
Optional single supplement:
$400 per person
ACCOMMODATIONS & TRANSPORTATION
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.
During some portion of the itinerary, we will be staying expedition style tents. It is one 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!
Throughout the most part of your itinerary, you will stay at tourist standard ger camp, a rustic, eco lodges. Most past travelers said ger camp experiences are pleasant and one of the most memorable part of the travels.
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.