Birding in the gobi, steppe and high mountains of Mongolia

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    The Gobi Desert and Central Mongolian grassland is home to some of the most diverse and endemic bird species of Mongolia. While exploring the valleys, slopes and ridges, one can encounter with a wide range of mountain species, including the impressive Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier), Chukar Partridge, Himalayan Griffon, the impressive Cinereous Vulture, Booted and magnificent Golden Eagles, Water Pipit, Black Redstart, Alpine, Brown and the breeding nearly endemic Kozlov’s Accentors, Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch, Twite, Godlewski’s Bunting, Pallas’s Reed Bunting, Common Rock Thrush, and with a bit of luck, Grey-necked bunting and rare Red-mantled Rosefinch and Spotted Great Rosefinch. At Yol valley for example, flocks of White-winged Snowfinches are regularly seen and can be very confident while feeding along the trail. Further north,  Boon Tsagaan lake covers an area of 252 km² at 1,312 m above sea level. It has a length of 24km and a width of 11 km, with an average depth of 9.6 m. It is the largest of the Lake of Valley and also the primary site for watching Relict Gull, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Dalmatian pelican, Mute swan and various waterfowl and waders. The lake supports a number of globally threatened species and is an important area for their breeding and congregation before migration. The trip will conclude at Hustai Nuruu National park, one of the best managed conservation areas in Mongolia with its own unique animal kingdom in Mongolia.

    Brief Daily Itinerary

    Day 1. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

    Enjoy a short city tour followed by a welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant

    Day 2. Gobi Desert

    In the morning, we will begin driving to south the mighty Gobi desert. Stay overnight tour camp

    Day 3-4. Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park

    In the next to days, we will explore the magnificent Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park lies on the northern edge of the Gobi desert. We will spend following two days birding in the Mountain. Hike up into the narrow canyon surrounded by steep, giant mountain formation (2,600m).

    Day 5-6. Hongoryn Els Sand Dunes

    The scenery of Khongoryn Els is brilliant with Rocky Mountains on the south, sand dunes in the center and a river oasis with extensive saxaul forest on the north. Our main target birds here is the scarce and localized Saxaul Sparrow, rather common Southern grey shrike, enigmatic Long-legged buzzard and Mongolian Ground Jay!

    Day 7-10. Boon Tsagaan & Orog Lakes

    From now on the wilderness adventure starts in earnest as we head north into even more sparsely inhabited area. Driving all day crossing rugged terrain of vast Nemegt valley for about 200 km! Stop for Saxaul Sparrow, Southern Grey shrike, Asian desert warbler and Mongolian Groundjay (if not already seen) and White Cave (including a Lesser Kestrel colony). Visit Boom Tsagaan and Orog Lakes and explore its rich habitat corners.

    Day 11-13. Erdenezuu Monastery / Hustain Nuruu National Park

    Our journey returns back towards Ulaanbaatar. We will visit Kharakhorum, the 13th century capital. Next, visit the Hustain Nuruu National Park where the world’s only wild horse is found.

    Day 14-15. Ulaanbaatar

    We return back to Ulaanbaatar, enjoy last minute shopping and sightseeing opportunities and depart Mongolia.

    Trip Highlights:

    • Travel south the Gobi Desert, where some of Mongolia’s most diverse ecosystems are found.
    • Visit Yol Valley and Hongoryn Els sand dunes
    • Travel in the footsteps of Roy Chapman Andrews Bayanhongor province and visit Buir and Orog lakes
    • Visit Kharakhorum and Erdenezuu monastery, exploring Mongolia’s past history
    • Enjoy meeting with nomads and exploring the nomadic culture of Mongolia


    Trip Date:

    June 2-16, 2023

    2 travelers:

    $4,590 per person, standard twin occupancy

    3-5 travelers:

    $4,370 per person, standard twin occupancy

    6-9 travelers:

    $4,150 per person, standard twin occupancy

    10 and more participants:

    $3,850 per person, standard twin occupancy

    Optional single supplement:

    $650 per person


    Ulaanbaatar hotel

    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 Gobi mountains, 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!


    Ger camps

    Throughout the rest of the program, you will be staying 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 Cruisers, seating up to  3 passangers per vehicle. Some roads can be bumby and hard but our drivers are some of the most experienced and reliable in Mongolia.