Walking with Mongolian Dinosaurs
This pioneering expedition is arranged under the auspices of the Mongolian Paleontological Center with a goal of assisting its scientific research and field study projects through sustainable tourism. Participants will be led by Dr. Tsogtbaatar, who is one of Mongolia’s leading paleontologists, along with young Mongolian scientists and our field staff. Our trip begins in Ulaanbaatar, where we will visit several of the best-known museums and sites such as the Gandan Monastery, National History and Fine Arts Museums. We will also tour Mongolian Paleonto-logical Laboratory. We will then fly to the heart of the Gobi desert from where we will continue traveling overland to the eastern part of the Gobi where some of the most scenic and obscure landscapes await us. This part of the Gobi belongs to the early Cretaceous, about 80-93 million years ago, which was a key period for dinosaur evolution. For the remainder of this trip, we will be living a life of true paleontologists, joining the research team in their daily work with a chance to participate in actual excavations and make new discoveries. Hearty meals will be served each day by our expert field-chef following adventurous days of field prospecting and working.
About Dr. Tsogtbaatar Khishigjav
Dr. Tsogtbaatar Khishigjav graduated from Mongolia’s National University as a biologist and completed his doctoral work at the Kagoshima University of Japan. He began his career as a research staff member at the Instituteof Geology of Mongolia’s Academy of Science and served as the director of Mongolian Paleontological Laboratory and the Natural History Museum. Currently, he is the director of the Mongolian Paleontology Center, the top research institute in Mongolia.
Dr. Tsogtbaatar is one of the most experienced Mongolian field experts, who began his field research and excavation career in the early 1980s. He has personally led many expeditions including the excavation a complete skeletonof Tarbosaurus bataar found in the western Gobi. As a coordinator, Dr. Tsogtbaatar was behind the organization of ground-breaking fossil exhibitions called Mongolian Dinosaurs in over 70 cities in twenty countries in the past 24 years. He is the Mongolian leader of Japan-Mongolia joint expedition, which has made some significant discoveries. His main research area is Ornithopoda dinosaurs including Hadrosauroid or “duck-billed dinosaurs.” Dr. Tsogtbaatar is fluent in English and Russian.
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. Ulaanbaatar sightseeing
Spend this day exploring the sights and sounds of Ulaanbaatar. Visit Gandan Monastery and some of the best museums.
Day 3. Fly Gobi Desert
In the morning, fly south east to the Gobi desert and check-in to a 3ger camp. This will be our first taste of Mongolia’s countryside and first day in the Gobi desert.
Day 4 – 8. Fossil prospecting
In the next few days, we will be exploring and prospecting at some of Gobi’s richest dinosaur fossil localities, led by Dr. Tsogtbaatar with an opportunity to assist in the excavation of the important finds.
Day 9 – 10. Shar Tsav
We will move our campt site yet again to Shar Tsav. This unique place in the Gobi keeps some of Gobi’s best preserved foot prints of dinosaurs.
Day 11. Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park
In the morning, we will drive west to te Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, known as the Three Beautiful Mountains of the Gobi, to explore some of Gobi’s key attraction sites.
Day 12. Tugrugiin Shiree
In the morning, drive to Tugrugiin Shiree, another of the Gobi’s rich localities for dinosaur’ fossil excavations. It was here where the famous fighting dinosaur was discovered in the 1970s during a joint Polish-Mongolian expedition.
Day 13. Yol Valley / Flaming Cliffs
In the morning, explore the magnificent Yol Valley, named after the birded vulture lammergeyer. In the afternoon, explore the legendary Flaming Cliffs where the first dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen were found.
Day 14. Ulaanbaatar
In the morning, we will fly back to Ulaanbaatar and enjoy a last minute shopping and sightseeing. Enjoy a traditional cultural performance in the evening.
Day 15. Departure
Farewell and transfer to the airport for departure.
- Travel in the Gobi Desert in the spirit of the early explorers in search of dinosaur fossils
- Learn about Gobi’s geology and fossil sediments during private lectures provided by Dr.Tsogtbaatar
- Explore Gobi’s local flora and fauna
- Work along side Mongolian paleontologists
- Learn about current challanges and future projects to preserve and protect Mongolia’s fossil localities
- Meet camel herders and enjoy their hospitality
- Live a field life of paleontologist, being a part of scientific cause
- Minimum number of participants required for the trip: 6 people
- The group meets on Day 1 at Hotel Ulaanbaatar
- It is led by a Mongolian paleontologist and an experienced national guide
- Majority of nights in the Gobi will be spent in expedition style tent camps with basic but efficient field amenities such as shower and field toilets provided
- Each day, we will go prospecting for fossils under the guidance of Mongolian field expert
- Essential field equipment for excavation will be provided
DATES & PRICING
Sep 6 – 20, 2019;
ACCOMMODATIONS & TRANSPORTATION
Hotel Ulaanbaatar is conveniently located in downtown Ulaanbaatar and is a well established accommodation with its 20th century characte-ristics and friendly staff. All major attractions of UB are located within walking distance from the hotel.
Once we arrive at the fossil localities, we will stay in expedition stye tents. There will be a mass tent for meals and our evening lectures. Sleeping bags and matresses will be provided.
In the start and the end part of the Gobi program, we 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 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. Separate supply vehicles will be used to carry our tents and kitchen supplies.