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HORSE TREKKING IN MONGOLIA

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Trip Duration: 14 days

Trip Dates:

  •  Jun 14 - 27, 2024

  • Jul 1 - 14, 2024

  • Jul 20 - Aug 2, 2024

  • Aug 10 - 23, 2024

Group Size: 6-16 paxs

Trip Cost: $7,895/person

TRIP INFORMATION

 

Mongolian nomad’s timeless way of life awaits you. Witness one of the last nomadic cultures on earth. Before setting out on a four-day trek on horseback, you will receive expert instruction. Ride through nomad settlements, through fields of wildflowers across the expansive steppe to Vulture Mountain. Settle into Lapis Sky gher camp and get to know our Mountain Travel Sobek and nomadic hosts. Spend time exploring the Bhukhan valley dotted by ancient Scythian tombs and visits to nomad families. Try some fly fishing on the Tamar river, take early morning bird watching walks, practice your archery skill, optional photo classes, daily yoga lessons and meditation is offered every morning, and get an intimate, authentic immersion at the Nadam festival across the valley from Lapis Sky camp.

 

 

TRIP HIGHGLIGHTS

  • Mongolian countryside from the perspective of a nomad, traveling primarily on horseback.

  • Visit Hustai Nuur National Park; viewing the remarkable Neolithic graves of Öngut, of the 6th or 7th century, free roaming herds of the Takhi wild horses, walks along the Tuul River and its willows for some birding. Red-footed falcons are relatively easy to see here.

  • Listen to a traditional morinkhuur, or horse-head fiddle concert and imbibe the magical sound of khoomii, or throat singing.

  • Experience the Nadam festival, horse races, wrestling and archery.

  • Explore Kharkhorin Erdene Zhu monastery, 16th century and meet its head lama (his schedule permitting).

  • Meet traditional Shamans.

 

 

ITINERARY

 

Day 1— ARRIVE IN MONGOLIA

Welcome to the energetic Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar! Upon arrival at Chinggis Khaan International Airport, meet an MT Sobek representative and transfer to the hotel. In the late afternoon, gather for orientation and trip briefing followed by a welcome Mongolian feast at a traditional restaurant. 

Meals: D

 

Day 2— SEE WILD HORSES IN HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK

Visit the beautifully restored 19th-century Gandan (Gandantegchinlen) Monastery in Ulaanbaatar. After a ceremonial butter lamp offering, set off for Hustai National Park and settle into your comfortable ger camp with sweeping views. Visit the Neolithic graves of Ongut, take in the Tuul River with its willows and red-footed falcons, and look out for roaming herds of wild Przewalski's horses, locally called takhi.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 3— EXPLORE KHOGNO KHAN RESERVE & ARRIVE IN KARAKORUM

Today journey west across vast grasslands, stopping for lunch at Eden Camp nestled into the sacred Khogno Khan Mountain. The arid terrain and rocky landscape of this remote, 46,900-hectare nature reserve is almost surreal. Continue on to Karakorum, a 4-hour drive from Hustai. With a little luck, ride a camel in Elsen Tasarkhai sand dune, also known as "Little Gobi." In late afternoon, arrive in Karakorum, once the legendary capital of the Mongolian Empire, established by Genghis Khan and his son in the 13th century.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 4 --VISIT ERDENE ZUU KHIID MONASTERY & ARRIVE IN THE BHUKHAN VALLEY

Today explore Karakorum, once a vibrant place that served as the political, cultural and economic capital of Mongolia for 400 years. Little of the original Karakorum remains, except Erdene Zuu Khiid, a Tibetan style monastery built in 1586. Wander around the monastery grounds and, schedule permitting, meet with Khambo Lama to learn about the concept of Hiimur (windhorse). After lunch at a local restaurant, continue on to Tsetserleg, "the Garden City," ringed by stone mountains. Stop here for tea and move on to Lapis Sky Camp in the Bhukhan Valley.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 5— DO YOGA, TAKE A PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS & GO HORSEBACK RIDING

Today choose to join an (optional) yoga session or join a photography class by professional photographer, Thomas Kelly, with a visit to a nearby nomad camp. Witness nomad neighbors milk yaks and horse mares, brush up on your horseback riding skills, and head out for a warm-up ride in the spectacular Bhukhan Valley. This evening, enjoy dinner and wonderful storytelling by local nomads. 

Activity: Yoga session, photography class, 3.5-4 hours horseback riding.

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 6— EXPLORE BHUKHAN VALLEY

Take an (optional) yoga session, and then join professional photographer Thomas Kelly for a photo walk , to heighten photographic skills and capture images of the dazzling countryside and nomadic way of life. Go fishing for grayling and lenok trout or practice your aim with a bow and arrow. In the afternoon, mount a horse and pay a visit to nomads camped nearby, to spend time in their gers and learn about their everyday life. In the evening, gather for a feast of traditional Mongolian barbecue.

Activity: Yoga session, photography class, fly-fishing, archery

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 7— TREK TO VULTURE MOUNTAIN ON HORSEBACK

This morning head out for a birdwatching walk, a fishing activity, or a yoga session - choose what suits you. After lunch at the camp, saddle up and set out on a horseback riding adventure across the sweeping steppes. Ride for 3 hours to Vulture Mountain and camp in a lovely meadow setting.

Activity: 3.5-4 hours horseback riding

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 8— JOURNEY TO MANDAL MOUNTAIN BY HORSEBACK

Today set out on horseback for an invigorating 5-hour ride over majestic mountain passes, along the way circling Buddhist ovoos, ceremonial cairns set in high places. In the afternoon, camp at the base of Mandal Mountain, a sacred ancestral place for Mongolians.

Activity: 3.5-4 hours horseback riding

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 9— ATTEND A BUDDHIST CEREMONY ATOP MANDAL MOUNTAIN

This morning set out for a silent walk up to Mandal Mountain and attend a Buddhist ceremony at a sacred ovoo at the mountaintop. Spend the rest of the day exploring Bhukhan Valley - head out for a walk, go fishing, or take an optional horseback ride to a nearby nomad settlement. In the evening, enjoy a feast of traditional Mongolian barbecue and singing around a bonfire. 

Activity: 3.5-4 hours horseback riding (optional) or 1.5 – 2 hour RT hike/600’ elevation gain/loss (optional)

Meals: B, L, D

Day 10— RETURN ON HORSEBACK TO LAPIS SKY CAMP

Today ride back across the steppe to Bhukhan Valley ; alternatively, return by jeep. Settle into your ger at Lapis Sky Camp and enjoy free time to unwind before gathering for a shaman performance, followed by a hearty dinner in the camp's dining ger.

Activity: 3.5-4 hours horseback riding

Meals: B, L, D

Day 11— EXPERIENCE A LOCAL NAADAM FESTIVAL

Today take part in an exciting local Naadam festival. Naadam (short for Eriyn Gurvan Naadam) means "Three Manly Games" — bareback horse racing, wrestling, and archery. These festivals take place every summer, and young men train all year to compete. Watch the races, mingle with locals, meet the winners, take photos, and sample delicious local food.

Activity: Cultural festival

Meals: L, D

 

Day 12— ENJOY A DAY OF LEISURE AT LAPIS SKY CAMP

Today enjoy a day of leisure to soak up the serene surroundings of Lapis Sky Camp. Choose among several activities. Set out on horseback to visit the nomads' winter camp, head out for a hike, go on a fishing expedition to the Tamir River, practice yoga or archery, or just relax at the camp. This evening, listen to a traditional morin khuur, a horse-head fiddle concert, as you sit around the camp's bonfire and bid farewell to the nomad horsemen and hosts.

Activity: Horseback riding, fishing, hiking, yoga, archery (all optional)

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 13– JOURNEY BACK TO ULAANBAATAR

After breakfast, journey back to Ulaanbaatar by bus, while enjoying a movie about the history of the Mongol Empire. Stop along the way for lunch at Altan Tul. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with the group at Namaste restaurant. 

Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 14– DEPART FROM ULAANBAATAR

Bid farewell to Mongolia and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound or onward flight.

Meals: B

Additional Cost

$600.00 Single Supplement

 

Price Includes:

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides

  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary

  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary

  • Potable water and snacks throughout

  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)

  • All necessary horseback riding gear

  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation

  • Arrival and departure day airport transfers

 

Price Does Not Include:

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges

  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides

  • Personal expenses such as, laundry & alcohol

  • Airport transfers if arriving outside of Day 1 or departing outside of the Day 14

  • Optional travel protection

This tour is brought to you by:

&

To book a spot, click here

Know Your Hosts:

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Thomas began his world travels as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, in 1978, and has since worked as a photo-activist-documenting the struggles of marginalized people and disappearing cultural traditions around the world. His work has appeared in Time, National Geographic, The New York Times, and many more publications. Thomas has worked in Mongolia for nearly 20 years and is excited to share his deep knowledge of Mongolian life with MT Sobek travelers.

Galen was raised in the foothills of the Himalayas and the Mongol steppe. He learned how to ride as a toddler in Mongolia and even raced as a jockey in the local naadams. In addition to being an expert horse rider and teacher, he’s an angler who facilitates incredible fishing and rafting experiences on the Tamir river. He’s guided adventures in Kenya, Alaska, Idaho and Mongolia. Alongside fishing, rafting and riding. Galen is a great exercise partner and a joyful person to explore the steppe with. Galen looks forward to sharing his childhood summer home with you.

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Galen Kelly

Stephanie "Chase" Miller

Stephanie Chase Miller grew up on the back of a horse. She worked for over 10 years training horses and their riders for
competitions. In addition to being a competition rider and instructor, she also developed a therapeutic riding program for local
children and adults. In 2018, she co-led her first international equestrian expedition with National Geographic in Mongolia. And in
the years since she has developed a deep affection for the people and culture of Mongolia. Her passion for leadership in the
outdoors pushed her to earn her Wilderness EMT and Wilderness Medicine Certification from the University of Colorado, Denver.
She is currently working on a masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in hopes of blending her passion for mental health with
her love of the outdoors. She is trained to teach several different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, and Senior Yoga.
She is now based in the Teton Valley, Idaho where, she can enjoy endless horseback riding opportunities. She is an avid rock/ice
climber, skier, kayaker and more. But what gives her the most joy is the opportunity to share her love of the outdoors with others.

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