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Desert Explorer

35% OFF!
FromUS$ 775
35% OFF!
FromUS$ 775
May 29, 2019
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Terms & Conditions

The purchase of travel services offered by Tour Mongolia constitutes a contractual arrangement between the person making the booking and Tour Mongolia, and represents acceptance of Tour Mongolia’s Terms and Conditions described here.  They form the basis on which bookings are accepted by Tour Mongolia and it is important that you read them carefully.

 

This epic desert tour will take you on an odyssey through a multitude of dramatic landscapes, natural wonders, and places of epic beauty. Experience the incredible landscapes in the Gobi’s wilderness, venture to remote and difficult to access areas rarely visited by tourists. Traverse through landscapes of sand dunes, cliffs, oasis, rock formations and much more. Look for dinosaur fossils, ancient petroglyphs that dot the area, watch wild gazelles and birds of prey in their natural habitat, hike rocky canyons, sand dunes and on the ice, plus ride a Bactrian camel. Accommodation is a mix of camping and guest ger stays next to local nomadic families. If you want an off-the-beaten-track adventure that encompasses natural desert wonders and nature of sublime natural beauty, then this seven-day tour is the one for you!

Tour Departures:

May 29th 2019

Duration:

7 Days

Group Size:

2-9 Pax

Highlights

SOUTH GOBI - YOL AM (VULTURE VALLEY) - ICE WALK - NOYON MOUNTAIN - TOLI KHAD (MIRROR CLIFFS) - NARAN DAZAA BULAG OASIS - KHERMEN TSAV (DINOSAUR FOSSIL SITE) - ZULGANAI OASIS - NEMEGT FORMATION - KHONGOR ELS (SINGING DUNES) - CAMEL RIDE - DUNE CLIMBING 0 KHAVSGAIT PETROGLYPHS - BAYANZAG FLAMING CLIFFS

Fitness Level

- ACTIVE: This tour involves considerable walking and long travel days.

Meeting point

Good news! You can get picked up from a hotel or the airport, just email us the details. Don't worry if you don't have the address yet, you can pass it onto us later.

Transport

On the dust of the desert and mud of the steppe, the Japanese off-road MPV provides comfort and safety for your trip. These 4x4 vehicles are specifically tuned for the rough off-roading that's inevitable when traveling in the wilds of Mongolia. They provide ample space, air conditioning and are well maintained, while offering good luggage space, seat belts and speed.

Guide

At Tour Mongolia we believe that a good guide is essential to the enjoyment of any trip. Your guide will be English speaking and hand picked by us to suit your itinerary and requirements. Each guide is personally briefed on all elements of the trip. You will be sent guide details in the confirmation document prior to your tour.

Accommodation

During your journey you will be staying at authentic guest gers next to nomadic families living in the Gobi as well as camping in quality tents. Gers are equipped with beds, linen, heating stove, table and chairs and have electric lightning. Compost loos are outside, while showers are not available as homestay facilities being naturally basic.

ROUTE MAP

ITINERARY

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

MAY 29
MAY 30
MAY 31
JUN 1
JUN 2
JUN 3
JUN 4

DRIVE TO SOUTH GOBI – MANDALGOVI – DALANZADGAD – YOL AM
Meet your guide at your hotel or another prearranged Ulaanbaatar location around 7:00 am to make most of the day, hop into vehicle and journey south to the Gobi. Stop en-route for lunch in Mandalgovi, which is the mid-point of today’s drive and in the South Gobi’s provincial capital of Dalanzadgad, to pick up supplies such as snacks and beer, as there will be no more shops in the wilds of the desert. You should arrive at the nomadic family’s encampment in time for dinner. The family’s location is usually very close to the entrance of the Yol Am gorge, where you will venture tomorrow, but since they are nomads, it will vary depending on the time of the year. Enter the ger and experience the hospitality and traditional nomadic way of life – you can help make and drink milk tea, plus try homemade produce such as yogurt and dried curds. For dinner enjoy a nomadic homemade food – you can help with food preparation if you wish. In the evening there will be time to socialize with your nomadic hosts over homemade vodka made of fermented mare’s milk, or alternatively for some incredible stargazing of the clear, Gobi sky.

Travel details: 7-8h/580km drive to Yol Am
Accommodation: Guest ger next to nomadic family
Meals included: Lunch; Dinner

YOL AM (VULTURE VALLEY) – NOYON BOGD UUL
After breakfast, drive a short distance to Yol Am – we always advise an early visit to avoid other people, to maximize the chance of seeing wildlife before the heat of the day comes, and for the best light for photography. Park up at the head of the valley and keep a lookout for birds of prey and ibex on top of the rocky outcrops above you as you wander down into the gorge. The walk here typically lasts around 1-2 hours depending on distance ventured and one’s individual pace. As you walk further down the valley the steep rock faces close in and the stream that crisscrosses the path disappears under sheets of ice. After you have explored the area, continue driving through the rocky tracks through the Gurvan Saikhan hills, and South onto Noyon Mountain and Toli Khad scenic areas. You will be camping in tents tonight, and there will also be time to go for a walk from the campsite in the afternoon. In the evening enjoy dinner by campfire.

Travel details: 15min/10km to Yol Am; 5h/170km to Noyon Uul
Accommodation: Camping – Tent
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

TOLI KHAD (MIRROR ROCK) – NARANBULAG OASIS – KHERMEN TSAV
At dawn, if you wake up early, you may be able to see the spectacle of the morning sun’s reflection on the Toli Khad cliffs. After breakfast, continue your journey deeper into the Gobi desert, passing the Oasis of saxaul trees at Naranbulag and onto the fascinating canyon and the UNESCO-protected zone of Khermen Tsav, famous for being rich in dinosaur fossils. We recommend a walk in the area, both on top of the canyon and on the lower grounds among the saxaul trees that surround it. The views are spectacular, especially during sunset. In the evening, camp in this remote area of the Gobi and enjoy a hearty dinner.

Travel details: 4-5h/130km to Khermen Tsav
Accommodation: Camping – Tent
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

ZULGANAI OASIS – NEMEGT FORMATION
Today you drive back east to Gurvan Saikhan National Park, passing first the oasis of Zulganai. Have a walk among the tall reeds that are part of the important ecosystem in the area. Then continue towards Nemegt formation, where you will camp tonight. It was here that almost complete fossilized skeleton of Tarbosaurus dinosaur was found. Tarbosaurus, similar to its American cousin Tyrannosaurus, was one of the largest land predators, standing up to 5m tall and 12m long, weighing up to 5 tonnes. Explore the area on foot looking out for fossils which still often could be found dotting the cliffs, or just relax at your camp. The tables and chairs will be set up for an al-fresco dinner in the evening near the Nemegt rock formation.

Travel details: 3h/80km to Nemegt Formation via Zulganai Oasis
Accommodation: Camping – Tent
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

KHONGOR ELS – CAMEL RIDE – DUNE CLIMBING – COOKING LESSON
After breakfast fold down the tents and drive through the rocky paths of the Gurvan Saikhan National Park to Khongor Els dunes. Keep a lookout for gazelles and birds of prey as you drive – the scenery is beautiful. Today you will stay in a guest ger next to a local camel herding family. Enjoy the hospitality in their ger where you will be able to try camel milk and other traditional Mongolian fare. In the afternoon mount Bactrian camels for an 2-hour ride alongside the dunes. Afterwards the schedule is flexible and you can be as active as you wish: in the evening you may want to venture to the dunes again and climb a higher one for spectacular sunset view or have a Mongolian cooking lesson with your hosts- learn how to prepare Huushuur (fried meat pastry) or Buuz (steamed dumplings) and enjoy the fruits of your labors for dinner. Alternatively, you may want to just put up your feet, rest and read a book, and enjoy the beautiful scenery – discuss your preferences with your guide, you can be as active or relaxed as you wish.

Travel details: 3-4h/100km to Khongor Els
Accommodation: Guest ger next to nomadic family
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

BULGAN – BAYANZAG FLAMING CLIFFS – DALANZADGAD
After breakfast, say goodbye to your hosts and drive off-road to the Bayanzag. As you drive, look out for herds of white-tailed gazelles and demoiselle or white-naped cranes. Stop at Khavtsgait to explore the petroglyphs. Walk up a rocky outcrop and search the surrounding rocks for ancient engravings that dot the area. You will be surprised by how many there are one can spend a good half an hour exploring and discovering. From this vantage point, there is a fantastic view over the surrounding plains. Have lunch in the small village of Bulgan – perhaps also visit one of the Gobi’s few organic farms located here – before continuing onto Bayanzag for an exploratory walk around the spectacular sandstone formations, known as the Flaming Cliffs due to their deep red hue. We advise spending up to two hours strolling around this paleontological wonder and search for dinosaur fossils – both atop the cliffs and down on the valley floor – before hopping back in the vehicles and continuing to Dalanzadgad. Arrive for time for dinner and settle in your gers for your last night in the Gobi.

Travel details: 5h/150km to Bayanzag; 2h/85km to Dalanzadgad
Accommodation: Guest ger next to a local family
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch

RETURN TO ULAANBAATAR
Today you head back to Ulaanbaatar, it’s a long drive, so you may want to start early. Thankfully it’s pavement all the way! You will stop for lunch in Mandalgovi and should arrive in the capital by 6 pm. Once back in town, you will be dropped at a location of your choice (multiple drop-offs are possible).

Travel details: 7-8hrs/550km to Ulaanbaatar
Accommodation:
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch

COSTINGS

Cost Per Person: $1190  $775 €1040  €685

Included:

Surface transportation - Road taxes - Accommodation as specified - Local Guide - Sightseeing and activities as specified - Museum & park entrance fees - Meals as specified

Excluded:

International flights - Tips - Laundry - Bar bills - Items of a personal nature - Visas - Photography/filming charges at e.g. museums and monasteries

NOTES:

Private tour: This is a group tour, with a fixed departure date. You will meet and be joining a small group of other travelers on this trip.

Occupancy: you can stay in a single, twin or double room/ger/tent (where applicable).  At community-based camps and ger homestays, single occupancy is subject to availability. Single and twin/double occupancy at ger camps require an extra supplement.

Discounts*: Our clients can take an opportunity to get following discount options:

  • 10% discount if three or more of you book the trip together

*Discounts are not cumulative, only one discount is available per client/group.

Travel arrangements: We are happy to book your international or domestic flight/train tickets or accommodation in Ulaanbaatar at discount prices, please contact us for availability.

More information: info@tourmongolia.com