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Desert Explorer

Price
FromUS$ 775
Price
FromUS$ 775
May 29, 2019
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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 OVERVIEW

Tour start date:

May 29th 2019

Duration:

7 Days

Group Size:

2-9

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.

Services included

Accommodation in guest gers and tents - Transport by a 4WD Japanese van - English speaking guide - All meals as listed - All entrance fees - Camel ride

Services not included

Travel insurance - Visas - Snacks & alcohol - Photography fees at monasteries and museums - Items of personal nature

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 AND STAY AT AUTHENTIC GER
After meeting your guide at your hotel’s lobby at 7:00 am, board the vehicle and travel south to the Gobi desert. The drive will take most of the day, around 8 hours (550 km), but you will stop for lunch in Mandalgovi, which is the mid-point of today’s drive and in the South Gobi’s provincial capital of Dalanzadgad, where you will be able to stock up on snacks and other supplies. 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. For dinner enjoy nomadic homemade food – if you wish, you will also have a chance to try your hand at Mongolian cooking. 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.

Overnight you will stay at an authentic guest ger next to a nomadic family. lunch and dinner are included.

EXPLORE YOL AM VALLEY (ICE WALK) AND TRAVEL TO NOYON BOGD UUL
After a homemade Mongolian breakfast, travel 10-20km to Yol Am, the Vulture Valley. The vehicle will be left at the gorge’s entrance, from where you will need to venture on foot. Yol Valley is notable for a deep ice field, which is several meters thick by the end of winter and is several kilometers long. In the summer there is usually less ice, but you should still be able to walk on it. The area is also a habitat of ibex and birds of prey and you may be spot wildlife on top of the cliffs. After returning to the vehicle, continue your journey deeper into the Gobi, passing the Gurvan Saikhan National Park, and south onto Noyon Mountain and Toli Khad scenic areas. The drive will take 4-5 hours (170km). Tonight you will be camping in tents, and there will also be time to go for a walk from the campsite in the afternoon. In the evening enjoy dinner by campfire.

Overnight you will camp in a tent. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included.

JOURNEY TO KHERMEN TSAV VIA TOLI KHAD (MIRROR ROCK) & NARANBULAG OASIS
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. The drive will take around 4 hours (130km). After arrival, 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.

Overnight you will camp in a tent. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included.

JOURNEY DEEP INTO GOBI – ZULGANAI OASIS AND NEMEGT FORMATION
Today you travel back east to the Gurvan Saikhan National Park, after an hour (30km) stopping at the oasis of Zulganai. Take a walk among the tall reeds that are an important part of the ecosystem in the area. Then continue towards Nemegt formation, where you will camp tonight. The scenic drive will take a further 2 hours (80km). 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. Many dinosaur fossil discoveries still take place here today. Explore the area on foot looking out for fossils which still often could be found dotting the cliffs, or just relax at the camp. The tables and chairs will be set up for an al-fresco dinner in the evening near the Nemegt rock formation.

Overnight you will camp in a tent. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included.

EXPLORE THE DUNES OF KHONGOR ELS, RIDE BACTRIAN CAMEL AND LEARN MONGOLIAN COOKING
After breakfast fold down the tents and travel 3 hours (100km) on rocky trails to the Khongor Els dunes. Keep a lookout for gazelles and birds of prey as you drive – the scenery is beautiful and populated by a plethora of wildlife. Tonight 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 specialties. In the afternoon mount Bactrian camels for a 2-hour ride alongside the dunes. After returning to the family encampment the schedule is flexible: 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). Alternatively, you may want to rest and enjoy the beautiful scenery – discuss your preferences with your guide.

Overnight you will stay in a guest ger next to a camel herders family. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included.

EXPLORE KHAVSGAIT PETROGLYPHS AND BAYANZAG FLAMING CLIFFS
After breakfast, say goodbye to your hosts and travel off-road to Bayanzag for 5 hours (150km). During the scenic drive, you are likely to see wild gazelles as they run along – it’s difficult for vehicles to catch up with them! On the way, you will stop at an ancient sacred site of Khavtsgait, where on top of a rocky hill there are hundreds of ancient stone engravings, called petroglyphs. Some of them are as old as 3000 BC and were painted by hunters while waiting for prey. The site also offers wonderful views over the desert. Have lunch in a village of Bulgan and soon after you will arrive at Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs. It was here that the first dinosaur eggs were discovered by an American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, and the area remains one of the most famous paleontological sites in the world. Stroll for an hour or two among the flaming-red cliffs where the dinosaurs once roamed and in the evening travel a short distance to a nomadic family living nearby, where you will stay tonight. Arrive on time for dinner and settle in your ger for your last night in the Gobi.

Overnight you will stay in a guest ger next to a nomadic family. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included.

RETURN TO ULAANBAATAR
Today you head back to Ulaanbaatar, it’s a long drive of 550km (7-8 hours) so you may want to start early. You will stop for lunch in Mandalgovi and you should arrive in the capital by 6 pm. Once back in town, you will be dropped at your hotel or another location of your choice.

Breakfast and lunch are included.

PRICES

Tour price per person:   $775

INFORMATION

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.

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