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11 Day East Gobi Point to Point Tour for Advanced Riders in Mongolia
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


Horseback Trail Ride Mongolia

On this new trip, you will explore the rich and unique landscapes of the Eastern Gobi on horseback. This is the closest you get to a safari experience in Mongolia. This horseback journey offers close encounters with Mongolian horsemen, nomadic people who have thus far been able to withstand modern pressures and lifestyles. There is no other nation in the world that depends on horses to such an extent.

Key information:

  • Rider weight limit: 100-130kg
  • Horse height range: 160-170cm
  • Horse breed: Mongolian Horse

Highlights

  • English-speaking guide
  • 8 days of horse riding sessions
  • Learn about the life of the nomads
  • For riders capable of riding at all paces confidently
  • Adventure with horses and camel carts in the great outdoors
  • Camping equipment and all local transport
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 10 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


8 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, German, Italian, Korean, Russian
Group size: 2-8 participants
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Accommodation

During this horse riding trip, you will stay in spacious tentipis with foldable bed-cots. Bring your own sleeping bag. You will take along a Mongolian ger (yurt) to serve as your mobile restaurant, as well as showers and compost toilets housed in traditional Mongolian marquee style tents. For two nights, you will stay at Nomadic Journeys' own low-impact ger camp at Ikhnart Rocks. Two nights will be spent in Ulaanbaatar at a centrally located hotel. All accommodation will be in shared double occupancy.

  • 2 nights in hotels
  • 2 nights in gers
  • 6 nights in tents

Program

During this tour, you will ride through the arid steppes and through a labyrinth of maze-like granite rock formations. You will come across game such as an estimated 1000 Argali sheep (Ovis ammon), the world’s largest wild sheep with impressive horns, about 200 Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica) and sometimes Mongolian (Procapra gutturosa) and Goitred gazelles (Gazella subguttorosa), and a fox every now and then.

The area also abounds in prehistoric burial sites, petroglyphs and ruins of Buddhist monasteries, representing all layers of Mongolian archaeology. This horseback journey offers close encounters with Mongolian horsemen. Mongolian horsemanship is famous and, in many ways, different than anywhere else.

The herders keep their horses in a semi-wild condition, allowing them to graze freely in harem groups. During the harsh winter with extreme subzero temperatures, the horses fend for themselves and protect their foals against predators such as wolves. Fences or stables are virtually unknown. You will undertake this horse ride as a "nomadic journey", e.g. without vehicle support, in wild terrain.

All your luggage will be loaded onto camel carts; even a ger (Mongolian yurt) will be carried to serve as your mobile restaurant. After a week of camping in spacious Tentipis, you come to Nomadic Journeys' own IkhNart Rocks Ger Camp, a seasonal, low impact ger camp located on its own, at the edge of the reserve area.

Practicalities

Nomadic Journeys emphasize the quality of human contacts and encounters with local people and respect for the horse and local equestrian traditions, from which many lessons can be learned. Traveling with Nomadic Journeys means a shared adventure with horses and camel carts in the great outdoors, choosing the life of the nomad.

Transport

On this tour, apart from the short drive to the starting point of your horse riding adventure and back to the city, you will not rely on any motor vehicle support. Instead, you will utilize traditional wooden carts, that Mongolian families still use moving from one pasture to another. Here, you will travel by camel cards and riding horses.

Staff

A Mongolian and English speaking guide will accompany the group at all times. A cook will follow with the camel cart caravan. In addition, the services of local herdsmen will be employed along with their animals. The horsemen follow a traditional lifestyle in the areas where you will be riding.

If the group consists of four riders or more, you will also have a Mongolian doctor come along as part of the crew. There are other languages guides such as Russian, French, German, Italian, Korean, and more, available at additional cost, booked and confirmed ahead of time.

Minimum riding ability

You should be a competent rider, fit and capable of riding a horse at all paces confidently. You will cover varying terrains and will be in the saddle for several hours on most days.

Intermediate level

Riding hours not included lunch time. Between 13:00 and 14:00 picnic lunch. Approximately 5-6 hours riding time, 20-25k.

Advanced level

Riding hours not included lunch time. Between 13:00 and 14:00 picnic lunch. Approximately 6-7 hours riding time, 25-30km.

Between 16:00 and 16:30 all guests should be at camp.

Reversal of trip

Riding tours may be done in the reverse for operational reasons.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Ulaanbaatar

Upon your arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you will be met by your horse guide and transferred to your hotel. There will be a tour briefing and dinner.

Day 2: To Ikh Nart

After breakfast, you will transfer to the train station and board the domestic train bound for Sainshand in the East Gobi. The train ride is a great way to experience the gradual change of landscapes from the central grasslands into the drier Gobi. It takes a bit more than six hours and a picnic lunch will be provided on board.

You will get off at the station Shivee Gobi. You will be met by your local driver and will soon be on your way across the Gobi plains until the Ikh Nart plateau. You will pitch camp at Adaatsyn Hudag, one of the many Gobi wells, which is about an hour drive. Here, you will meet the local herders with the camel carts and your horses. You will get to know the horses and go a short trial ride.

Day 3: To Zuun Khöndlön

After breakfast in your fully private tepee camp, the entire camp, including the ger, is packed up and loaded onto the caravan of camel carts. You will head out in a long loop eastwards, while the camel carts will take a straight route to Zuun Khöndlön, which is only 8 kilometers away.

Along your way, you pass by some ponds and tiny lakes with rocks with fossilized trees from prehistoric times. Actually, one of the longest surviving animals on the planet are the Desert Tadpole Shrimps, which are living fossils, having survived and changed little since the early dinosaur era.

If it is arid, there is no water and no shrimps, but be sure to have a look if you find any small puddles. You will also see some burial sites and tombs dating to the 13th century, i.e. from the times of the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan and his sons and grandsons.

Day 4: To Baruun Khöndlön

Today, you start your ride to Baruun Khöndlön. Early in the morning, you first ride around the Ovoot Mountain to spot some wildlife which might be Mongolian Gazelles (Procapra gutturosa) and some waterfowl near a lake. This area is strewn with basalt stones from ancient volcanoes and many small lakes and ponds sometimes appear between the rocks.

Day 5: To Engeryn Tsohio

Today, you ride over the vast plain to the south to reach the Ikh Khad area. Ikh Khad means “many rocks” in Mongolian as this place has many interestingly shaped and colored rocks. Along the way, you have a fair chance of seeing Argali Sheep, Siberian Ibex, and Mongolian gazelles.

Day 6: To Engeryn Bulag

After breakfast, you will ride to the southwest where many raptors like eagles, falcons, and vultures will be spotted. Mongolia has an unusually large diversity of rodents, which explains the numerous raptors everywhere. The Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) is the largest of all Eurasian raptors and rivals the Condor of the Americas in wingspan and weight. This vulture builds huge nests made of twigs on rocks and in small trees.

Day 7: To Tögrök Lake

You will pack up and ride to the southwest along the plain until you reach a rocky and sandy area, where many 13th century burials and tombs of local kings and lords can be found. There is also a burial site of Buddhist lamas dating to the 1700s to 1800s. There are many petroglyphs and Tibetan writings on the rock faces. Tögrög Lake is tiny and does not always hold water. Groundwater, however, comes up and there are very tall grasses surrounding it. It is located in a very scenic area of rock granite formations.

Day 8: To IkhNart Rocks Wilderness

In the morning we ride to the Ikhnart Rocks Wilderness Ger Camp. We ride north to Red Rock Valley, on of the the spring-fed green places, with elms and poplars. Wildlife come here for water and so do small birds on migration such as warblers.

In May, sometimes one can see Japanese Sparrowhawks on feeding frenzy targeting warblers. We continue to ride north until Khalzan Springs, where there is a derelict camp from the Soviet era, frequently used by locals, as the springs has medicinal properties.

To the east, in the Khalzan Mountains, there are more petroglyphs and tombs dating from the Hunnu period, called Xiongnu by the Chinese, which may date back to 200 BC. Later the Huns evolved to become the first pastoral people, and perhaps some made it to Europe, to topple the Roman Empire. We will ride south until Bichigt Had, (Rock Inscriptions), where close by the Red Rock Wilderness Ger Camp is et up during season.

Day 9: Ikh Nart

From the IkhNart Rocks Ger Camp, you ride to the east between the rocks. You will visit the natural wonders of Bichigt Had, Els Had, and also have a chance to spot Argali sheep. You can also visit a Gobi nomad family and learn about their daily life. You may also try riding a camel. You will ride back to the camp before dinner time.

Day 10: To Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, you will be picked up by a driver and return to Ulaanbaatar. Picnic lunch will be provided along the way. Back in Ulaanbaatar, you will check into your hotel. You will have free time to relax or explore the city on your own. Distances are short and nearly all points of interest can be reached on foot. You will have a farewell dinner in a local restaurant and entertainment.

Day 11: Departure

Transfer out back home or on to your next destination.

Location

Mongolia is a country of growing visitor interest, with its unique cultural heritage, landscape, geographical situation, and natural ecosystem. It is in an ecological transition zone, where the flora and fauna of Siberia meet with the completely different species of the desert and steppes of Central Asia.

Food

Nomadic Journeys' cook will prepare the meals. They pride themselves in having excellent cooks, adepts of both western and Mongolian cooking on trips. There is no problem accommodating vegetarians on the trips. You can usually buy fresh milk and yogurt from local herdsmen.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Naadam Games

There is a Naadam Festival extension possible July 10 - 12. There will be horseraces with almost 1000 racehorses on the plains outside the city, as well as wrestling and archery. The cost is an additional 720 USD per person.

What's included

  • 8-day horse riding tour
  • English speaking guide
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • All local transport
  • All meals outside Ulaanbaatar
  • Breakfast every day in Ulaanbaatar
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Camping equipment

What's not included

  • Beverages
  • Laundry
  • Lunch in Ulaanbaatar
  • Air or train tickets in and out of Mongolia
  • Sleeping bag, riding helmet, and short chaps
  • Other languages guides (Russian, French, German, Italian, Korean, etc.)

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.
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