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Explore Khan Khentii, Mongolia

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Asia-Planet  >  Mongolia  >  Mongolia Tours  >  11 days Khan Kenthii and Gobi Steppes

11 days Khan Kenthii and Gobi Steppes
Itinerary (Ulaanbaatar - Jalman Meadows - Khan Khentii - Ulaanbaatar - Arburd Sands - Zorgol Hairhan Mountains - Bogd Uul - Ulaanbaatar )

Joint tour : Departure from Ulaanbataar

Day  1
Ulaanbaatar (-/-/Diner)
Arrive in the Mongolian capital by air on a Sunday. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and tour briefing in the evening.

Day  2
Ulaanbaatar - Jalman Meadows (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
After breakfast we leave Ulaanbaatar for the Upper Tuul River Valley in the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area, some 120 km out of town. A 3 hours drive by bus or jeep. However, first we visit the Gandan Lamasery, the liveliest Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. Thereafter we drive one hour on tarmac road out of town, one hour through a beautiful steppe valley with many herdsmen with their livestock.

The last hour crosses the ridge at Zamtiin Davaa, and through forests we reach the Upper Tuul River Valley. It is the winter grazing lands of the local herdsmen, which is why most of them are not in the area in the middle of the summer. It allows for a profusion of wildflowers, such as edelweiss. We will stay at Jalman Meadows Ger Camp by the Upper Tuul River

Day  3
Jalman Meadows - Khan Khentii (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
full days of exploration of the area. Either on foot, on horseback or using the Russian catarafts available at camp. You choose the pace of your journey here, and also the modes of transport you would like to use.

The Hentii Mountains, are covered with larch and birch forests. The protected area was established in December 1993, covering most of the Hentii wilderness stretching all the way up to the Russian-Siberian frontier. Herdsmen keep their livestock in the southern areas, and they follow a lifestyle that essentially has been the same since the time of Genghis Khan. To the north is uninhabited wilderness.

Although rarely seen, wolves are numerous in the area. There are also Wild Boars, Moose, Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), Marmots and Gazelle.

We will use yaks to pull the wooden traditional carts on which the catarafts will be loaded and transported. No support vehicles will be required, to undertake the float trip on the Upper Tuul River, let alone practical. Rivers flow down broad steppe valleys. Along the rivers there are wooded and alluvial meadows with broad leaf forests.

Day  4
Khan Khentii (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Another full day of exploration of the Khan Khentii area.

Day  5
Khan Khentii - Ulaanbaatar (Breakfast/-/-)
After breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar (3-3,5 hrs). In the afternoon free time to explore the city. Overnight in a hotel

Day  6
Ulaanbaatar - Arburd Sands (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
A.m. Drive to the south over the treeless steppes for some 4 hours. Picnic on the steppes. Stop by to visit some nomadic families. Our hosts in the area are relatives to one third of the nomadic population scattered all over the steppes here.
Overnight at Arburd Sands Ger Camp.

Day  7
Arburd Sands (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Today we will explore the immediate area of Arburd Sands. We may use camels to trek or ride through the middle of the sand dunes. Arburd Sands is a 20km long sand dune. Strange enough, a good number of wolves - being wary of man - have taken refuge in these dunes and can sometimes be seen. There will be one or two riding camels so that we can try some riding as well We will make contact with other herdsmen. We will no doubt be invited into the gers, and learn about their ancient lifestyle.

Day  8
Arburd Sands (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Another full day of exploration of Gobi desert.

Day  9
Zorgol Hairhan Mountains (Breakfast/Lunch/Diner)
Drive 35 km across the steppes to the holy Zorgol Hairhan Mountains. These are really giant rock formations coming out almost vertically in the middle of the Gobi steppes. We will explore the area and perhaps have a chance to view the rare and elusive Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon), the largest wild sheep in the world, and the equivalent to the American Big Horns. There is also some chance to see Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica) on the ridges. Only with luck we will see them, and almost always at a fair distance. Zorgol Hairhan is a holy mountain, and there are many traces of holy sites such as caves and springs, where local people make offerings.

Day 10
Bogd Uul - Ulaanbaatar (Breakfast/Lunch/-)
A.m. drive back to Ulaanbaatar. On the way we will visit the Bogd Uul Biosphere Reserve and the site of the ruins of Manzhir monastery. This is the southernmost taiga of the area, and we will get up into the hills and some nice forests. Red deer (Cervus elaphus) can usually be seen here. Back in Ulaanbaatar check into the hotel. Overnight.

Day 11
Ulaanbaatar (Breakfast/-/-)
You have the choice to stay another day or two in Ulaanbaatar, transfer out to your next destination via Beijing.


JOINT TOUR (Minimum 2 persons. Price per person in sharing twin / double room)

Standard / First - -
Validity: Our package tour rates are valid from May 1st 2016 to September 30th 2016 Contact us to get more info about this tour Book now !
Guide, breakfast every day, and all meals outside Ulaanbaatar. All overnights in hotel (2n.) and gers (7n.),and all local transport.
Imported drinks, airport tax on departure (approx. USD 11.00 p.p. in 2004), laundry. Air or train tickets in and out of Mongolia. Visa fee. Single room/ger/tent supplement USD 200.
Note :
Starting every Thursday early Jun to mid Sep except 06JUL
Supplement: USD 60 per person if to operate on any day.
Note :
We have introduced a concept of practical and desirable ways of travel in Mongolia, which is the synergy of Western and Mongolian ideas brought about after many years experience of travel all across Mongolia.

Staff : A Mongolian leader will accompany you at all times. The service will be in English. In addition, the services of the local herdsmen will be hired along with their animals.

Riding skills: Complete horse riding novices should not attempt to ride individually on horses. However, the Mongols are the most equestrian people on Earth, and remains to be so. Anyone, at ease with horses will enjoy to go riding. Use of riding horses is included in the tour cost. Otherwise, you may ride on camel for some time at Arburd Sands. Mongolian camels are Bactrian (two humped) and easy to ride even without previous experience.

If you are a keen and competent horse rider, pls let us know before hand, so that we can pre arrange a good selection horse for you, in which case we need your age, height and weight in advance. You should moreover be insured for this activity. Horse riding requires previous experience. Mongolian horses are peculiar and horsemanship is somewhat different among the Mongols as compared to home. We suggest you bring your own riding hat with you, since only a few are available for the best fit, in Mongolia.

Meals : Our cooks will prepare the meals. We pride ourselves in having cooks adapt with both western and Mongolian cooking on our trips. There are always vegetables available, and we have no problem accommodating vegetarians. For breakfast we can usually buy fresh yogurt from the herdsmen in the local area.

Overnights: The gers have double occupancy in each, and they are furnished with beds, stools and a table. WC and showers are in communal shower blocks. There are possibilities for additional bed in the ger, making it into a triple.
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