There is no other nation in the world that depends on horses to such an extent!
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 live 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.
On this eXperience you will explore two very different environments on horseback: First, you will ride across the vast treeless steppe, summer pastureland of Mongolian herders. Gradually you will come through the very scenic forest steppe and up into the southern taiga zone of the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area. You will eXperience steppes, wooded meadows, forests and mountains and enjoy camping along winding rivers.
eXperience a true nomadic lifestyle meeting and living like and with the local people and the local equestrian traditions, without vehicle support in wild terrain. Apart from the short drive to the starting point of your eXperience and back to the city you will not rely on any motor vehicle support. Instead traditional wooden carts, that mongolian families still use moving from one pasture to another, will travel with you.
A close encounter with nature always with a full respect for the horses and all the animals.
Stay in spacious Tentipis, with foldable bed-cots. You will travel accompanied by 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 a low-impact Ger camp at Jalman Meadows. Two nights will be passed in Ulaanbaatar at a centrally located hotel.
Living the mongolian way!
11 days | 10 nights
2019: June 15 to 25 | June 30 to July 10 | July 21 to 31 | August 17 to 27 | August 31 to September 10
Upon your arrival in Ulaanbaatar you will be transferred to your hotel. There will be a briefing tour and dinner.
In the morning you will visit the Gandan Lamasery, the center for the Buddhist revival in Mongolia, possibly in time to see the prayers. Mongolians follow Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism), with the Dalai Lama being the supreme theocratical leader. You will then be driven out of the city, and gradually the wide open Mongolian landscape unfolds before your eyes. You will have a picnic lunch on arrival, pitching camp near some nomadic families. Here you will meet the local herders with the yak carts and your horses. You will get to know the horses and go for a short trial ride.
Day 3 and 4
All your provisions, camping equipment and luggage will be loaded onto yak carts. Even a Ger (yurt) will be brought, and you will learn how to set it up. You will ride across open steppe, but also cover hilly terrain with occasional patches of birch forest. Throughout the ride you will have the chance to meet with local herdsmen, often relatives and friends of your local guides. On the fourth day, forests will suddenly start to appear and you will be now riding towards the Khentii wilderness area, which includes the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area and Gorkhi Terelj National Park. In Mongolia the Siberian boreal forest meets the Central Asian desert and steppe and you will be riding through the transitional zone between grasslands and northern Larch forests.
Day 5 and 6
The horses will enable you to ride through the Larch forests, up the slopes of the mountains and to follow ridges that offer views of superb scenery, whilst the yak carts will follow along the broad river valleys. On arrival you will pitch camp at Sharbulag Valley. You will spend two nights here, which will allow for some flexibility in the middle of your ride.
Today you will ride into the upper part of the Tuul River Valley. You are now near the main ridge of the Khentii Mountains. The horses will allow you to go up onto the ridges where the panoramic views across this forested mountain area are extraordinary. Your yak carts caravan will make its way in through the valleys on another route.
Day 8 and 9
You will ride towards Jalman Meadows, famous for its wildflowers, and reach a semi-permanent Ger camp, which is situated next to a beautiful wooded meadow on the upper parts of the Tuul River. Here you say good bye to the herders and their yak carts caravan. You will stay at Jalman Meadows Ger Camp for two nights, having a superb last day ride in the surrounding area.
You will be picked up by a driver and return to Ulaanbaatar. Check into your hotel. See the capital city on your own. Distances are short and nearly all points of interest may by reached on foot. Your guide is standing by to assist you in your shopping or sightseeing activities. You will have a farewell dinner in local restaurant as well as entertainment.
Transfer out back home or on to your next destination.
Own sleeping bag required
All transfers included | Airport Gateway ULN
Additional beverages and lunch in Ulaanbaatar are paid separately
The services of local herdsmen will be required along with their animals. The horsemen follow a traditional lifestyle in the areas where you will be riding
If the group consists of 4 riders or more, you will also have a Mongolian doctor come along as part of the crew