Bring yourself entirely into the peaceful silence of the immense desert! A famous Mongolian song says, “The Sun is closer from the camelback”. Indeed, you have a unique opportunity to experience it for 5-day trekking on camelback. This gentle and comfortable animal will lead us to the oases of Naran Daats and Zulganai and further will follow the footsteps of the dinosaur hunters at Khermen Tsav flaming cliffs.
Also, we'll constantly pass through rough but green saxaul forests, the ancient seabeds where dinosaur fossils are found by both local nomads and professional archeologists. The 80-meter high sand dunes of Khongorin Els and the enjoyable environment of mountain areas would be the highlights of this journey.
- Trekking with two-humped Bactrian camel
- Khongor Sand Dunes
- Magnificent Mountain Ranges
- Kharkhorin / Erdene Zuu Monastery
- Khermen tsav / Famous Dinosaur sites
- Visit Camel breeding family
Transfer to the hotel and relax. City tour including the Gandan Monastery, the National Museum of Mongolia, which represents Mongolian Culture starting from the Stone Age to the 21st century, and Buddhism, Sukhbaatar Square (also known as Chingis Khaan Square). In Gandan Monastery, you can take local prayers, monks, the biggest standing indoor Buddha statue, and temples' own figure. (L/D)
Take a flight to Dalanzadgad, the central town of South Gobi province. Meet with our driver and drive to Yol Valley known as Yoliin Am or Lammergeier Valley in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Mountain National Park. This is a picturesque valley in the middle of the Gobi desert with thick ice almost all year round. While ascending to the valley we will find a glacier in the middle of the rocky cliffs If we visit before August.
Then we head to Khongor Sand Dunes, the largest sand dunes in Mongolia. Getting the first experience of Gobi. Visit camel breeding family and familiarizing with their isolated lifestyle. Camel riding is arranged for you /optional/. Hiking in the vicinity area, enjoying the sand dunes. (B/L/D)
Arrive at the camel breeder’s settlement from which we will get camels and get instructions on our upcoming trekking activity. Start trekking towards Chono Kharaikh River, via Zuun Shurguul - a dense Gobi forest of saxaul trees and tall grasses. Riding Bactrian camels is relatively easy, due to their gentle gait and soft, comfortable backs. Mongolians use colorful hand-made saddles for riding, which sit between the two- humps of the camels. (B/L/D)
This range, though low, is nonetheless impressive, rising from the desert plain. Tented camp at Boodog Khotol hill. (B/L/D)
Ride to Zagiin Khooloi (saxaul valley) via Ukhaa Tolgod which is the flaming cliffs where a number of dinosaur fossils have been found. The road to Zagiin Khooloi is flat, with outcrops of vegetation, and herds of antelope and wild ass racing across the sandy plains. (B/L/D)
Pass beautiful Nemegt Mountain range to the north and the Khuren Khanan Mountain range to the south. Tented camp at Oyodoliin Khudag. Camel trekking finishes. (B/L/D)
We will take our vehicle and drive to Naran Daats Oasis - a beautiful paradise where saxaul trees, tooroi, and khailaas grow to such heights, that one is reminded that they existed many hundreds of thousands of years ago when dinosaurs still roamed the Gobi plains. Arrive at Zulganai oasis. However, Zulganai still reminds you of the mountain steppe area, and you’ll still feel sand under your feet. (B/L/D)
Drive to Khermen Tsav, in translation it means as “cracked wall”. Here the mudrock stretches from the northwest to the southwest and the formation of Khermen Tsav resembles unfinished artistic architecture and well-designed red brick buildings of ancient cities. Many dinosaur fossils were found here among the saxaul forest and desert plants. (B/L/D)
Head to the north. On the way, we will see the Ikh Bogd Mountain range. On the north side of the mountain lays the beautiful Lake Orog. Tented camp at the lakeshore. (B/L/D)
Head towards Kharkhorin. Have overnight near Arvaikheer, the central town of Uvurkhangai province, a friendly service town where travelers stopover to eat, sleep and prepare for their onward journey.
The next day, we arrive in Kharkhorin, the ancient capital of Mongolia at the time of the Mongol Empire. There’s almost nothing left from this great capital of the world, but in 1586, under the rule of King Avtai Sain, the Erdene-Zuu Monastery was built at the site of the ruins of ancient Kharkhorin. The Erdene-Zuu – means Hundred of Treasures was again destroyed during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, but there are still various Buddhist statues, works of art, religious instruments, and even Tsam religious dance masks at the monastery. There are an amazing 108 stupas surrounding the monastery. (B/L/D)
Head back to Ulaanbaatar after breakfast. Lunch at a road-side restaurant on the way. Transfer to the hotel and relax. Farewell dinner together. (B/L/D)
Transfer to Chinggis Khaan International Airport or Train station and depart Mongolia. (B)
Prices & Inclusions
Accommodation: Hotel****,* ger camp, tented camp
Guiding and interpreting service
Full board meals
Transport: 4x4 vehicle or minivan
Domestic flight (Ulaanbaatar- Dalanzadgad)
Entrance fees to protected areas and national parks
Museums and cultural performance
Local guide for a camel riding
Optional activity cost
Excess baggage charges
Single room supplement
The extra cost for photography in museums
Tip for a tour guide, driver, etc
Map & Destinations
Our trip was a lot of fun. My favorite part of the trip was the flaming cliffs and the dunes. Hiking to the top, under the moon was excellent. Our guide is very knowledgeable and is kind. She also has a good humor. She was so kind to make our tour meals, show us amazing sights and spark curiosity. We highly recommend her. Our driver Tsogoo is excellent we so appreciate his skill and generous flexibility and he keeps the trip fun.
Ruth Ellen Verock from USA, 11 August, 2017