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Mongolia: Cultural Insights with the Western Nomads

Trip Dates: Tentative dates: July 13 to 29, 2024 (exact dates TBD)

An elder Kazakh eagle hunter with his prize eagle.
Warren Haack

Cooking mares' milk,
a staple of nomadic life.

Riding on the edge of the Altai Mountains

8-10,000 year old petroglyphs tell
the nomads' stories of old. Warren Haack

A nomad famly's ger,
where we'll camp.

Throat singer of the steppe
Warren Haack.

For more information and a detailed itinerary... please contact

KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel
Tel: (650) 560-0101/
Fax: 712-8164
699 Spindrift Way, Half Moon Bay,
California 94019 USA

Cost includes:
- Twin share basis accommodations
- Three meals/day or as noted in itinerary
- KarmaQuest Director Wendy Lama
- English-speaking Mongolian Trip Leader
-Tips to staff
- All transportation as per itinerary, including horse-riding
- Group airport transfers

Cost does not include:
- International flight to and from Mongolia
- Domestic flight: UB-Ulgii-UB approx $600
- Meals and beverages other than those specified
- Emergency evacuation and medical insurance
- Late check-out and early check-in at hotels (in UB)
- Bottled water and alcoholic drinks
- Personal medical kit
- Expenses of personal nature
- Donations at social service organizations
- Any other services not mentioned as included above

Over recent trips together, we’ve come to know the nomad families whose hospitality, traditions, and daily life we’ll experience inside their felt gers (yurts), camped on their pasturelands, and through their eagle hunting demonstrations – for us alone -- on rocky mountaintops.

There will be plenty of adventure as well. After an orientation in Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbataar (“UB”), we’ll spend the entire trip on the edge of the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia, traveling off-road by vehicle and horseback to the nomads’ encampments.

We’ll learn how to cook their specialties including making vodka from yogurt; help them dismantle a ger and load it on camels for transport; and hear from three generations of eagle hunters and their concerns over the future of their nomadic lifestyle.

We’ll visit 10,000 year old petroglyphs, messages from the past that hold true today among ethnic peoples who worship the sky, earth, and wildlife. We’ll hear how a shaman channels spirits while performing healing rituals.

Spending days with the nomads nurtures an openness that allows for more interactive photography .

Itinerary Summary, details to follow up inquiry.

Days 1-3: Arrive in Ulaanbataar (UB). Orientation, sightseeing and preparations. Fly to Ulgii.

Days 4-7: Travel to the Khar Salaa Valley. Camping in tents near Tuvan ethnic nomads, we’ll experience the daily lives of nomadic families while exploring afield. Expect displays of traditional throat singing and a mini sports festival of archery, wrestling and horse racing. Camp in tents at approx 8,200 ft.

Days 8-10: Horse riding to Baavgait (Bear) Valley, visit Khoton Lake and drive to Ulgii. We’ll mount well-trained horses – our gear loaded on camels -- and ride 5-6 hrs over Takhilt Pass (10,365 ft) to descend to the beautiful Bear Valley; camp at 7,250 ft. Continue riding (4-5 hrs) past small lakes to the confluence of two rivers known as “heaven” to local people. Camp in tents (6,890 ft) and explore with your cameras. Drive on to where rock paintings mark a cultural site. Drive to and overnight in a hotel in Ulgii.

Days 11-13: Drive to Tolbo, experience life with a Kazakh family. Camping in gers here for two nights, we’ll hear tales of and marvel at our hosts’ eagle hunting skills – even hold an eagle – and do a short hike in the nearby mountains. Plenty of photo opps.

Days 14-16: Farewells travel to Ulgii and fly to UB. We’ll visit a nearby school in Tolbo (schedule permitting), say goodbye to our hosts, and overnight in Ulgii, then on to UB. Final days in UB are for shopping, free time, and a farewell dinner.

Trip Cost: From $6,570/person

Single supplement: $510

Trip Deposit of $500 is due March 1, 2023br>


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