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>