10 to 17 night camp to camp rides, using simple lightweight camps, some 'ger' camps and hotels in cities. Different routes June to September. Suitable for any adventurous rider, from the confident, fit novice to the experienced.
Where In the Hovsgol, Altai, Khenti and Terelj regions of north and north west Mongolia and the Karakorum region, south west of the capital Ulaanbatur.
What is it like Still with very limited western influence, Mongolia is one of our wildest destinations. A vast open country where the horse is an essential and integral part of life and local culture. It is a land of mountains, larch forests, alpine meadows and lakes of unbelievable clarity, of great open plains dotted with 'gers' - the round felt tents still lived in by the nomad shepherds of the area. The provinces of Hovsgol, Kentii and Terelj are heavily forested in parts; they have broad alpine meadows, gorgeous wild flowers and wildlife such as bear, wolf and the Asiatic ibex. To the north, Hovsgol is home to some of the few remaining Reindeer people. In the Altai, rocky mountains overlooking vast swathes of grassy steppe, hide the rarest of all big cats, the snow leopard. The Karakorum region, known as the cradle of Mongolian civilisation, is home to many of Mongolia's ancient monuments.
Who does it suit The adventurous, who want to experience a way of life far from the one we are used to in the west, who love the outdoors and the freedom and exhilaration of open space. You need to be happy to 'rough it', riding long hours in all weather and coping without luxuries in a basic camp at the end of a long day. You also need to be able to deal with the unexpected with good humour - the quid pro quo of travelling in a country with a relatively unsophistocated tourist infrastructure.
Why we love it Riding with nomads across vast grassy steppe, tasting 'airac' - the local hooch made from fermented mares milk - listening out for wolves as you relax around the camp fire, experiencing a completely a different lifestyle and the hospitality of a completely different culture. To have, be part of, share and enjoy a real adventure!
Riding: 4-7 hours a day
Horses: Mongolian Horses
Pace: moderate and varied
Riding ability: all abilities if reasonably fit; Mongolian horses are small and the local riding style is different from ours and easy to learn, but hours can be long and the area is very remote, so a reasonable level of fitness and some previous riding experience are required; the Khentii Ride is for intermediate riders and above.
Weight limit: about 90kg (14st 2lbs) but if you are over 83kg (13 stone) please contact us to discuss
Accommodation: 3-4* local hotels, 3∆camping (2∆ camping on parts of the Khentii and Lake Hovsgol Rides when pack horses move equipment)
Group size: max 12
Season: June to September
Price: 10 night safaris from USD 1875 (approx £1440) per person
Horses: Mongolian horses are small - around 13 hands - but strong, extremely agile and used to long hours of hard work. Their stamina and agility are outstanding and they are tough and extremely sure footed over rocky, even snow covered mountains. They are generally unshod and are trained in a different style to horses in the UK, although they are easy and fun to ride. Groups are usually a maximum of 12 guests.
Hours: Usually 4 to 7 hours riding a day, moving from camp to camp, broken with rests and for lunch. Varies with itinerary and can be tailored.
Pace and experience required: Rides suit all abilities. The horses are small, easy and fun to ride so riders of all experience levels can take part although a reasonable level of experience and riding fitness means you will enjoy it all the more and will cope better with long hours in the saddle. There is good open country on most rides and long canters are possible, with the Khovsgol and Karakorum itineraries probably allowing the fastest going. The going on the Khentii Ride is the most challenging and can be boggy or rough so this itinerary is for more experienced riders only.
Accommodation is in good quality hotels when in the capital Ulaanbaatar, and in camps when in the countryside. In Ulaanbaatar, the Bayangol Hotel or similar is usually used, which is about equivalent to UK 3-4* standard. It is clean, quite comfortable and has bars, restaurants and currency exchange facilities. When in the countryside, accommodation is in camps, either using small lightweight two man dome tents in mobile camps or staying in 'ger' camps. When mobile camps are used, a back up vehicle transports tents and equipment where possible (if vehicle access is limited, pack horses will be used) and the camp is set up ahead by staff. A large mess tent is used for meals and there is a tent with a 'long drop' loo. There are no showers although camps are usually set up by a river where there is clean water for washing. 'Ger' camps are the traditional home of the nomadic people. Basic but comfortable accommodation is in dome like, rounded 'gers', with latticed walls covered by felt and canvas. Gers are generally shared (everyone sleeps in the ger) and there are usually wooden framed beds, with a dresser and a wood burning stove in the centre to take the chill out of cool nights. There are basic shower and washing facilities at ger camps with hot water sometimes available.
Khentii Ride (14 nights)
Average temperature guide
Itinerary in brief - Karakorum Ride. Please enquire for other itineraries
||Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Sightseeing, dinner and night at a city hotel.|
||Drive to Ogii Nuur where camp is set up on the bank of the river.|
||5 days riding through the Mongolian steppe. This part of Mongolia is often described as the cradle of nomadic civilisation and you will visit sites such as Khoshoo Tsaidam, Tuvkhiin Hiid monastery and Karakorum, Mongolia's ancient capital of from where Ghenghis Khan launched his cavalry. Five nights camping in simple camps moved on by back up vehicle each night.|
||Ride to Orkhon waterfall where camp is set up. Two nights at this camp with a full day to explore or relax.|
|Day 10||Meet the vehicles and begin the drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Camp en-route near Mt Khogno Khan.|
|Day 11||Breakfast before the final part of the drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Dinner and night in a city hotel.|
|Day 12||Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport for departure.|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
The meeting point is Ulaanbaatar (UB) and most flights from Europe are either via Moscow, Frankfurt or Beijing. You can fly to Beijing from London with British Airways and then onto UB with MIAT (Mongolian Airlines) or Air China. Aeroflot generally have two or three flights a week from London which connect straight through Moscow to UB. MIAT have flights from Frankfurt to UB, and Turkish Airlines have flights from Istanbul - although in both case flights are not every day. Airfares vary with the airline and season but fares with Aeroflot are from around £850 Economy return including taxes. Flights with British Airways and MIAT or Air China via Beijing, or with MIAT via Frankfurt, are usually a little more, from around £1000 per person economy return. If you fly via Beijing, you will usually have to spend at least one night there, either on the outward or return leg, as flights do not always connect straight through to UB. Please note that during peak times (eg Nadaam Festival) flights can be substantially more expensive and availability is limited.