EXPLORING WESTERN MONGOLIA
/ per person
- 9 days
- Western Mongolia
- 6 People
Western Mongolia and the Kazakh People:
Western Mongolia’s Altai Mountains boast breathtaking landscapes. The region is home to the Kazakh people, a Turkic ethnic group with a strong nomadic heritage.
Dominated by the Altai Mountains, the region features vast steppes, high peaks, and pristine lakes.
The Kazakh people maintain a nomadic lifestyle, herding livestock and living in traditional gers. Kazakh is the primary language, and Islam is the predominant religion.
Eagle hunting is an iconic Kazakh tradition, showcased in festivals that attract locals and tourists. Cultural events, like Nauryz, highlight music, dance, and traditional attire.
Challenges and Preservation:
The nomadic way of life faces challenges, including climate change, but efforts are underway to preserve Kazakh cultural heritage in modern times.
- Accommodation: Ger camps and tented camps
- Guiding: Expert interpretation and navigation
- Meals: Full board with local and international cuisine
- Transport: 4×4 vehicles or minivans
- Entrance Fees: To protected areas and national parks
- Horse Guide and Horses: For an authentic horse trekking experience
- Camping Equipment: Provided for a comfortable outdoor stay
What’s not included:
- International Airfare: Arrange separately
- Personal Equipment: Bring your own gear
- Optional Activities: Additional costs outlined
- Excess Baggage Charges: Check airline policies
- Single Room Supplement: Available for an extra fee
- Alcoholic Drinks: Not included
- Travel insurance
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, where our journey begins with a warm welcome from our knowledgeable guides. After checking in at your hotel, let us unveil the city’s vibrant tapestry through a captivating sightseeing tour. The day concludes with a delightful welcome dinner, setting the stage for the adventure ahead.
Embark on a scenic 3-hour flight to Ulgii in Western Mongolia, the beating heart of the Bayan-Ulgii province and home to the Kazakh people of Mongolia. Upon landing, meet our English-speaking guide and driver, and journey to Dayan Lake. Along the way, marvel at the ancient Deer Stones and Balbal Stones, silent witnesses to the rich history of this region. Arriving at our Kazakh guest family’s Ger Camp, immerse yourself in the nomadic lifestyle, sharing a night in one of their Gers—a truly authentic experience.
Spend the day immersed in the warmth of our Kazakh family. Rise with the sun and partake in the morning rituals, from milking cows, goats, and sheep to experiencing the daily life of Kazakh herdsmen. Engage in the processing of dairy products, sample homemade yak cheese and yogurt, and contribute to the preparation of traditional Kazakh cuisine. This intimate experience offers a genuine glimpse into the nomadic way of life, filled with friendliness and hospitality.
Embark on a fascinating day with an eagle hunter, delving into the ancient tradition that spans thousands of years in Central Asia. While summertime isn’t the eagle hunting season, the hunters will showcase their training methods and introduce you to the art of eagle hunting. Engage in conversations with the hunters (through an interpreter), witness Kazakh embroidery, and gain insight into the intricate artistry decorating their gers.
Discover the joy of Kazakh traditional games like knuckle bones and horseback riding games. Engage in the art of making felt, a craft that will keep you captivated throughout the day.
Choose your adventure—hike in the beautiful mountains, go horseback riding, or simply revel in the tranquility of the lake. As we bid farewell to our nomadic friends, a grand celebration awaits with a feast known as Besbarmak—a delicious stewed mutton, sausages, fresh vegetables, homemade noodles, and local vodka. Raise a toast to our incredible stay with our guest family and savor the camaraderie forged in the heart of Western Mongolia.
Say goodbye to our Kazakh friends and return to Ulgii. Explore the local Muslim Mosque, peruse the open-air bazaar, delve into the rich history at the museum, and indulge in some shopping for famous Gobi cashmere and local art. Our night is spent in comfort at the Ger Camp or the Eagle’s Nest Guest House, offering modern comforts in a rustic setting.
Bid farewell to Ulgii as we transfer to the airport. After a flight back to Ulaanbaatar, enjoy a day at leisure, reflecting on the mesmerizing journey through the rugged beauty and nomadic traditions of Western Mongolia.