Travel to Mongolia for a unique adventure among nomads and the wilderness of central Mongolia. The focus of this trip is spending less time crossing the vast landscape of Mongolia by jeep, and more time experiencing it by trekking then from horseback or camel back. All activities will immerse you in the landscape and culture of the legendary horsemen and women of the steppes. We will then spend two days working alongside the local students on a Community Service Project at a remote school. . This combination of activities and experiences is the best possible way to learn about the nomadic way of life and the history of the Mongolian people whose ancestors were among the first in history to tame the horse. The area we travel through is famous for its natural beauty, rich in lakes and rivers but relatively remote and inaccessible, even by Mongolian standards. It is here in a remote village where we will also spend two days at a remote school working on a community project with the local students. Along the way we will pass evidence of ancient nomadic people, and hear from our Mongolian guides of the many legends and stories that tell much about the Mongolian connection to their animals and the land. Travelling with us whilst trekking will be a local crew with vehicle support and whilst horse riding will be a small caravan of local horsemen and their horses and camels that will be taking our luggage and equipment. Trekking and riding days will involve 6-8 hours of walking/riding, and although there is no technical parts to either activity, a medium to high level of fitness and a love of remote wilderness locations is required. Full horse riding instruction will be provided and no previous experience is necessary. This is a unique adventure to a far off land which will challenge and amaze you. Come along and join in the adventure!
The Alice Smith School Mongolia Service Adventure is graded Introductory. These trips involve trekking or walking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. (Note: These are not easy trips). Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week. For trekking, hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended. Remember the fitter you are the more enjoyable your experience will be. No specific horse/camel riding skills are required.
After all this planning and preparing it is time to finally depart for an incredibly exciting adventure to Mongolia! Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar you will be met by your guide and transferred to the centrally located hotel to check-in. In the afternoon a brief city tour including a visit to the National history Museum and the imposing and historic Sukhbaatar square. Evening program is folklore concert followed by welcome dinner at the local restaurant, the guide will conduct a briefing where you will learn more about the coming trip. Overnight at the hotel.
This morning we will drive to reach the place called piece of Sand or Khogno Khan Mountain. On the way we stop at Mongol Nomadic camp to see and learn more about Mongolian nomadic life style. We experience an old ger camp with traditional furniture, and see the traditional way of moving camp on the yak and horse cart. After lunch we continue driving until we reach the ger camp located nearby spectacular sand dunes. Meals and overnight at ger camp.
After a hearty breakfast there will be a full briefing where you will meet the camel handlers and prepare for a full day of tending to your camel and riding this unique beast across sand dunes and across a distant valley to a small Buddhist temple. We meet with a nomadic family to experience their life style and learn the challenges of living in this hostile yet beautiful environment. Meals and overnight at ger camp.
Today we will drive to Khustain Nuruu National park. We will visit the information center to get the information about the National park and project “Reintroducing wild horse “Takhi” to its homeland”, then we will have lunch. After lunch hike to the mountain, here we have a chance to see wild animals including wild horses, deer, marmot and different birds. Walking in the mountain valley provides a unique difference of landscape from yesterdays expereince. Overnight at ger camp.
A full day trekking across the grass plains and temperate forests exploring the wild animals and flowers of the area. These huge and dramatic forests stretch to Siberia and form a wilderness that is home to many wildlife species. You are only required to carry a day pack. We will visit ancient burial grounds which date back to the 6-7th century. Meals and overnight at ger camp.
Today we will bid farewell to our new found friends at the School and drive a short distance to Terelj National park. Lunch at ger camp. After lunch a thorough briefing we will ride a horse in the national park exploring interesting rock formations and visiting a local meditation center. Meals and overnight at ger camp.
A full day hike in the national park. By late afternoon we will drive to a nomad family. Here will have chance to cook Mongolian traditional meal Buuz together with the family. Overnight ger camp.
Drive to Zuunmod town where we are assured of a warm welcome at the local school for the two days of Service work which will get underway. The community project work will help to renovate school classrooms which are in dire need of repair. We will have a briefing with the local laborers who will assist us and meet the local school children and enjoy a game of basketball or football together. Meals and overnight at ger camp. Projects will be decided well before our arrival, but will incorporate tasks such as painting, repairing furniture, erecting playground equipment, etc.
Today will be a memorable way to spend your final day in Zuunmod. The Naadam Festival is a vibrant, colourful, exciting and fun event, and is hugely popular amongst the locals, who mostly attend on horseback. It will doubtless rank as the highlight of your trip, so make sure you have fully charged camera batteries. The festival celebrates the three sporting passions of Mongolians, horse racing, wrestling and archery. You will see the opening ceremony at the stadium. After the ceremony, wrestling and archery starts in the same stadium. In the afternoon you will see the long distance horse racing.
We enjoy one last half day hike before continuing the journey and we will return towards Ulaanbaatar to visit the Genghis Khan Monument complex. From Monument complex will drive to Ulaanbaatar where you can do some last minute shopping before a special farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Transfer to airport for departure flight. Trip concludes. Hotel check-out before 12:00) Upon arrival at Ulaanbaatar Airport all services conclude although the memories will last a lifetime.
Per Person, Twin Share