I’ve had the great fortune to travel with Mongol Khan Expeditions several times and am about to go off on another journey.  What start...

Camel Marking Event

Duration
12 nights/13 days
Difficulty
Easy
Group size
2-11 people

Overview

Camels go on their own to a wide range of pasture throughout the summer. When their hair starts to grow in the autumn, camel herders get together and gather all the camels in one spot on a certain day to mark them with flour paste. By getting together they save labor of collecting all the camels that are roaming free in a very big pasture and it is more efficient when they work together because this marking event takes lot of man power. On a designated day you can see hundreds and hundreds of camels gathered together in one location.

Our company initiated the idea and used this event to promote preservation of the Bactrian Camels that have been decreasing dramatically in the past. So we provide health service to all the gathered camels and in return camel herders show us their rich culture evolved around camels, such as catching, training, racing and making camel products with dairy and wool. It is 2 days of outdoor very colorful event with incredible presence of camels. We combine this with a trip across immense yet surreally beautiful Gobi Desert.  


Highlight

  • 2 days of outdoor event of marking camels.
  • Extensive travel through Gobi into corners that are hardly traveled
  • Breathtaking view of Altai Mountains and its’ surrounding Gobi
  • Rare and endemic mammals of Gobi Desert
  • Unique culture of pastural nomads of Mongolia
  • Adventure with good food and comfortable stay

Itinerary

  • expand_more Day 1: Arrive Ulaanbaatar, city sight seeing. Kempinski hotel
    Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia. You will be welcomed at the airport by your local guide and driver who will transfer you to the comfortable hotel in down town.  Depending on your flight we will have some optional sights to visit this day before resting for the night. Kempinski Hotel. /L, D/
  • expand_more Day 2: Sightseeing day in Ulaanbaatar
    Sightseeing day in Ulaanbaatar. This morning after breakfast we will have a full day of city sightseeing through the major sites of Ulaanbaatar, including Sukhbaatar Square, National Museum, Gandan Monastery, Zaisan Memorial Hill and Bogd King’s Winter Palace Museum. In the evening before dinner we will be entertained with the folk music concert that presents very unique art of age-old Mongolian traditional singing, dancing and music. Kempinski Hotel. /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 3: Drive to Tsagaan Suvarga or White Stupa. Ger camp stay
    Drive to Tsagaan Suvarga or White Stupa. This morning we will check out of the hotel after early breakfast and drive south on a paved road. We will watch how landscape changes very quickly from forested mountainous part to a complete arid landscape of Gobi with distant mountains and wide open valleys. Towards the end of the drive we will take left turn off the pavement on gravelly but very flat road. Just before we get to our ger camp there is our destination Tsagaan Suvarga. It is a multi colored cliff with easy access to the top and that is where you get tremendous view of the pink, red, black, blue colors of the land below as well as dramatic expanse of Gobi from this height. Ger camp stay. /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 4: Drive to Dalanzadgad, Yol Valley and Dinosaur cemetery. Ger Camp stay
    Drive to Bayanzag via Yol Valley. Today we will continue our drive on paved for a morning drive and we will come to Yol Valley. It is elevated location produces different flora and fauna to this region and there is 2 hour refreshing hike through this very nice gorge with small bubbling river in the middle. After easy stroll down we will have a packed lunch before heading down to Bayanzag, a world known dinosaur cemetery. We will arrive at the ger camp late afternoon and check in the gers. Having little rest before dinner and we will take a hike in the Mars like red soiled area looking for fossils. But sunset over this red cliff is something to remember and must do activity. Ger camp stay.  /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 5: Drive to Khongor Sand dunes. Camel ride, dune climbing. Ger camp stay
    Drive to Khongor Sand dunes. After breakfast we will drive further west to tallest sand dunes in Mongolia called Khongor Sand dunes also known as Singing Sand dunes. 2 humped camel ride to the dune and climbing to the top is highly recommended. Any elevation you can get gives you an incredible panorama but one on top is simply breathtaking. Eroding sands in the high wind creates eerie jet engine like sound and vibration, which is why it earned the nickname of singing sand dunes. Return to ger camp and rest for the day. Ger camp stay.  /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 6: Drive to Bayanlig via Bichigt petroglyph. Bronze age site. Local hotel stay
    Drive to Bayanlig via Bichigt petroglyph. If most tourists go back to Dalanzadgad from this point we will drive further west, even less traveled roads through Saxaul tree forest and incredible display of Gobi colors. Starting just over the black hills west of the dunes, we will see black tailed gazelles sprinting and exposed sediments of the Gobi soil presenting its’ beauty with multiple different colors. Today’s ride will take us to a Bayan Mountain with entire south hill side of a small hill literally filled with petroglyphs dating back to Bronze age. Quantity, quality and content of this site is phenomenal and will walk you through life 3-5 thousand years ago. Truly an original “Posts on the wall”. In the afternoon we will come to a small village and stay in local hotel. /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 7-8: 2 days of Camel marking event. Local hotel stay
    Camel Marking Event. These days we will have our 2 days of outdoor event of camel marking. Couple of days prior to this day herders have been slowly gathering camels that is on their way and had been moving them towards the area where they agreed to bring in. This is where we will be waiting and will be able to see camels start coming from all directions by hundreds and hundreds of them pushed by herders.  Once they all brought in they start marking but since herders seldom meet together like this they take this chance and always challenge each other with their camel herding skills, such as bucking the untamed once, or catching a difficult one, or making a rope out of the wool and checking out who’s camel is most beautiful etc. It is all fun to watch and incredibly rare site to see this many camels in one place. The sound, site and dust everything put together, simply unbelievable. We will be watching this whole thing unfold for 2 days together with folk music and dance by locals and in the evening we will be returning to our hotel in small village. Local hotel stay. /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 9: Dash Family stay
    Dash Family stay. Today we will leave the small village after breakfast and drive ascending up to the 4000m high mountain Ikh Bogd, we will come to Dash family, our life long friend, one of the most influential herder of the region. He is recognized by the state with not only his herding skills but also his positive influence and showing good example and was awarded as Champion Herder. Staying with him we will get first hand experience and knowledge about herding life in Mongolia and will be able to be part of it not just watch through window. Until now every traveler takes this as highlight of the trip. Tented night next to thousand white goats. /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 10: Drive to Ongi River
    Drive to Ongi River. Our road today will start going through Ikh Bogd Mountain through a very narrow gorge, very narrow that sometimes you wonder where are we going and where is the road. It will be an entertainment to see our skilled drivers navigate through this rock filled, river running so called “road” But on the other side we meet the great expansion of Gobi again. But at the end of the day we will be pretty much out of the Gobi zone and will be camping by the riverside with different scenery. Tented night. /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 11: Drive to Ongi river. Tented night
    Drive to Hustai National Park. Today’s drive is one of the longest on this trip but it is all on paved road. Just turning 20 minutes off to the right near Ulaanbaatar will bring us to a very nice park called Hustai. This park is where extinct then from Mongolia Takhi Horse or wild horse has been re-introduced and now they roam this park pasture freely by hundreds. It is an incredible success story of re-introducing wildlife back to the nature and we will have lovely afternoon here with close look of beautiful horses. Ger camp stay. /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 12: Drive to Hustai National Park. Wild horses, red deer, birds. Ger camp stay
    Drive to Ulaanbaatar. This morning after breakfast we will drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival we have optional sightseeing or shopping before having farewell dinner. Kempinski Hotel. /B, L, D/
  • expand_more Day 13: Drive to Ulaanbaatar. Kempinski Hotel
    International departure. Today you will be transferred to the airport for your international departures to your next destination. /Breakfast/

Inclusions

This price includes:
  • All accommodations based on twin share
  • All ground transportation
  • All meals in the city and out in the field
  • All local staff and field guides
  • Entertainments as shown in the itinerary
  • National Park and Protected Area fees
This price doesn’t include
  • International flight
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa processing
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Expenses of personal nature

Dates

Trip date:
30 Sep – 12 Oct, 2019

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