Day 1 Arrive Ulaanbaatar
On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to Ulaanbaatar Hotel. There will be a visit to Gandan Monastery, the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace (home to the last religious king of Mongolia), and the Fine Arts Museum. Lunch will be at the hotel and dinner at a Ger restaurant with traditional Mongolian food and entertainment.
Day 2 Flight to Dalanzadgad, South Gobi
Today we will take a flight to the South Gobi Province, either in the morning or in the afternoon depending on the domestic schedule. The flight from Ulaanbaatar to the capital of the South Gobi Province takes one and a half hours, and you will be accompanied by your guide. On arrival at the airstrip in the Gobi you will be met by a driver and jeep and taken to the Ger camp close to Bayanzag, which means ‘rich in saxaul shrubs.' This area, also called the ‘Flaming Cliffs,' was first excavated in 1922 by the palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews. It is a place of atmospheric beauty famous worldwide for the number of dinosaur bones and eggs found in the area. We will then visit Moltseg Els (sand-dunes). Overnight at Three Camel Lodge.
Day 3 Khongor Sand-dunes
Today we drive west along the Altai Mountain range until we reach Khongoriin Els. Reaching heights of 800m, these are Mongolia's largest sand-dunes. Locally they are called the ‘singing dunes' because of the tons of sand, which shift in the wind, making a strange sound similar to that of distant aircraft. The drive is about 4 hours long. During this stay in the Gobi we will have the opportunity to use a different type of transport. We will be riding on camels today to explore these massive sand-dunes. The two-humped camels are very comfortable to ride, as they walk slowly and gently and we will be well supported by the humps, sitting comfortably between them. Our camel man will take us to the sand-dunes. We will stay overnight in a Ger camp close to the dunes.
Day 4 By car from Gobi to Yolyn Am
After a relaxed breakfast we will drive towards Yolyn Am, or Eagle Valley. This is about 220 km from your Ger camp. The valley is about 10km long and is completely shaded from the sun in some parts by the high cliff walls. It is possible to walk through the valley and out the other side. You may be lucky enough to spot wild sheep and goats grazing high on the cliff walls. The valley is also full of soaring eagles hunting for prey. At the opening of the valley is a local Natural History Museum displaying interesting information about the animals of the area. The best time for spotting wildlife is at dawn or dusk and you may discuss with your guide which you prefer.
Day 5 By car fro Yolyn Am to Ulaanbaatar
You may have enjoyed this morning with an early hike through the Eagle Valley or you may have relaxed at the camp. The return flight is scheduled for late in the afternoon. In Ulaanbaatar, you may take your well-deserved shower and enjoy your dinner with the group at a local restaurant.
Days 6-10 In the Khentii Mountains - horse riding, hiking, visiting nomads
We will depart on the morning of the 6th day for the Khentii Mountains. En route, we will see nomadic families and their Gers, and we will go through the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park where we will meet up with our local horsemen. After lunch, our journey will continue, either on horseback or on a yak cart, into the Baga Khentii Mountains, the smaller sisters of the Khentii Mountains to the north. We will spend four nights in tents moving from place to place in the mountains. We will have a dining tent for meals and social time in the evenings. In the daytime, our activities will include horse riding, yak cart riding, hiking and visiting the ruins of Gunjin Monastery. The river, which flows past our camp, is deep enough for a dip in the cool waters, or you can try your hand at fishing with the locals. If you like wildlife, this area is perfect. There are musk deer, moose, brown bears, roe and elk. Birds spotted in the area include whooper swans, spoonbills, great white egrets and a variety of birds of prey. On our last day, we will visit the Ger of our local horseman and sample some traditional Mongolian food. We will return to Ulaanbaatar by vehicle. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant and stay overnight at Ulaanbaatar Hotel.
Day 11 Depart Ulaanbaatar
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your exit flight.