Wild Mongolia Private Expedition
Explore the land of eternal blue skies. This itinerary is fully customizable and may include Hovsgol Lake, Taki Horses reserve, Golden Eagles in the Altai Mountains, the Gobi, Chapman’s Flaming Cliffs, and even the Naadam festival. Hotels and transport are by far the best in the country, and the pacing ideal. Over 13 years of uninterrupted experience in the land of Ghengis Khan allows us to provide you the best of the best. Check the proposed itinerary below and contact us to plan your ideal experience. Our next group departure is scheduled for June 2021. Call us for details.
Wild Mongolia Expedition
“I never expected so much” is the phrase we read most often in guests’ reports after they return from Mongolia. The land of Ghenghis Kahn is one of the most diverse and unique of our planet.
Ulaanbaatar is a modern city with great restaurants and shopping opportunities, filled with great museums and temples. Its main square is one of the most beautiful in the world and a meeting point for locals during the short summer. Attending one of the local theatres for throat singing performances is a must!
In the northeast beautiful Hovsgol lake allows you to ride horses in green forests, interact with yak herders, enjoy boat rides, see the enigmatic deer stones, birdwatch, meet the Dukahns -a tribe of reindeer herders with strong belives in shamanism.
In the center of the country, close to Ulaanbaatar, you can visit nature reserves to spot endemic wildlife, including the famous Taki or Przewalski horses, the only truly wild horses that still exist. You may also float on tranquil sacred rivers, learn about the very well alive local religion, and the famous Mongolian Banners found all over the area.
In the south, the mighty Gobi amazes with dunes, green steppes, camel herders, canyons, dinosaur digging sites, unique rock formations, petroglyphs, superb wildlife including first-class birding, and much more.
In the northwest, the beautiful northern Altai mountains let you interact with the Kazakhs, famous for their hunting Golden eagles and unique ways of life and beliefs.
The itinerary proposed on this website (Click here to download it) has been planned, tested, and perfected along our 15 years in the destination. We may customize it to fit your interests, needs, and wishes, so please contact your expedition advisor to start planning your Mongolia experience.
Good to know:
Guidance: NPE Local Master Guide
Group Size: From 1 to 14 participants
Accommodations: In Ulaanbaatar, we use a five-star hotel located a block away from the city’s main square. Out of Ulaanbaatar, we use the best ger camps available. Please note that at Hovsgol Lake and at the Gobi, Ger camps have ensuite bathrooms (Our Gobi Ger Camp is a luxury one, the only one in the country, and it is considered a destination in itself). Other ger camps have shared bathrooms. Please contact our specialist to plan the right experiences for you.
Transport: 4×4’s (Land Cruisers or similar) with window seats guaranteed to all participants (Three guests per vehicle). While in Ulaan Baatar, a tourism bus may be used for medium to full-size groups.
Driving conditions: Roads are not good in Mongolia, and drives tend to be very long. This is why we prefer to fly to most destinations. Beautiful and adventurous drives will still be part of your experience. Please contact us to plan your ideal experience.
Air Transport: We use commercial flights. Chartered airplanes and helicopters are available upon request.
Food: Ulaanbaatar has international restaurants. Away from the city food is OK but not a highlight.
Pacing: If you decide to follow our proposed itinerary, you will be flying in and out of Ulaanbaatar to the other destinations. We always accommodate a minimum of two nights at each hotel unless it is a basic one. Days include multiple activities and enough downtime. During a private expedition, the activities will be customized to your wishes and needs.
Ideal time of the year: Mongolia has 250 days of sunshine every year, but temperatures can be frigid in winter.
Traveling in Summer: June to August are the ideal months (NPE’s scheduled departures are usually planned in early June before the extreme heat and hordes of tourists arrive. Late August is also very good and for the same reasons. The Gobi in July is very hot)
Traveling in Autom: During September and October, weather becomes colder, but colors are amazing, and the occasional snow may occur in the northern parts of the country. It is ideal if you wish to participate in the Golden Eagle festival in the north Khazak territory.
Traveling in Spring: In March and May, weather is unpredictable, and one can see the four seasons in one day, though the center and south of the country should remain dry. Rains are frequent in the north.
The Naadam festival occurs in all provinces around the country and consists of three competitions usually held during one or two days: Horseback riding race, Mongolian wrestling, and archery. Ulaanbaatar holds the biggest Naadam on July 10-12, with an immense number of participants, local spectators, and tourists, in a stadium and around the city. This is why we prefer more intimate and authentic rural Naadams. We tend to prefer the Gobi Naadam in early June and mid-August (Contact your specialist to determine your ideal date of travel to experience and authentic Naadam)
Golde Eagle Festival: In autumn, in the Kazakh northwest part of the country, locals gather to showcase their hunting skills. The experience includes seeing a parade of Golden Eagle hunters on horseback, traditional customs parade, and local traditions. There are several locations and dates for this festival that goes from mid-September and early October. Please note that temperatures are cold in the high altitude, even in autumn, and lodging is usually in top quality campsites.
The 1000 Camel Festival is held in the Gobi during spring (Early March) and includes a parade of 1000 camel riders, camel races, traditional music, and customs.
Highlights: (From our recommended and perfected itinerary. To customize it, please contact your expedition advisor)
- Przewalski’s Horses and excellent birding at Hustain Nuruu National Park
- Two nights at Hovsgol Lake with birding, horseback riding, and local culture
- Gun Galuut National Park with superb wildlife, walks, and easy kayak floating.
- Three nights at the Gobi, lodging at award-winning Three Camel Lodge
- Explore the Yol Valley National Park and look for fossils at Flaming Cliffs
- Bactrian (Two-humped) camel ride at the Gobi dunes
- Ideal expedition pacing with less driving on bumpy roads, and Western Hotel overnights after Ger camps stays.
- Led by an NPE Master Local Head Guide
- Multiple endemic species, including Argali sheep, White-naped Crane, Siberian Ibex, and many more.
- 5-star hotel at Ulaanbaatar, just a block away from the main square.
- Best transport available, with empty seats for added comfort, plus window seats guaranteed when using 4×4.
- Close contact with local culture
- Altai Golden Eagles extension available
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Meet and greet by your local Master Guide, then transfer to check in at the centrally located Best Western Tuushin Hotel , Deluxe room. Meals Aloft.
Day 2: Full day in Ulaanbaatar
Explore Ulaanbaatar in detail, including the Gandan Monastery, the National History Museum, and the Bogd Gegen Palace, before your welcome dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Hustain Nuruu National Park
Drive one hour to Hustain Nuruu National Park, stopping for birding along the way. Once at the Park, look for Przewalski’s or Takhi Horses and other wildlife, accompanied by a local naturalist. Overnight at ger camp. (B, L, D)
Day 4: To Hovsgol Lake
Drive to Ulaanbaatar and fly to Murun (1.5 hours). Drive 2.5 hours to the beautiful Lake Hovsgol, stopping along the way to visit the Uushiggin Deer Stones and for wildlife observation. Enjoy a short and easy hike to the lake to look for more wildlife, observe the amazing local flora and meet nomad families. Overnight at a lakeside ger camp. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Hovsgol Lake
Horse trek (optional) through the breathtaking Sariday Mountains and gain superb overviews of the Blue Pearl Lake. Meet a local family, enjoy a boat ride on the lake, and then participate in a ger building demonstration. You will be looking for a local shaman also. Overnight at Lakeside ger camp. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Morning Birding and Ulaanbaatar Fine Arts
Drive back to Murun stopping for wildlife observation and then fly back to Ulaanbaatar. Visit the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum and then enjoy dinner at a fine restaurant. Overnight at the Best Western Tuushin Hotel, Deluxe Room. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Gun Galuut Nature Reserve
Enjoy a full day exploration of the Gun Galuut Nature Reserve. Start with an easy hike to look for the endangered argali sheep, white-naped crane, and much other wildlife. Enjoy lunch and then sail on the Kherlen River, looking for wildlife and cultural encounters. (B, L, D)
Day 8: To the Gobi, Yol Valley National Park
In the early morning, fly to the Gobi (1.5-hour flight). Upon arrival, drive to the Yol Valley National Park to look for argali sheep, Siberian ibex, and some native bird species. Drive to the award winning Three Camel Lodge. Dinner and overnight at the lodge after a complete lecture about the Gobi. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Hongoryn Els/ Three Camel Lodge
Explore the “Singing Sands” dunes in the morning. Visit Havtsgait Valley in the evening if time and energy permits, there you will see ancient rock drawing left by the early Gobi. Overnight at Three Camel Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 10: Moltsog Els and Flaming Cliffs
Early drive to the famous Flaming Cliffs, where you will board two-humped camels and ride towards some of the best archeological sites (it is here that Dr. Roy Chapman discovered the first dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen). You will then continue to Moltsog Els, one of the few areas fully covered by sand in the Gobi. Overnight at Three Camel Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 11: Ulaanbaatar
Fly back to Ulaanbaatar and check in at the hotel. Enjoy some free time in the city (our hotel is centrally located) to photograph, shop, and visit some cultural sites. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with Mongolian dances and Khoomi (throat) singers. (B, D)
Day 12: Fly home
Transfer to the airport and fly back home.
The Wild Mongolia Expedition has been crafted in detail, following the ideal pacing for the destination. However, unpredictable circumstances such as weather, flight delays or cancelations, labor strikes, road conditions, traffic, hotel over-bookings, and other factors may force adjusting the program on site. These events or realities are out of our control and an inherent risk when traveling, specially on expeditions to this kind of remote destinations. Your Master Guides might also decide to alter the program in case opportunities to improve the cultural or wildlife experiences are found. Please note that the Master Guides and hotels could change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances. No refunds will be given for program changes beyond the control of New Paths Expeditions.
Download the Complete Expedition Details
“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!”
Jack N. Douglas-CO
“Our three expeditions with you were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!”
Harriet T. Saugerties-NY
“NPE always provides excellent expedition guiding services where ever in the world we go. They attend to every detail, and NPE always has surprising added elements that are delightful. The best!”
Charlene P. La Jolla-CA
“Well planned, good local guides, top expedition leader. The trip far exceeded all expeditions.”
Frederic K. Orange-CA