Camel Trek in East Gobi Desert

MongoliaActive

On this nomadic journey, we use low impact traditional modes of transport. Our equipment will be carried on camel carts in the same way nomadic herders transport their belongings, moving from one pasture to another. Essentially, it means that we can use the services of the local people living in the area where we travel.

Nomadic Journeys operate a seasonal ger camp at Ikh Nart. You travel there southeasterly along the Trans-Mongolian railway line towards Beijing by a slow train (6h20) from Ulaanbaatar. Disembark at Shivee Gobi, the next small station after Choir. Then drive 60 km. Red Rock Ger Camp is located on its own next to the reserve area. Ikh Nart Nature Reserve was established in 1996, practically as a game reserve as it has intact populations of Gobi fauna. There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife walks and drives. There may be camels for rent. Transfer back to Ulaanbaatar is by good tarmac road most of the way.

5 Days
From SGD 1,554Per Person

Land Itinerary

Pick up at your hotel at in Ulaanbaatar at 08h00 and transfer to the railway station. Depart by the slow train at 09h00 and spend 6h20 traveling southeast over the grassland steppe, which gradually becomes the more arid Gobi steppe.

Disembark at Shivee Gobi, a train platform seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but actually near the small town of Shivee Gobi, one and half kilometres away. Shivee Gobi serves a nearby open pit coal mine.

From there we drive 60km to our Red Rock Ger Camp, which is located on its own, right next to Ikh Nart Reserve.

Meals: Lunch | Dinner

Today we load your luggage and all provisions onto the camel carts and set out on our guided walk through the reserve. It is labyrinth of rock formations and it is easy to get lost. We explore the ruins of a temple, that has been destroyed in the Stalinist purges of the 1930s. Because of horrible stories, locals avoid the place. There are fantastic petroglyphs in the area as well as ancient graves from Hunnu, Turkic khanate, imperial and Manchurian times. All layers of Mongolian archaeology are present. We will arrive at our remote cozy ger camp at Elst, which has been set up ahead of time. The name Elst indicates this is an area of minor sand dunes.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

We will remain in the ger camp at Elst for another night and explore this wild area of rock formations, sands and grasses, growing up to two meters hight. There is also a small ephemeral (seasonal) lake, which sometimes has desert tadpole shrimps (Triops spp.), a relative of other tadpole shrimps found in the deserts of the Middle East and the southwestern United States. The surroundings are rich in petroglyphs and rock art, and we may come across Argali Sheep and Siberian Ibex as we explore this dramatic area.

Accommodation: Wilderness Ger Camp.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Today we load the camel caravan with our luggage and even take down the gers and bring the entire camp with us. The gers fold perfectly on to the camel carts as they are made for each other. You will today learn how to move the entire camp in the traditional Mongolian style. We walk north to the Mankhan Sands area, situated at the edge of the Ikh Nart plateau. The dunes here are much higher than at Elst and offer fabulous views over the vast desert steppe plains below. We set up our camp here for the night.

Accommodation: Red Rock Ger Camp.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

At mid-morning we set off for our journey back to Ulaanbaatar by car or minibus. We will drive until the tarmac road, and further on we will visit some remote Buddha statues in the rock faces at Choriin Bogd Mountain. It is a detour to the east from the ugly little Soviet built town of Choir, 80km away from camp. Choir is also a railway station along the Trans-Mongolian Railway between Ulaanbaatar and China. We will have a picnic lunch. The drive back to the capital takes approximately 4½ hours.

Check into your hotel in Ulaanbaatar (hotel at own expense).

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch

Optional Experiences

Additional treks
You have the choice to stay another day or two in Ulaanbaatar or transfer out to your next destination via Beijing. We, however, recommend that you join our Yak Trek for one more week of exciting adventure in a contrasting environment of rivers, steppe valleys, meadows and deep forests. Check our dates!

Riding horses
There will be an opportunity for experienced riders at the time of booking to order a riding horse. This cost is payable in Mongolia only. Mongolian horses are peculiar and horsemanship is somewhat different among the Mongols as compared to home. We suggest you bring your own riding hat with you.

Land Cost

Price per person in SGD dollars

5D Camel Trek in East Gobi Desert

Valid from May 16 to Sep 30, 2017
ADULT
TWINSINGLE
Group Tour ~ Minimum 02 Persons to Go/strong>15242467
Private Trip Supplement for 02-04 persons416
Private Trip Supplement for 05 or more personsWaived
4NLDS/LM-ECO16285TT170419

Practicalities

Transport We leave Ulaanbaatar by train and will be picked up by car, to reach Ikh Nart. Only camel carts support us during the walks. This journey back to Ulaanbaatar is supported by jeep or minibus (depending on the number of travellers).

Accommodation The gers at our low-impact Red Rock camp are each furnished with a wooden floor, two beds, chairs, table, simple wash basin and a wood burning stove. Electricity is generated through wind and solar power. There are composting toilets, showers are housed in heated gers. Triples are possible as an additional bed may be added. The gers in our mobile wilderness camp are equipped with sturdy cot beds, including full bedding, stools and a chair and also a wood burning stove. The showers and toilets are in traditional Mongolian marquee style tents here.

Staff An English speaking Mongolian guide will accompany the group at all times. There will also be a cook. In addition, the services of local herdsmen will be employed. They provide the camels and carts and will accompany us on the trek.

Meals Our cook will prepare the meals. We pride ourselves in having exellent cooks adept at both western and Mongolian cooking on our trips. There are always vegetables available and we have no problem accommodating vegetarians on our trips.

Additional We can reserve hotels and transfers in Ulaanbaatar for you. Please make sure to arrive in Ulaanbaatar by the evening prior to the day of departure as there will be a welcome dinner and trip briefing.

Inclusions

  • Visa support invitation letter, where applicable
  • Services of English-speaking local guide throughout the tour
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary
  • Chartered transportation with an experienced driver, petrol, lubricants, maintenance
  • Accommodation in double/triple occupancy in ger camps
  • All meals outside of Ulaanbaatar as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Exclusions

  • Mongolia Visa & visa application fee
  • Air/train tickets in/out Mongolia
  • Pre/post-tour hotels and transfers in Ulaanbaatar
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, camera and/or video fees at all sites, etc.,
  • Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary)
  • Optional activities such as horse/camel riding, archery, fishing, etc.,
  • Sleeping bags and mat, and personal trekking gear

Trip Dates 2017

  • CML01: May 16-20 (Tun/Sat)
  • CML02: May 26-30 (Fri/Tue)
  • CML03: Jun 05-09 (Mon/Fri)
  • CML04: Jun 15-19 (Thu/Mon)
  • CML05: Jun 25-29 (Sun/Thu)
  • CML06: Jul 05-09 (Wed/Sun) Naadam option
  • CML07: Jul 12-16 (Wed/Sun) Naadam option
  • CML08: Jul 22-26 (Sa/Wed)
  • CML09: Aug 01-05 (Tue/Sat) Danshig option
  • CML10: Aug 12-16 (Sat/Wed)
  • CML11: Aug 22-26 (Tue/Sat)
  • CML12: Sep 01-05 (Fri/Tue)
  • CML13: Sep 11-15 (Mon/Fri)

About Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve

Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve is a community reserve where local people have partnered with the Denver Zoo Foundation, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and Nomadic Journeys for research and the conservation of the Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Plateau. It is an upland with many rocky outcrops.

Often hot and dry, it is an arid Gobi kind of area, only a 4 hours drive southeast from Ulaanbaatar. The unique wildlife feature of Ikh Nart is its approximately 1000 Argali sheep (Ovis ammon), the largest wild mountain sheep in the world. Although there is no guarantee, they are not that shy here. Also Mongolian gazelle (procapra gutturosa) are frequent visitors and are relatively easy to come across and view. Ikh Nartiin Chuluu, the full name, means, in Mongolian, "Rocks with plenty of sunshine". The reserve also has a sizeable population of the world's biggest vulture, the Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monacha), as well as some 200 Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica).