Horseback riding in Steppe, Mongolia

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Horseback riding vacations in Mongolia, Steppe

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Steppe Nomads Ride


Itinerary for Steppe Nomads Ride



Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: Riding tours may be done in the reverse for operational reasons.

Day 1:  Arrival
Arrive at the Mongolian capital and transfer to your hotel. There will be a tour briefing and a welcome dinner.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Ulaanbaatar


Day 2: To The Grasslands
Before leaving the city we will visit the Gandan Monastery, which is the center for the Buddhist revival in Mongolia. We will drive south and enjoy a picnic en route. Our small mobile Luxury Wilderness Camp of gers has been set up in the vast pastoralist landscape near a water source at Tseel. The steppe nomads will be hosting us along this journey. They have brought their horses and camel carts and if we arrive on time, we can saddle up and try the horses.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ger Camp


Day 3: Tseel to Hoyd Önjuul
Today we have our first full day ride to the rather high mountains of Hoyd Önjuul, which can be seen in the distance to the west. It is a wilderness area with vertical rock faces, hills, and mountains up to an elevation of about 1800 meters above sea level. Nomads do not come here much due to the lack of water sources. For this reason, the area harbors some 400 red deer and argali sheep (Ovis Ammon)- the world’s largest wild bighorn sheep. We have now reached the edge of the Gobi. After exploring the area on horseback we ride back over the grasslands to our camp.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ger Camp


Day 4: Hoyd Önjuul to Ikh Zorgol Hairkhan Mountains
Today we break up camp. All gers, provisions, and luggage will be loaded on to the camel carts. While the camel caravan will move straight on to our next destination at the sacred mountains of Zorgol Hairkhan, we will ride a detour easterly across the fantastic grasslands to Bayan Mountain, home to Gobi high altitude fauna like Siberian ibex (Capra Sibirica) and ar­gali sheep. They take shelter in the hills and rocks and may be seen this day. Small herds of gazelle might be seen on the steppe and if we are extremely lucky, perhaps some wolves. We will pitch camp at Zorgol Hairkhan and remain here for two nights.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ger Camp


Day 5: Ikh Zorgol Hairkhan Mountains Ride
The landscape is quite diverse here since we are in the transition zone of the Gobi. There is true steppe, semi-arid steppe, and also giant rock formations. For the full day we will explore the Zorgol Hairkhan massif on horseback and ride around and through rock formations several hundred meters high, which is a striking feature in the middle of the flat steppe. Zorgol Hairkhan is men­tioned in the Secret History of the Mongols, the oldest surviving Mongolian-language literary work, which chronicles the life and genealogy of Genghis Khan. The Khan himself is said to have wintered here while in conflict with a competing leader. There is a breeding population of cinereous vulture (Aegypius Monachus), the largest of the Eurasian vultures, it’s size on par with the Condor of the Americas. Their nests are quite low on rocks and in small trees and very visible. We can also visit Khuh Sudliin Am, the valley of Great Burnet (Sanguisorba Officinalis). Mongolians use this circumpolar medicinal plant in tra­ditional medicine for stomach problems by making a tea from its red pod-like flower.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ger Camp


Day 6: Ikh Zorgol Hairkhan Mountains to Saikhan Ovoo
Again we break camp and the camel caravan starts moving in a straight line to our next destina­tion at Saikhan, skirting Baga Zorgol Hairkhan Uul. Baga means “small”, referring it as the smaller ver­sion of Ikh “big” Sacred Zorgol. Here we will probably encounter quite a few nomadic families as we head for Hariin Nuur (Remote Lake), a steppe lake useful for the steppe nomads. The lake usually attracts different species of birds. Our private camp has been set up already at Saikhan Ovoo.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ger Camp


Day 7: Saikhan Ovoo to Uushig
A full day ride takes us across the steppe to Uushig, which again is an uninhabited area, featur­ing a small spring and some spectacular rock formations. Here it is even more likely to spot argali sheep, cinereous vultures, saker falcons (Falco Cherrug), and other wildlife. We will also be able to see some of the petroglyphs, for which Mongolia is so famous. We ride back to Saikhan Ovoo for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ger Camp


Day 8: Uushig to Arburd Sands
Today our camp is broken for the last time and we ride for half a day across the Gobi grass­lands to Arburd Sands. These are the northernmost sand dunes of Mongolia. Here we find a seasonal and fully collapsible low-impact ger camp. Instead of picnic lunch we will enjoy a hot lunch at camp. In the afternoon we will ride a short way to some seasonal steppe lakes, which are kept in place by the underlying permafrost. We can visit nomads with large herds of cattle, especially cashmere goats. We return to Arburd Sands Ger Camp for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ger Camp


Day 9: Arburd Sands Ride
On our last day on the grasslands we will make a loop with the horses, riding across the 20 km long Arburd Sands, which are a hideout for wolves. You may also relax back at camp. Today we bid farewell to our steppe nomads horsemen.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Ger Camp


Day 10: Back to Ulaanbaatar
We return to Ulaanbaatar and check into the hotel. See the capital city on your own. Distances are short and nearly all points of interest can by reached by foot. Your guide is standing by to assist you in your shopping or sightseeing activities. We will have a farewell dinner in local restaurant and entertainment.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Ulaanbaatar


Day 11: Departure
Transfer to the airport, railway station, or your next Mongolian destination.
Meals included: Breakfast

Note: Riding tours may be done in the reverse for operational reasons.

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Naadam Games Extension (optional for June 30th, 2020 departure)

July 10th: Ulaanbaatar
Conclusion of horseback riding trip after breakfast. Today, one day before the National Naadam officially begins, we will drive out of the city and attend smaller, more intimate "country-style" Naadam festivals, usually held in three communities some 50-60km away. This failing, the big horse races also start on the Hui Doloon Hudag plains today. In the countryside you have the chance to get up close to the horse races, and also to the wrestling matches. Local people usually wear their finest traditional dresses, adding to the colorful, festive atmosphere. We have a picnic lunch nearby and head back to Ulaanbaatar in the afternoon.

July 11th: Ulaanbaatar
Today Naadam is officially opened by the President of Mongolia. Soldiers on horseback, dressed in warrior regalia, ceremonially bring Genghis Khan's nine white horsetail banners from the parliament, where they are normally displayed, to the stadium. We will attend the impressive opening ceremony, after which the first round of wrestling will immediately follow. In most years 512 wrestlers from all over Mongolia compete, but in some years there are 1024! There are no judges, no time limits and no weight limits. We may try and attend the archery competitions (if not done the previous day) and later make our way out to the steppe area on the fringes of the city, where the horse races take place. We visit the nomadic tented camps that have sprung up, and experience a concentrated version of nomadic Mongolia. Herdsmen have come with their horses and all provisions for the festivities, which of course include airag (koumiss; fermented mares milk) for the merry making. Stroll around the area and you are likely to be invited in somewhere. You may also try your luck at the finals of the horse races, but prior instructions are necessary, since the finishing line of a full horse race of several hundred, is a potentially hazardous environment.

July 12th: Ulaanbaatar
Our services end after breakfast (and transfer to the airport if applicable), as we have covered all aspects and the highlights of Naadam by now. You may of course remain in the city to attend the final rounds of wrestling and the awards, or continue for one of our trips further into the great Mongolian void. You need to be attentive with hotel reservations and advise us early if intending to stay beyond mid-day.
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Steppe Nomads Ride
Tour Code: IT-MNRT03
11 days / 10 nights ~$3,600.00
Dates : June to Sept

Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
ABeginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
BNovice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
CIntermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
EAdvanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
   
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
   
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
   
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
   
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
   
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
   
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation

Check here for details and availability
Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 06/19 - 06/29 11d / 10n 11 day trip, AP except in Ul... 2 /6 Expired
B 2020 06/30 - 07/12 13d / 12n 13 day trip, AP incl. Naada... 2 /6 Expired
A 2020 08/06 - 08/16 11d / 10n 11 day trip, AP except in Ul... 2 /6 Expired
A 2020 09/07 - 09/17 11d / 10n 11 day trip, AP except in Ul... 2 /6 Reserve
Introduction
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Accommodation
Tack: Russian Saddles
Horses: Mongolian
Pace: Competent rider. Fit and capable of ri...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN)
Location on Google Map
Image Gallery
Image Slide Show
Customer Trip Rating
Climate
What To Bring
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