• elst-camping-with-camel

Camel Trek

Introduction

On this Mongolian Camel Trek you will explore the little traveled Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve in the eastern part of the Gobi Desert. This diverse upland area is consisting of rock formations, grasslands and desert steppe and it is often hot and very dry.

There is a population of approximately 1000 Argali sheep (Ovis Ammon), the largest species of wild mountain sheep in the world. Although there is no guarantee to see them, they are actually not that shy here. The rocky outcrops are home to about 200 Siberian Ibex (Capra Sibirica) as well.

Sometimes herds of Mongolian Gazelle (Procapra Gutturosa) migrate through the area. The reserve also has a sizeable population of Eurasia‘s biggest vulture, the Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius Monacha). We will set out towards the East Gobi on the Trans-Mongolian railway line. For three days, we will explore this spectacular East Gobi Desert area on foot (If you are an experienced horse rider, a horse may be rented for you).

We will use our seasonal Ikh Nart Wilderness Ger Camp and, while on the trek, will set up our own private Wilderness Camp of gers (Mongolian yurts). All our luggage and equipment will be loaded on to camel carts in the same way as Mongolian nomadic herders used to transport their belongings, when moving from one pasture to another. This kind of trip is what we have labeled as a ’Nomadic Journey’.

Mongolian nomads (herders) come and go to the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve area. As they are essentially reliant on pastures and any precipitation in the dry environment, they migrate a lot. The Gobi nomads (herders) are very interesting, hospitable and hardy people.

Trip Details
Camel Trek
4 Nights / 5 Days

Trip Details

Itinerary

Day 1: To Ikh Nart Natrure Reserve

Our Mongolian Camel Trek will start by picking you up from your hotel in Ulaanbaatar at 08h00 and transfer to the Ulaanbaatar railway station. Depart by the slow train at 09h00 and spend 6h20 travelling southeast over the grassland steppe, which gradually turns into more arid Gobi Steppe. Disembark at Shivee Gobi railway station, the next stop after the town of Choir. The train platform is seemingly in the middle of no­where, but actually there is a small town called Shivee Gobi just 1½ km distant. It serves a nearby open pit coal mine. From there we will drive 60 km to our Red Rock Wilderness Ger Camp, which is located on its own, right next to the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve.

Day 2: Camel Trek

Today we load your luggage and all provisions to 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 Empire, Turkic Khanate Empire, 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.

Day 3: Elst Area

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 high. 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.

Day 4: Mankhan Els

Today we load the camel caravan with our luggage. We walk north to the Mankhan Els 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.

Day 5: To Ulaanbaatar

At mid-morning, we set out 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 Choiriin Bogd Mountain. It is a detour to the east from the ugly little Soviet built town of Choir, 80 km away from camp. Choir is also a railway station along the Trans-Mongo­lian Railway between Ulaanbaatar and China. We will have a picnic lunch and then we will continue the drive back to the capital which takes approximately 4½ hours.

Itinerary Map

Gallery
Tour Dates

DATES ex. Ulaanbaatar: 2018

  • CML01: 16-20May (Wednesday to Sunday)
  • CML02: 26-30May (Saturday to Wednesday)
  • CML03: 05-09Jun (Tuesday to Saturday)
  • CML04: 15-19Jun (Friday to Tuesday)
  • CML05: 25-29Jun (Monday to Friday)
  • CML06: 05-09Jul (Thursday to Monday)     Naadam Festival as optional
  • CML07: 12-16Jul (Thursday to Monday)     Naadam Festival as optional
  • CML08: 22-26Jul (Sunday to Thursday)
  • CML09: 01-05Aug (Wednesday to Sunday)            Danshig Naadam Festival as optional
  • CML10: 12-16Aug (Sunday to Thursday)
  • CML11: 22-26Aug (Wednesday to Sunday)
  • CML12: 01-05Sep (Saturday to Wednesday)
  • CML13: 11-15Sep (Tuesday to Saturday)
Prices

PRICE 2017 ex Ulaanbaatar:

Price:

USD 1050 per person (minimum 2 members)

Optional supplements:

Rent of riding a horse or riding a camel:

USD 140

Single ger outing supplement 4nights:

USD 680 per person

Private trip supplement:

USD 300 per trip for 2/4 members

for 5/up no supplement charge

Includes:

Guide and all meals outside Ulaanbaatar. Mongolian ger camps and Tentipi tents throughout and all local transport.

Excludes:

Imported drinks, laundry, rent of riding a horse and a camel, air or train tickets in and out of Mongolia, transfers and accommodation in Ulaanbaatar and visa fee.

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 before the Camel Trek in East Gobi.

What our guests say

We appreciate your feedback about our tours and services.

  • Living the mongolian way

    Great place to stay and experience mongolian way of living, no tv, wifi, phone. Just nature and great company of the staff and livestocks of mongolia. The toilet is a hole in the ground covered by a shed. It is clean, but can be smelly to those used to city life. Not hot water supply, inform the staff that you like to hot water half an hour earlier so that they can boil it over camel dung 🙂

    5 star rating

    joycel
  • Living the mongolian way

    Great place to stay and experience mongolian way of living, no tv, wifi, phone. Just nature and great company of the staff and livestocks of mongolia. The toilet is a hole in the ground covered by a shed. It is clean, but can be smelly to those used to city life. Not hot water supply, inform the staff that you like to hot water half an hour earlier so that they can boil it over camel dung 🙂

    5 star rating

    joycel

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