Selena Travel

Escape to the Nature: Majestic Western Mongolia Tour

Experience Mongolia's Nomadic Lifestyles

12days/11nights

Tour grade: Easy

From: US$ 2,620

Style: Traveller

 

  • Disconnect from technology and prioritize your health
  • Immerse in authentic Mongolian nomadic culture.
  • Meet the eagle hunters in Western Mongolia
  • Eat, sleep, and live like a real Nomad!
  • Meet people and make friends! You will be part of a group of 4-8 people during the tour as it is a group departure.

Tour Overview

Our tour invites you to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world. Wake up to the gentle sound of birdsong and watch the sunrise over the vast Mongolian landscape.

 

During your stay, you will live with nomadic families in the far west of Mongolia for a week. This is a unique opportunity to experience the simple yet fulfilling way of life of Mongolian nomads. You will learn how to take care of the livestock, which is the main source of sustenance and livelihood for the nomads, make dairy products, and traditional crafts.

 

Our first destination is Khovd province which is known for its natural beauty and also as the epicenter of cultural and ethnic diversity, not to mention it allegedly being the birthplace of the Throat Singing (Khoomei) which is included in the Unesco Intangible Cultural list.  

 

Moreover, you will have the chance to learn about the world-renowned Eagle hunters and their culture while being a guest at their home in Bayan Olgii province.

Tour map

Escape to the Nature: Majestic Western Mongolia Tour Map

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 2: City tour
  • Day 3: Khovd town
  • Day 4-7: Days with Nomads
  • Day 8: Khoit Tsenkher Cave
  • Day 9: Khovd town
  • Day 10: Eagle hunter family
  • Day 11: Olgii town
  • Day 12: Departure from Mongolia
go to detail

Tour images

Kazakh Eagle Hunter with his eagle
Horse riding in the countryside
Herding in Mongolia
Nomadic Family in Wertern Mongolia photo by  Bolatbek  Gabiden

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Upon arrival at the airport in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, you will meet your guide after completing the necessary customs formalities. You will then be transferred to your hotel, with the usual check-in time of 2 pm. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure, allowing you to rest up before embarking on your exciting journey across Mongolia.

 

Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Hotel 4* or similar

Day 2:

City tour

We will start the city tour with the Gandan Monastery, housing a 26-meter-high gilded statue of the Buddha. Afterward, pay a short visit to a Ger district near Gandan where you will see a different side of the capital. Your tour also takes you to the Genghis Khan monument on the square and the newly established Chinggis Khan Museum, which has fascinating displays of Mongolian history and historical artifacts. Enjoy a welcome lunch in a Mongolian restaurant before heading to see the Narantuul black market, the biggest open-air market in Mongolia.

 

 

Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Hotel 4* or similar

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 

Day 3:

Khovd town

We catch a flight to Khovd town this morning. Upon arrival, meet your local driver at the airport and drive to Zereg Soum, Khovd province. Upon arrival, we will be greeted by a host family member with horses and camels. We will load our luggage onto camels and ride horses to reach the family up in the mountain. After 2 hours of riding, we will arrive at our host family. Dinner and overnight with the family.

 

Accommodation

  • Nomadic Family

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 4-7:

Days with Nomads

We will fully immerse ourselves into the nomadic life for the next 4 days. Prepare yourself for an extraordinary adventure as you bid farewell to everything familiar and embark on a journey that promises to transport you to another realm.

The starts early for the nomads, usually start with milking the cows, and goats. Milk is a staple of the nomadic diet and is used to make a variety of dairy products such as butter, cheese, yogurt, and many more. Following the milking, we will have breakfast then continue to take part in the daily activities, including herding sheep in the magnificent mountains, making dairy products and collecting dungs and making Mongolian meals. 

 

As the summer camp is usually located at the top of the mountain (appx 3980m), only available transportations are horse or camel here, and with no Internet or phone signals, this place is a heaven for those seeking peacefulness, adventure, and a truly authentic experience. 

 

Accommodation

  • Nomadic Family

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 8:

Khoit Tsenkher Cave

This morning we will say goodbye to our host family and ride our horses down to meet our driver, then drive to the Khoit Tsenkher Cave Rock Art which dates back to the Paleolithic Period (20,000 – 15,000-year-old while some sources say it is 40,000 years old). This astonishing collection of rock paints depicts various animals including ibexes, deer, ostrich, elephants and more. After exploring the cave, we will transfer to the nearest ger camp and rest.

 

 

Accommodation

  • Basic ger camp

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

 

Day 9:

Khovd town

After breakfast, we will drive to Khovd town, allegedly known as the birthplace of traditional throat singing. After arriving in Khovd province and having lunch, you will have some time to rest at your hotel. Later in the day, you will have the opportunity to visit a local family and witness their captivating entertainment, including traditional dance, songs, and throat singing. You will even have the chance to learn the fundamental aspects of throat singing. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at a hotel, and enjoy our first shower in days. 


Interesting fact about throat singing: The Hu is a renowned throat singing band, recognized as one of the most popular musical groups from Mongolia. They achieved the impressive feat of topping a Billboard chart, making them the first Mongolian musical act to do so.

 

 

Accommodation

  • Local Hotel

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 10:

Eagle hunter family

Today we will leave the town and drive across the border of Khovd province and arrive at an eagle trainer Kazakh family in Bayan-Olgii Province. Experience an immersive introduction to the nomadic lifestyle of the Kazakh people, where you will witness firsthand how eagles are trained. Engage in conversations with the hospitable Kazakh nomads and relish authentic nomadic hospitality. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy lunch with a local family and witness a mesmerizing eagle training demonstration. In the evening, enjoy dinner and spend the night as a guest of the host family.

 

 

 

Accommodation

  • Eagle hunter nomadic family

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 11:

Olgii town

Enjoy breakfast with your host family then we will drive to Olgii town. Upon arrival at the town, explore Olgii town including the Olgii museum, its mosque, and the local bazaar. In the afternoon, we will take a local flight from Olgii town back to Ulaanbaatar city. Arrive in the city by the morning/afternoon (flight times are yet to be determined). Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel.

 

 

Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Hotel 4* or similar

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner

Day 12:

Departure from Mongolia

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport (standard checkout time applies, 12 pm). Say goodbye to Mongolia.

 

 

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Date & Price

Tour date: Available anytime between June to September

Pax-based price:

2 pax   3210 USD per person
3 pax   2790 USD per person
4 pax   2620 USD per person
5 pax   2340 USD per person

 

 


Included Services

  • Full-time services of an experienced English-speaking local guide throughout the tour 
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees according to the itinerary
  • Private transfers (4WD minivans/Saloon car with AC+ Experienced driver) 
  • Airport transfers
  • Twin/Double share at a 4-star hotel - 3 nights
  • Twin/Double share at standard tourist ger camps – 1 night
  • Twin/Double share at a local hotel – 1 night
  • Shared ger during the nomadic family stay – 6 nights
  • Shared ger during the nomadic family stay 
  • Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • Olgii- Ulaanbaatar RT ticket + tax (10 + 5 kg luggage free)
  • Folklore concert entry ticket
  • 0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
  • Visa support invitation letter where applicable

 

Not Included in the Service

  • Early check-in or late check-out
  • International Airfare/train tickets + Tax 
  • Travel insurance & Visa fees
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, camera or video fees at any sites etc
  • Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary).
  • Optional activities (fishing, kayaking, horse riding, camel riding etc.)

 

 

 

Tour Background

Tour Brief Info. 

 

In today's world, we are constantly connected to the digital world. We wake up to the sounds of our smartphones and spend hours scrolling through social media, checking emails, and being bombarded with notifications. But have you ever stopped to wonder what life was like before all of this? This tour is a door to travel back in time where things were much simpler, and people lived in harmony with nature. 

 

In this digital-free environment, you will have the opportunity to observe, learn, reflect, and gain fresh perspective on life. You will have the chance to connect with the people and the land and appreciate the nomadic culture of Mongolia in a way that is impossible in the fast-paced digital world. Join us on this transformative journey to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature and yourself.


 

Eagle Hunting Practice: Eagle hunting is a traditional practice that has been passed down through generations in Mongolia, particularly among the Kazakh ethnic group. In the Bayan-Olgii province of western Mongolia, eagle hunting is especially popular and has been recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Eagle hunters train and work closely with golden eagles, which are large, powerful birds of prey that can weigh up to 7 kilograms and have a wingspan of over two meters. The hunters use the eagles for hunting foxes, rabbits, and other small animals, with the eagles diving at incredible speeds to catch their prey. Eagle hunting is not only a practical activity but also a cultural tradition that has been celebrated in music, dance, and festivals. The practice of eagle hunting is also seen as a way to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the Kazakh people in Mongolia.


 

Khovd Province: Khovd province is situated in the western region of Mongolia, bordering China to the south. The province is known for its diverse ethnic groups, which includes Khalkh, Zakhchin, Uzemchin, Tuvans, and other ethnic groups. The region boasts stunning natural landscapes, ranging from towering snow-capped mountains to vast grasslands and pristine lakes, making it a popular destination for travelers seeking to experience the traditional lifestyle and natural beauty of Mongolia. The city of Khovd, the provincial capital, is an important center for trade and commerce in western Mongolia, and is home to numerous historical and cultural landmarks, such as petroglyphs, Buddhist monasteries, as well as an epicenter for rich cultural heritages, such as throat singing.  


 

Bayan-Olgii Province: Bayan-Olgii province is located in the far western region of Mongolia, bordering both Russia and China. Bayan-Olgii is unique in that it is home to the largest concentration of Kazakhs in Mongolia, comprising approximately 90% of the province's population. Due to its location and cultural diversity, Bayan-Olgii is often referred to as the "Kazakh Corner of Mongolia". The province is known for its stunning natural landscapes, which include majestic Altai Mountain ranges, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and rolling green hills. It is also famous for its traditional Kazakh eagle hunting, which has been recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Other popular attractions in Bayan-Olgii include petroglyphs, ancient burial mounds, and historical landmarks. The province is sparsely populated and retains a rugged, untouched feel that attracts adventurous travelers seeking to explore Mongolia's remote and wild regions.

 

Accommodation on the tour: During your stay, you will live with a nomadic family in the far west of Mongolia for a week. This is a unique opportunity to experience the simple yet fulfilling way of life of Mongolian nomads. 

 


Meals: During stays with nomadic families, visitors have the opportunity to try a variety of local dishes that reflect this rich culinary tradition. 

One of the most iconic Mongolian dishes is "buuz," which are steamed dumplings filled with meat and onions. Another popular dish is "khorkhog," which is a stew made from mutton, potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables that are cooked in a special pot with hot stones. The heat from the stones helps to cook the food evenly, and gives the stew a unique flavor.

Another popular dish is "tsuivan," which is a noodle dish made with stir-fried meat and vegetables. Mongolian tea, made from milk, tea leaves, and salt, is a staple beverage that is often served alongside meals.

Visitors who have the opportunity to sample these local dishes during their stays with nomadic families are sure to have a memorable culinary experience.

 

Transportation: We choose from a variety of vehicles depending on your needs and the size of their group. This includes everything from small saloon cars to rugged jeeps, which are well-suited to the country's rugged terrain. These vehicles are commonly used for transportation in both urban and rural areas. To reach the host family located in the off-road mountain areas typically requires horseback or camelback riding. These traditional forms of transportation are essential for navigating Mongolia's remote countryside and accessing areas that are inaccessible by road.

 

Tour Map

Tour Reviews

May 24, 2024.  The Gobi & Karakorum Explorer

Aug 10, 2012. Gobi & Karakorum Explorer tour Our recent "The Gobi & Karakorum Explorer" tour with you was excellent, everything exceeded our expectations! It was a super trip in our lives and we loved our Mongolia holiday so much. Our guide Joe was kind, well organised, accurate and informative, polite and caring and always provided us with timely information. And our driver Jack is super, very friendly, professional and always on time. We are wild travelers, having been to many places in the world - but Mongolia is still truly unspoiled and uncontaminated. Selena Travel's services were perfect right from the very first email. We would like to thank Selena Travel, our guide and our driver for having made this Mongolia experience a truly beautiful one with so many wonderful memories.

by Rafaella, Benedetta, Lidia

Aug 08, 2012.  Gobi & Karakorum customized 11 days tour

Sending you some of our nicer pictures. Some are chosen for their beautiful scenery while the rest are just us happily playing and goofing around. There are a couple of shots of us doing some Mongolian wrestling, as suggested by Oyuna since we missed out on the mini-Naadam festival. She said since we missed it, we might as well organise our own festival by playing some Mongolian games. Haha... We had so much fun playing those games!!! :)OK, I hope you like the pictures we send you. Best regards to everyone at Selena Travel and thank you once again for all your assistance.

by Margaret Suganda

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