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Mongolia: Steppes, Deserts & Nomads

From £2549 for 13 days
Trip Overview
Rolling steppe of Central Asia make way to stark desert; small nomadic ger camp pepper this vast land where camels and goats are herded on horseback, fermented mare’s milk is the tipple of choice, sand dunes are known to ‘sing’ and the first intact dinosaur eggs were found. Genghis Khan went forth from here on horseback to conquer the biggest land empire in history and, to this day, Buddhist and Animist traditions mix. In July, all over the country, people come together to compete in wrestling, archery, horse-racing and ankle bone flicking during the Naadam Festival but traditions can be witnessed throughout the year. We travel through steppe, mountain and the Gobi desert exploring the nature and culture of this fascinating, yet little known, country. Please note Nadaam Festival departures are 2 days longer, to view the Nadaam itinerary click on the link next to the date under 'dates & prices'.
Essential Info
Starts: Start Ulaan Baatar.
Ends: End Ulaan Baatar.
Ages: Min 18
Theme: Discovery
Trip Code: EACMA
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: Mongolia
What's Included

Meals

All meals included

Transport

3 nights hotels, all en suite, and 9 nights traditional nomadic ger camps with shared facilities Travel by 4WD vehicle, bus and one internal flight

Accommodation

Trip Highlights

•    The spectacularly varied Mongolian landscape - vast rolling steppe, mountains and deserts

•    Sleep in traditional style ger camps (Mongolian tents)

•    Karakorum, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire

•    The rolling sand dunes and landscape of the Gobi desert

•    One of the last remaining nomadic cultures in the world

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Price
Availability
Departing: 17th Aug 2021
Returning: 29th Aug 2021
£2,549pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 7th Sep 2021
Returning: 19th Sep 2021
£2,549pp
Availability: Good
Itinerary & Notes
Those not travelling with the group from London will join us at the hotel. The scheduled flights normally arrive in the morning. Anyone who arrives into Ulaan Baatar early can explore some of the city’s sites including the main square: Sukhbaatar Square, the National Museum and the landmark State Department Store. A group welcome briefing will be held at the hotel this afternoon/evening.  *Bayangol Hotel or similar*
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Reviews
       
The tour was well organised and covered everything promised in the brochure. The knowledgeable local guide enabled us to learn about Mongolia. Even the cancellation of a local flight transfer was turned into an adventure.
       
This trip was a real adventure. Mongolia is a stunning country and we saw breath-taking and different landscapes during our visit, as well as animals galore. However, it's billed as 2, a leisurely to moderate trip. This is true in the sense that there isn't much walking involved. However, there is a very great deal of driving, most of it off-road, and some very long driving days. The off-road vehicles we travelled in were ok, but not that comfortable - this is Mongolia afterall! - and the sheer amount of driving took its toll. Although there was some downtime during the trip, it wasn't till day 8 that we got a half-day to ourselves. And don't forget that Mongolia is 1300m above sea-level in the capital, and we went up to 2000m elsewhere, and the UK body takes a good time to adjust to that altitude.
       
A fabulous trip to a very interesting country. Thoroughly recommended, but please note the reservations about travelling discomforts, below.
       
The nothingness of the desert was full of life. We just needed to be shown it. Talking with three ladies in their own gir was such a good explanation of a lifestyle we couldn’t fathom before this. The gir camp sites were well run and 12/14 days we had excellent meals tho I would take some bottle of my choice of sauce next time. The driving distances were very long on 2 days. In 11 hours you can’t have a bad back or any hint of travel sickness. I am on my 19 th exodus trip and at 70 found these really hard work even tho it was unimaginably interesting. My respect for the huge Mongolian empire grew and all I wanted to see was a dinosaur...we saw bones and eggs! The guide was of vital importance at the Naadam festival He showed how centuries of skills were being displayed to a slowly modernising country. A real time-warp holiday!
       
An amazing trip to an amazing country.
       
Fascinating and unique country. The Nadaam Festival was amazing, especially the opening ceremony. Lots of long road journeys.
       
Fantastic trip. Huge statues, more goats, sheep, horses and cows than you can imagine. A vastness that boggles the mind. The Gobi desert is to be experienced just to get an idea of the size of it. Living in ger camps is worthwhile too. You get to sample what nomadic life can be like. The local people were friendly and open to us visiting their ger homes, and we were offered goats cheese, fermented milk and simple vodka. It's rude to decline the offer! It's hard to pick one particular highlight but I think the Nadaam Festival comes out top.
       
The Mongolian Adventure trip exceeded all my expectations. It took me back to a time when people were more interested in humanity than in possessions. I thought Mongolians would be similar to Chinese but they aren't. They are open and friendly. Ulaanbaatar is a pleasant city and we were there for the spectacular Nadaam Festival, The opening ceremony, the wrestling, archery and the horse race were great but the day before the public turned out in national dress! The desert, the gir camps and the nomadic families were experiences to be savoured.
       
I'd wanted to see Mongolia and the Gobi Desert since hearing about them in Geography class when I was 18. I wanted to see the wide open spaces. The nothingness. The vastness of the country. And that's what I saw.
       
We saw only a small portion of such a huge country , within days we’d seen Steppe, desert ,mountains and cliffs , perfect sunrises and sunsets and the never ending stars in the sky.
       
We loved Mongolia! This was our first holiday as part of a guided group trip, and it really worked for us. We found the itinerary to be just right, long days with lots to see and do, interspersed with just enough downtime to recharge our batteries. The accommodation in hotels and gers was of a high standard. We were very well fed with meals ranging from traditional Mongolian to modern European and Asian cuisine at the accommodations and local restaurants in UB. Box lunches were provided for the long days crossing the Gobi and for the Naadam Festival. All the Mongolian people we met made us feel very welcome to their country.
       
Mongolia has been recommended to me by various travelers over the years, also to include the Nadaam Festival....they were right. If you are looking for something different....this is it. The vastness and the ever changing terrain in the Gobi is fascinating.
       
Just returned from.this Mongolia trip. It was a wonderful holiday. Mongolia is vast and fascinating. The holiday was made more enjoyable and informative by our guide MG. The Eagle Festival was unbelievable. 120 eagle hunters with their beautiful Golden Eagles.
       
Mongolia is a stunningly beautiful country. Miles and miles of vast open vistas, dotted with the occasional ger and nomad herds of animals. The Gobi desert was fascinating, including a visit to the place where the first dinosaur eggs were discovered! We visited many interesting and fabulous places, including several beautiful Buddhist temples. Wherever we went, the people were charming and very hospitable. The Eagle Festival was a spectacle I will never forget, with 120 eagle hunters competing to win the honour of being the champion. Dressed in their finest traditional clothing, riding their sturdy horses at speed, they called their massive golden eagles down from the rocky hillside to land on their arm.
       
Advice given by Exodus regarding the transfer in Beijing was inadequate. Much more detail is needed. Many lost souls were wandering the airport for some time. Perhaps a step-by-step description ? Chinese airport personnel were generaly rude, and less than helpful. The whole trip was generally fine. Exodus were advisied that one of us was gluten-free, but this information was not given to the tour guide beforehand, which Exodus stated it had been. Probably did not make a huge difference in the end as Gluten free food is largely unknown in Mongolia (not entirely unexpected).
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