Witness Mongolia winter
Take a part of winter festivals
Travel to the Gobi & Khovsgol lake
Meet Eagle hunters
The nomads’ winter festival offers a unique opportunity to visit Mongolia in one of the most special times; end of the long winter, when the thaw comes. Mongolians celebrate the arrival of spring organizing three important festivals in the first days of March including “Ice Festival & Skating Event” in Khuvsgul Lake in the Northern Mongolia, “Eagle festival” near in Ulaanbaatar city and “Camel festival” in Southgobi province. These festivities are well-known to local people and they welcome visitors.
Participate the winter Naadam festival on the vastly expanded ice of the Lake Khovsgol. This event certainly offers unbelievable and unforgettable memories to you. The famous “Ice Festival” will be held at the same time than the International Skating Event as included some interesting activities of shamanic ritual, sumo wrestling on the ice, race of horse sleighs and driving on the ice, as well as offering great opportunities to take part in optional trips of dog sledding, horse sleighing, horse riding, visiting reindeers and nomad families. This scenic lake is located 782 km from Ulaanbaatar, 111km from Moron town. Known as “dark blue pearl” Lake Khovsgol is one of the country’s largest lakes and it one of the most spectacular areas of Mongolia.
The other fascinating festival is “Eagle festival” which is held in Bogd Mountain, Ulaanbaatar. It opens with the parade of the participants’ parade on horseback with their eagles and continues with Eagle hunting competition, including Kazakh traditional games such as Kokbar, archery and traditional horse racing. The hunters come from Bayan-Olgii province, far west of Mongolia and Nalaikh district of Ulaanbaatar.
Travel to the Mongolian Gobi Desert in winter time is very unique and attractive. To attend the “Thousand Camel Festival”, organised by a local non-governmental organization working to protect and preserve the two humped Bactrian camel population, which has been steadily declining over the past twelve years. Camels fascinate tourists from all over the world with their movement, charm and grace. Highlights of the festival include camel races, camel polo, camels and nomads competition and most beautifully competition called Best looking couple on camelback. They will compete by majestic nationally dresses and nicely decorated adorable camels.
The average daytime temperature is -16° to -20°.
ACTIVITIES – Festival
ACTIVITY LEVEL – Leisurely
DURATION / DISTANCE – 8 days
PLACES VISITED – Khovsgol lake /Gobi desert
Minimum group size 2 people
Average size of group 2-4 people
VIEW MAP WITH PHOTOS
Book Now!Customize It
Day 0: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia
Arrival at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport and transfer to the hotel for check in. Enjoy the rest of today at leisure to relax or begin exploring the treasures of Mongolia. Hotel in Ulaanbaatar is not included in the package.
01 MARCH – DAY 1: TRAVEL TO ERDENET CITY (360 KM -6 HOURS) (B,L,D)
Commence the adventure tour today driving to Erdenet city, second biggest city to stay in local hotel overnight.
02 MARCH – DAY 2: TRAVEL TO NORTHERN MONGOLIA (470 KM -7 HOURS)(B,L,D)
Head to the northern Mongolia; capital Khovsgol province. Drive to Khovsgol lake; with clear crystal water contains about 1.5% of the world’s fresh water. The lake is surrounded by high mountain chains, thick pine forests and rich in wildlife. During the long winter, the surface forms a thick ice over a meter and remains frozen until the beginning of June, which allows even the truck ride on the entire length. Overnight in Ger camp.
03 MARCH – DAY 3: THE ICE FESTIVAL & SKATING EVENT DAY! (B,L,D)
Early morning we Attend the Opening Ceremony of the Ice Festival and International Skating Event. Competition of skilled drivers on the ice will be held and Contest for “Beautiful Mongolian costume” among participants other. Enjoy bonfire and sacred shamanic ceremony. Stay overnight in Ger camp.
04 MARCH- DAY 4 : THE ICE FESTIVAL & SKATING MARATHON (600KM-8 HOURS WITH PAVED ROAD)(B,L,D)
In the morning the festival continues with Competition of skaters for short distances /2km/. There will be Sumo wrestling on the ice and rope pulling competition. Visits reindeer herders who make their way south to the festival from their northern taiga. Other optional activities, enjoying horse sleigh or dog sled, horse riding, a trip to visit nomadic are available. This afternoon, we will head to Erdenet city and stay overnight there.
05 MARCH-DAY 5 : DRIVE TO ULAANBAATAR AND ATTEND EAGLE FESTIVAL (380KM – 6 HOURS WITH GOOD ROAD)(B,L,D)
At 11.00am the opening ceremony commences, as the participants join the parade on horse ride with their eagles. Then festival begins with each Kazakh displaying his hunting outfit and accessories. The Golden eagles will be released from a cliff and their owner will stand below and signal for them to land upon their arm, as they do during hunting. Then eagles will be released from a cliff to attack fox skins that will be dragged by their owner on horseback. After the festival, drive to Middle Gobi, Mandalgobi and stay in a local hotel.
06-07 MARCH – DAY 6-7 : CAMEL FESTIVAL DAYS (400KM – 5HOURS) (B,L,D)
Early morning we will drive to the Dalanzadgad capital of Umnugovi province and drive further to the Bulgan town where the festival takes place. In the afternoon, enjoy Camel Festival in the Gobi! This event will be organized by “Tumen Temee” (“Ten Thousand Camels”) – association in order to protect two humped Bactrian camels and reproduce camel herders, to increase their productivity, to increase herder’s income by tourism. You will enjoy authentic festival program including, camels racing, children’s concert, camel wool product exhibition, camel polo, parade on camels and nice couple competition. Also you will enjoy relay competition with camel. An entertaining competition which shows camel training methods and customs of “Heroes of great Gobi” people, overcomes severe climate and harsh condition of Gobi by their effort and endurance. Teams each having 5 members participate in it and show many methods and techniques of catching camel with lasso, tying and bringing down, putting wooden peg into camel’s nose and loading camel. Optional camel riding is available. You stay for two nights in the warm and welcoming home of a local family. After the closing ceremony we will drive to see the Flaming cliff.
08 MARCH , DAY 8: DRIVE TO ULAANBAATAR (660KM- 9HOURS) (B,L)
This morning we will return to the capital.
DEPARTURE FOR SMALL GROUP:
01 – 08 March, 2017
TOUR PRICE PER PERSON:
970 USD per person based on 4 people
1120 USD per person based on 3 people
1380 USD per person based on 2 people
- Accommodation-2 nights stay with nomad family and 2 nights accommodation in tourist Ger camps and 3 nights in local hotel
- All transport throughout tour in 4WD vehicles Russian van
- English speaking guide
- Sightseeing, camel and horse riding fee, entrance fees and museum tickets
- Meals as indicated in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
- Bottled water – 1 liter per day
PRICE NOT INCLUDES:
- International airfares
- Visa application & fees
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- Personal expenses
- Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar-Travel Buddies can arrange all types of accommodation in Ulaanbaatar
- Meals/beverages not stated in itinerary
FORESEE THE COUNTRY
Mongolia is developing country with vast landscapes and road transportation projects are still on going but it has many opportunities to experience adventure travel. From doing outdoor activities, immersing nomad culture and local communities. Experiencing authentic Mongolia may require a spirit of adventure, flexibility, basic comfort of accommodation and facilities. Luxuries are only found around Ulaanbaatar. Travelling through the countryside can involve hours driving in a 4wd vehicle over the dusty and bumpy road; most roads are unpaved.Toilets during the drive over the vast steppe may not find but the rule of nature applies as you can toilet anywhere you feel alright.
Accommodations are clean and traditional. Mongolian traditional house (Yurt) called Ger is provided for the entire trip. Traditional dwelling; one room round tent made of a latticed wood structure covered with layers of felt and canvas, heated by a wood stove and furnished with wood-framed 1-4 beds. The camp restaurant and western-style toilet and shower facilities are located in a central building or big Ger found a few hundred feet from the Gers. We use fine tourist camps but not the best so if you require finest accommodation (e.x Ger with en-suite bathroom or) there is surcharge.
Traditional Nomadic homes: Overnight in nomad family’s extra Ger that built next to their’s. You will immerse in nomad lifestyle visiting and having closer insight of them. The toilet there is dry and shower is not available.
Single supplement assurance single accommodations in Gers. If single traveller wishes to share accommodations, no single supplement surcharge – only if you require your own Ger accommodation. Make sure to send us your request at least 30 days prior to the tour start.
Food during the tour can be found many varieties of a typical meat-based dish with vegetable and rice/pasta/noodle. Fortunately, vegetarian foods are available and can be requested. Some of the lunch meals are picnic. Bringing some snacks with you is recommended.
Road in Mongolia is tough and it requires excellent vehicles with experienced drivers. We ensure reliable and excellent vehicle including 4WD Land cruiser, Japanese mini-van and Russian van.
There are several flights per week to the capital, Ulan Bator (ULN), from Beijing, Seoul, Moscow and Turkey.
Visa is required for most travelers, and must be obtained in advance of entry. The only exception is US citizens, who can enter the country as a tourist for up to 90 days. It is your responsibility to organise a visa for Mongolia. Please contact us if you need a Mongolian visa support letter and further assistance.
TRAVEL INSURANCE IS RECOMMENDED
Insurance fee /expenses to cancel travel, health insurance/ is not included in travel payment. We hereby recommend you to involve in travel insurance by Insurance Authorities in host country and under conditions and terms proposed by them.
It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your return to your country, with at least 2 blank pages at the time of travel.
KNOW WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU
Bring your warm clothes, the weather in the evening and early morning is cold in the countryside though it is summer. Raincoat-August is only raining season in Mongolia. First aid kit, flashlight, insect repellent, cap, sunglasses, scarf, sun cream, lip balm, backpack and own towel. Definitely, your camera and its equipment.