Phenomenal. I had the best time. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone and everyone. Thank you so, so much for creating a Zavkhan Trekking – I wouldn’t have had such a great experience without it!

Sarah, from New Zealand

Mongolian Horse Trek and Gobi Combo

Our six-day trip to the Kharkhorin area, west of Ulaanbaatar, with an optional Gobi add-on. Start with a taste of Mongolian life on horseback. Continue on with a trip to the Gobi, to make this a twelve-day multi-adventure! Note: in 2020 not all departures will include a Gobi add-on.


Price

$1350NZD, or $1950NZD with Gobi add-on

Departures
  • 10 Sep - 21 Sep 2019 Fully booked, 10 spots remaining

    The larch forest starts to turn golden now making the landscape even more beautiful if that's possible.

  • 8 Oct - 19 Oct 2019 Guaranteed departure, 8 spots remaining

    A trip for those who like their fun a little on the cold side! Mix it up by attending the Ulgii Eagle Festival first (5th, 6th October).

  • 13 Jun - 18 Jun 2020 Good availability, 10 spots remaining

    Summer is just around the corner and the pace of life on the steppe is picking up.

  • 4 Jul - 9 Jul 2020 Good availability, 10 spots remaining

    Combine your horse trek with a visit to the spectacular annual Naadam festival in Ulaanbaatar.

  • 17 Jul - 22 Jul 2020 Good availability, 10 spots remaining

    Visit the wild and wacky Yak Festival as part of this trek.

  • 8 Aug - 13 Aug 2020 Good availability, 10 spots remaining

  • 22 Aug - 27 Aug 2020 Good availability, 10 spots remaining

  • 5 Sep - 10 Sep 2020 Good availability, 10 spots remaining

  • 26 Sep - 1 Oct 2020 Good availability, 10 spots remaining

Introduction

We understand that sometimes you don't have the time (or budget) to get all the way to our remote trekking destinations in Zavkhan and Altai. Or perhaps two weeks on a horse sounds a little too daunting. This trip is the perfect way to experience Mongolia's nomadic herding culture on horse back without needing to drive or fly half-way across the country (and without needing to be an experienced rider).

Mongolia is not just all about the horse riding - there's also the vast Gobi Desert to explore. Instead of driving back to Ulaanbaatar on Day 6, head south to get lost amongst giant sand dunes and try your hand at camel riding.

Check out this great video by A Maiden Voyager who travelled with us in August 2018, to see what it's like. You can also read her blog here.

 

Why Kharkhorin?

We recommend the Kharkhorin area (also known as Karakorum), to the west of Ulaanbaatar, for the following reasons:

  • We know the area well and have excellent contacts amongst the local nomadic people.
  • Diversity of terrain, including steppe, forest and rivers, with great riding country.
  • The surrounding area is rich in history stretching back to the days of Genghis Khan (the Orkhon Valley is a Unesco World Heritage Site, in recognition of its cultural values).
  • Only one day from Ulaanbaatar, but still allowing a truly authentic experience of Mongolia.

The Gobi Desert

This optional add-on trip to the Gobi takes you far to the south of the country, a very different world from the lush pastures and forests of Kharkhorin. This is the realm of the bactrian (two-humped) camel, and yes, you will get the chance to ride these ornery beasts.

On this journey you will visit the must-see Gobi sites, but for us it's also about getting away from the tourists and simply appreciating the immensity of the desert.

Trip Outline

Day 1 Drive west to Kharkhorin (365km, 7hrs). Watch the daily life of Mongolia unfold as you head out across the steppe. Visit Erdene Zuu Monastery, before continuing on to meet the horses.
Day 2 Day ride and preparation for multi-day trek. Learn the finer points of Mongolian horsemanship, and get matched to the ideal horse for your riding ability.
Days 3-5 Multi-day trek. Explore the region's beautiful forested hills and valleys. Perfect riding country, with fast open meadows, and slower forest trails. Return to the start point by end of Day 5.
Day 6 Return to Ulaanbaatar.
 
Gobi Add-on
Day 6 Instead of heading back to Ulaanbaatar, drive south by 4WD toward the Gobi Desert. The lush Kharkhorin region rapidly changes to arid desert steppe.
Day 7 Khongoryn Els, Mongolia's highest sand dunes. Climb amongst these spectacular dunes, and enjoy the endless view from the top - if you can make it.
Days 8-9 The Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag, where Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the first dinosaur fossils in Mongolia. It easy to imagine finding a Tyranosurus tooth sticking out of the sandy cliffs. 
Day 10 Yolyn Am, where a frozen river of ice remains throughout the summer. Great area for hiking. Camel ride in the afternoon and visit our local nomadic friends.
Day 11 Baga Gazariin Chuluu, a beautiful area of rock formations. Stay in a comfortable ger camp for your final evening in the countryside. Good hiking opportunities.
Day 12 Return to Ulaanbaatar in the evening. The sands of the Gobi give way to rolling steppe, and huge herds of horses, goats and sheep dot the landscape.

You can see what is included in the price on this page: www.zavkhan.co.uk/planning

Note: Accommodation in UB, and airport transfers, are not included for this trip, but we can advise.

Contact us for a more detailed Trip Plan