GER to GER Relief Initiative: As of 2018 spring, nomadic families of the Dundgovi region are suffering owing to winter storms and now spring droughts – this has been an ongoing issue for this region for the past few years… All travelers that desire to travel to this region are kindly requested to travel with minimal impact practices and visit these families with kind “supportive” hearts – your income via Geotourism is greatly assisting these families’ ability to stabilize. Please do enjoy the spectacular landscapes of this region but do take it easy on the nomadic families – thanks!!!
Imagine a trekking trip in prehistoric ocean canyons that are over 65 million years old and the ancient stomping grounds to herds of TREXs. Yes, this is the desert trekking route that cannot be missed if you are an avid explorer with the taste for adventure and an active imagination. These ancient ocean canyons span the distance of 65 kilometers long and 45 kilometers wide and is truly a geologist and boulders paradise as its densely packed rock formations literally takes you back in time. On this truly stunning Gobi Desert Adventure, unlike any other in Mongolia, you will travel overland to the Provincial Center of Dundgovi where you will 4×4 through vast and awe inspiring desert landscapes to experience the lifestyle of desert nomads. Along their route, you will travel between families by horses, camels as well as have opportunities for trekking and even some bouldering for the more experienced. Ih Gazriin Chuluu (Strictly Protected Area) is truly an unparalleled location in Mongolia by its own right and is considered to be a MUST visit location at our highest recommendation. It exceeds any preconceived notions, do make sure that you have your camera ready with plenty of batteries as upon arrival in the Noble Rock Fortress (seeing is believing) this paradise is a photographers dream come true, travelers will enjoy hours of trekking and brilliant opportunities for creative photography as you will discover via your lens that these monolithic rock formations even take on formations of animals, people and even Chingis Khan himself!
In addition to being a spectacular geographic wonder of the Gobi Desert, it is also consider being the origin of Mongolia’s traditional long song and the birthplace of Mrs. Norovbanzad, one of Mongolia’s most notable Long Song singers. So in theme with regions musical importance, our nomadic families will also teach you some traditional Mongolian songs and how to play traditional instrument such as the horse head fiddle, etc. In addition to trekking, you will also have some opportunities for horseback riding too!
Day One – Travel to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert Region (L, D): You will depart Ulaanbaatar City by rural bus and will start your southern journey overland to Mandagovi (the Provincial Center of the Middle Gobi) and as you travel you will witness the transforming power of desertification as you travel towards the Gobi Desert. Upon arrival in Mandalgovi you will be welcomed a lunch and milk tea to which you will begin the 70 kilometer desert jeep ride to Mr. Sugarbaatar’s family where they will prepare and serve you with your first nomadic dinner. Along this portion of the trip, you will begin to see Ih Gazriin Chuluu emerge (Strictly Protected National Park) in the distant horizon. Ih Gazriin Chuluu is an amazing site and exceeds many people’s expectations – from this point onwards you are nearing one of Mongolia’s truly unique ‘off the path’ destinations. If you made good travel time, this is the point to capture some brilliant wide angle or fish-eye shots of Ih Gazriin Chuluu as you will be travel adjacent to it as the soft sunset rays will provide a brilliant luminance for some truly classic evening landscape shots.
Day Two – Trekking through Mongolia’s monolithic Ih Gazriin Chuluu “Ocean Canyons” (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): Today is the day that you have been anticipating, after your breakfast Mr. Sugarbaatar will now start the unforgettable 13 kilometer trek through Ih Gazriin Chuluu; you will be truly over taken by the massiveness of this location. Like a National Geographic documentary, let your imagination run-free – 65 million years ago these were ocean canyons and before that it was the stomping grounds of herds of TREXs; southeast of Ih Gazriin Chuluu herds of TREXs has been reported to be found. As you trek, you will have plenty of landscape photography opportunities of some of Mongolia’s most amazing rock formations. Once you arrive at Mr. Gundsambuu, they will begin to prepare and serve you with hot nomadic tea and dinner. While you are having your dinner, this is a great chance to relax and spend some quality time with your nomadic hosts and try to get to know the family. Before you retire to your Ger for the night, and if you brought a ball along, this is a great opportunity to play some volleyball or even go out for a light trek and take enjoy a wonderful evening of landscape photography with the kids as they are playing or singing songs.
Day Three – Nomadic carvings and trekking through Mongolia’s Monolithic Ih Gazriin Chuluu (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast you will start the 14 kilometer horseback trek through the rock formations i.e. Hanan hets, Senjit, Twin’s Cave; you’ll have a picnic lunch today. Upon arrival at Mr. Jig’s family, you can chill out, have some drinks and try-out some homemade dairy products. Afterwards, you will continue trekking the rock formations – Tangad Rock, Chinggis Khan Rock, Khur khartsag’s memorial place and monument as well as visit the Open Air Theatre that is home to the annual horse head fiddle and long song concert. Imagine this location filled with Mongolian performers located not only at the stage but also all around on the rocks providing a natural surround sound acoustics that rivals any home theatre systems. This is truly the time to make sure that you have your camera completely charged with backup batteries as from personal experience, from morning till late at night, you will be greatly enjoying today’s photography opportunities! In the early evening you will return at Mr. Jig’s family for a hot nomadic dinner and traditional Mongolian tea.
Day Four – More desert trekking and departure (B, L): Being your last day, before breakfast it a great time to go out for a light trek in the area and capture some brilliant early light silhouettes. You can trek around the location and visit the surrounding caves as well as the monument erected in memory of Mongolia’s most famous long singer, Mrs. Norovbanzad. As you trek around, you will stop at the local “Ovoo” (stone mound of Shamanistic culture, it believes that local deities listens to the people’s wishes and fulfills them) and put small stones. Around 10am our local driver will arrive and you will begin the 85 kilometer journey back to Mandalgovi. Once you reach Mandalgovi, you will catch a bus Ulaanbaatar at 1400 and have a packed lunch on the way.