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jess@eternal-landscapes.co.uk

Basakhan is a Kazakh eagle hunter and the main trek that forms the centrepiece of the itinerary was designed and put together between EL and Bashakhan.

We focus on creating local community partnerships that offer long-term support to the people we work with countrywide and that also allow us to showcase the diversity of skills and knowledge of Mongolian’s in the 21st Century. We have worked with Bashakhan for many years and he was always mentioning this trekking route he would like to focus on and so we have created this experience around the route. It is Bashakhan’s local knowledge is what makes this itinerary so special.

You will experience a different more hidden side of the Altai as you trek with Bashakhan from his summer pasture at Tsengel Khairkhan to the Altai Tavan Bogd Lakes of Khoton and Khurgan Nuur. Although this brief description does not do this remarkable region justice - it is unexpectedly beautiful. And off the beaten track. This is the Altai that few others get to see. An alternative to the popular Tsagaan Gol trek.

Because of the way we work you’ll get an original insider experience - a more intimate and local introduction to the Altai region - a side that few other travellers get to see and experience.

Destinations
Mongolia
Activity
Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Overlanding, Camping, Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Culture, Indigenous Tourism, Responsible Travel, Community-led Tourism, Solo Travel
Tour Type
Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Physical Level
Mild

Good to know

  • Six days trekking in Khoton and Khurgan Nuur
  • Three days trekking in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
  • Homestays with local families
  • Book with flexibility & confidence: advanced Covid-19 protocols in place

Detailed itinerary

What you'll see and do

This is a customisable trip

Use the following itinerary for inspiration. Remember: all days, hotels and activities can be altered to suit your requirements. A Eternal Landscapes travel specialist will be happy to advise.

Discover Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar is home to roughly 45% of Mongolia’s population and our free city walking tour will give you a more local introduction to this vibrant frontier style city with a strong Mongolian identity of its own.

Yes, the city is chaotic and loud and not as glamorous as other capital cities but it is the beating heart of Mongolia and the hub of contemporary Mongolian urban life. The reality for many Mongolians takes place in this urban context, in a city they are striving to develop and improve.

Our informal and relaxed city walking tour will give you a contrasting insight into a way of life, compared to that of the rural population. This day is not about museums or shopping – it’s about getting out and about and exploring and discovering.

Today you’ll spend the day in the company of one of my Mongolian trip assistants. The day will include Nogoon Nuur (Green Lake) community project - a community space created for the local population of the nearby Bayangol ger districts by Ulzii - a Mongolian philanthropist - as well as other areas of the city including Gandan Monastery.

You’ll also have lunch with a local family as well as exploring other areas of the city.

Included meals: Lunch

Kazakh Eagle Hunter Homestay

Fly out to Ulgii or Khovd - the provincial capitals of western Mongolia - where you will meet your EL team and then head to Tsengel Khairkhan - district in Bayan Ulgii Province.

You’ll be hosted by the Kazakh eagle hunter Bashakhan. Together with his family, they move twice a year. In the summer months his pasture is located within the region of the snow-capped Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain.

The landscapes of Tsengel Khairhan form the backdrop for the next days. This mountain has an elevation of 3,943m and is one of highest glacier mountains in the Mongol-Altai mountain range. It is unexpectedly beautiful.

We leave the second day flexible - you could take a horse trek or spend the day relaxing enjoying the rural way of life of Baskakhan and his family including Hamalgan and Tolhyn - both are talented embroiders and will show you the skill behind this ancient tradition.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
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Bashakhan Homestay
Basic

Bashakhan Homestay

Altai Trek

In the company of Bashakhan or his sons Tileukjan or Serikjan - both also eagle hunters and Bashakhan’s adult sons - enjoy the wilderness spaces of this glorious region.

Our treks are different in that we leave the route entirely flexible and in the hands of your herder guide / horse wrangler as this leads to a more organic and Kazakh type of exploration. So many trekking experiences offered in Mongolia have rigid routes and itineraries and that just seems wrong in a country of such freedom. Instead, the focus becomes getting to meet and know the Kazakh herder guide / horse wrangler in the areas where they consider home.

If you need a rough guide, you will trek over from Tsengel Khairkhan pass the small lake of Khar Nuur and into the Altai Tavan Bogd lakes region. Altai Tavan Bogd Mountains are the highest mountains in Mongolia and the national park can be divided into two regions, the Tavan Bogd Mountains in the northwest and the Lakes Region to the southeast. The lakes are fed by glacial melt and annual snow fall and form the head waters of the Khovd River.

Once in the lakes area you you might use one or two locations as a base or carry on as a linear trek. You will head into the mountain forest steppe interior - including the valleys that the local herders use for their summer and winter pastures on the Chinese border. Lake Khoton lies below the snow capped Ikh Turgen Uul. The camp spot here is a mere 3km from the China border.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Altai Tavan Bogd

Drive to the home of the Imbekbaatar family - a Kazakh herding located within the Baga Oigor river valley. The Tsagaan Salaa River flows into the Baga Oigor in the far western region of Bayan Ulgii Aimag and the petroglyphs found here form part of the Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai. Within an area of roughly 15 km2 reside approximately 10,000 figures on the southern side of the Tsagaan Gol River Valley.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Imbekbaatar Ger Camp
Camping

Imbekbaatar Ger Camp

Altai Tavan Bogd Trek

Altai Tavan Bogd Mountains are the highest mountains in Mongolia, with Khuiten Uul ('Cold Peak') at 4374m being the highest. These permanently snow capped mountains form a bowl around the Potanii Glacier. The other peaks are Nairamdal ('Friendship', 4180m), Malchin ('herder', 4050m), Bürged ('Eagle', 4068 m) and Olgii ('Cradle', 4050m). Within this incredible region of cold permanently glaciated peaks, alpine lakes and hidden valleys you feel as if time is standing still – these vast and timeless landscapes will make you think and reconsider your priorities.

You’ll drive to the ranger station of Altai Tavan Bogd from where you can hike towards the Potanin Glacier, the largest in the Mongolian Altai and in the shadow of the ‘Five Holy’ peaks. It is a stunning setting from which to explore.

Your final camping location depends on the fitness levels of the whole group as it is a vigorous 20km trek from the ranger station to the Potanin Glacier (accompanied by pack camels). Please take into consideration that this is a border region and the border army can close the area to overnight trekkers due to weather conditions. In these circumstances we arrange day hikes. We require you to be flexible and adaptable.

On Day Thirteen return to your ger accommodation provided by Imbekbaatar.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Imbekbaatar Ger Camp
Camping

Imbekbaatar Ger Camp

Kazakh embroidery lesson

Travel back to Ulgii where you will be hosted by our Kazakh translator Jako and her family. Ulgii is a predominantly Kazakh city where a Muslim influence is widespread, from street signs to clothes and food, and gives the town its diverse atmosphere. As well as spending time at the family home do as the locals do and visit the market where you can purchase some locally made wool and embroidery crafts and take in the view from Ulgii’s ‘Zaisan’ - always popular with local families. Also consider the surprisingly interesting local museum.

And for those that think why both visiting Ulgii?... remember, for each of the families you live with, Ulgii is part of their way of life ... they use it for shopping, for meeting friends, for attending school or visiting the doctor. It’s as much part of their life as hunting with eagles is.

Visit Halmira at her home is her workshop. Self taught, Halmira uses her own motifs as well as more traditional designs for the Kazakh embroidery and wall hangings she hand makes. She works freehand but uses hand made stencils. For those that wish to, we arrange for you to spend time at the home of Halmira learning this incredible skill.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where you'll stay
Expand
Jako and Baurjan Homestay
Simple

Jako and Baurjan Homestay

Return to Ulaanbaatar

On arrival back into UB, we’ll transfer you to your accommodation in UB and the rest of the day will be yours to create your own experience. Remember you could use our UB guide to help you to explore the urban side of Mongolian life in downtown Ulaan Baatar. Alternatively, one of our trip assistants could be made available but please let me know in advance.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Upcoming departures

Departing Returning    
11 Jun 2022 25 Jun 2022 Enquire
More dates available   Enquire

Looking for a different date?

Not sure when you're travelling yet? Looking for a different date? Contact Eternal Landscapes for more information.

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Good to know

  • Six days trekking in Khoton and Khurgan Nuur
  • Three days trekking in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
  • Homestays with local families
  • Book with flexibility & confidence: advanced Covid-19 protocols in place

Tour inclusions

Get in touch now for more details

Included Accommodation

A mixture of homestays, family operated ger camps, local hotels and camping. Excludes accommodation in Ulaanbaatar at the start and end of your trip.

Included All meals

All meals outside of the city of Ulaanbaatar. Mainly prepared and cooked by your local team so they are fresh and it means we offer more flexibility for any dietary requirements.

Included Ground transfers

Transportation to and from the airport on arrival and departure days and all overland transportation throughout the trip. Each vehicle has a charger for cameras and phones.

Included Guided excursions

All activities mentioned with a local team of English speaking trip assistants.

Reviews

What people are saying about Eternal Landscapes

O
Owen
01/07/2020

We booked a 9-day tour with Eternal Landscapes to the Khentii province, probably the most remote and challenging part of Mongolia. I was researching for a novel I'm currently writing, and my family and a friend also wanted to tag along for the adventure. And what an adventure it was! We traveled over 1,300 kms in 2 Russian Furgon vans, following the footsteps of Chinggis Khan and paying homage to the Mongol homelands. I feel somewhat forever changed on a fundamental level by the experience. We have fallen in love with Mongolia and its wonderful people, who are so resilient, resourceful, friendly and forever helpful.

Booking the trip was a lengthy process as our itinerary had to be custom-designed and the owner, Jess, was immensely patient, informative, and extremely helpful. After looking around at a few different tour companies, we decided with Eternal Landscapes because of this and also because of the philosophy that the company operates with. They are very environmentally conscious, taking measures to minimise waste during our travels. They do everything they can to try to give back to the country and the community, giving work to small local businesses and employing women as trip assistants. In a country where it is difficult for women to find work as guides, Eternal Landscapes provides training and support to those that want the opportunity to work in tourism.

J
Jeny B
01/09/2018

A trip that exceeded all my expectations! I cannot thank Eternal Landscapes (Jess Brooks) enough for blessing us with two of the most knowledgeable, friendly, funny and caring people. Please do not hesitate in booking with EL, you won't be disappointed.

N
Nadja
01/01/2020

We had the most amazing time with Eternal Landscapes. We booked with them because of their ethical and empowering way of working and giving back to the community. If you want to be more than a tourist, we highly recommend them. Jess, the owner was extremely patient and helpful in customising our trip. And even though we never met her, her philosophy and absolutely love and knowledge for the country and its quirks shines through the whole experience.

With such vast landscapes and different way of life, winter is a fantastic way of seeing, appreciating and experiencing the country. And as photographers it was mind blowing. Our tour assistant and driver were both lovely, incredibly accommodating, with a great sense of humour.


How to book

Contact us now for expert advice

Price guide

This itinerary would cost from $2,565 and $3,595pp.

Pricing may vary by accommodation choice, group size and time of year.

Learn more

Contact us now for expert advice on how to tailor this tour to your requirements and budget.

  • Ulaanbaatar

    Ulaanbaatar

    ...
  • Khovd

    Khovd

    ...
  • Altai Mountains

    Altai Mountains

    ...
  • Altai Tavan Bogd

    Altai Tavan Bogd

    ...
  • Altai Tavan Bogd

    Altai Tavan Bogd

    ...
  • Ulgii

    Ulgii

    ...
  • Ulaanbaatar

    Ulaanbaatar

    ...
Days

15

Starting from

$2,565 pp

Contact us now for more information about this trip
Start planning your journey now
Enquire now

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